Joe Rassett
General Manager/COO
Joe “Joey” Rassett grew up on a golf course in a rural part of California. After completing his senior year of high school he went on to attend Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma on a full golf scholarship. He established himself as a top competitor in the college and amateur ranks and after completing four years of college Joe quickly set his sights for the professional ranks. His playing career ended in 1995 when he became the Director of Golf at Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, Florida. He has been in the business of golf for over 20 years and “everything he has learned and accomplished” has led him to the opportunity to join the Palm Aire team. Joe and his wife Sue have been married since 1988 and have two adult children; Lauren and JD.
Nancy Berman
Director of HR and Communications
Nancy Berman has been with Palm Aire Country Club since 1996. She started her journey at the Club as a personal trainer and water aerobics instructor. In 2005 she was promoted to Human Resource Administrator to include payroll and benefit coordination. In 2014 she was promoted to Director of Human Resources and Director of Communications. If she is not at the club you can catch her on her paddleboard enjoying Sarasota’s beaches or volunteering in the community.
Suzanne Gile
Membership Director
Suzanne is Palm Aire’s Director of Membership Services. A native of the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, she relocated to the Sarasota area in 2011. She began her career in the marketing department of Friedman’s Jewelers in historic downtown Savannah, Georgia. Prior to joining the Palm Aire management team in the spring of 2016, Suzanne worked as the Membership and Marketing Director at River Wilderness Golf & Country Club in Parrish. When not at work, Suzanne enjoys spending time with her husband Casey and her dog, Gilly.
David Batson
David Batson grew up in Oak Lawn, Illinois, a nearby suburb of Chicago and has nearly 30 years of experience in accounting. David started his career in hospitality as the Controller for a club in upper Michigan in 1995. After five years, he moved on to various golf and ski resorts, most recently in Northern Maine. He and his wife, Joan enjoy camping, boating and most outdoor activities and both of them are looking forward to being able to enjoy getting outside all year round.
Judy Peters
Assistant Controller
Judy grew up in Illinois as a farm girl. After two weeks of 20 degrees below zero in January of 1991, she decided to move to Florida. She sold everything except personal belongings and in May of 1991 she moved to Florida. For the next ten years, she was employed by The Meadows Country Club in the accounting department processing payroll. August of 2001 she joined the Palm Aire team processing accounts receivable. In 2005, she was promoted to Assistant Controller.
Erik Gowdy
Golf Course Superintendent
Erik was born and raised in Hartford, Ct. and eventually moved to to Florida where he got a job in the golf business some 22 years ago. He began his experience and training at Jacaranda Golf and Country Club at the age of 17. His climb up the golf maintenance ladder included the Rotunda Complex as an assistant superintendent, a projects manager with Signature Golf (a management company) and Waterlefe Golf and River Club as the Golf Course Superintendent. His last facility is where he and our current General Manager met and have been reunited as a team at Palm Aire Country Club. Erik is married and has 3 children; all are very active is sports
Jay Seymour
Golf Professional
Jay grew up on the coast of Maine in a small town, Camden. In the year 2000, he moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to attend Coastal Carolina University for the Professional Golf Management Program. After successful completion of the program and graduation, he stayed in the area to work at Caledonia Golf and Fish Club as an assistant golf professional. In 2005 he was elected membership to the PGA of America as a Class A member. Jay moved to Florida to explore one of the world's great golf capitals. He brings knowledge and experience in the golf industry to offer top-notch service and professionalism to you, our members.
Curt Reimer
Head Tennis Professional
Curt grew up playing tennis in Chicago’s suburbs. He moved downstate to study Psychology and Business at Eastern Illinois University. After enjoying a 10 year career in restaurant management, he moved to Sarasota in 1999 and worked in advertising at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune while pursuing his passion to teach, play and promote tennis. Prior to joining us, he spent six years at the Meadows Country Club as both Tennis Services Coordinator and Associate Tennis Professional. Curt is certified through the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) and is also a qualified Cardio Tennis Provider. He enjoys all racquet sports, golf, painting and reading.
Rick Worthington
Dining Room Manager
Rick has been in the hospitality industry for more than 35 years. Moving from Connecticut to Sarasota in 1978, he started his career opening the Charley’s Crab on St. Armands Circle and two years later one in Palm Beach. Since then, Rick has managed independent restaurants, private country clubs and his own operation, the Banyan Café at the Ringling Museum. In his free time, Rick enjoys music, cooking and time with his wife, Kathy and two “twenty-something” sons.
Marisa Merlino
Director of Catering & Banquet Sales
Marisa grew up in Northfield, NJ and moved to Sarasota when she was 13. Before joining Palm Aire Marisa was the Events Manager at The Founders Club, the National Events and Advertising Coordinator for Brides Against Breast Cancer, and most recently the Advertising & Marketing Coordinator for The Observer Media Group here in Sarasota, FL. Marisa has been planning weddings and events for over 7 years and has over 15 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. Marisa is excited to be back in the club catering world, and hopes to bring fresh new ideas to the Palm Aire team. In Marisa’s spare time she is involved in a co-ed softball league, playing with her son Liam, exercising and enjoying the beautiful beaches of Sarasota.
Marco Marini
Executive Chef
Marco was born and raised in a small tourist resort/fishing village on the shores of Tuscany, Italy. It was there that he was trained and began his career as a chef. He moved to Sarasota in 1997 seeking better career opportunities. He was fascinated by the beauty of the area, the people's hospitality and the vibrant restaurant scene. He has lived and worked here ever since. Marco worked in several Italian and Continental restaurants before joining the Private Club environment. Prior to coming to Palm Aire, he was the Chef at the Longboat Key Club and the Executive Chef at the Founders Golf Club. He now leads our Culinary Team, constantly aiming at improving the dining experiences of our guests. He is married to Ashley, a Sarasota native and social worker. Together they are raising their three wonderful kids, Robbie, Gio and Lilly.