Doug was born and raised in Kalamazoo MI. He began his interest in golf at the age of 15 as a caddie at the local country club. After being the #1 caddie, he was offered a job in the bag room and the rest is history. Doug has more than 24 years of experience in the country club industry, managing more than 30 clubs in the South East. Doug’s career started as a golf professional and found himself in a General Managers role and knew this was his calling. Customer service and exceeding members expectations are what drives Doug.
Doug moved to Bonita Springs in 1996 and worked for the Bonita Bay Group at Shadow Wood Country Club. Doug started out as the assistant pro with 50 members and 18 holes and ended as the Head Professional with 1000 members and 54 holes. Doug then accepted the job as General Manager/Director of golf at River Hall Country Club, opening the golf course, amenity center and club house.
Most recently Doug was the General Manager at Eagles Landing Country Club, one of Atlanta’s most prestigious private clubs. Doug says it’s great to be back home in South Florida and is looking forward to meeting the members and Team members at Esplanade.
In Doug’s spare time you’ll find him coaching or playing hockey at Hertz arena, helping Veterans groups or playing with his Border Collies Dash & Range.
Community Association Manager
Brittany Hilts was born in Oberlin, OH and moved to Naples when she was three years old. Growing up in Naples and recently settling down locally with her family, Brittany has noticed a lot of the changes made in SWFL and is very
familiar with the area. She has enjoyed a variety of sports over the years, and most recently has begun to enjoy running. When not processing ARC applications, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, running, photography, and anything that involves the outdoors.
Brittany began her hotel management career working with the Naples Marriot for 11 years. She has experience in Food and Beverage, Hotel Management, and Property Management. She left the hotel industry in 2013 to find a career in Property Management, working for two property management companies before joining Esplanade of Naples.
Director of Golf
JD grew up outside Philadelphia in Reading, Pennsylvania. Before turning full-time to golf, he played Division I baseball at Penn State University, winning an All-Conference award his sophomore year. He then transferred to West Chester University outside Philadelphia where he graduated with a B.S. in Education in 1994.
His professional career began in 1994 when he began competing in the Philadelphia Section of the PGA while working as an Assistant Professional at the esteemed Lehigh Country Club in Allentown, PA. JD worked his way through the PGA of America’s Professional Golf Management program and was elected to membership in 2001 as a Class-A professional.
JD has been fortunate enough to have won several professional tournaments throughout his career and competed in two PGA Professional National Championships as well as the 2010 Miccosukee Championship on the Web.com Tour. He has finished as high as 3rd in the Player of the Year Points List for the South Florida Section of the PGA, which is the second largest section in the country.
Having worked at a number of prestigious clubs in the Southwest Florida area including The Club at Mediterra and TPC Treviso Bay, customer service has always been of the utmost importance to him. JD’s goal is to provide an exceptional golf experience to any and all who make their way through the gates of Esplanade Golf & Country Club and he is thrilled to be your Director of Golf.
Jason Golden, USPTA
Director of Wellness and Sports Courts
Esplanade Golf and Country ClubJason is currently the Director of Wellness and Sports Courts at The Esplanade Golf and Country Club in Lakewood Ranch as well as the Regional Director for Coaches of Excellence. Jason has also been the Tennis Director at the Hilton Guam Resort and Spa in Guam and Mission Valley Country Club in Venice; Head Tennis Professional at Maui Prince Hotel in Hawaii, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, and Laurel Oak Country Club in Sarasota; Tennis Professional at the Sports Core in Kohler, Wisconsin, and Lakewood Ranch Country Club. Jason has also coached the girl's tennis teams at Lakewood Ranch High School and Venice High School.
Jason graduated from Lakeland College in Wisconsin in 1996 with a degree in Coaching/Sports Management. There he played #1 singles and #1 doubles for three years and was named team captain in 1993 and 1994 and was all-conference in singles in 1994.
Jason lives in Lakewood Ranch and has two daughters Jordan and Taylor. Jason's hobbies include reading, coaching coaches, running marathons, and spending time with family.
Paul D’Amico, USPTA Elite, PTR Professional and PPR Pickleball Certified
Head Sports Courts Professional
Esplanade Golf and Country ClubPaul is currently the Head Sports Courts Professional at Esplanade Golf and Country Club in Naples. originally from Bristol, Rhode Island. Paul has also been the Head Tennis Professional at Vineyard Haven Yacht Club in Martha's Vineyard, the Tennis Director at the Landings Yacht, Golf & Tennis Club, Fort Myers, and the Tennis Director at the Weymouth Club in Weymouth, MA. Paul has been the National Administrator for USTA Junior Team Tennis. Paul has also been the Men's Head Tennis Coach at the US Naval Academy (Patriot League Champions and Coach of the Year, 1998) and the Women's Head Coach at Trinity College, Washington, DC. Paul has also been the Boy's Head Tennis Coach at Canterbury High School, Fort Myers.Paul graduated from Bristol Senior High School, Bristol, RI. Inducted into the Bristol Athletic Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. He graduated from Catholic University in Washington, DC and received his BA in World Politics ('84) and his Law Degree ('88). Paul played varsity tennis at Catholic U. for 4 years ('80-'84). Played #1 Singles and Doubles for two years and was Captain for two years. Paul was the Rhode Island State Boy's High School Finalist in 1980.Paul is on the Board of Directors for Madisen's Match Tennis Event, a fundraiser for Golisano's Children's Hospital, Fort Myers. The event has raised over $950,000 to date.Paul resides in Fort Myers and has a son, Tre. Paul still enjoys competing sectionally and nationally, Semi-Finalist in both the USPTA National Clay Court and Grass Court Singles Championships (2018) and Finalist in the Grass Court Doubles Championships (2018). Paul's hobbies include traveling and photography.
It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to Melissa Ariza, your new Membership Coordinator. Melissa has been in the club industry for more than seven years serving in various positions. She is excited to be at Esplanade and looks forward to meeting and getting to know the Members and staff.
Originally from Louisville, KY, Melissa has lived in Florida for over 20 years. She and her husband, Dan, have three children: sons, Matthew and Conner, and daughter, Megan. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and is an avid Wildcat football and basketball fan. In her spare time, you can find her on the golf course and basketball courts watching her children compete.
Crystal has extensive management, operations and staff development experience, which includes more than a decade of experience in spa management. Her most recent position in the spa industry was as Director of Spa at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club and serving as a spa consultant for WTS International while in her directors’ role. In addition to being a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), Crystal has experience in Human Resources and Retail Management, holding the title of General Manager at Banana Republic, Gap Inc. Crystal also has held the title Director of Spa & Fitness for both the Golden Door Spa and Waldorf Astoria Naples while working for the Hilton Hotels.
Crystal is a Florida native and relocated back to the Southwest Florida area after completing her Bachelor of Science Business Management degree with a specialization in Hospitality and Resort Management from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Crystal currently lives in Ft. Myers with her husband, Nathan and two daughters Piper and Avery. Crystal’s hobbies include outdoor cycling, restoring furniture and spending time with her family.
We are pleased to introduce your new Executive Chef, Jason Bayle!
Jason was born in Denver, CO, and raised primarily in Texas. Inspired by the cooking of his grandmothers and their family-style meals, he attended Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR, where he graduated with a Cordon Bleu Degree.
He has had the privilege of working with, and learning from, highly regarded Chefs including two who have been awarded Michelin Stars.
LaPlaya Beach Resort brought him to Naples, where he was the Executive Sous Chef responsible for the day to day management of Baleen Restaurant. This led to him becoming an Executive Chef for multiple Four Diamond resorts in Texas and Colorado.
Most recently, he was a personal Chef in Naples, where he focused on vegetarian and Blue Zone cuisines.