For Paula Marko being the new president of the Troy Country Club is more than maintaining and growing membership. She also wants the operation “to be a place where people love to hang out with their friends and family.”

An air of friendliness was what helped make Marko feel at home when she and her husband joined the private golf and social club seven years ago.

Earlier this month, Marko was sworn in as the first female president in the 92-year history of the club during the annual Presidents’ Ball. Nine past club presidents along with members joined Marko in the celebration.

Marko said she was surprised to be asked to be president. “I get a lot of questions and comments, but more than anything, I receive so much genuine support and enthusiasm,” she said.

Her goal is to make the club the best possible.  “This is my role as president. The commitment is the same whether you are a male or a female,” Marko said.

She and her husband, Ottmar, joined the club seven years ago because her husband loved the golf course. She didn’t think they would attend the club much, but were drawn back by the reception they received at dinner with their sponsors, Bob and Ruth Koverman.

She found members and staff to be nice, outgoing and welcoming.

After a couple of years, Marko was asked to be on the club board and accepted, seeing it as a way to give back to the organization.

The Country Club Board of Directors is working with Nathan Combs, general manager, on strategic planning and budgets. “We are planning for the club’s future and I am optimistic that it will be a bright future,” Marko said.

The club membership has grown, with 156 new memberships approved in the past 27 months, she said. The board listens to members and staff and brainstorms to come up with membership promotions and realistic dues.

Marko attributed a lot of the growth to the club’s “exceptional staff” including Combs, assistant manager Sarah Kemmer, new executive chef Jake Murphy and sous chefs Ronnie Short and Bill Pittl along with golf professional Kyle Courtright, ground crew leader Chuck Hart and bar manager Steve Shinney.

Marko has an accounting background and worked in credit and collections at BFGoodrich for 15 years before retiring four years ago to spend more time with family.

The Markos have two daughters and a son in law in the Dayton area. Her mother celebrated her 90th birthday this month. Marko said she also enjoys spending time with her along with her sisters and brothers in law and her husband’s family, which also lives locally.

Combs said the Presidents’ Ball is held annually to confirm the board of directors and elected officers. All members, now totaling more than 300, are invited. The evening includes a five-course dinner, swearing ins, gifts, a president’s speech and dancing.

Past presidents attending this year’s event were John Fulker, Bob McCarthy, Bob Koverman, Jim Utrecht, John Ernst, Mark Armstrong, Mike Caughell, Chad Scribner and Brad Nimer.

For information regarding the Troy County Club contact Nathan Combs by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 937-335-5691.