the resort

Meet the team

Meet the team behind the lakes.

Rick McCarthy - General manager

A Cape Breton native, Rick brings extensive experience in project, program and event management, has a strong background in amateur sport and carries a combination of excellent people skills, a strategic mindset and a tremendous passion for Cape Breton Island. Rick joins The Lakes team after 3 impactful years as a manager with the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, raising more than 3 million dollars toward excellence in healthcare here at home. In 2019, Rick was honoured with a Vital Excellence Award recognizing his talent, drive, and achievements in making Cape Breton a better place to live, work and play. His golf game may need a little work, but his leadership, passion for this island and commitment to excellence is on par! Currently living in Sydney with his wife and two-year old daughter, Rick and his family are excited for this new chapter helping to shape the future of beautiful Ben Eoin and showcase this prestigious world class resort. 

Ron MacNeil – Executive Chef, Food & Beverage Manager

Ron has been cooking professionally for over 16 years starting at the age of 15.  Earning his first command as Executive Chef at the age of 23 at the original Birches at Ben Eoin Country Inn, Ron returns full circle as the Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Manager. Ron has his Red Seal, he has appeared on Breakfast Television, APN Channel, guest chef appearances at different resorts, events for PGA, has been in multiple articles and selected three years in a row for top local chef for the international food event “Right Some Good”.  Ron was published in “Where to Eat in Canada” while holding title of Executive Chef at Amedeo’s Italian Bistro. He has worked at the Elk Ridge Golf Resort, Arctic Lodge, Cabot Shores Wilderness Resort and the Inveraray Resort. Ron’s resort experience and creative way to cooking and presenting his dishes will be a great addition to The Lakes at Ben Eoin Golf Club & Resort.

Jessie Deleskie – Guest Experience Manager & Wedding Coordinator

Bringing with her over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality and customer service industry, Jessie has worked her way across Nova Scotia and Vancouver Island, in various  hotels, restaurants and golf clubs: the Digby Pines, Glen Arbour Golf Club, the Prince George Hotel, Glen Breton Single Malt Whiskey Distillery, and most notably as the entrepreneur and creative mind behind the Cocoa Pod Sweet Catering from 2007-2017. A native of Truro, NS, Jessie couldn’t be happier to call Cape Breton home, with her husband Jeff and 3 children. As the Guest Experience Manager, Jessie will be helping to create and promote an exceptional experience for all guests of the Lakes: golf members, resort guests and special event clients. She is well known for having a genuine interest in people, loves hearing their stories and helping everyone discover the magic of the East Coast and Cape Breton Island.

Matt Blackburn - Superintendent

Matt grew up working and playing golf at New Ashburn Golf Club, in Windsor Junction. While working there he attended Dalhousie Agricultural College, in Truro, and graduated with an honours degrees in Horticulture with a concentration in Turfgrass. After graduation he moved to Florida and spent a year as Assistant Superintendent at Stoneybrook Golf Club in Fort Myers.  Matt then decided to move home to Nova Scotia and was Assistant Superintendent at Oakfield Golf and Country Club in Oakfield, NS for six years. Upon seeing a new project an opportunity at The Lakes he moved his young family to Cape Breton and was involved in the initial construction, responsible for the initial grow in of the Lakes and has been overseeing the spectacular property ever since.  Matt and his team work tirelessly to maintain immaculate course conditions and first-class standards for all members and guests. 

Anne MacNeil - Head of House Keeping & Facilities

Born and raised in Montreal, Que, Anne moved to Cape Breton Island 22 years ago and has been working in the hospitality industry for over 20 years.  Anne is in her fifth season with the property. Anne has a reputation for treating everyone the same whether they are royalty, rock stars or colleagues, she is well known for her high standards and kindness.

Candace MacKinnon - Front of House Manager (Founders)

Candace began her career in hospitality at a young age, working around Cape Breton in various hotels and restaurants, including The Keltic Lodge Resort & Spa. Her passion for Food & Beverage took her to Alberta where she sharpened her skills in Hospitality during the past 8 years at the Fairmont Banff Springs Resort. Here she worked in various roles including Front Office and Reservations, realizing her passion for Food & Beverage. She is excited to have recently relocated back to Cape Breton and is looking forward to bringing some of her world class experience to Founders.

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