MANAGEMENT & STAFF

Walther Vliegen
General Manager

Walther Vliegen is the General Manager at Linville Ridge and is originally from Maastricht, Netherlands. With 45 years of experience in the field, Walther has spent most of his career in the hospitality industry and has held upper-level management positions in renowned hotels, resorts and country clubs across North America and Western Europe. Fluent in French, Dutch and German, Walther has earned several hotel and general management designations. In his spare time, he enjoys mountain biking, sports car racing and travelling.

Rhys-Bevan Williams
Food & Beverage Director

Rhys-Bevan Williams (pronounced 'Reece') was in charge of the food and beverage operations at the venerable Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland for nearly 15 years. Congressional, founded by five US presidents, is one of the largest clubs on the Eastern seaboard and has hosted a US Open and six AT&T Tiger Woods' National Tournaments. 

At Congressional, Rhys developed and achieved the highest standards for training, opened the Founders' Pub and successfully converted its Senate Grill to a Chophouse. Prior to his time there, he worked for Squires Steakhouses in Sun City for nine years in food and beverage and opened three restaurants for the company.

A native of South Africa, Rhys is an avid long distance runner and has participated in the NYC Marathon multiple times

Chad Gabrielson
Executive Chef

With 16 years of experience in the food service industry, Chad Gabrielson has excelled in the fiscal, managerial and culinary aspects of fine dining establishments. He has worked with political figures ranging from lobbyists to the governor and with presidents of large corporations to coordinate business functions. His passion and work ethic are epitomized by his desire to mentor and train others in the field so that he can give back and perpetuate a collaborative atmosphere. In addition to his culinary prowess, Chad enjoys studying and educating others about wine, an interest that will no doubt serve him well with View 180’s new, prominently displayed wine room.

Joy Dixon Director of Catering & Special Events

A North Carolina native, Joy Dixon brings over 10 years of experience to the Linville Ridge team. Her passion for wine, food and unforgettable experiences drew her to the hospitality industry. Joy has had the pleasure of working with many great chefs and restaurants across the south including Nolen Kitchen, The Asbury at the Dunhill Hotel and Highland Avenue. Her North Carolina heritage and deep love of authentic experiences guided her to work and train in establishments focused on preserving the highest standards of southern hospitality while showcasing the most local ingredients available. During Joy’s tenure at Highland Avenue, it was named one of the south’s best restaurants by Southern Living and received accolades from Our State Magazine, MSN and Garden & Gun.  

She attended Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Joy graduated magna cum laude and also has advanced studies in fermentation science with designations from Court of Master Sommeliers, Cicerone and a certificate of mixology.

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking and reading.

Sean Miller Director of Restaurants/Sommelier

With nearly 20 years of experience, Sean Miller possesses a true passion for great service and southern hospitality. Throughout his career, he has mastered the art of pairing food and wine. Sean attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales in Charleston and then joined the Ritz Carlton where he revamped the entire wine list. 

After leaving the Ritz Carlton, he relocated to North Carolina and worked at Bonne Soiree. Eventually, Sean set his sights on New York and accepted a position at Boulud Sud and Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan before moving back to North Carolina.  

He is currently working towards his Advanced Certification via the Court of Master Sommeliers. Sean relishes the opportunity to elevate service, share his knowledge of food and beverage with the next generation and create lasting memories for the members of Linville Ridge.

Steve Sheets
Development & Operations Director

Steve Sheets is a North Carolina native and has been part of The Lutgert Companies’ team since 1984. From his start as a Golf Course Superintendent at Linville Ridge, Steve has been fundamental in assisting with the growth and development of the community. Over his 43-year career, Steve held previous roles such as President of the Easter and Western North Carolina Turf Grass Association, President of Carolina’s Golf Course Superintendent Association, and served on the Turf Grass Council of North Carolina’s Board of Directors. A passionate golfer, Steve spends his spare time watching and playing the game, as well as skiing and hiking.

Ben Hansel
Director of Security

Alisa Finney-Lucas
Property Services

Originally from Plantation, Florida, Alisa is a Florida State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in interior design. Since graduating she has worked in the design field for 12 years and spent another 16 years in office management. Before moving to NC, Alisa worked for one of the top 25 Design Firms in South Florida – Pavlik Design Team.  She also worked for Adache Associates Architect, Design Associates of Boca Raton, Designer Ira Cohen, and Robert Allen at the Design Center of the Americas.   Alisa is a past president and current board member of the Avery County Humane Society. In her spare time, she enjoys antiques, camping, gardening and interior design.

Scott Cornette
Membership Services Manager

A Boone, North Carolina native, Scott Cornette has lived all around the Carolinas and is now residing in Foscoe, North Carolina. With 29 years of experience in the fields of marketing and communications, Scott is an effective speaker who has presented training seminars on leadership success and effective communication.

Through his past work experience, Scott developed expertise in radio communications, producing commercials and corporate audio and video projects. His extensive knowledge and practice in marketing and communications make Scott a premier Club Concierge at Linville Ridge Country Club, where he provides excellent customer service and effectively communicates with members, prospective members and their guests, addressing issues and fulfilling their needs. 

Scott’s hobbies include playing sports, mainly tennis, and guitar—both acoustic and electric—as he believes that music is the universal language.

Heather Dockweiler 
Director of Marketing & Communications

Heather Dockweiler was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Upon graduating from high school she attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Public Administration and participated in Semester at Sea, a Travel-Study Program. She then went on to Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated magna cum laude with a Masters in Business Administration.  

In 2002, Heather moved to Naples, Florida to be closer to her family. She spends her time between Naples, Florida and Linville, North Carolina working as the Director of Marketing and Communications for Linville Ridge.    

Heather was recognized as one of Southwest Florida’s accomplished young leaders in 2005’s 40 Under Forty by Gulfshore Business magazine and was chosen as a member of the Leadership Collier Class of 2007 which is put on by The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. Heather volunteers for various charitable organizations and is currently serving as a Board Member of the Naples International Film Festival and co-chairing the Angel Ball which benefits the Community School of Naples.

Jonathan Rivers

Jonathan Rivers
Managing Real Estate Broker

Jonathan has been working at Linville Ridge since 2002. Before joining the real estate team, he worked in Linville’s Food and Beverage service for 10 years. Jonathan gained valuable customer service experience working with residents and members at Linville.     


As an Avery county native, he is familiar with the local market. He attended Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina and earned his Associate in Arts degree.     

In his spare time, he likes to snowboard and travel. He has been a volunteer at the Naples Winter Wine Festival for many years.

Kurt Thompson
Director of Golf  

Originally from Ohio, Kurt Thompson brings more than a decade of golf experience and a wealth of knowledge to his team. Before joining Linville Ridge in 2005, Kurt broke into the golf industry when invited to join the golf staff at Bighorn Country Club (Palm Desert, CA). There, he worked under Bill Harmon—son of Masters Champion Claude Harmon— who was consistently ranked as a Top 100 Instructor by Golf Digest. During the summer, Kurt worked at Grandfather Golf and Country Club in the North Carolina Mountains, under two of the most respected names in the golf industry, John McNeely and John Buczek. Later, he was invited to rejoin John McNeely at the Floridian, one of the country’s most prestigious golf clubs, where he had the privilege of working with recent winners on both the PGA and Senior PGA Tours.

Tommy Clark
Course Superintendent

Tommy Clark is a native of the country club industry, having worked in various clubs over the last 29 years. Since 1996, he has played an integral role in keeping the Linville Ridge golf course in pristine condition during the summer, and in healthy shape during the winter. A native of Morgantown, N.C., he holds an associates degree in turf management from Catawba Valley Technical Institute. He was awarded the Bayer Superintendents Awards, and is also a member of the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Fluent in Spanish, he also enjoys weight lifting, golf, snowboarding, motorcycle riding and spending time with his family.

Steve Vaughan
Director of Tennis

A native of West Virginia who grew up in North Carolina, Steve has been the Director of Tennis at Linville Ridge since 1988. During the winter season, Steve resides in Naples, FL, where he holds the same position at Grey Oaks Country Club. While attending to Clemson University in South Carolina, Steve served as captain of the tennis team. He was also in charge of tennis operations at the Country Club of Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio and at Quail Creek Country Club in Naples. Steve and his daughter are currently ranked #3 in the U.S.

David Maloof
Croquet Professional

David Maloof has competed nationally in croquet for the past decade and has placed as high as 3rd place in the National Croquet Championships in the American Six-Wicket game, as well as the International Rules Competition. During the winter, David resides in Florida where he is the director of tennis and croquet at the Mountain Lake Club in Lake Wales. David returns to Linville Ridge for his 10th season this summer.

Denise Brown
Spa Director/Massage Therapist

Denise Brown is a Detroit native who has lived in Boone for over 25 years. A licensed massage and bodywork therapist, a North Carolina Realtor and a licensed General Residential Builder, Denise has worked full time in the spa setting, while also subcontracting through Linville Ridge. She is an Appalachian State University alumna and is actively involved in the Boone Service League and the Boone Rotary Club. In May of 2013, the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Denise for her “Amazing Customer Service.” Denise has two daughters, Madison and Allison.

Robbie Brinkley
Fitness Trainer  

A 15-year veteran in the fitness industry, Robbie brings several certifications to the team with a focus on sports exercises. He spends his time in helping his clients improve their golf game with isolated golf and other sports strengthening exercises, focusing on balance and core- strengthening.   Certifications: Master Personal Trainer, Sports Nutrition Specialist, Advanced Flexibility Specialist

Noelle Austin
Yoga Instructor

Noelle Austin started practicing yoga at a young age with her father. She has been teaching yoga since 2009 and graduated from Lillah Shwartz’s 200 hour Yoga Wisdom Teacher Training, after taking the program twice. She is currently working towards her 500 hour Yoga Therapy certification.  Her classes are alignment based, offering modifications and plenty of detailed action language, sure to help a beginner or seasoned practitioner. She offers specialized private sessions, catered to personal needs, and loves teaching for special events. Read more about Noelle at rejuvenatingmotion.com  

Certification: Lillah Shwartz 200 hour Yoga Wisdom Teacher Training

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