PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Country Club’s special event planning team works like a well-oiled machine. After major staff and management changes over the past two years, the club now has a veteran team of event staff who have worked together previously.
Dagmar Kessler, known to many as Daggi, became the general manager of the club last winter. She brought with her years of knowledge and skills for event planning from working at other hotels and clubs in the area. Most know her from her time at the Beechwoods Golf Course in Falls Creek.
“What I tell everybody who calls is that it’s customized to the individual. For any budget, for any event, it’s really completely up to you how much you want to spend,” Kessler said.
Her associates and fellow employees at the club also have their own collection of experiences from working in similar environments. Kessler, Head Chef Carl Bullers and Chef Rachel Westbrook have crossed paths several times during their careers.
Kessler came to United States from Germany in 1990 with her husband. When she was first looking for a job here, she heard the old Holiday Inn was hiring servers and started there. She worked her way up to food and beverage director.
When she started her next job at the Beechwoods, she hired Bullers as her head chef. Kessler insists that having a good head chef is important for any event host, and that Bullers knows what he’s doing in the kitchen.
“The presentation of the food, the taste of the food. He really knows what he’s doing,” Kessler said about Bullers.
After a time at Beechwoods, Kessler and Bullers parted ways, and she worked briefly with Westbrook. Her reputation as a wedding planner continued to grow until she eventually retired from the business.
While Kessler was retired, Bullers began working at the Punxsutawney Country Club. He began working at the club shortly after they quit leasing it out for events, and instead began planning their own events. He was the first of the trio to begin working there.
Westbrook was the next of the group to come to work at the club. Since they had stopped leasing out their venue, Bullers saw an opportunity for Kessler to come back to the business of event planning, and began encouraging her to work at the Punxsutawney Country Club.
After some thought, Kessler, who had sought to put her two master’s degrees in agriculture to some use at Tractor Supply, decided working in retail was not for her. “He (Bullers) had asked me several times during our three-year split to come and work with the two of them, and every time I said, ‘No, I’m retired.’ He just caught me at the right time,” Kessler said.
Now, the Punxsutawney Country Club is planning and hosting events with a team of tried-and-true veterans of the business with about 50 years of experience between them. They know each others strengths, and know how to work together to put together the best wedding or event.
The club is open to the public for meals during the day, the only restriction on non-members is they are not allowed to purchase alcohol. Anybody can have their wedding or event at the club, and they hope to encourage the public to come see their club.