#3 | January 1, 2022
If you have not experienced Kenwood’s Fitness Facility, I encourage you to meet Quentin Dunn, Director. Make this the year to improve your health through fitness training. We are fortunate to have his leadership. Enjoy learning more about Quentin. - Peggy Braun
Q: Why did you choose fitness as a career? Also include your college major and jobs prior to KCC.
A: I chose fitness as a career because I recognized my passion for fitness at an early age, and as life progressed my love for it continued to grow. I can remember begging my parents to allow me to lift weights as a young kid. I remember my mom printing off articles to support why I was too young to begin lifting weights (this was before there was evidence supporting lifting weights as a pre-adolescent was safe). Eventually, my parents got me an at home multipurpose workout machine and that’s where it all began. They quickly saw my dedication to exercise! Fast forward to high school where I began working with a personal trainer for sports; I absolutely loved everything about it. This was the true catalyst for my choice to pursue an undergraduate degree at Northern Kentucky University in Exercise Science.
Q: Tell us about your family and how you met your wife.
A: My wife, Michelle, and I reside in Northern Kentucky with our two daughters, Vayda (2.5) and Larkyn (5 months), and our dog, Theo. Michelle and I met in college my freshman year via a mutual friend. She was also an attendant at the campus recreation center, which I frequented nearly every day.
Q: What are your goals for our Fitness Facility?
A: My goal for KCC’s Fitness Facility is to deliver the best possible fitness and wellness experience, that feels safe and inclusive to all of our Members. I also want to stay on the leading edge of trends that I believe are important and valuable to the membership, i.e., getting new Peloton bikes and adding the InBody body composition machine.
Q: Your days start early and you still must make time to workout. What is your personal workout routine?
A: Most mornings I get to KCC at 5:30 or 6am, which means I workout at the end of my day in the afternoon or evening. I have a home gym set up that allows for no excuses! Often times my two year old is in the gym with me playing with her toys or mimicking my workout. My routine is a mixture of traditional weightlifting combined with functional training. I believe mixing these two modalities helps me maintain muscle mass and helps me move better for the demands of my job!
Q: The fitness industry is always changing and improving. What trends do you see in the near future?
A: The biggest trend I see in the near future is a continued emphasis on technology integrated into fitness. I believe we have only scratched the surface in the role that technology is going to play in our fitness routines.
Q: Tell us about the role of nutrition to fitness.
A: I can’t say enough about the importance of proper nutrition. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, have more energy, fight inflammation, or achieve any other fitness goal, proper nutrition is critical to achieving those goals. I always tell people you can workout until you’re blue in the face every day, but if you eat poorly, you won’t get the results you’re hoping for. The biggest thing I want people to understand about nutrition is that you don’t need to do anything extreme and there is no secret diet. Keep it simple, eat ample protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and aim to eat clean at least 80 percent of the time.
Q: New Year’s resolutions for fitness can easily wan. How would you encourage members to determine and stay with their fitness goals for 2022?
A: I would say to write your goals down and keep them visible. Put them on your bathroom mirror so they are the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing before bed. Also, understand that results don’t happen overnight, trust and commit to the process and good things will happen. I see people quit too early because they don’t see immediate results. Stick with it for three months and you’ll be amazed at what you achieve. Lastly, if you have trouble holding yourself accountable, hire a personal trainer to help you stay committed to the process.
Q: Tell us about your dream vacation.
A: My dream vacation would have to be Bora Bora. The over the water bungalow and crystal clear blue water is right up my alley!
#2 | November 1, 2021
I had the pleasure of interviewing our talented Chef, Sean Sennet. Chef took time out of his hectic schedule to sit down with me and answer some questions. Take some time to find out more about our amazing culinary leader. - Alicia Gerlinger
Q: Can you tell our readers about your background and what brought you to KCC?
A: My family and I were looking to get closer to her family; actually my mother lives in Loveland and my in-laws live in Indiana. We were looking to get back closer to them and we were living in Charlotte. We kept driving the 8 hours, back and forth, all the time. We were up for the holidays (I was working at Ballantyne Country Club in Charlotte at the time), and a headhunter called me and asked if I knew anything about Kenwood Country Club. The headhunter was friends with my GM at the time, so it was tough to leave there, but at the same time it was just like a miracle. So, I talked to my GM who was very supportive and it was a healthy move. It was an awesome fit; it had all the infrastructure and everything ready. At this stage in my career, I want to start building an institution where we have healthy attribution and make it a place to learn. I want people from all over the nation to know that this is a place where they can come to learn and to be more marketable for themselves and more marketable for us.
Q: I know you have young children; remind me of their ages.
A: I have two; 4 and 3, Evelyn and Clifford.
Q: Your hours can be a little unorthodox, I’m sure. How does that work with little ones at home?
A: Well, fortunately, my wife is and was a Chef as well. So, she understands. You just spend as much as you can with them. I FaceTime them from work; I’ll send them videos. A lot of times I record myself and send the video, then they record themselves and send a video back…it’s super cute.
Q: So, I assume you don’t have to do all the cooking at home?
A: (laughs) No…lots of time I just wash dishes because my wife is eager to cook and cooking for two kids…they’ll try things but they don’t eat all the things. And there are times when we just don’t feel like cooking at all and we will go out to eat!
Q: When did you realize that you wanted to be a Chef?
A: So, wow..when I was 15, I was working at Hercules Golf Club, which I don’t think even exists anymore. I was around golf my whole life; my parents were members of Dupont Country Club. My grandfather told me, “You can choose to play golf or tennis, and I don’t play tennis.” So, I said, “Alright, I’ll play golf.” I did that my whole youth; I thought I would be a golf professional or do something with golf. I was working in the pro shop at Hercules, and my stepsister was the bar manager at an Irish Pub. She asked me if I wanted to make extra cash on the weekends washing dishes. So that’s what I did; I started working weekends making quick, easy money. The owner’s nephew was the kitchen manager; he was going to culinary school. So I befriended him and we started hanging out; I was about 16 and I started prepping and did a little cooking. It was a grind, but it was fun. And I was helping him study for a test one time and realized that everything he was studying I really loved; history, biology, math…it just really interested me. And I realized I just wanted to do this. I was invited to go along to the culinary school and met the chef who was running the program there. I just fell in love with it.
Q: There are times when the Club is really busy; maybe a Saturday evening with a wedding, a full dining room and tavern, so lots of guests as well as members…what attribute do you think you possess that allows the kitchen to function during these busier times?
A: I try to set the bar as to what we expect coming out of the kitchen, and what the membership expects. So, I am that liaison between the staff in the kitchen and the membership. And then I really just empower them to do the right thing and trust them to do what they do best; cook. I try to take away a lot of ego from myself; this isn’t my restaurant, this is the membership’s restaurant. For me here, it’s really about satisfying 925 members and their families while at the same time challenging and enlightening the culinarians in the kitchen.
Q: I so look forward to seeing the specials for the week. How do you come up with new ideas week after week? What provides your inspiration?
A: For me, it’s not always going to come from a cookbook or another chef. It might come from a conversation with someone, or a distributor who may have a product in season and that becomes the inspiration. I also source the kitchen and I source the membership; I’ll go out and ask what people are craving or haven’t had in awhile and I’ll play off of that. I also look to our traditions here in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and try to play off of those.
Q: That’s a daunting task; having to choose and see what things land well with the membership.
A: Exactly, that’s the biggest challenge. One or five people might enjoy a dish, but ultimately it needs to sell. It keeps things fresh, it keeps everything flowing.
Q: If you could cook alongside a “TV” famous chef, who would you choose?
A: I’m going to have go way back and go with Martin Yan from Yan Can Cook. He was super energetic; he’s part of the American Culinary Federation and he did so much with the whole asian cuisine culture.
Q: Any food aversions?
A: Pause…maybe fish eyeballs?
Q: Do you follow any food bloggers or look at any online recipe sites?
A: My wife was always the one following bloggers. I am very classically driven; I look at a lot of cookbooks. I try to see how one dish can be prepared by different chefs and cross reference them. I like to play off the classics because they work; you don’t always need to reinvent a dish, but maybe just turn it up a notch.
Q: Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you, or a skill we may not know you possess. Or, I could ask you what your golf handicap is….
A: Ahhh…I used to be really good. When I was a freshman in HS I was captain of the varsity team and came in 5th in the state. And I’m really into indoor Go Carts; love it; great stress reliever. I’d love to go to Hong Kong, get a custom tailored suit and then go to Monaco to watch Formula One.
#1 | September 1, 2021
I am excited to make the first Employee Partner Spotlight post in the KCC Blog - “Tell Me Somethin’ Good”. Introducing someone who needs no introduction, the guy who is everywhere, Mr. Dan Plunkett. Remember the SNL skit with the neighbor who was always there? That’s Dan Plunkett at KCC. - Lesli Hopping
Q: What was your first job?
A: When I was 15 I was a bagger at IGA.
Q: We are so blessed to have you at KCC - what led you here?
A: I left the General Manager position at Montgomery Inn (I started with them as a bus boy) in Columbus to be closer to family due to the arrival of our first daughter Hadley. I accepted the Banquet Manager position at KCC.
Q: You have a perpetual smile on your face - how do you maintain this thru adversity and what is your favorite thing about working at KCC?
A: Seeing others smile makes me smile. The people - great staff, great members and the bonds I’ve developed. In the back of my mind, I’m doing it all for my family.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A: Treat others how you would like to be treated.
Q: What is one skill everyone should have?
A: The ability to communicate effectively
Q: Tell us about your beautiful family:
A: I have 2 daughters, Hadley is six and Amelia (AKA Mia) is four. And of course my beautiful wife, Emily. The girls are entering their 2nd year of pre-school and 1st year of kindergarten. They love the swimming pool and we have our first trip to Disney planned this October - everyone is very excited!
Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside of KCC?
A: Hiking and camping with family. We go 4 times a year with my folks and siblings – its a great time!
Q: Who is your favorite cartoon character and why?
A: Bandit - he’s Bluey’s Dad. Bluey is Hadley and Mia’s favorite cartoon on Disney Plus. Bandit is my favorite because he always sets a good example for his family.
Q: What is your favorite hidden talent?
A: Too many balls in the air? Never for Dan Plunkett!