“Island Country Club is a private, member-owned golf and country club on paper—but it’s much more than that. It’s a family,” Bakkar said.
The “new” GM has worked for the private country club since 2001. Over his 17- year tenure, Bakkar has become a fixture at the establishment. For ICC members, he’s a welcomed and familiar face.
Bakkar was initially hired at the Island Country Club as the Assistant Food and Beverage Director. In 2003, he was promoted to the Food and Beverage Director, a position he held for 13 years. In 2016, Bakkar shifted gears and took on the role of Clubhouse Manager.
As for his background, Bakkar holds two degrees from the University of Tunis in Tunisia. One is in French and the other is in culinary and hotel management. He is a certified food and beverage manager, as well as a First Level Wine Sommelier.
After moving to the United States in 1985, Bakkar began working as a Restaurant Manager at the Café Vieux Carre in New Orleans. In 1990, Bakkar made his way down to Florida, settling in Orlando, where he worked as the Restaurant Manager for the Peabody Hotel. From there he was offered a job at the Hilton on Marco Island, as the Assistant Food and Beverage Director. Eventually, in 2001, he ended up at the Island Country Club and has been there ever since.
As the new General Manger, Bakkar says his vision for the club’s future is one that involves continued community involvement.
“My vision for the club looking to the future is to continuously promote camaraderie and friendship among our membership and staff, and to simultaneously remain heavily involved in the Marco Island community,” he said.
Each year the Island Country Club Charitable Foundation raises money for local charity organizations. Since it’s inception, the foundation has raised well over one million dollars in funds. The money goes to programs like the Joy of Giving, which gives Christmas presents to local children in need, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, and Avow Hospice.
“In the community, we hope to set an example for others to follow by always giving back through involvement with local charities, programming and activities,” Bakkar said.
As to what sets the Island Country Club a part from other Southwest Florida clubs, Bakkar had this to say:
“The warm and friendly atmosphere and high standards of service performance are what continually attracts members and staff to this club.”
The Island Country Club recently reopened after an eight-month golf course renovation. For more information visit www.island countryclub.org or call 239-394-6661.
The Island Country Club recently reopened after an eight-month golf course renovation. For more information visit www.island-countryclub.org or call 239- 394-6661.