Maggie Lancaster, CEO of Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, remembers joining Egypt Valley in 2003 like it was yesterday.
Her family had just moved near the club and Maggie, who golfed in college, wanted to check it out. Maggie and her husband toured the grounds on a golf cart with their first son, who was 2 months old at the time.
“I loved it,” said Maggie. “Even though we didn’t grow up in and weren’t used to the country club environment, it really felt like home—the place itself as well as all the wonderful people.”
Until then, Maggie hadn’t realized a club could offer so much more than simply playing the game.
“I’m so thankful my sons could grow up here—from enjoying the pool and playing tennis to the friends they’ve made,” said Maggie, who jumped into action and got involved when she saw things at the club that could be improved. “I served six years on the board, with one of those as board president.”
Maggie’s “boots on the ground” approach to volunteering is also what got her started at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum many years ago.
“A neighbor told me that I should take my son to the Children’s Museum and I absolutely loved it,” said Maggie, who asked staff how to get involved—even if it was simply licking envelopes—right then and there. “I love the feeling I get when I’m there.”
After being a long-time volunteer and board member for many years, Maggie eventually worked her way up to CEO in 2016.
“The museum’s mission is all about open ended play, which is what you also get to do when you’re at the club,” said Maggie, who loves that everything constantly changes and improves at the museum, just like at the club. “There’s no signage at the museum on what to go explore first, so you’re left with many opportunities to do whatever it is that you want, which is also true for Egypt Valley! Golf two holes and then call it quits. Go eat something tasty off the menu. Jump in the pool. The choice is yours!”
What many people may not realize is that as bubbly and friendly as Maggie is, she highly values her privacy and doesn’t have a social media presence in order to enjoy her personal time on her own terms.
When she’s not at the club, working or volunteering, Maggie is likely walking through the woods somewhere enjoying the peaceful calm of nature. On a good day, the rest of her family is walking right alongside her.
If you see Maggie around the club, be sure to say, “Hello!”