Vice President of Lodging and Wellness – Kohler Co.
Christine Loose is the Vice President of Lodging and Wellness for Kohler Co. In this role, she manages hospitality operations and growth for The American Club and the Inn on Woodlake hotels in Kohler, Wis., Riverbend private membership in Kohler, Wis., Lodge Kohler in Green Bay, Wis., and the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland, as well as overseeing the growing wellness portfolio.
Before joining the Kohler Hospitality & Real Estate Group, Christine led Kohler Co. Customer Service and CRM department. As manager of that department, she was responsible for more than 1 million customer interactions per year. Christine identified efficiencies, improved department performance and proved herself an effective leader.
She joined the Kohler hospitality group in 2009 as Resident Manager for The American Club. Her analytical mind combined with a strong desire to serve made her uniquely suited to hospitality leadership, and management of the Inn on Woodlake was quickly added to her responsibilities.
Before taking on the role of Group Director of Lodging, Christine served as Director of Hotels. During her time in that role, The American Club earned its Forbes Five-Star rating and maintained the AAA Five-Diamond status. Also during that time, Christine worked closely with Executive Chairman Herbert V. Kohler to design the AAA Four-Diamond Lodge Kohler in Green Bay, Wisconsin that opened in July 2017.
Her Own the Now style of management led Kohler’s hospitality business to record performance levels. Christine personally trains associates on the Own the Now mission, which empowers her team to address guest needs in the moment, to recover from a complaint, then surprise and delight the guest.
She credits her success to always staying on the learning curve and not being afraid to take career risks. She has grown a team of leaders by recognizing the potential of associates and helping them grow in their careers.
Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from St. Norbert College and a MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She completed the General Managers Program, Hotel Revenue Management Program and Food & Beverage Management Program at Cornell University. She serves on the Sheboygan County Chamber Board of Directors.
DIRK WILLIS, PGA
Vice President of Golf, Landscape & Retail – Kohler Co.
In his current position, Dirk Willis is responsible for ensuring the global golf businesses for Kohler Company lead the industry in terms of service, guest experience, recognition and profitability. In addition, Willis’ responsibilities include driving the growth of resort-wide retail businesses and ensuring the corporate wide landscaping programs embody the Kohler ideal of “gracious living”.
For the past 30 years, Kohler Company has been the driving force behind Wisconsin becoming a global golf destination as well as a significant player in hosting major golf championships. During his career with Kohler Company, Willis has been involved with the planning of 11 televised professional tournaments and has seen Kohler’s golf portfolio expand to five courses on two continents. Willis originally joined Kohler Company in 1994 after a brief career in hotel management. Willis has served in several management capacities with Kohler Company including Head Golf Professional at Whistling Straits and PGA Director of Golf Operations for Destination Kohler. Prior to returning to Kohler Company in 2017, Willis was Vice President of Golf & Retail for Irvine Company Resort Properties in Newport Beach, California.
Willis has served on the Executive Committee for the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships, 2007 U. S. Senior Open, and 2012 U. S. Women’s Open. In addition, Willis was the Corporate Patron Tournament Events Coordinator for the 1995, 1996 and 1997 Andersen Consulting World Championships, Chairperson of Corporate Patron Golf Events for the 1998 U. S. Women’s Open, and Championship Director for the 1999 PGA National Club Professional Championship. Willis is a member of the Executive Committee for the 2020 Ryder Cup that will be hosted at Whistling Straits.
A PGA Class “A” Member since 1999, Willis was recognized as the PGA’s Merchandiser of the Year for resort facilities in 2007 and received numerous Wisconsin PGA Section Awards for merchandising and junior golf development. Willis was the Kohler High School golf coach for 12 years where he led his team to six WIAA state tournament appearances including a state title in 2011. He is also a past president of the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin (GCAW) and currently serves on the following boards: GCAW Board of Directors, Wisconsin State Golf Association (WSGA) Board of Directors, National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) – Multiple Course Owners Advisory Board, Callaway Golf Advisory Board, Travis Mathew Apparel Advisory Board and Nike Golf Advisory Board.
Willis holds an M.B.A. from Marquette University as well as certificates in executive management from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management and hospitality management from Cornell University.
General Manager, Group Marketing and Golf Majors – Kohler Hospitality & Real Estate
Jonathan Risseeuw is General Manager – Group Marketing and Golf Majors. He is responsible for golf championships and all Kohler Hospitality & Real Estate group marketing – which includes iconic portfolio properties and experiences at Destination Kohler, Destination St Andrews, Lodge Kohler and Hamilton Grand. Further, he serves on as a member of the Executive Committee for the 2020 Ryder Cup.
Risseeuw’s path to General Manager began with customer service at the heart of his role as a part-time valet position at Kohler’s private membership club, Riverbend, during college. He moved his way up to a sales manager position after graduation and from there further immersed himself, learning the five-star experience and flourished in relationship building.
His role with Kohler Golf began with the 2004 PGA Championship, and grew from group sales to event committee member to committee chair through the 2007 Senior Open and 2010 PGA Championship. In 2013, Risseeuw, as Director of Sales for the 2015 PGA Championship, helped the organization achieve record sales.
He then took on a sales position for private apartments at Hamilton Grand residences, overlooking the birthplace of golf, Old Course, in St Andrews, Scotland. The apartments are part of a full renovation of the old, sandstone, iconic building. Today, they consist of 26 luxury apartments on the most expensive street in the United Kingdom.
From selling private residences on the world’s most famous golf course to introducing special events to the Riverbend property, Risseeuw has increased revenue at all of Kohler’s hospitality businesses by focusing on building relationships and selling experiences.
In his role as General Manager, Risseeuw is helping Kohler build on its iconic golf brand and tradition. Along with his team, he’s responsible for driving revenue and growth for Destination Kohler, Destination St Andrews, Lodge Kohler and Hamilton Grand.
His collaborative leadership style ensures all impacted teams are involved in planning and executing projects. His philosophy is that his team should have be able to have fun along the way, “if you’re not smiling, the guests you’re speaking to won’t be smiling.”
Risseeuw resides in the Village of Kohler with his wife and young son and daughter.
Director of Wellness & Kohler Waters Spas – Kohler Hospitality & Real Estate
Garrett Mersberger is Director of Wellness and Kohler Waters Spas, Hospitality & Real Estate. Working for both Kohler Co. and ClubCorp, Mersberger has managed multiple businesses and gained extensive knowledge in the health, wellness and private club sectors of the industry. He is the current Board Chairman of the revered International Spa Association (ISPA), serving as a lead voice in spa and wellness around the globe.
Mersberger’s path at Kohler Co. began in Kohler Communications in 2001 after he graduated from Michigan's Calvin College with a degree in international business. During his time at Kohler Communications, Mersberger worked on Kohler Co.’s plumbing, power and hospitality businesses.
His analytical nature led him to pursue an opportunity on the operations side of the company. In 2010, Mersberger became manager of the Sports Core. After a stint as general manager of a private golf club, Mersberger rejoined Kohler as Manager of Kohler Waters Spa, quickly transitioning to Director – Kohler Waters Spa Development where he oversaw the team in improving operational efficiencies and increasing revenue.
In his current role, Mersberger is responsible for overseeing the Kohler Waters Spa brand globally and the growing wellbeing experience at Destination Kohler. The Kohler Waters Spa portfolio is known for its innovative water services and leveraging the healing powers of water through Five-Star customer service.
The Kohler Waters Spa located in Kohler, Wisconsin is one of 64 Five-Star spas in the world and referenced as a guide for high standards of service and training that applies to all spa locations. Mersberger has overseen the recent expansion of the Kohler Waters Spa brand with a new spa at Lodge Kohler, Green Bay’s only AAA Four-Diamond hotel, located in the heart of Green Bay Packers’ Titletown. He is currently overseeing the team’s expansion of a fifth spa in the venerable Lincoln Commons development, located in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
Mersberger credits much of his success in the wellness industry to learning from his peers at Kohler Waters Spa and within the network of industry professionals he’s met through ISPA. He became involved with the organization soon after returning to Kohler, joining the organization's spa research taskforce. Immersing himself in the industry and showing promising leadership, Mersberger was elected to the ISPA Board of Directors in 2016 and as Board Chairman in 2018. His role with ISPA allows Mersberger the opportunity to be on the cutting-edge of spa and wellness development and applying those learnings to the Kohler Waters Spa experience.
Mersberger resides in Kiel, Wisconsin with his wife and three children.