Posted on June 30, 2014 by Jamie Keillor
Growing up in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, I always dreamed of what else was out there. From an early age, my parents instilled in me values of hard work, determination, and dedication to whatever I committed to. Quitting was never an option in my family and I have always been grateful for the work ethic and values that my parents gave me.
I am the oldest of two girls, and I am so grateful for my sister Carrie, who continues to amaze me every day. She is five years younger than me, but age and distance never seem to affect the bond that we share. We grew up in the country surrounded by grandparents on one side and cousins on the other. We spent endless days playing in the woods, sandpit, and exploring all that Mother Nature surrounded us with. Our clothes never matched and we seldom wore shoes (dirt and sand are much easier to play in without them), but we truly didn’t care. Playing sports was always something that kept us busy and gave us an opportunity to grow as individuals.
After high school, I attended Bay De Noc Community College for one year before transferring to Ferris State University. I intended on a Pharmacy degree, but as with most college students, changed my major after my 2nd year and graduated in 2001 with a degree in Chemistry/Biology Secondary Education. While at Ferris, I met my husband, Justin, who was in the Professional Golf Management program.
After graduation, we both decided that we wanted to see what else was out there. As a golf professional, we both knew that a warmer climate would be better for his career and I was just ready for an adventure. After much deliberation, we settled on Ft. Myers, FL where Justin’s grandpa spent his winters. Shortly thereafter, I got a teaching job at a Barron Collier High School in Naples, Florida and we finally settled there. Naples living was wonderful and we enjoyed the sun, beach, and golf. It was a welcomed change for 2 kids raised in cold Michigan winters. I changed careers after a couple years of teaching and got my Real Estate License, where I very much enjoyed the hustle and bustle of selling beautiful homes in Southwest Florida.
Our son was born in 2005 and soon the distance from grandparents and family began to wear on us. We decided in 2007 to make the move back to Michigan to raise our family and to take over the family golf course, Crystal Lake Golf Club. It was a bittersweet move for us. Although we were excited to be closer to family and our roots, we were not looking forward to long Michigan winters!! Our first summer was glorious and everything we had imagined. I took on an administrative role at the golf course and became the Office Manager. Justin, the Head Golf Professional, enjoyed being “home”, at the golf course that his Dad had ran for years and that Justin had grown up on. We both stayed extremely busy and didn’t even get a chance to come up for air. The first winter was beyond cold and seemed to last for an eternity!! We definitely couldn’t have prepared ourselves for winter after spending 6 wonderful years in Naples!! Our daughter, Madeleine, was born in February 2008. We geared up for our second season, then our third. They say that time seems to fly when you’re having fun. I guess that means that we are always having a blast!!
In 2009 Justin and I took on major renovations at the golf course. We built the wedding site, renovated greens, and added bunkers. It was a busy time but one that we definitely embraced. It was at that time that I became the Events Manager and began the life of everything weddings!!! I truly enjoyed this aspect of the golf course and it gave me an opportunity to be creative, organized, and make people happy. Fast forward to 2014 and we have one more daughter, Gisele (who is truly a fireball) and I have become the sole operator of the golf course and Crystal Lake weddings. My husband is a financial advisor and I am the crazy busy mom of three and still doing whatever I can to make people happy!! The weddings are therapeutic for me as they are the only outlet I have for my creativity. It truly becomes my happy place to transform our white tent into a magical dream for brides.
I am so grateful every day for my parents and the values that they have instilled in me. I’m thankful for my faith, my husband, and my kids and for all the things that have transformed me into the person that I am today. Crystal Lake Golf Club is very near and dear to my heart. Each and every time I look out on the wedding site, the view down the 9th fairway, and the sunsets, I am reminded of all the people that have stood at that very spot and began the next chapter in their lives. There are so many beautiful memories there and I am humbled that I get to be a part of making those dreams become beautiful memories.