At the age of 17, Arnold assumed the ever increasing responsibility in the management of Sunny Hill due to Gurine’s ill health. He spent many hours of careful planning and thoughts in laying out the various buildings and sports facilities from a point of beauty, practicability, and enjoyment to the vacationist. In addition to making the plans and layouts for the various Buildings and sports plus the golf course he has also planned the landscaping and layout of shrubbery and tree planting.
During the period of 1933-38 he attended the University of Alabama and Columbia University, obtaining B.S. and M.S. degrees in Health and Physical Education and History and minored in social science and psychology. He taught in the field for seven years which included work at high school, Y.M.C.A., Delehanty Institute and three years at Bethany College, West Virginia where he taught Physical Education courses and headed the physical training for Navy V-5 and V-12 men as well as Army Glider-Pilots in training. With the end of World War II Arnold resigned from the teaching field to devote more time to Sunny Hill and the resort business.
He became very active in community affairs, serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce for 7 years, as President of the Fire Company, an officer and worker in many local organizations and activities. From 1954-1964 he ran for office, was elected and served for ten years as Town and County Supervisor and was Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors for two years. During his ten years in office Arnold headed or was a member of almost all of the regular and special committees on the Board. During Arnold’s time in office as Supervisor of Greenville this town which is one of the smaller of the 932 towns in New York State at the time received “State Wide Recognition” on at least five occasions for making exceptional progress in modernizing town highways, in equalizing assessments and utilizing business practices which led to saving of many thousands of tax dollars.
As a resort owner his many activities in an average work day of 18 – 19 hours included typing many thousands of letters each year; booking and planning large recreation programs for 6-7 days a week during the five month resort season; square dance calling and piano playing for group singing; hiring and coordinating of staff personnel; guided tours of the local and surrounding areas and other duties too numerous to mention.
Mae had been an invaluable part of the Nicholsen team. Adjusting very rapidly from city life to life in the country, she had stepped into the large responsibility of buying food, planning meals and seeing that meals are served on time to hundreds of guests and employees. In addition, she planned room decorations and took charge of linen purchase and maintenance, made many bookings; treated first aid cases and did countless other chores in her 17-18 hour days – plus brought up three youngsters and maintained a home.
Gary Nicholsen; born in 1945, Gary attended Albany Business College which has provided him with the valuable education necessary in overseeing the business aspect of the company. His many years of experience as contractor working with heavy equipment and excavation provided valuable input to the many projects which have been a part of the development and evolution of the business. Gary maintains the title of Corporate President.
Wayne Nicholsen; born in 1952, Wayne holds the title of Corporate Vice President. Wayne’s dedication to grounds keeping and golf course maintenance has been a key factor in the appearance of the operation. Wayne is heavily involved in the planning and execution of guest entertainment and activities on and off the premises.
Gail Nicholsen; born in 1953 Gail holds the title of Corporate Secretary. Gail was educated at HVCC, Univ. of Mass and at SUNY Albany. Gail’s education has been an asset to her and the company as she is responsible for the day to day operation of the Sunny Hill Office – another key factor in the operation. Open year round, the Office deals with reservations, billing, personnel issues, and the personal contact with all the guests as they are booking, arriving or departing or enjoying a stay at the Sunny Hill Resort.
What the Nicholsen’s all have in common is a remarkable dedication to the company and the family. They have all been part of Sunny Hill as far back as any one of them can remember. This tradition is again being passed down to the fourth generation of the Nicholsen family where several family members are involved in the operation. As new generations are added, the children become a natural part of the family operation which makes Sunny Hill.