Jerry West, Director of Operations
Jerry fell in love with golf at a very young age. Spending time with his father and friends was an escape while growing up in the mountains of NC. This passion turned into a professional career in the early nineties upon graduation from Catawba Community College with a degree in Recreational Grounds Management and Agronomy. Positions at Cullasaja Club, Highlands Country Club, Highlands Cove, and Old Edwards Club over the last 25 years have allowed Jerry to follow his passion and beat the alarm clock every morning. Old Edwards Club is one of the premier destinations for golfers, club members, and guests alike, and Jerry hopes to spend many more years creating raving fans and growing a game that has become his life's passion.
Matthew Clayton, Head Farmer
"Farmer Matt" is perfectly poised to bring the wellness community vision to life. His last three years have been spent managing the farm at Serenbe, another wellness community outside of Atlanta, which also features a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in its farm program. Matthew ran the 25-acre Serenbe Farms—a USDA Certified Organic farm—while working with chefs in Serenbe's restaurants and providing for a 30-week, 125-member CSA program each year.
While giving a farm tour at Serenbe, Matthew met Richard Delany, president of Old Edwards Hospitality Group and one of the minds behind GlenCove. "Richard invited me to see the property under development in the Norton area," he says. And I was smitten. "There is so much potential here, and it is thrilling to be on the ground floor. To do what I love AND raise my family in the mountains was too good an opportunity to pass up," says Matthew. He is enthusiastic about parlaying his farm experience into farm design and implementation. Matthew feels that is where the real opportunity for success begins.
Matthew was raised on his parent's and grandparents' large-scale vegetable farms, which are still in operation today. As a young adult, Matthew moved to Bozeman, Montana, to get away from farm life, but he is happy with his life's path. After spending a couple of years in other jobs and farming on the side, Matt left Montana and bought his first farm in De Soto, WI. He decided to move back to Georgia—for a better climate and a better economy for farmers, with year-round growing opportunities.
Matthew, a fourth-generation farmer from Madison, Wisconsin, has been drawn to the Highlands area since his first visit. "I had been looking for a vacation home in North Georgia for the past couple of years. Then I found Highlands. This area offers amazing mountain views and access to the wilderness that's hard to find in this part of the country." An avid outdoorsman, Matthew called in for this interview from the trail. He enjoys Western North Carolina's opportunities to backpack, canoe, and even hunt. "My family has always hunted to fill their freezer with natural meats… for subsistence."
When asked about his vision for the community gardens, Matthew says it will be an exciting collaboration with Old Edwards Executive Chef Chris Huerta and ultimately tailored to fit the desires of the future GlenCove residents. "People feel connected to agriculture in many ways. Some want to eat blueberries off the bush in their yard as they did at their grandma's house. (Wild blueberries grow in profusion at GlenCove.) Others want to get their hands dirty and take part in the gratification of growing their food or chopping their firewood. Other people want to see a rainbow of colors on one plate and know it was grown without harmful pesticides. These philosophies will all be part of what guides our goals at Glencove."
Passing on his knowledge to the next generation has always been a priority in Matt's community farm work. From teaching educators how to build school gardens to hosting school groups weekly for planting and harvest lessons, this sense of purpose will mold Matthew's efforts as he creates an experience-driven CSA farm and garden at GlenCove. He is still determining what livestock will be on-site or their designated contribution to the food chain but says that animals can play many vital roles in the ecosystem, whether they are raised as food or not. His experience with pasture-raised chickens and pigs could bring fresh eggs and pork opportunities to GlenCove.
Farmer Matt says he is incredibly passionate about reconnecting people to where their food comes from and the joy they can get from growing it themselves. This father of two is looking forward to crafting a community where members can enjoy high-end produce in the low-key environment of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in Western North Carolina.
Kati Miller, Realtor
Kati Miller recently launched Caliber Fine Properties in Cashiers, North Carolina, with a keen understanding of the intricacies of the fields of real estate and a deep appreciation for this corner of Western North Carolina and its people.
Kati was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, and graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Communications. After college, she took a position in banking, serving as branch manager for First Union Bank, which Wachovia later acquired.
After several years in banking, Kati decided to begin her real estate career in Charlotte with Pappas Properties. She helped launch a mixed-use community in Queen City's Uptown neighborhood, marketing luxury condominiums.
Kati credits that experience with giving her the skills and drive to relocate to Cashiers and help launch Old Cashiers Realty following the economic downturn of 2008.
Kati's dedication to the discreet and ethical representation of buyers and sellers has been a cornerstone to building her reputation as a top producer in the Highlands-Cashiers market.
Kati also serves as Sales Director at Mountaintop Golf & Lake Club, representing the community in Real Estate transactions.
"I love this business because I truly love making people happy," she explains. "I like taking care of people, solving problems, and negotiating to get the best price for both buyers and sellers."
"Negotiating is all about give-and-take, and I have a common-sense and organic approach to helping buyers and sellers put their emotions aside and get deals done.
In addition to a busy career, Kati is married with two children, Charlotte and Thomas, who attend Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. Her husband, Cory, recently launched his own home-building company and is one of the preferred builders at GlenCove.
Throughout her life, Kati has been passionate about serving others, as evidenced by the arc of her career and the care she took to find a dynamic community to raise her children and open a Real Estate Firm.
"I want people to know that I truly have their best interests and live by the Golden Rule. It's more important to me that someone has an awesome experience than to make a sale."
Jennifer Blake, Realtor
Jennifer transitioned to Highlands Cove Realty from the Highlands Cove Country Club, where she was Food & Beverage Director for almost three years. She decided to turn her passion for the Old Edwards lifestyle into a new career and joined Mountain View Properties in 2008 as a Broker and Rental Manager. When the brokerage was purchased, Jennifer was promoted to Broker in Charge.
"I believe the key to my success as a real estate agent is my ability to listen, understand and visualize what my clients are looking for so that I can use my market knowledge to help them find the right property. I am a very driven and focused professional with a passion for what I do. I hold myself to high standards of integrity, am very patient, and work diligently to find my clients exactly what they are looking for." Jennifer