A new era for the family-owned real estate developer and operator is ushered in with a five-year reinvestment of $475M to club enhancements, new programming and leadership appointments
BOSTON, Mass. – Today, Southworth Development announces an updated look and name as the 32-year-old company embarks on a new chapter in its mission to redefine the private club category. Now rebranded as simply “Southworth,” the family-owned company has evolved beyond being a developer, shifting its focus to being a trusted curator of an elevated lifestyle whose portfolio of inclusive clubs offers authentic community and connection – for a life well-lived. This rebranding also brings about $475M worth of reinvestments over the next five years into the majority of Southworth’s current global portfolio. Updates are already underway or completed at several clubs and these reinvestments include nearly $75M in new amenities added across the portfolio over the next five years and another estimated $400M in residential development. The reimagining of Southworth comes as the next generation of family leadership, President Tommy Southworth and Managing Principal, Matt Deitch, have appointed talented new Executive Leadership to execute on their bold vision of developing decidedly different, leading-edge private club communities for a new generation.
The repositioning of the company and reinvestments into its existing clubs comes as the industry reaches a tipping point from post-pandemic consumer demands. Private, luxury, highly amenitized and heavily programmed communities focused on the family are in demand now more than ever. Southworth benchmarked the luxury hospitality industry to strategize the changes required to meet the demands of current and future generations of club members and residents. Additionally, a deep dive into the club space and extensive surveying of Southworth members shined a light on the most important elements of community – human connection and happiness. With this data top of mind, Matt and Tommy saw a clear opportunity to reposition the company and the unparalleled value it offers to those seeking an evolved private club lifestyle that better aligns with the tastes and values of current and future generations.
Childhood friends, Matt and Tommy ‘grew up’ in the business, witnessing their fathers run the company for many years. After spending the first ten years of their respective careers in management consulting, investment banking, and private equity, Matt and Tommy returned to the business in 2019, and in 2023 are ready to roll out their new vision for Southworth. They’ll do so alongside an Executive Leadership team which they’ve been developing over the past few years. New leadership appointments include Todd Grotstein, Chief Sales Officer; Lisa Hultquist, Chief Marketing Officer; Kelly Meredith, Chief People Officer; Troy Miller, Chief Development Officer; and Bill Chrysler, VP of Operations.
In addition to these Executive Leadership appointments, several critical roles have been created that speak to the updated positioning and ethos of the brand. Eleanor Brown has been brought on board as the Director of Sustainability, overseeing sustainability initiatives for the entirety of Southworth. Furthermore, James Dunn has the role of Director of Member Experience which focuses on the “experience-first” mentality of Southworth, always exceeding expectations with unique member programming, activations and amenities, in addition to increased cross-club events – driving home the unique benefit of reciprocity across the Southworth portfolio.
An important element of the new direction is a harkening back to the Company’s roots. Beginning in 1991, Southworth communities challenged the status quo of the restrictive private club category and instead laid foundational principles of inclusion, community, family and fun. Recently, Southworth has rededicated to an overarching brand promise of “The Southworth Way,” the cultural underpinning of their comfortable, unpretentious club communities. Unique in the private club world, what started out as a member and employee code of conduct – fostering positive relationships, encouraging togetherness, and allowing each member and employee to feel welcomed, recognized, and valued – has evolved into a strategic approach to curating the world’s most connected club communities. It’s a guiding star of how Southworth creates exceptional experiences for all members.
In addition to The Southworth Way, the Company has committed to four overarching brand pillars to guide its strategy: Be & Belong: Fostering true community and genuine belonging; Your World at Play: Delivering extraordinary experiences, every day; Life at Ease: Providing a welcome respite in a chaotic world and Inspired Environments: Celebrating the authentic character of each community’s setting.
“We develop, own, operate and call these communities home, which means we’re here for the long term and that is a key differentiator of our company. We don’t build and run, but we continue to operate, improve and enhance our clubs, giving our members and residents confidence in the Southworth brand,” said Tommy Southworth, President of Southworth. “We are obsessively intentional about creating fulfilling private club communities, built on the bedrock of human connection. I believe this difference can truly be seen and felt by our members and the larger industry as we enter this new chapter.”
With this evolution of the Southworth legacy comes a robust lineup of enhancements across its global portfolio of award-winning communities as well as refreshed branding, websites and collateral across all clubs this year.
Club Community Enhancements Include:
- The Abaco Club on Great Abaco Island, The Bahamas: Over the next two years, members will see enhancements such as the addition of the Winding Bay Beach Club; renovations to The Cliff House & Tip-Top; three new activations where guests can gather for anything from beachside drinks with a view to sunrise yoga; and a dedicated amenities corridor with more pickleball courts and even a new putting course designed by Abaco resident and Open Champion Darren Clarke. In addition to all of this, the newest and most exciting neighborhood, The Cays at The Abaco Club, designed by AvroKO, will open phase one in Summer 2024. Additional phases of amenity and real estate development are soon to be announced.
- Creighton Farms in Aldie, Virginia: New member amenities include three new pickleball courts; an enhanced tennis experience; The Paddock, an on-course F&B experience; major renovations to the clubhouse and dining facilities; and the completion of The Stable, a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor golf training center equipped with the latest in shot tracking and swing analysis technology.
- Renaissance in Haverhill on Boston’s North Shore: A new “19th hole” restaurant and bar named “The Boot” opened this summer, drawing inspiration from the great pubs of Scotland and Ireland, and paying homage to the rich shoe manufacturing history of Haverhill. The Boot is also equipped with two Full Swing Golf Simulators. Additionally, significant investments are being made on the golf course, highlighting its Golden Age inspiration, walkability and architectural significance.
- Willowbend in Mashpee, Cape Cod: This summer four new pickleball courts as well as several enhancements to existing amenities opened, including new pool cabanas, a new sun deck, a new Zen Garden, a renovated kids’ camp area, and several new social events such as concerts, themed kids programming and monthly spa-inspired events. Near-term projects will include renovations to various member spaces including outdoor bars, locker rooms, and Café Amici, Willowbend’s poolside cafe.
- Machrihanish Dunes in Argyll, Scotland: The award-winning club just launched a new exclusive private club experience, by invitation only. Additional developments are in the permitting phase.
Looking to the future, the newly positioned Southworth will continue to invest heavily in the current portfolio and has a strong pipeline of new development opportunities. Currently, the brand is exploring both domestic and international opportunities in the Southeastern United States, the Caribbean and beyond.
To learn more about the newly rebranded Southworth and its current portfolio of award-winning private club communities, please visit the new website located at SouthworthClubs.com.
Southworth is a privately held lifestyle company specializing in the development and management of private clubs and highly amenitized and programmed residential communities. Founded to challenge the industry status quo in 1991, Southworth recognized an opportunity to think beyond the restrictive private clubs of the day. Today, many national and international club communities later, the Southworth legacy continues to evolve. With a newfound commitment to forward-looking culture and values, and with the next generation of family leadership firmly in place, Southworth has reintroduced itself as the trusted curator of an elevated lifestyle whose inclusive clubs offer one-of-a-kind community and connections for a life well-lived. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Southworth currently owns and operates private clubs and residential communities across North America, the Caribbean and Europe. These award-winning properties include: Willowbend on Cape Cod, Mass.; Renaissance on Boston’s North Shore; Meredith Bay on New Hampshire’s famed Lake Winnipesaukee; Creighton Farms in Aldie, Va. 35 minutes west of Washington, DC; The Village at Machrihanish Dunes in Argyll, Scotland; and The Abaco Club, located on Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas. For more information, visit SouthworthClubs.com.