As Sue enters the Dockside Bar, she absolutely exudes a sense of confidence and the natural ability to command a room.
Sue has been a part of the Oconomowoc community her entire life; as has her husband Mike who grew up on the lake since he was 8 years old. Sue and Mike have been married for a number of very happy years, and it was when they made this commitment that they also started their journey with the club. Their family home is only a stone's throw from the front doors, and even closer are the tennis courts that are literally in their back yard.
With five children, the Bickler household was very busy indeed and the OLC was their playground. All of the kids grew up enjoying the safe and secure environment that the OLC provided, including endless activities for the entire family to enjoy. Summers were filled with swimming, sailing and tennis. As one of her fondest memories, Sue recalls her youngest child Anthony, whom was about 4 years old at the time walking with her through the club grounds and looking up before saying: “This is all ours, right mom?” for which she replied that the club belonged to all members and was a very special place. Sue explained that it filled her with joy to know that her children thought of this as their home away from home, and that they were able to share so much time with their family and friends at the OLC. Now that the children are all adults the opportunity for them to bring their families and become members of OLC is very exciting. OLC truly is a one of the best clubs that offers so much for families to enjoy and to build lasting memories.
Sue and Mike own and operate Stonewood Companies of which Sue is president of the real estate appraisal division of the company and works as a full time real estate appraiser.
Sue had been very involved with the club but began serving on the OLC board when she took over the youth programs. During this time she was challenged by overseeing the youth activities off site at the home of the Di Pasquales, who hosted all of the youth activities after the club burned in 1995.
She served on the board for 8 years and was appointed to the Executive Committee. She was then asked to consider taking the Commodore position by the current Commodore Pat Lawton and accepted the challenge. She had to serve in various positions for two-year terms including Rear, Vice, Commodore & Pass Commodore - a total of eight years. Sue feels that this process of succession was very important to the structure of the club for ensuring that not only would one be put in a position of management, but also that they were able to deal with many personalities, take on the role of comforting members, and handle both private and public aspects.
During her two-year Commodores term, Sue embraced the rich historical aspects of OLC. She recalls that as part of the Commodore Ball event she had requested that each Past Commodore to provide a short speech at the Commodore Ball dinner with a memory from their term. Each experience serving at OLC while similar has its own challenges and every Commodores experience is unique and she what them to share this with the other members that evening. She also established a historical reserve fund to preserve the necessary elements of the club and fund projects for the future through regular events and fundraisers. Sue had also overseen the many member social activities at OLC for a number of years.
Sue was extremely humbled by the whole experience and she enjoyed her time as Commodore very much. It was an enormous amount of work and responsibility that gave her a whole new perspective on what was necessary for the success of the OLC. Families have enjoyed OLC for over 100 years and Sue is very proud to have made her mark and to have a place on the historical Commodore photo wall!
Sue and Mike are extremely involved in their community and have served on more boards than I can mention. She was the cheerleading coach for the Oconomowoc Football Youth program for 15 years while Mike served as the football coach and youth football president. Sue also served as the president of the Oconomowoc Historical Society.
It has always been and still is very important for the Bicklers to give back whenever they can, and the community is very grateful for their kind donations and service over the years.
I spoke with Sue about her memories of the OLC, and one of her fondest is of her and Mikes wedding reception. She still has ladies approach her about her wedding and share how much they enjoyed this party. The reception took over the club and hosted 500 guests throughout the course of the afternoon and evening. The party was held in two sessions as they hosted 250 people for appetizers and drinks followed by dinner, and the next 250 people arrived to follow course. It was a night that included an open bar live music is by far the biggest wedding party held to date at the club. Her kids also threw a surprise wedding anniversary party for her and Mike, so the years have always been filled with many memories at the OLC.
Sue raves about the food and the personal touches that set OLC apart from other venues and clubs. OLC has always been amongst the best in community.
Her final message to those who are considering the OLC is that this Premier Club is truly a hidden treasure set on one of the most beautiful lakes in Waukesha County. Being a member means so many things: It not only provides you with a connection in your community, but also builds lasting memories and friendships throughout the years.