Meet Rob Duckett
A conversation with the new president of The Cliffs.
An Air Force veteran with more than 30 years of experience working in the hospitality-management industry, Rob Duckett assumed his new role as president of The Cliffs and vice president of operations for South Street Partners on June 1, 2019. Duckett comes to The Cliffs after serving as general manager for Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club in Cashiers, North Carolina. Duckett, one of five siblings who grew up in Indiana, graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He currently resides in Seneca, South Carolina, with his wife, Ann; their two children, Sam (20) and Shelby (18); their Goldendoodle, Ellie, and grand-dog Luna.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE CLIFFS?
I’ve been familiar with The Cliffs since I moved to the area in 2005. Managers and executives from The Cliffs visited Mountaintop to share best practices in management, and I became friends with many of them. When South Street Partners acquired The Cliffs, we began a discussion about me joining the team.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE JOB?
The most important factor for a leader when considering a change is who they will be working with. The Cliffs communities are filled with wonderful people, and getting the opportunity to work with each team appealed to me. In addition to the people, I’m excited about the future of the facilities, the location, and the opportunity to enhance the community culture.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR SPARE TIME?
I enjoy the two greatest games ever, golf and pickle ball. I also read every day, and when I can get away, I enjoy ocean fishing and hunting with my son.
WHAT APPEALS TO YOU ABOUT GOLF?
Golf is what got me into the [private-club management] business. I was 29 when I started playing, and I just fell in love with the game, so I segued my career to be around it.
HOW DO YOU LIKE LIVING IN THE UPSTATE?
I have lived in the Upstate since 2005, and what I love most is the weather. I grew up in northern Indiana where it was dreary from January through April, so I moved to a warmer climate as soon as I was able — first to Arizona, then to the Carolinas. I also enjoy the small-town feel of the Upstate. The people are genuinely kind, and the beautiful lakes are a bonus!
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?
Personally, I am most proud of my son, Sam, and daughter, Shelby, because of the kind, young adults they have become. I am also proud of my wife, Ann, for raising them so well, despite the challenges of having me as a partner. Professionally, I am proud to have developed relationships with so many great people at the clubs where I have had the privilege to work. My proudest accomplishment to date is developing the facilities, operations model, and culture at Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club from startup, and doing it with a fantastic team of individuals who have impacted my life immeasurably. Being a part of something special and partnering with others to make it so is what I love the most about what I do.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOW GROWING UP, AND WHY?
I had two favorite shows, The Brady Bunch, because I had a crush on Marsha; and The Andy Griffith Show, because I was a mischievous small town kid like Opie and thought Barney was awesome.
IF YOU COULD INSTANTLY BECOME AN EXPERT IN SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I always admired the pilots who flew the fighter jets when I was in the Air Force, so to be an expert fighter jet pilot would be way cool.