Meet the Hershey Country Club 2017 Partner Of The Year
Since 2010 Tim Harner has been a dedicated and hard-working team member at Hershey Country Club, and exudes passion and enthusiasm for his job. Even though it was a shock to him, it came as no surprise to his team when he won “2017 Partner Of The Year” for the Club. We had the pleasure of chatting with Tim about his job, his second chance at life and what it means to win this distinguished award.
Q) Tell us about your career. Where did you go to school? What was your career path prior to joining Hershey?
A) I went to Cabrini College, now Cabrini University, just outside of Philadelphia. I graduated in 2009 with a major in Secondary Education/History along with a minor in Political Science. After college, I taught for a few years but my life’s path was taking me in a different direction and as you will read in question number 10, I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015 and that experience guided me to where I am supposed to be, right here in Hershey, PA.
Q) Walk us through your career so far at Hershey.
A) I joined Hershey in 2010 as a part-time locker room attendant. I kept that position until 2015. Then in 2016, I moved to the Outside Golf Operational Staff, which I am still part of. Most recently though I was promoted to full-time Assistant Outside Golf Manager.
Q) Why did you choose to work for Hershey?
A) I always wanted to work in the golf industry. Ever since I started playing golf as a child, I just loved being around a golf course and that environment. In the spring of 2010, I was looking for a part-time job and Hershey was having a job fair. I noticed the locker-room position at the country club and I decided to apply and looking back 8 years, I am truly glad I did. Hershey’s legacy speaks for itself. Everyone in the world knows about Hershey, PA and to be able to say I am part of the Hershey team means a lot to me.
Q) What’s your biggest accomplishment since joining the Hershey team?
A) My biggest accomplishment has to be earning “Partner Of The Year.” I still cannot believe I won it, simply for the fact that there are so many amazing people that work here.
Q) What does it mean to you to win this award?
A) It is very humbling to win this award. When I tell you I was truly shocked, I mean it. We have so many amazing people that work here at Hershey Country Club and every single one of them goes above and beyond to make this Country Club what it is. I love working with the people that I do. I love coming to work every day and for my colleagues to name me “Partner Of The Year” means the world.
"I love coming to work every day and for my colleagues to name me “Partner Of The Year” means the world."
Q) What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
A) I love being around all of the people. The members here are wonderful and to be able to joke around with them, have fun, while at the same time giving them amazing service is an enjoyable time. I enjoy making other people smile. I always try to go above and beyond for the members and guests here because at the end of the day they are paying for a service and I want them to enjoy coming to the Country Club.
Q) What advice would you give someone interested in a career in the golf industry?
A) The golf industry is a wonderful career. If someone would be interested in going into this field, I would tell them that they would have to enjoy being around people while giving others exceptional customer service. Every day offers a different experience. In many other professions, people work Monday through Friday and have the weekends off, but in the golf industry, the weekends are the busiest time, so the person would have to be willing to work the weekends or possibly at least one of those days. With that being said, waking up every day and going to work at a golf course is an amazing opportunity. They say if you enjoy your job, you never work a day in your life.
Q) What’s the best perk of your job?
A) Being able to play golf here at the Country Club is without a doubt the best perk of the job. We have two amazing courses here, and to have access to both of them is very rewarding.
Q) What does a typical day consist of?
A) In the golf industry, you never know what a day is going to be like, but a typical day usually consists of setting up the golf carts for that day’s play. We bring the carts down from the barn and align them in cart staging. Next, we look at the tee sheet and see who is playing. If we have any members on the tee sheet, we pull their bag from the bag storage room and place it on the appropriate cart. Then once play begins, the day flows just as it began. As members and guests finish play, we clean their clubs, put them in back in bag storage, take the carts to go get cleaned. If we need to bring any more carts down we do. It just all depends on how busy we are. At the end of the night, we make sure all of the carts are accounted for, all bags are put away, and the driving range is cleaned up. In prime season, a typical day will start at 5:30 a.m. and we will not close until 9/9:30 p.m.
Q) Tell us something folks might not know about you?
A) Probably the most thing I am proud of is being able to call myself a cancer survivor. In November of 2015, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. At the time of my diagnosis, they told me my leukemia was that aggressive, the only thing that would save my life would be a bone marrow transplant, but finding a match could be difficult. I endured months of chemotherapy, and transfusions. Many times I wanted to give up. Yet, on March 2, 2016 I received a life-saving bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. I got a second chance at life. But to add to that, I am a huge runner. I love to run and running the Boston Marathon was the #1 on my bucket list. On April 17, 2017, just one year after my transplant, I crossed that finish line in Boston. Being able to say that I beat cancer, received a life-saving transplant, and ran Boston all in one year is very humbling. Cancer taught me a lot about life. It taught me that tomorrow is not guaranteed and you never know what is going to happen. If you want some more information about this story, a few newspapers did an article pertaining to me running Boston. Below are the links.