Dear UICC Members,

On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to announce the hiring of Robert Sparks as the UICC’s first Executive Director, following an extensive recruitment and selection process. In this new role at the Center, Robert will direct all of the Center’s Operations, and will report to the President of the UICC Board.

Robert comes to the Center with an extensive background in private country club management.Born and raised in Orange County, Robert majored in Broadcast Journalism intending to spend a career writing in news departments in both radio and television. He took a job working at a private golf country club in Newport Beach and ended up choosing a different direction in his career by working in the hospitality field. His first club was Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach where he worked at different levels of food and beverage management. His career advancement placed him next as the Food and Beverage Manager at Rolling Hills Country Club in Rolling Hills Estates where he had a major influence in the design and operation of a new clubhouse with new kitchen, banquet room, bar, and member dining, along with a new golf shop and underground parking structure.

Robert and his wife Lee, moved to the Bay area in 1990 when Robert became the Clubhouse Manager/Food and Beverage Manager at Orinda Country Club for eleven years. He then moved on to become the General Manager at Mira Vista Country Club in the Berkeley Hills where he oversaw a major clubhouse project. Robert’s next career move was as the General Manager at Almaden Country Club in San Jose, where he developed a plan to identify the need for a complete demolition of an declining clubhouse, clarify the funding for the project and select the architect, general contractor and project manager to build a 34,000 square foot clubhouse with banquet facilities, private member dining, state of the art pub area, fitness center, pro shop and locker rooms.

Robert is excited to apply his experience in food and beverage management, facility project coordination, employee training and support, financial management, membership retention and recruitment, community outreach/involvement, towards the continuing development of the United Irish Cultural Center.

Robert and his wife, Lee live in Walnut Creek with their 20 year old son, Aidan. Lee works in Customer Service for Crate & Barrel in Walnut Creek and Aidan is working on a Journalism Major at Diablo Valley College. Robert in his spare time enjoys hiking with his family, kayaking, reading, fine dining, traveling, movies and a good pint of Guinness.

Michael Barnacle, Board President and the Board of Directors