La Cita Country Club’s Jim and Katherine Musick

It is often said that the couple that plays together stays together. However, for a growing number of businesses, it is equally true that the couple that works together stays together. The American Family Business Survey conducted by the MassMutual Financial Group and the Raymond Institute, found that husband-and-wife CEOs of family businesses increased from 8 percent in 1997 to 14 percent in 2002. Among that figure are Jim and Katherine Musick, who took over co-ownership of La Cita Golf and Country Club in Titusville in 2001.

Owner/General Manager and Catering Director, respectively, Jim and Katherine co-own and manage La Cita Country Club with Dale and Leslie Quinn and Karen Senn. Nestled in between the St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge and the Kennedy Space Center, La Cita Country Club offers a relaxing escape for those living in North Brevard. La Cita is the only completely private country club in the Titusville area. It features an 18-hole championship golf course, six Har-Tru tennis courts, a heated pool, a spa with a fitness center, a clubhouse and lodging.

Exclusive and Inclusive

“Even though it is a private country club,” says Jim, “it is still available to businesses and individuals for private events.”

As a result, La Cita has become a hub for local activities, events and fundraisers in the Titusville area. Its past event roster reads like a Who’s Who list – politicians, civic groups, rotary clubs, pilot clubs and Parrish Medical Center have all booked the clubhouse, tennis courts or greens at the club.

“We like to think we are quite an asset to the community,” adds Katherine.

Jim and Katherine have worked tirelessly to develop La Cita into the club it is today. They have invested $3 million in capital improvements since they took over ownership nine years ago. They have also continued to handle the club’s daily business and remained active participants at the club’s social events. But how have they successfully maintained their business and personal lives when they literally work side-by-side?

Home and Business Balance

“We do not carry this club home with us,” explains Jim. While it may be tempting to continue business conversations at home, or to let business-related stress creep into complaints and arguments, both Musicks emphasize the importance of separating the business and the personal aspects of their relationship.

“Find a balance before [you go into business together],” stresses Katherine. “Know your role about what you contribute to the business….it definitely does not work for everybody.”

Jim adds, “You cannot let your personal opinion get in the way of what is best for the business.”

In America, family-owned businesses account for over 80{099636d13cf70efd8d812c6f6a5a855fb6f8f27f35bea282d2df1d5ae896e2c2} of all business enterprises, but less than half of those businesses survive to the next generation. The low rate of success might stem from many sources, but the difficulty to separate personal feelings and relationship issues from business decisions and problems can be daunting. The Musicks have found a way to manage the two areas of their lives – and both their business and their marriage are successful because of it.

Where Business Is a Pleasure

It also helps that both Jim and Katherine love what they do. Owning the club has been the realization of a lifelong dream for Jim. Katherine’s background in catering has made her an asset to the club’s event coordination and catering services. They are exceptionally proud of the business they have invested in and co-own, and their passion for La Cita is evident in their voices when they speak.

They may stay busy with all of the different aspects of running the country club, but as Jim says: “We have a lot of great members in this club, and we have made friends with many of them. [The club] is a big part of our social life.”

For the Musicks, La Cita Country Club is equal parts business and pleasure. In their case, it is more accurate to say that “the couple that plays and works together . . . stays together.”