Behind the Scenes Employee Keeps Technology Running Smoothly
By Susan Thompson
In today’s world, successful businesses must have people who can manage ever-changing technology. At the Lake Panorama Association and Lake Panorama National, that person is Royce Shaffer. Here he answers questions about ways technology helps these two entities keep up with members and guests.
Q. Tell us about your educational background and family.
A. I grew up in Exira and graduated from Audubon High School. After high school, I attended Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I completed a year-and-a-half at Wilkes before transferring to Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. I graduated from Buena Vista with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance and Banking, with concentrations in Management and Computer Science. I live with my wife, Lisa, and four-year-old son, Landry, in Grimes. Lisa is an interventionist in the Dallas-Center Grimes School District. Landry started preschool this fall and enjoys all the activities of a typical four-year-old. He keeps Lisa and me busy.
Q. You started at the LPN, and in later years took on responsibilities for the LPA, is that right?
A. I started working at Lake Panorama National Resort during the summer of 2002. During that summer, I setup and worked banquets, as well as worked the front desk. After the completion of my class work in 2003, I started to intern at the resort. Most of my duties included back office tasks, while also working the front desk a couple days a week. In March 2004, I began managing the pro shop, which I did until leaving to be the general manager at Majestic Hills Golf Course in Denison in March 2006. I returned to LPN in November 2007 doing back office tasks. Since then information technology and some basic marketing tasks have been added to my duties.
I’m a joint employee of both the LPN and LPA. I am in charge of the information technology and have accounting duties for both organizations. In addition, I have some basic marketing responsibilities for LPN, which include social media posts, a weekly e-newsletter, and the LPN website.
Q. How has technology changed the business of both LPA and LPN in the years you’ve been here?
I can recall the days at LPN where we used cash registers and paper tee sheets. The manual entry required to run the business was time consuming. The software we use today is more integrated, which decreases the amount of manual entry, and adds efficiency and accuracy.
The LPA also has increased its efficiency in recent years. First by installing a fully integrated property management and accounting software called Jenark. This software handles member account management, dues and assessment billing, reporting and accounting.
In 2015, a document management software was installed. This software gives LPA the ability to index all paper and electronic documents and then search for these documents by index field. It is also easy to search documents by a keyword. The software then will display all documents with that keyword in them. Not only does this software save a great deal of time when looking for a specific document, but it also gives us peace of mind that all important association documents are stored electronically offsite in case disaster strikes the LPA office.
Q. Explain how the Point of Sales (POS) system works to tie together the various pieces of the LPN operation – the Links, the pro shops at both the LPN and Panorama West, the conference center, Spikes, and snack carts at the LPN.
A. Lake Panorama National uses Jonas Club Software, which is a fully integrated club management solution. This system allows us to integrate accounting, food and beverage point of sale, banquet and catering, pro shop point of sale and inventory, and tee time management. This integration decreases the amount of manual entry and increases accuracy.
Due to some limitations in the Jonas hotel module, we use a third-party reservation software to manage the Lake Panorama National Inn & Suites. This software is just used to take reservations and send confirmation letters. All payment information is handled through a Jonas POS, which feeds into the accounting module. Also, this year we began to use Square POS on our LPN bar carts. This allows us to securely accept credit cards on the golf course, and gives staff the ability to create tabs.
Q. What safeguards are in place to protect members and guests, plus the LPA and LPN?
A. Both LPA and LPN work with reliable vendors that take protecting our data seriously. All data on our network is backed up daily both locally and offsite. This gives us the ability to restore in the event of data loss.
Q. What responsibilities do you have for the LPA and LPN websites?
A. Randy Holl initially created the www.lakepanorama.org website with a company that specializes in homeowner’s association websites. Brad Halterman now is responsible for the LPA site, and I have backup responsibilities.
I am responsible for the design and content of the www.lakepanoramanational.com website. I also volunteered to get the Friends of Lake Panorama website (www.friendsoflakepanorama.org) established, and continue to help with periodic updates as needed. This site has the ability to accept donations electronically, which has been a nice benefit to the nonprofit charity.
Q. You’re responsible for the LPN Weekly e-newsletter — how can people subscribe if they don’t already get it?
A. The LPN Weekly was started in 2012. This is a weekly e-newsletter sent every Sunday morning to about 750 subscribers. The goal is to inform subscribers about events at the resort. We usually highlight the events happening in the next two-to-four weeks. Sometimes we look back and give a recap of an event that just happened. Anyone interested in signing up can go to www.lakepanoramanational.com and scroll down to the blue footer. Complete the “Stay Informed” form with your first name, last name and email. That’s it!
Q. To wrap up, tell us what you like about working for the LPA and LPN.
A. I enjoy working for what are essentially two small businesses. This gives me the opportunity to personally know the full-time staff, plus learn about topics I would not have the opportunity to learn at a larger business. The tasks required each day can vary greatly, and that makes for interesting days.