Outgoing Casino RSM Club secretary/manager Darren Schipp (right) gives incoming manager Phil Mallon a tour of the club.
Outgoing Casino RSM Club secretary/manager Darren Schipp (right) gives incoming manager Phil Mallon a tour of the club.

Darren Schipp calls it quits

DARREN SCHIPP, long-serving secretary/manager of the Casino RSM Club, has decided after 20 years in the licensed clubs industry that it’s time for a new career path.

Exactly where that path will take him is unclear, but he admits he and his family love Casino and if he did find something suitable in his home town ‘that would be sensational’.

Mr Schipp stepped down yesterday from the helm of the RSM Club, a position he has held for the past 10 years.

While he admits saying his farewells to patrons and staff was difficult, he is proud of what the club has achieved in the past decade, but is now looking forward to the next chapter in his life.

“I’ve been in the industry for 20 years now and it’s been a fantastic experience,” Mr Schipp said.

“But it’s a very time-consuming industry and it’s not particularly restful.

“It’s time for me to try something different. To see what’s out there.

“I’ve got no firm plans other than I will have a bit of a break and catch up on some family holidays.”

Mr Schipp began at the RSM Club fresh out of uni, having graduated from the then University of New England Northern Rivers with a Bachelor of Business.

He worked his way up the ladder and was assistant manager when he left to take on the role of secretary/manager of the Ballina Golf Club in 1999.

Mr Schipp returned to Casino to take charge of the club in 2000.

The industry and the Casino RSM Club, with Darren at the helm, has survived some radical changes in the past decade, not least of which was the banning of cigarette smoking on licensed premises.

However, Mr Schipp rates the club’s decision to develop the RSM Shopping Village as the stand-out event of his time as secretary/manager.

It was the first stand-alone retail development undertaken by a licensed club in NSW.

“It was completely new ground for us,” Mr Schipp said.

“I’m not a hammer and nails person and to have responsibility for developing a $5.3 million construction project was pretty big.

“It also stands out because it was so important to the club and the community.

“It basically secured the club’s future and the complex provided the town with a second major supermarket, something the town had been trying to secure for years.

“Our development application was the fifth to be lodged for a second supermarket in Casino.”

Mr Schipp believes it succeeded where others failed because the club, the board and staff had the best interests of the town and the community at heart.

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