Industry News

Desert Highlands features new executives

January 15, 2019

Desert Highlands Announces New Additions to Executive Team

Premier Scottsdale Club and Community Under New Leadership Entering 2019

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.)Desert Highlands – the acclaimed luxury golf club and community in the stunning Sonoran Desert of North Scottsdale – welcomes a new and talented executive team for 2019, highlighted by General Manager / Chief Operating Officer Monty Becton and Chief Financial Officer Lisa Hutcherson.


Becton was previously the General Manager at the exclusive Clubs of Cordillera Ranch in the Texas Hill Country outside San Antonio. He also served as the vice president of operations for two of the country’s largest private club management companies, ClubCorp and Arnold Palmer Golf. Throughout his career, Becton and the clubs he directs have earned numerous awards, including “Golf Course of the Year” bestowed by the National Golf Course Owners Association.

Prior to Desert Highlands, Hutcherson enjoyed a successful tenure as the Director of Finance at Arizona Country Club in Phoenix. She also worked in various capacities for ClubCorp Financial Management Company, including regional accounting manager and director of club accounting.

Also joining the Desert Highlands leadership team are Joan Sykora, Director of Member Relations and Sales; Todd Allison, Executive Chef; and Ron Koohbanani, Assistant General Manager.

Sykora boasts 30 years’ experience in private clubs, driving revenue for ClubCorp, Century Golf, Gate Hospitality as well as individually owned properties. Allison was previously the chef at T. Cooks in the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Scottsdale. Koohbanani’s career in the hospitality and food beverage industry spans 25 years, featuring tenures at leading golf clubs, national and international golf and tennis tournaments, Major League Baseball stadiums and world-renown theme parks.

“Lisa, Joan, Todd and Ron are passionate about taking Desert Highlands to the next level, and we are excited to have them as integral parts of the team,” Becton says. “Their experience in the private club and hospitality industries will be tremendous assets to the club.”

Desert Highlands’ newest additions join a roster of industry and category leaders. Phil Shoemaker, Director of Agronomy since 1999, has led course preparation for numerous professional tournaments. Director of Fitness Tyler Mayer is a former athlete and trainer of life. Terry Burns has managed facilities for two decades, and Director of Security Nick Ciliento has spent over 40 years in the law enforcement and security, 17 of those at Desert Highlands.

Dawn Tenney has been the Director of Member Services and Design Review Coordinator at the club for the past 22 years, while Director of Tennis Eric Anderson has been at the club since 2005. Theresa Klingensmith has worked in several specialized areas in her 21 years of human resources, and Director of Golf Doug Westcott has been at Desert Highlands for 15 years and serves as chairman of the Southwest PGA Section Foundation.

Scottsdale's premier private community and club, Desert Highlands melds Sonoran Desert luxury with world-class golf, tennis, dining and concierge services. Located just 30 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Desert Highlands is easily accessible for second and vacation home owners.

It is only minutes away from famed Old Town Scottsdale and its myriad shops, restaurants and art galleries. Homes range from $1.5 million to $4 million, and feature architecturally adapted styles and systems for life in America's most vibrant desert.

A residential remodel program offers investors the opportunity to have club membership fee waived during the period in which they are restoring / upgrading their investment property. In 2019, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course will undergo a $7 million renovation by Nicklaus Design. The storied layout hosted the first two Skins Games back in 1983-84.

For more information:

Shane Sharp (704.519.8381)

Robert Rodriguez (210.441.0952)