Principals

Stephen T. Harker
Chief Executive Officer, PGA Professional

Steve Harker has over 25 years of professional experience in the golf course industry. Mr. Harker has completed numerous problem-solving and complex revenue management assignments during the tenure of his career in the golf business. Mr. Harker's direct roles have included progressively increased golf course management duties culminating in regional golf course management positions with as many as 28 courses under his administration. In addition, Mr. Harker served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and National Sales Director for American Golf Corporation, the largest golf course operator in the world at that time. Mr. Harker is a Class A Member of the Professional Golfers' Association of America, an Emeritus Director of the First Tee of Oakland, a past member of the Employment Task Force of the PGA, and a Past Member of the Board of Governors of the National Golf Foundation.  Mr. Harker has also been elected to the Albany High School Athletic Hall of Fame twice, once for his role on the 1973 Championship Golf Team and recently for restarting the golf program.  Mr. Harker’s community-focused approach and experience is substantial including his initiation of the Women in Golf Day, that grew into a month long event adopted by Play Golf America.


Mark Luthman
President

During his 25 year career in the golf industry, Mark Luthman has held a variety of management and leadership roles including Superintendent, General Manager, and regional administration of multiple golf facilities. Mr. Luthman has led operations with Touchstone Golf since 2009. Prior to joining Touchstone Golf he was a Regional Director with oversight of ten premier golf courses and responsible for the planning, pre-opening, and operations efforts at three properties including Chambers Bay - the facility selected by the USGA to the host of the 2010 U.S. Amateur & 2015 U.S. Open Championships. Mr. Luthman's wide-ranging background has provided him extensive experience in the areas of revenue management, sales & marketing, guest retention, staff recruiting & training, and golf course maintenance.


Douglas J. Harker
Executive Vice President

Doug Harker is a veteran financial professional having served for over 20 years in the financial service industry in a variety of roles including CEO of a community bank. Mr. Harker has significant direct golf industry experience having served as Vice President of Sales for Redstone Golf Management and as General Manager of Wildcat Golf Club in Houston, Texas. Mr. Harker has also served in various board and committee assignments for the Houston Golf Association, Southern Texas Golf Association and United States Golf Association.

 


Brian Melody
Vice President of Operations

Brian Melody began his career in the golf industry at the young age of 14 and never left.  He enjoyed competing as a player at various levels growing up and entered into operations when he moved to Denver, CO in 1999.  Mr. Melody, a 12-year veteran of Touchstone Golf, has served many roles, from General Manager at Applewood Golf Course and Regional Manager overseeing the Colorado and Arizona regions. As VP of Operations, he oversees 12 properties across multiple states. Brian also heads up the National Account program for our company and brings great experience and new ideas to the company on a regular basis. Another contribution of his is the ability to mold/mentor new managers that are looking to grow their careers in the golf industry.


Carol McGrail
Vice President, Controller

Carol McGrail began her accounting career in 1985.  She has 12+ years of accounting and financial management in the golf course industry with Club Corporation of America ("CCA") and Touchstone Golf.  Her tenure with CCA included regional oversight of a group of high-end private clubs. Ms. McGrail has significant experience in all aspects of golf course and club accounting and financial controls, as well progressive experience in the analysis of balance sheets and P&Ls.


Nasima Baerde
Director of Human Resources

 

Nasima Baerde brings 13 years of experience in overseas and domestic hospitality Human Resources management field to the Touchstone organization. Nasima's extensive background includes recruiting, employee relations, labor law and compliance, teambuilding and leadership development, and benefits and incentive compensation administration. In the Touchstone organization, Nasima is responsible for maximizing the human potential of Touchstone's employee base, while maintaining an open and strong line of human resources communication throughout the organization. Nasima holds a Bachelor's degree in Marketing Management from Bellevue University.

 

Ashley van Dissel
Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Ashley van Dissel, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Ms. van Dissel is responsible for leading Touchstone’s Catering and Tournament Sales throughout the organization. She has served as a Regional Director of Sales for Touchstone and as a catering and tournament salesperson at a number of golf facilities for one of the largest management firms in the industry. Ms. Van Dissel was recognized as co-worker of the year for Touchstone Golf in 2019.
Ms. van Dissel brings extensive knowledge of the sales and revenue generation process along. Her approach is based on a revenue generation model that drives cultural cohesion and operational focus on financial growth through lead generation concepts and game plan execution. Ms. van Dissel has substantial experience within all media channels including print, radio, and social media.
Ms. van Dissel holds a degree in Business Finance with minor in Marketing from California State University, Long Beach. She will graduate from Denver University in August with a Masters Degree in Business, with emphasis on Marketing.
Ms. Van Dissel has a love for helping others and her community. She has participated in numerous volunteer opportunities, some of which include a Volunteer for Mercy Ministries International teaching calculus, English and athletics based in Thailand & Cambodia and a Volunteer/Coach for Hoopstars Basketball, an underprivileged and disabled basketball league.


James Birchall
Regional Manager

James Birchall has served in a broad range of roles within the golf course industry including catering, golf operations as well as general management duties. A graduate of San Jose State University, Mr. Birchall's degree in computer science provides significant resources to the Touchstone organization as the golf course industry evolves into a more information-oriented environment. Mr. Birchall has received certification in a variety of technical areas within the golf course industry that compliment his direct work experience.
 


Stan Gonzales
Regional Manager

 Stan Gonzales has been a PGA member in good standing since 1999 and has over 27 years of golf industry experience.  He has managed many types of golf operations ranging from private country clubs, semi-private clubs with public facilities.  Stan has many ties to the Southern California golf industry, as his 27-year career has been in Southern California, beginning with eighteen years as Head Golf Professional at Menifee Lake Country Club in Menifee, CA During his tenure at MLCC they expanded from 18 Holes to a 36 hole facility. Stan joined Touchstone Golf in 2009 and currently oversees 6 clubs and courses and directly involved with oversight of all aspects of operations including developing annual operating budgets in golf, food and beverage, merchandise, and maintenance.  Stan has strong communication skills with a loyalty to standards of service to all guests and employees he encounters.
 
 

Chris Gilfillen
Regional Manager

Chris Gilfillen started his career as a cart attendant at Eastlake Country Club in 1993. Upon graduation from San Diego State University in 2001, he became the General Manager for Balboa Park Golf Course. He later served as the General Manager of Mission Trails Golf Course, Eastlake Country Club, Chula Vista Golf Course, and is now based at Riverwalk Golf Course as Touchstone’s Regional Manager for the San Diego Area. In addition to operational oversight, Mr. Gilfillen is responsible for the development of the managers for Riverwalk, Chula Vista and Rancho Carlsbad. A proven executive leader, Mr. Gilfillen has expertise in golf operations marketing, food and beverage, catering sales, membership, merchandising and course maintenance.


Chris Meade
Regional Manager

Chris Meade began his career in golf in 1994.A PGA Member since 1999,hehasover 25 years of experience in all phases of golf operations. Throughout his career, he has been a general manager of Private, Semi-private and Municipal properties, which allowed him to develop the ability to connect to golfers of all types and skill levels. Mr. Meade, a six-year veteran of Touchstone Golf, was a prior recipient of the General Manager of the Year award. Current responsibilities include the role of General Manager at Lady Bird Golf Course in Fredericksburg, Texas, as well as Central Texas Regional Manager. Working closely with private owners and city governments alike, has allowed him the opportunity to develop and execute budgets for properties of various size and structure. Chris is an avid supporter of junior golf and growth of the game initiatives, and, as a result, was named Top 50 Kids Coach, Class of 2019, by US Kids Golf. Staff development and placement are core strengths, as displayed by the numerous PGA Members and current General Managers who began as assistants in his various golf operations throughout the country.