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<br /> <br /> <br />Kitson&Partners <br /> <br />NEWS RELEASE <br />March 22, 2010 <br />12:30 PM <br /> <br />Contact: Tim Firestone, Blackthorn Golf Course General Mgr., , <br /> or Richard Love, Director of Golf, or 574-323-4653 <br /> <br /> <br />New Management Team – New Opportunities at Blackthorn Golf Club <br /> <br />South Bend, IN: Blackthorn Golf Course will open the 2010 season under the direction of a new <br />management team with long-standing ties to the popular public golf course and to the South Bend <br />area. Kitson & Partners Club Services (K&P) has been selected by the City of South Bend <br />Redevelopment Commission as the new management firm for Blackthorn. <br /> <br />K&P is an international golf management company based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The <br />company is headed by President Michael C. Rippey, who was instrumental in the development and <br />opening of Blackthorn in the early 1990s. <br /> <br />Given the assignment to restore Blackthorn to the position of market leadership the course enjoyed <br />in its early years, Rippey recruited two former Blackthorn golf professionals, Tim Firestone and <br />Richard Love, to join the K&P team and return to South Bend. Firestone, who is a Director of <br />Operations with K&P, will serve as Blackthorn General Manager, and Love is the new Director of <br />Golf. Veteran Blackthorn golf course Superintendent John Quickstad, and new Food & Beverage <br />Director Sharon Cooper will complete the Blackthorn management team. <br /> <br />“This is an exciting opportunity for our company, with special personal meaning,” Rippey said. <br />“We have worked with more than 100 golf courses since I was involved in the development of <br />Blackthorn, but Blackthorn always has been one of my favorites and something I am very proud to <br />have been part of.” <br /> <br />In addition to the South Bend connections of the two returning golf professionals, Firestone and <br />Love, Rippey noted that K&P Chief Operating Officer Richard Hohman, who will supervise all of <br />the company’s services for the City of South Bend, is a Notre Dame graduate. Hohman is a 20- <br />year golf industry veteran who has had operational responsibility for nearly 100 golf facilities, <br />including 25 municipal courses. <br /> <br />“We selected K&P over several other national golf management companies because they offered <br />the best combination of local market knowledge, and a broad base of national experience with <br />public and municipal golf courses,” explained Donald Inks, Director of Redevelopment for the <br />City of South Bend. <br /> <br />“We also felt that K&P would bring a more strategic, long-range approach to this management <br />assignment,” Inks added. “The Redevelopment Commission liked the strong emphasis that K&P <br />placed on dealing realistically with local market conditions and national trends in the golf <br />industry.” <br />-more- <br /> <br />