Spearman Clubs is the “VISION” of Cecil Spearman, founder and current CEO of the company. The vision started when Cecil worked in a resort hotel near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin during the summer after graduating from Duke University. He was facing a tour in the service before starting a career as the draft was still in place. Thus, everyone who was fit was facing two to six years in the service of our country.
Cecil was a high school and college tennis player, and active in the Western Region of the USTA. Prior to going to Marine OCS. Cecil received a call from one of the staff at the USTA office, asking him if he would like to work as a tennis pro. He jumped at the chance to be the tennis pro at Lake Lawn, a resort hotel, which was an hour from Chicago and near Lake Geneva. He decided that summer to pursue a career in resorts, or tennis clubs when he was discharged from the Marines.
Cecil applied for and obtained a job with Gulf Hills Country Club in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. He spent two years at Gulf Hills as tennis pro and assistant manager, however he wanted to OWN the business so that he could run things. Cecil left Gulf Hills and started to work in sales with a prestigious company named American Hospital Supply. He turned down IBM and Proctor and Gamble to work for American.
His goal was to save some money, open a small tennis club, and start a career in tennis club management. After three extremely successful years in sales, Cecil elected to accept a promotion to gain experience for running his own company. Five promotions later, Cecil was back in the home office of American as a VP, and he arrived as the tennis boom was beginning. When Karl Bays, the President of American learned that Cecil was a tennis pro and played in college, he asked Cecil to be his partner in a local club tournament. This was the beginning of a relationship that ultimately lead to Cecil and Karl opening a sideline business of an indoor tennis club in October 1972.
The club was an instant success. As he heard more and more about the challenges of corporate management from Karl, he decided to stay with his original goal and go full-time in the tennis club business.
Cecil was in a high-profile job at American and as such, he was frequently contacted by “head hunters” Usually he ignored them, but in March of 1973, he was called by Dick Ferry of Korn Ferry and decided to interview for the job as President of Bergen Brunswig Medical. If he could “turn around“ Bergen, he would make a lot of money on stock options. Cecil was offered the job and moved to California in the summer of 1973. He served as president of the company until the fall of 1979, when he started his own company. His new company operated two divisions in the health care industry and the tennis club in Illinois that he had bought from his partner. Four years later in June 1984, Cecil sold his health care companies and purchased LNRC. He has been full-time in the club business since then.
He has purchased and sold many clubs in the last 26 years and has developed a business plan that operates LARGE multi-sports clubs, which are currently enjoying great success in Orange County, California.
His wife Jean has helped Cecil to develop the company and for many years, all three of his sons have been involved in making Spearman Clubs a leading, multi-sports club company. This is a genuine FAMILY business and while they offer something for everyone, they especially cater to families and offer exceptional junior programs.