GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Steve Grassfield and his wife, Ann, fully intended to retire in 12 years, build a house near a youth camp and devote themselves to camp ministry. The camp ministry came much sooner than expected, however.
“I wasn’t looking for another job,” said Grassfield, formerly vice president for food and beverage operations for ClubCorp. “But it is one of those things where God made it pretty clear to both of us this was an opportunity He was opening up.”
Grassfield, 54, began Jan. 1 as general manager of LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center, a Christian retreat owned by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention and located near Santa Fe, N.M. At 2,400 acres, Glorieta is one of the largest Christian conferencing facilities in America, offering affordable events while maintaining a focus on spiritual renewal. It is that focus for which Grassfield has a passion, said Byron Hill, national director of LifeWay conference centers.
“We’re excited about Steve’s business background,” Hill said, “but his spiritual maturity will provide a focus for all we do at Glorieta. We believe there are great days ahead for what God wants to do through Steve at Glorieta.”
Grassfield grew up in Chicago where his father operated a restaurant and introduced him to the hospitality industry. Grassfield graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in restaurant and hotel management and quickly proved his business acumen with several successful ventures. ClubCorp hired him 17 years ago and he held a variety of positions within the organization.
ClubCorp has more than a billion dollars in international sales, operating 200 golf courses, country clubs, private business and sports clubs and resorts. Several of their courses are sites for Professional Golf Association (PGA) and Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) events.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to serve at Glorieta,” Grassfield said. “This conference center has been a vital part of the community for more than 50 years, and I’m looking forward to meeting its leaders and getting involved with the people who make this such a great place to live and work.”
Throughout its history, Glorieta has attracted more than 1 million visitors from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries.
The conference center’s economic impact on the area -– a combination of salaries paid, capital dollars invested in local contractors and visitors’ tourist dollars spent in Santa Fe, is estimated conservatively at more than $7 million a year.
LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center is on the Web at www.lifeway.com/conferencecenters. BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: STEVE GRASSFIELD.