Julie Mulvihill ’82 is CEO of Crystal Springs Resort
As CEO of Crystal Springs Resort in Vernon, N.J., Julie Mulvihill ’82 takes her responsibility to make sure patrons have a good time very seriously.
As the largest employer in Sussex County, N.J., Crystal Springs Resort boasts seven golf courses, two hotels, two spas, and 12 restaurants. Not only is the resort the backdrop for big events, it’s the setting for important moments.
“A group of guys smacking the ball around for four hours or a bride with her bridesmaids giggling and sipping champagne as they prepare for the big moment — it is so refreshing to be reminded that the world is not all doom and gloom. Far from it,” Mulvihill says. “Guys still get together with old buddies and act 17, mothers still cry when they watch their daughters walk down the aisle, and kids will always think that mini bars are the coolest things ever invented. I am thankful I’m in a business that is instrumental in producing good times.”
Mulvihill is custodian of a wine cellar that houses over 57,000 bottles, including 100 100-point wines. It has received the Wine Spectator Grand Award three years running.
She originally planned to work at the resort, a business started by her father, for only a few months after graduation.
“Within a year, I found myself writing radio copy and making TV commercials and realized I had more of a ‘real job’ at the resort than I would have had if I had taken a more traditional entry-level position,” says the government and law graduate. “Though I have never worked in a traditional corporate environment, I have hired many people who come from corporate America. What I hear over and over is that things get done much faster in a family business. There is less bureaucracy and more accountability.”
For Mulvihill, the physical layout of her classrooms at Lafayette proved a benefit when she became CEO.
“Many of my courses were held in Kirby Hall in the rooms with the large boardroom tables,” she says. “Participation was demanded. You had to make a point and back it up. It taught me how to not only speak concisely, but also to listen to other points of view. Keep an open mind and have an opinion. When you run a company, you must listen to the people who work for you, but you also must make a final decision. Employees can’t stand wishy-washy management; they need clear direction.”