Executive Search: Assistant General Manager at Savannah Yacht Club



The Club:

The Savannah Yacht Club is a private, family-oriented Club dedicated to member satisfaction through superior service and quality facilities.

The Savannah Yacht Club was originated on June 14, 1869, as the Regatta Association of Chatham County and the association was succeeded seven years later on June 7, 1876, by the formal organization of the Savannah Yacht Club.

The Club offers a variety of recreational activities including sailing, boating, tennis, swimming, and several dining options. The active member participation and enjoyment of the Savannah Yacht Club can be attributed to sound management and mindful planning by the Board of Stewards.  Operational flexibility and an annual review of the policies, practices, and planned projects will assure the membership of the Club for many years of continued success.

The Position:

The Assistant General Manager is considered the “go-to manager” for the General Manager/COO.  He/she manages and is responsible for all aspects of the food and beverage program as well as the upkeep and appearance of conditions throughout the Clubhouse.  This individual will plan and implement complex annual budgets for the food and beverage and swimming pool operations as well as hire, train, and supervise subordinates.  The Assistant General Manager is directly responsible for the catering department, all food and beverage outlets, as well as the pool complex and housekeeping.  He/she will be responsible for continuous improvements for the operations of all the food and beverage outlets throughout the entire Club.

The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated professional with a proven and stable record of food and beverage management at a reputable private club, restaurant, or hotel – knowledge of fine wines and a strong sense of pairing wine with food is imperative.

The Assistant General Manager will have a proven work history that demonstrates knowledge and a steady upward career track in successful operations.  This personable professional is a member of the Executive Staff and will work with other department heads to ensure that the expectations of members and guests are exceeded.  He/she will be genuinely people-oriented, “visible” and readily accessible, and responsive to the membership.

Operational Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Assures that effective orientation and training for new staff, and professional development activities for exceptional staff, are planned and implemented. Develops ongoing professional development and training programs for food production, service and bar production/service personnel.
  • Helps plan and approve external and internal marketing and sales promotion activities for the department. Works on keeping Club functions/promotions for all Food and Beverage activities fresh and appealing to membership.  Ensures that an accurate reservations system is in place.
  • Helps plan and approve the organizational chart, staffing, and scheduling procedures as well as job description/specifications for all Food and Beverage departments, Pool Facility and Housekeeping staff.
  • Monitors purchasing and receiving procedures for front of the house products and supplies to ensure proper quantities, quality, and price for all purchases.
  • Maintains contact with members and helps to ensure maximum member satisfaction.
  • Oversees bar operation, develops wine list and bottle/glass wine sales promotion programs in conjunction with the Food and Beverage Service Manager and Bar Manager.
  • Responsible for correct handling procedures to minimize china and glassware breakage and food waste. Ensures storage areas are neat and orderly.
  • Maintains appearance, upkeep and cleanliness of all Food and Beverage equipment and facilities. Initiates ongoing facility inspections throughout the Club to assure that cleanliness, preventive maintenance, safety, and other standards are consistently attained.
  • Addresses member and guest complaints/suggestions and advises the General Manager/COO about appropriate actions taken.
  • Assists in planning and implementing procedures for special Club events and banquets functions.
  • Functions as an administrative link between departments.
  • Occasionally works as a department head when needed.
  • Manages all aspects of the Club in the absents of the General Manager/COO.

Financial Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Assists in developing the operating budget for Food and Beverage department outlets, the Pool Facility, and Housekeeping. After approval, monitors and takes corrective action as necessary to help ensure that budget goals are attained.
  • Ensures that all standard operating procedures for revenue and cost control are in place and consistently utilized.
  • Approves/reviews all invoices before submitting them to the accounting department.
  • Manages physical inventory verification and provides updated information to the Accounting department. Responsible for beverage inventory.
  • Responsible to the proper accounting and reconciliation for point-of-sale system and member revenues.
  • Audits and approves payroll sheets on as needed basis.


Manages and is responsible for all aspects of the day to day Food and Beverage operation, Pool Facility, and Housekeeping.  Plans and implements budgets; hires, trains and supervises subordinates.  Plans, assigns and directs work; appraises performance; disciplines as required; addresses complaints and helps to resolve problems.  Directly responsible for catering and Food and Beverage needs throughout the property.  Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws.  Assist the General Manager/COO in establishing and implementing long-range and annual plans, operating report, forecast and budgets.

More About Savannah Yacht Club:

1000 Members

$6M Gross Volume

$3M Annual Dues

$2M F&B Volume

100 Employees in-season

Average age of members is 57

Candidate Qualifications:

Given the active role this individual will be expected to play in the maintaining the standards of excellence of the Club, it is essential that the successful candidate possess the following core competencies, experience, and attributes:

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressive leadership and management experience in club, restaurant or hotel management environment.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in Hospitality Management or Business.
  • Certified Club Manager (CCM) preferred or in active pursuit of designation.
  • Must be proficient in all Microsoft applications. Jonas experience is preferred.


A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required. The position becomes available January 1, 2020.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The club offers an excellent bonus and benefit package, including Club Management Association of America (CMAA) dues and education, a comprehensive medical insurance program according to Club policy, 401k program with employer matching contribution, vacation, and professional development.


IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit resumes along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Friday January 3, 2020, and if possible, sooner. Those documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Savannah AGM Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Savannah AGM Resume”) respectively to: pdelozier@globalgolfadvisors.com.

Patrick DeLozier
(501) 258-2911

For more information on the Savannah Yacht Club: www.savannahyachtclub.org

Why Every Club Needs a Regular Capital Reserve Study

Clubs around the country are developing new amenities to meet the needs and expectations of the next generation of members.

An astute and forward-thinking move. But can they afford it?

GGA Partner and Head of Transaction Advisory, Craig Johnston, spells out the importance of capital planning and the need to assess what your current assets cost to maintain (and will cost) before planning to invest in new ones.

What Does Golf’s Green Future Mean for You?

As environmental consciousness continues to rise across the world, GGA Partner and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Audubon International, Henry DeLozier, identifies the three starting points for clubs looking to make the shift towards a greener future.

Americans are more concerned about climate change than ever before. According to a recent Pew Research Center Survey, “About two-thirds of U.S. adults (67%) say the federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change, and similar shares say the same about government efforts to protect air (67%) and water quality (68%)…”

The study also found that concern over the state of the environment is more than a national interest or partisan issue, with the majority indicating that climate change is affecting their daily lives, “Most Americans today (62%) say that climate change is affecting their local community either a great deal or some.”

Does the same sentiment exist in golf?  Since 2017, managers have reported to GGA that their clubs are under the microscope in some areas, receiving provocation from local municipalities and increased pressure to comply with local rules and environmental regulations.  These pressures have led to the need for clubs to increase their ‘green’ efforts in education, labor and training inputs, as well as governmental reporting.

Whether it’s a case of compliance or the desire to develop a greater sense of environmental stewardship and eco-friendly operations, it can often be difficult to know how and where to start. To ease this process, here are three starting points for clubs looking to make the shift towards a greener future.

1. Assess current levels of resource utilization

Understanding how much your club is using, in what areas, from which sources, and at what price is an essential first step.

This will allow you to develop a baseline for evaluation, and measure these against performance goals.

In need of a helping hand to get started? A number of associations and organizations have developed intuitive and informed tools to enable clubs to conduct these evaluations in-house.

  • GCSAA’s BMP Planning Guide and Template is an online resource that provides for the development of golf course BMP programs at the state level. Based on a high-potential impact on operation of your facility and its bottom line, GCSAA recommends attention to performance goals in four distinct areas: water conservation, water quality protection, pollution prevention, and energy conservation.
  • Audubon International, which promotes sustainability for businesses, recreational properties and communities, has developed Standard Environmental Management Practices that are generally applicable to all golf courses. These standards form the basis for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) for golf certification guidelines which include habitat planning and management guidance, while increasing the understanding of best management practices for pesticide use.

2. Develop an environmental policy.

“Putting your golf course, community or resort on the path to sustainability may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be,” Audubon International CEO Christine Kane says. “We suggest starting by establishing an environmental policy that will guide your operations. This will bring your employees and members onboard and pave the way for incorporating topics such as water conservation, IPM or wildlife management into your budget, marketing and maintenance processes.”

3. Seek a certification program and pursue recognition.

Establishing a reputation for environmental stewardship in the public eye – that is, from the viewpoint of your current and potential future members – is a valuable business marketing tool for clubs to wield.  Pursuing formal recognition and certification for the club’s commitment to “green” operating practices can grow its market share and build loyalty among the power-spending generations of the future.

If your club is looking to bolster its environmental credentials, here are some awards and programs to consider:

  • Audubon launched its Water & Sustainability Innovation Award this year to recognize landscape companies, organizations, and municipalities for sustainable, water-efficient projects. Corica Park South Course of Alameda, California, and its management firm, Greenway Golf, was the first recipient.
  • ACSP for Golf provides a tangible form of recognition for clubs and courses committed to protecting the environment and preserving the natural heritage of the game.
  • Monarchs in the Rough is a program that partners with golf courses to combat the population decline of the monarch butterfly and to restore pollinator habitat in out-of-play areas.
  • The Green Restaurant Association is an international nonprofit organization encouraging restaurants to ‘green’ their operations using science-based certification standards in order to become more sustainable in energy, water, waste, food, chemicals, disposables, and building.

Golf facilities and clubs also benefit from sustainability’s halo effect.  Many members today expect greater levels of environmental stewardship from businesses and other organizations with which they are associated.  In addition to its environmental impacts, sound resource management and recognition through certification has taken on a good-for-business shine as well.

Research points out that sound environmental stewardship matters to women and millennials especially.  While sentiments diverge along lines of on geographic location and political affiliation, it is apparent in the Pew Research study that women and young adults (e.g. Millennials and Generation Z) exhibit a higher propensity to regard climate change as a serious issue which affects them personally.

The bottom line is that that these groups represent the next generation of members and they are both concerned about sound environmental practices and are receptive to learning how club managers are caring for Mother Earth. Clubs and courses seeking to attract younger members would do well to take a responsible approach to environmentalism.

Winning Financial Practices

While directors carry ultimate responsibility for the financial resources of a club, it’s the relationship between the board of directors and club manager that can often determine just how well managed the finances actually are.

Bobby Crifasi, General Manager of New Orleans Country Club, reveals the formula which keeps his club on a sound, sustainable financial footing.

A mismanaged and uninformed approach to financial management can seriously damage a club’s ability to make sound business decisions.

And as the buck stops with the board of directors, it is they who must carefully measure the future financial needs of their club, plan for the sources and uses of funds, and ensure the economic sustainability of the club. Doing so is no small challenge and requires:

  • A comprehensive capital asset replacement roster
  • Maintaining a constant understanding of capital sources and use
  • Command of the club’s balance sheet
  • Sustaining engaged financial review and audit

As one of several duties, that can be a lot to ask of volunteer board members. This is where top-performing club managers step in. The more they can equip their board of directors with the information they need to fulfill their duties, the greater the guarantee of them making the soundest possible business decisions.

Bobby Crifasi manages New Orleans Country Club (NOCC) with style and grace that belies a savvy financial manager. First educated and trained as a certified public accountant, during his time Bobby has seen the Club through a natural disaster in Hurricane Katrina which led to $5 million in unplanned renovations. On a day-to-day basis, Bobby ensures that the Club remains on solid financial ground by keeping his board fully informed on the Club’s financial facts.

“All of our financial information is sent to the board in advance of the board meeting,” explains Crifasi.  “I receive our financial reports by the 10th of each month and that allows a week or so to investigate any variances before the financial information is sent with the board package. If there was anything of significance that I thought the board should know sooner rather than later, I would report on it at the House Committee meeting or email the board directly.”

Keeping the board informed of financial performance metrics is a key for Crifasi and his team, “What we do is provide a lot of financial data comparing this-month to this-month-last-year and year-to-date-this-year to year-to-date-last-year comparatives on a monthly basis.  We do good, old-fashioned spreadsheets with all this information monthly.”

Among the keys that are faithfully tracked at NOCC, Crifasi emphasizes the mission-critical factors in the balance sheet and income statements, “On a monthly basis we focus on key balance sheet items like cash, notes payable, and any other balance sheet items that may have changed significantly during the month.  In addition, we look at our Statement of Income and Expenses and talk about any variances during the month and the factors that may have caused that.  We track initiation fees and dues to ensure we are on budget with those as they represent such a large part of the financial picture.”

On a practical level, NOCC uses a rolling budget process to enable adjustments as conditions require, “We have a rolling budget for the food and beverage operation which is adjusted each month to reflect additions or deletions to the banquet business as well as current forecasts for our restaurant business.”

Given the significant impact of rising labor costs in private clubs, Crifasi adds, “We also look at labor in each department to ensure it is tracking as projected.”  GGA observes that labor expenses are typically the largest category of expenses for facility operators, with benchmarks generally ranging from 52-58% of total expenses for public, semi-private, and resort facilities and slightly higher at 55-62% for private member clubs.

Astute financial management starts with the key information boards require to make sound decisions. Crifasi’s meticulous approach and proactive relationship with his board has helped to simplify an area that other managers can often find complex, providing a financial foundation for the long-term success and stability of NOCC.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of this top-performing manager, four-point approach to financial interaction with board members will provide an invaluable process to work from:

  • Collect and analyze the key financial information
  • Organize the financial details in ready-to-use formats that facilitate comparative analysis
  • Back up the data with detailed department analysis
  • Be ahead of the information curve

Folding Multiple Plans Into One

There’s an old saying about plans – more specifically about the lack of a plan: “Without a plan, any path will get you there.” We wholeheartedly agree with that adage, but acknowledge a flip side that raises a question that many diligent planners confront: How to effectively integrate multiple plans into one comprehensive and cohesive plan that guides your overall operation?

The analogy that comes to mind is the challenge facing airlines with thousands of passengers on any given day, each trying to get to his or her destination. The airline has flight plans for hundreds of aircraft and tries to mesh all of those planes and flights into a fairly seamless plan to get you where you want to go. Most days it works, but not without a lot of coordination.

There are three stumbling blocks that derail effective planning efforts: 1) lack of coordination among stakeholders and contributors, 2) poor scheduling and time management for due diligence and preparing materials, and 3) confused or confusing desired results. These three project killers diminish the quality of the overall plan and undermine the credibility of the planning team.

For golf course and facility leaders, the challenge is considering the information gathered through market analysis, financial evaluation and board input alongside the plans of superintendents and those managing food and beverage, membership and financial operations. And then bringing all the information, insights, recommendations and plans together to support the club’s or facility’s objectives. For managers of each of these functions, the same challenges exist, if only on a smaller scale.

If you’re currently in your planning cycle, and charged with pulling discrete plans and input together so the end product doesn’t feel disjointed, consider these five steps:

1. Sync every plan to the vision.

No matter which area of the club or facility the plan is focused on, it should clearly map to the overall vision – the club or facility’s long-term, forward-looking aspiration, what we like to think of as an organization’s North Star. You should be able to see this in the plan’s objectives and priorities. With multiple workflows, the project leader must maintain an overall understanding of the project and ensure all plans are headed for the same airport, even if they’re taking different runways.

2. Outline specific steps along the way.

Define project milestones, the steps that will help you get there at a predetermined time and those responsible. Schedule regular check-in meetings to make sure all pilots have their planes headed in the same direction. It’s much easier to make mid-course corrections than to wait until all planes have landed and plans submitted.

3. Designate one holding place for project inputs and research.

See that all team members participating in the project planning process have transparent access to information and a full understanding of progress. Lacking a central repository of project information, important pieces of information can be misplaced, overlooked or lost. This also helps projects from getting siloed and managers feeling isolated.

4. Prioritize workflow.

On expansive projects or ones that involve multiple contributors, establish which components are most critical to the overall project plan. This step enables effective planners to allocate time, financial and human resources. Sequential planning guides the team in accomplishing mission-critical tasks and components.

5. Maximize productivity through careful scheduling.

If a golf course superintendent is preparing an agronomic plan, for example, it is important to make sure each assistant and technical expert is scheduled to deliver information in a timely manner. Stagger the timelines, monitor the cross-disciplinary dependencies, and eliminate duplications and redundant production.

Most managers have broad responsibilities and must combine resources to produce comprehensive and workable plans. Developing a disciplined process for research, input and development is the key to successfully landing all of your plans and making sure they support the same vision and goals.

This article was authored by GGA Partner Henry DeLozier for Golf Course Industry Magazine

Executive Search: General Manager at The Willows Golf & Country Club


The Willows Golf & Country Club is looking for a General Manager to join us for an un-fore-gettable experience.

The Willows Golf & Country Club, a semi-private residential 27-hole golf course, is looking to hire for the position of General Manager. Reporting to Dream, the ownership group, the successful candidate will be responsible for all aspects of the Club. They will be the leader of our four departments: Golf Operations, Turf Care, Food & Beverage, and Administration. The General Manager is responsible to lead the team in delivering professional innovative service to our Membership and promoting a culture of excellence. The candidate must possess demonstrated leadership, financial, business, and strategic skills which are necessary to manage the facility.

The Willows is about to undertake the next phase of the residential build out and the General Manager will work with Dream to ensure a smooth transition for all stakeholders.

Wondering what this General Manager position entails?

As a General Manager you lead the entire team and set the tone for success at the Willows. Here are a few of the duties, we will discuss more in person:

  • Works closely with Dream to ensure responsible and focused governance, process/practices, efficient day-to-day operations in all departments, and adherence to short/long term goals.
  • Ensures the highest standard of quality, service, and member and guest satisfaction are met.
  • Develops and closely monitors annual budgets; manages facilities, course conditions, and capital projects.
  • Continually stays current on progressive management developments within the club industry and ensures the owners and Senior Management Team are informed of how such changes can enhance Club performance.
  • Directs the strategic planning process in conjunction with the owners.
  • Oversees creative, innovative promotions, and communications.
  • Proactively develops strategies related to the attraction and retention of Members.
  • Maintains a high level of presence at the Club during regular and special events, becoming well known and highly approachable to staff, Members, and guests.

Does that sound like you? Here are some of the qualifications we hope you bring to the table:

  • A proven track record as a Senior Manager/Supervisor at a premier facility.
  • A 4-year degree and/or CCM/CCE designation preferred.
  • Progressive leader with a strategic mindset; demonstrated ability to execute with a collaborative approach.
  • Excellent team leader with strong leadership and management skills with the ability to inspire staff.
  • A self-motivated, hardworking individual with a professional image.
  • A strong golf background, preferably with an excellent profile in the golf industry.
  • Excellent computer and presentation skills and ability to communicate at a very high level.
  • Ability to deliver extraordinary service to Members, guests and employees.

The Club will offer an attractive compensation package, commensurate with experience, which includes a competitive base salary, bonus, and other benefits.

Ready? Don’t just sit there – we wouldn’t want you to miss your opportunity to be part of The Willows team. Apply today.

Thanks for reading all the way through. We look forward to chatting with you!

The position becomes available in December 2019.

IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit resumes along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Friday, December 20, 2019.

Those documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Willows Resume” and “Last Name, First Name, Willows Cover Letter”) respectively to: execsearch@globalgolfadvisors.com and attention to Michael Gregory, Director.

Michael Gregory
Global Golf Advisors Inc.
(416) 524-0083

For more information on The Willows Golf & Country Club: www.willowsgolf.com.