Southwest Michigan's only tennis, fitness and swimming club.

Staff Bios

Meet your inspiration

Getting (and staying) fit takes effort and commitment. But that doesn’t mean it can't be fun. We make sure you have a great time at South Shore, even when you're working hard, so you stay motivated to come back. 

Not just anyone can motivate you and your children to live healthier, so we choose our staff carefully. Each strikes that rare balance of being your teacher, mentor, motivator, coach and friend. Come meet us. Be inspired.


General Manager - Sarah Lancaster

General Manager

Lancaster is a graduate of Lake Michigan Catholic High School, St. Joseph, and Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., where she studied Business Administration and History. She played and was the co-captain of the Saint Mary’s tennis team. Today, she continues to play in tennis leagues with SSHRC members.

As General Manager, Lancaster will continue SSHRC’s commitment to promote wellness for all ages by providing unparalleled health programs and facilities. “Our mission is to enhance the members’ quality of life by becoming a part of their lives,” Lancaster said. “Through our quality facilities, programs and instructions we’ll endeavor to provide a variety of activities that strengthen members and our local communities.”

Lancaster, a lifelong resident of Southwest Michigan, is a member of the Business Networking International, Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals and Women’s Service League. You can find Sarah trying out all the different programs that South Shore has to offer, from the swimming pool to the fitness and tennis classes.

You can reach Sarah at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Assistant General Manager - Karen Dudiak

Assistant General Manager

Karen is a  “lifer” at South Shore.  She came on board as a Front Desk staff member when the club opened in 1976.  Transitioning into Management in the 80’s amplified her responsibilities and her interest in making this a career.  Karen says “I am proud to be part of what has made us successful over these many years. This includes an ownership that is constantly improving and updating the club complimented by a community that has supported us and made us the premiere health facility in the area.” She adds, “I’ve had the pleasure to know some of our charter members for almost forty years and that makes South Shore more than just a job. It’s been rewarding to me on a personal as well as professional level”. When her car’s not out in the SSHRC lot, she’s most likely enjoying life with family and friends.  Although she has lived in Michigan her entire life, she says travel is a priority in leisure time with the Caribbean being a favorite destination. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Racquet Sports 

Director of Racquet Sports - Mark Ficks

Director of Racquet Sports

USPTA “Michigan Professional of the Year” 2007 and 2011

Mark is certified as an “Elite” Professional by the USPTA as well as at a P-1 level by the American Platform Tennis Association. He is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) Certified Personal Fitness Trainer. 

Mark currently serves as the Michigan USPTA President ,as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Western Michigan USTA and coaches the Bridgman High School Boys and Girls Teams. 

In 2007 & 2011 he was awarded the USPTA “Michigan Professional of the Year” honor.  He has twice been a speaker at the Chicago Tennis Workshop as well as a speaker at the 2007 and 2011 USPTA Midwest Convention in Indianapolis and has had several articles published. 

Mark served as a vice president for the USPTA Northern Indiana division and as a Midwest USPTA Awards Committee member. He has been a National Zonals Coach, served on WMTA’s Competition Committee and worked with Western Michigan’s top 10 & under players as the USTA’s Area Training Center Coach.

Men's Tennis Coordinator - Dave Zimmermann

Men’s Tennis Coordinator 

Dave has been with South Shore since 2007 and continues a 15-year relationship with Palisades Park Country Club as their pro in the summer and also roams the courts at the Sleepy Hollow Club. In addition to teaching lessons and classes, Dave heads up our Men’s Tennis Program and our Team Tennis in the summer. This jokester is great with tennis players of all ages and levels. There is never a dull moment on the court when he is around.

Tennis Professional- Chris Tippett

Chris is the newest member of our tennis staff, coming from Hope College where he played on the tennis team. He is a USPTA Certified tennis professional and has been the director of the Michigan high school boys and girls tennis tournaments for three years and counting.

In addition to giving lessons, Chris is also the Forest Hills Central High School JV and Middle School tennis coach. When he is not teaching or coaching, you will find him on court playing or relaxing at the beach. He loves getting to meet new people so make sure to stop by and say hello!

You can contact Chris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Fitness Director - Tara Sabo

Fitness Director, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor

From the fitness floor to the front desk, on a Spinning bike or on a mat teaching PiYO Live —Tara does her best to lead by example. Fitness is her passion, and a personal training certificate from the American Council on Exercise confirms her ability to share that passion with her clients. She specializes in prenatal and postpartum fitness, loves working with kids, but never shies away from a client dedicated to reaching their goals. Her philosophy is that fitness can and should be fun, no matter what. 

When she’s not at the gym, you’ll most likely find her running half marathons (or sprinting after her own two children). Tara also writes a fitness blog, A Daily Dose of Fit, where she shares everything from workouts to fitness facts, food and fashion. To connect, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or reach out on Facebook Twitter or Instagram.

Fitness Assistant - Carolyn Margol

Fitness Assistant, Group Fitness Instructor

Carolyn has been teaching classes at South Shore for almost 25 years. Her passion for this industry is evident, and proves to be useful within the department as she willingly assists with day-to-day tasks. In each of the classes she teaches, Carolyn hopes to help others exercise their way to better health while having so much fun that they forget how hard they’re working. She is certified through the American Council on Exercise, and specializes in Zumba and Silver Sneakers classes.

Personal Trainer - Beau Deja

Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor

Beau graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. He is certified with the American Council on Exercise. In addition to working one-on-one with clients, he teaches Studio Pump, Functional Training, Bells and BOSUs and TRX Boot Camp. He takes a functional approach to fitness, with special focus on core strength and stability. Beau is also a high school track and cross country coach with more than 25 seasons of experience. He can also be heard on the radio. Tune in to Fitness Friday every week on 98.3 The Coast to hear Trainer Beau and Zack East discuss topics related to health and fitness. If you miss it on the air, you can listen to previous Fitness Fridays at the following link:

Personal Trainer - Cheryl Zuhl

Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor

Cheryl brings over 30 years of experience to the fitness department. She has a Master’s in Health and Physical Education, and recently retired from Saint Joseph High School where she taught both Heath and Physical Education. Cheryl is certified through the American Council on Exercise. She teaches Circuit Sculpt and PiYo Live as well as works with a number of different clients, too.

Personal Trainer - Angela Kurtz

Angela Kurtz is a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise. She enjoys helping clients achieve their goals. Whether seeking improved fitness through a more active lifestyle or sport-specific training, Angela works with each individual to create a program to meet the their specific needs. When she’s not at the gym, you’ll find her running or attending her teenagers’ high school sporting events.


Aquatics Director - Liz Emrich

“Don’t worry, that’s Miss Liz. I know her, she loves us and will take care of us.” 3-year-old student

Aquatics Director, Swim Instructor  

Liz joined our South Shore team in 1998 as our first Aquatics Director.  She has certification from American Red Cross as Water Safety Instructor/Trainer, Lifeguard Instructor, CPR and First Aid Instructor. She is also certified by the NSPF as a Certified Pool and Spa Operator, where she has scored in the top one percent in our nation.  

Liz has served on the Berrien County chapter of the American Red Cross as Health and Safety Chairperson, Vice President and President. She is passionate about safety, believing that teaching children (and adults) to swim will enhance their awareness of being safe in and out of the water. When asked why she chose a career in Aquatics she said, "Because it is a job where you can make a real difference in someone's life.” 

Recently, one of her 3-year-old students was overheard comforting another frightened 3-year- old by saying "Don't worry, that's Miss Liz. I know her, she loves us and will take care of us". 

When not in the water or filter room, you may find her digging around in her gardens or leading a life group and cooking with her team at Overflow Church.