Executive Search: CEO/GM at The Toronto Hunt

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER/GENERAL MANAGER
THE TORONTO HUNT
Toronto, ON

 

The Toronto Hunt:

The Toronto Hunt (“the Club”) has been in operation for over 175 years. The Club has one of the finest locations in the Greater Toronto Area, with a spectacular setting and unrivaled vistas on the bluffs overlooking Lake Ontario. It is truly a hidden gem in the heart of the City of Toronto. The Club has an exceptional 9-hole golf course, fabulous dining, one of the most successful private club wine societies in Canada and a warm and congenial membership.

The 2019 strategic plan for the Club begins with the statement “The backdrop to this plan is the continued understanding that we are first and foremost a golf club.” Our vision is “To be a club of choice for our members and their guests, and to offer a golf and social experience of the highest quality.” The Club has consistently maintained a strong financial position and high governance standards. There is a membership waiting list.

The golf course has been ranked as the best 9-hole course in Canada and 35th in the world. The Club has 525 golf members. A state-of-the-art golf centre with four simulators was added in 2020 enabling year-round member enjoyment and instruction opportunities. The number of available golf memberships is limited to ensure the preservation of the Club’s long-standing tradition that no starting times are required for play at any time.

The Club has a robust, year-round food and beverage operation. Serving tens of thousands of meals annually, the clubhouse provides member dining and also serves member-sponsored functions including weddings. The Club also has 300 social members who, along with golf members, enjoy a variety of activities including a wine club, wine tastings, book club, bridge, cooking lessons, yoga, wellness events and frequently scheduled guest speakers.

The Toronto Hunt is seeking a Chief Executive Officer/General Manager (CEO/GM) who is dedicated to the Club’s vision “To be a club of choice for our members and their guests, and to offer a golf and social experience of the highest quality.”

The Position:

Reporting to the Board of Directors through the President, the role of the CEO/GM is to manage Club operations in accordance with the strategic, financial and operational direction set by the Board. The CEO/GM shall serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Club, manage all aspects of the Club including activities and relationships between the Club and its Board of Directors, members, guests, employees, community, government and industry. The CEO/GM is the leader of the Club’s management team and is responsible for managing all facets of the Club’s operations.

The CEO/GM will be responsible for the following:

  • Developing and delivering a consistently excellent member experience commensurate with specified member expectations and in keeping with a premier private club.
  • Properly managing all aspects of the Club’s activities to ensure and maintain the highest standards and quality of activities and services provided by the Club and to ensure a high level of member satisfaction.
  • Developing and implementing best-in-class and industry-leading operating policies, programs, procedures and methods and directing the work and promoting the development of all department managers.
  • Monitoring long and short-term financial objectives and reporting; and, in consultation with the Board, Finance Committee and Controller, preparing and executing the financial plan for the Club, developing annual operating, cash, and capital budgets and preparing and making financial reports for the Board.
  • Establishing personnel policies, initiating and monitoring policies relating to personnel actions, and overseeing training and professional development programs. Acting as a mentor to Direct Reports.
  • Coordinating the development of the Club’s long-range strategic and annual tactical plans consistent with the Club’s long-term strategic direction.
  • Welcoming new Club members, and “meeting and greeting” all Club members as practical during their visits to the Club. Coordinating the marketing and member relations program to promote the Club’s services and facilities to present to potential members. Developing ongoing dialogue and rapport with members and being present at all major Club functions.
  • Incorporating succession planning by preparing staff for key leadership roles.
  • Ensuring compliance with all legal and regulatory matters affecting the Club.

Direct Reports:

Assistant General Manager, Director of Golf, Golf Course and Property Manager, Controller; Facility Manager, Executive Chef and Executive Assistant/Membership Secretary.

Candidate Profile:

The CEO/GM will report to the Board of Directors through the President. Given the leading role this individual will play in achieving the strategic and business objectives of The Toronto Hunt, it is essential that the successful candidate possess the following core competencies, experience and attributes:

Leadership Skills:

  • A trustworthy, dynamic leader with the ability to build strong teams by motivating staff and leading by example. Has the ability to provide direction and expectations, continuous performance feedback and recognition that leads to positive outcomes to enhance member experiences through inspiring department managers and employees. Exhibits leadership skills in team building, employee motivation and service training and is respectful and professional in all interpersonal dealings.

Standard of Care:

  • Thorough understanding of and capacity to consistently deliver exceptional standards of service commensurate with a premium private club.
  • Ability to set and maintain high standards for all facilities, services and communications.
  • Analytical with the ability to use data effectively in reviewing revenue and cost centres.

Interpersonal/Fit:

  • Demonstrates integrity and ethical conduct in words and deeds; embodies the characteristics of a successful leader through honesty, straightforwardness, accountability, leadership, and dedication.
  • A self-starter with a results-oriented workstyle combined with excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills demonstrated with all the Club’s stakeholders.
  • Demonstrates energy and a desire to interact with the membership.
  • A confident, diplomatic and competent professional who is a “doer” and a take- charge person who recognizes the importance of accountability.
  • Strong professional deportment with a clear commitment to member service through an open and transparent member approach while maintaining a professional balance between empathy and process adherence.

Business/Finance Skills:

  • An entrepreneurial style combined with a background in all aspects of business management including business development, finance, information technology, human resources, risk management and performance management.
  • A strategic thinker with strong business acumen.
  • Experience managing complex capital projects.
  • Direct experience with golf and hospitality businesses.
  • Incorporates succession planning by preparing staff for key leadership roles.

Education:

  • A post-secondary degree in business or a related discipline is preferred.

Experience and Accreditation:

  • Previous experience as a senior leader at a private golf club or other similar top tier golf facility, with a passion and understanding of what it means to have a premium golf club experience.
  • Experience in the hospitality industry beneficial.
  • Experience reporting to a Board that has adopted a club governance structure and processes to lead the Club and CEO/GM to success.
  • Evidence of continued professional development.

Note: The position is currently vacant.

Compensation:

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

Inquiries:

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 Thursday, February 18, 2021. Those documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Toronto Hunt Resume” and ‘Last Name, First Name, Toronto Hunt Cover Letter”) respectively to: execsearch@ggapartners.com.

George Pinches, Director and Michael Gregory, Partner
GGA Partners, Inc.
execsearch@ggapartners.com

 

For more information on The Toronto Hunt please visit torontohunt.com.

Executive Search: Director of Golf Course at Cherokee Country Club

DIRECTOR OF GOLF COURSE
CHEROKEE COUNTRY CLUB
Knoxville, TN

 

The Club

Founded in 1907, Cherokee Country Club is a private, member-owned country club which has a long tradition dedicated to enriching the lives of its members and their families by providing the finest in dining, social, and recreational interests in a private club environment.

Cherokee Country Club is recognized as one of Knoxville’s greatest assets, featuring a classic, elegant Clubhouse, top-quality athletic and social activities, and a golf course designed by the legendary Donald Ross.

The Club’s goal is to promote and elevate golf so that the pursuit of the game is an important part of members’ lifestyle and recreational pleasure. Cherokee offers golf at its finest and is truly an exceptional golf experience for all levels of players. A classic 18-hole Donald Ross links-style course opened in 1907 and is supported by golf facilities that include an extensive golf shop, practice range, practice putting and chipping green.

Members are afforded access to the most prestigious tennis facilities in East Tennessee. The Club is home to nine outdoor and four indoor courts in addition to an outstanding pro-shop and each court is accentuated by a beautiful east Tennessee Valley view.

Recognizing the growing emphasis of a healthy lifestyle, Cherokee strives to provide the ultimate fitness and wellness experience through its fitness center and health program, which is operated by Performance Training, Inc. (PTI). Members enjoy a comprehensive health and fitness experience through a variety of services which include personalized training, group exercise classes, nutrition coaching, physical therapy and rehabilitation, as well as fitness assessments and consultations.

The Cherokee Aquatic Center and Overlook Bar and Grill offer a fun and safe gathering place for children and adults alike. Featuring both a family and a competition pool, the resort-style facilities were recently renovated to include kids’ entertainment zones and a pool bar. The Family Pool includes zero-entry access, Baja shelves, shade sails, slash fountains, and an adult lounge area. The competition length pool is wonderful for swimming, lap and severs the competitive Cherokee Swim Team.

Cherokee provides a wide selection of dining venues to accommodate members’ dining needs and the experienced culinary team is one of the finest in the Southeast. Whether it’s a quick bite to eat in the Pub, or dinner with the family in the Sequoyah Room, the Club’s talented staff are there to make sure all of members’ dining needs are met.

Since its inception, Cherokee has been the recreational home for generations of families and the Club’s story is about more than brick and mortar; about more that golf, swimming, bowling, and tennis; and about more than bridge, music, and social events. Cherokee Country Club’s story is about the hard work and hearts of generations of people, people who stand together, play together and work together.

Cherokee Country Club Overview

 

  • 914 Members
  • Initiation Fee (Resident Member Golf: $40,000)
  • $15M Gross Volume
  • $5.0M Annual Dues
  • $4.70M Gross Payroll
  • Average age of members is 58
  • Greens: Bent Grass
  • Fairways: Bermuda
  • Tee Boxes: Bermuda/Zoysia

The Director of Golf Course Position

The Director of Golf Course reports to the General Manager/COO and coordinates with the Greens Committee Chair on a regular basis. The Director of Golf Course implements the policies established by the Board of Directors and the Club’s bylaws. He/she develops operational policies and is responsible for the creation and implementation of standard operating procedures for all areas.

The Director of Golf Course is the lead catalyst for driving excellence in the golf experience and establishing standards for agronomic practices are critical part of the position. The Director of Golf must facilitate an environment where staff is involved and enthusiastic, with open communication and respect for themselves, members, guests and the property.

The Director of Golf Course should have a strong presence and seek to be highly visible to the membership and staff. They set the tone of pride in setting the course conditions for a first-class golf experience.

Primary Duties

 

  • Responsible for all phases of Golf Course Maintenance and Agronomic operations and related personnel.
  • Works closely with, advises, and coordinates with the Head Golf Professional on any issues related to golf course maintenance.
  • Plans and assists in the direction, construction, and maintenance of the grounds.
  • Plans and assists in the design of landscape plans for facility grounds and implements the plan.
  • Administers and enforces all Club rules, regulations, and policies for staff.
  • Supports and assists with membership seminars and orientations as applicable.
  • Works closely with the General Manager/COO and Board to operate the Golf Course in a fiscally responsible and professional manner.
  • Must be able to work independently and be a self-starting problem solver.
  • Provides technical, operational, and safety training for employees to ensure that staff is working within OSHA, club safety, state and federal guidelines for safe working conditions.
  • Oversees subordinates in proper and safe operation and maintenance of mechanical and power equipment. Plans and budgets for additional or replacement capital equipment.
  • Supervises and participates in the application and recording of chemical applications (fertilizers and pesticides) on the Club’s grounds in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Supervises and controls all maintenance expenses associated with Golf Course Operations, including payroll, supplies, chemicals, and fertilizers.
  • Develops an annual operating budget and plans for maintenance and capital improvement projects.
  • Maintains, records, and completes required reporting which includes ordering parts, supplies, and equipment as needed.
  • Schedules maintenance practices around member play and outings to maximize efficiency and minimize disruption to members.
  • Coordinates snow removal and winter maintenance activities when necessary.

Knowledge & Skills Required

 

  • Knowledge of management and maintenance of greens, fairways, and roughs.
  • Knowledge of use and operating standards of equipment and tools used in golf course construction and maintenance work.
  • Skill in recruiting, supervising, training, monitoring, evaluating, and motivating personnel.
  • Interpersonal skills to resolve conflict resolution professionally.
  • Knowledge of safe use, mixing, and application of chemicals and commercial products.
  • Knowledge of the game of golf, golf rules, and methods of play.
  • Ability to anticipate personnel, equipment, and material requirements related to golf course maintenance and repair assignments.
  • Ability and knowledge to lay out irrigation patterns, drainage patterns, construct tees and/or greens.

Candidate Qualifications

  • 5-7 years’ experience as a Golf Superintendent or 1st Assistant
  • 2-year Degree or Certificate in Turf Management (or related field, like agronomy, horticulture, plant science, soil science).
  • Advanced computer skills required for financial reporting and control of operations, including use of Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Valid Driver’s License.
  • Certification by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America is preferred.

Note: A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required. The position is available February 3, 2021.

Salary & Benefits

Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The Club offers an excellent bonus and benefit package.

Inquiries

IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit résumés along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Wednesday, February 3, 2021.

Documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Cherokee DOGC Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Cherokee DOGC Resume”) respectively to: patrick.delozier@ggapartners.com. Please e-mail résumé with references.

 

Lead Search Executive
Patrick DeLozier, Director
GGA Partners
(501) 258-2911
patrick.delozier@ggapartners.com

 

For more information about Cherokee Country Club, please visit cherokeecountryclub.com.

GGA Partners Expands Research & Survey Capabilities with the Addition of Experienced Hospitality Research Professor

Dr. Eric Brey, PhD, joins GGA Partners as a Director to bolster consumer research capabilities

TORONTO, Ontario – GGA Partners has expanded its portfolio of services for private clubs, public golf courses, residential communities, resorts, municipalities and hospitality clients with the addition of an experienced research mind and acting hospitality educator.

Dr. Eric Brey, PhD, a researcher and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, School of Hospitality Leadership, has joined GGA Partners as its newest director to expand the firm’s research efforts.

Dr. Brey’s research expertise will strengthen GGA’s capabilities in customer feedback and market research, both of which are core services for GGA. One of the many expanded offerings the addition of Dr. Brey supports is 3-Factor Theory Analysis designed to provide a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the touchpoints that have the greatest potential to impact customer and member satisfaction.

professional headshot of Dr. Eric Brey, PhD
Dr. Eric Brey, PhD

Recently, Medinah Country Club engaged Dr. Brey to conduct 3-Factor Theory Analysis using the raw survey data collected by GGA. “Identifying the touchpoints important to our members provided tremendous insight across our entire operation” stated Medinah Country Club General Manager Robert Sereci. “Clubs will benefit greatly by using this methodology to pinpoint opportunities on which to focus enhancement efforts to achieve the highest level of enjoyment for their members.”

In addition to enhanced customer satisfaction analysis, Dr. Brey’s vast experience in consumer research will provide expanded opportunities for survey interpretation, managed customer feedback, third party performance monitoring and analysis of existing client data to support GGA’s strategic planning and business intelligence services.

“The synergies created by combining GGA’s expertise in research and strategic planning with the knowledge and experience I bring to consumer research are exponential,” commented Dr. Brey. “Together we will be able to assist golf, club, resort and municipal operators with more detailed and comprehensive data analysis that will enhance their ability to make strategic decisions and improve their operational efficiency and customer experience.”

“Research is a cornerstone of our firm and consumer satisfaction is just one component of GGA’s capabilities in this space. Dr. Brey will play a key role in elevating GGA’s industry leading research, and will apply research best practices and new methods to develop even stronger insights for our clients,” commented GGA Partner Michel Gregory. “As a firm we are working to develop an all-encompassing approach to measuring real time, periodic, and long-term consumer feedback that will benefit a wide range of clients in the private club, resort and hospitality industries as well as municipalities who own golf and leisure assets”.

 

About GGA Partners

GGA Partners™ is an international consulting firm and trusted advisor to many of the world’s most successful golf courses, private clubs, resorts, and residential communities. We are dedicated to helping owners, asset managers, club and community leaders, investors and real estate developers tackle challenges, achieve objectives, and maximize asset performance.

Established in 1992 as the KPMG Golf Industry Practice, our global team of experienced professionals leverage in-depth business intelligence and proprietary global data to deliver impactful strategic solutions and lasting success. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

About Dr. Eric Brey, PhD

Dr. Brey earned his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Stout School of Hospitality Leadership. In 2006, he earned his PhD from Purdue University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Dr. Brey spent six years at the University of Memphis, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality Management before joining the University of Wisconsin-Stout, School of Hospitality Leadership in 2012. In his current role, he serves as professor and chair of the school, teaching marketing, strategy and customer analytics courses, and conducting research on consumer-centric strategy.

Dr. Brey has published numerous peer and refereed journal papers, written industry white papers and book chapters, received many recognitions and honors and has conducted applied research for the United States Golf Association. Recently, Dr. Brey completed a research study for the USGA identifying more than 1,000 touchpoints golfers can have throughout their experience that impact satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The results of the research will provide insights to help operators gain a firm understanding of what customers need and how to meet and exceed those expectations.

 

Media Contacts:

Michael Gregory, Partner
GGA Partners
416-524-0083
michael.gregory@ggapartners.com

 

2021 Predictions on the Shape of the Next Normal

When we were introduced to COVID-19 in March 2020, no one had any indication that ten months later the number of cases and its toll on society would continue to rise. The introduction of a vaccine is promising, but the road ahead remains filled with uncertainty as to when the next normal will arrive – and what shape that normal will adopt.

Since its inception, GGA Partners has traveled the globe working with private clubs, golf courses, investors, real estate developers, resorts, municipalities, and financial institutions. This has provided unique insight into the state of golf, private club, and leisure businesses from many different perspectives.

We have observed that even before the coronavirus pandemic, significant change was underway across the private club landscape. As we prepare for the “new normal” the thought leaders at GGA sat down to predict what they believe is coming in 2021 and beyond.

1. COVID-19 accelerates change already afoot in governance

According to Senior Partner Henry DeLozier, the change brought on by the pandemic is going to necessitate even more rapid change in governance, which GGA has seen clubs struggle with this past year.

“In corporate America, the concept of stakeholder capitalism was at the forefront in 2020 and that has transcended to the private club space,” commented DeLozier. “We’re hearing members across the private club spectrum questioning why they do not have a larger voice in their club and how board selections, as well as decisions, are being made.”

Private clubs that do not have current and effective governance will suffer from decreased member satisfaction and a constant churn of its membership base.

2. The capability to communicate effectively and efficiently will be key

Linda Dillenbeck, GGA’s director for the firm’s communications practice, stated that there continues to be a need to assist clubs in their efforts to communicate effectively and efficiently.

“It is basic human nature that people do not like change,” said Dillenbeck. “To minimize the disruption of pending changes, it is incumbent upon the management team and board of directors to clearly communicate the what, how, and why of their decisions then allow members to voice their opinions. This provides the level of two-way communication members are demanding.”

In addition to communications about club finances and capital improvements, clubs need to improve the use of the data they have collected to provide tailored communications to members. For example, notices about evolving restrictions on golf events should only be sent to those who play and those about activities for families with children don’t need to be sent to empty nesters.

Beyond member communications, clubs that will be successful in 2021 will be those which can retool and refine their external communications to ensure the message of what truly makes the club unique is presented clearly.

3. Greater work flexibility will impact club utilization in new and challenging ways

Report after report has trumpeted the tremendous increase in rounds played during the pandemic. According to GGA Director John Strawn, that is in large part due to work-from-home adaptations which are providing greater flexibility in how and when employees complete their daily tasks.

“People have more control over their work lives,” said Strawn. “Golf experienced fewer restrictions during the pandemic and that has brought out many new and fringe players leading to full tee sheets at both private and public golf courses.”

Full tee sheets are causing negative feedback from those who play more frequently as there is a belief that those not paying full dues are taking coveted tee times. To solve the problem, Strawn predicts clubs will need to revisit their strategies and ultimately their business models more frequently to ensure they are meeting this new and different demand effectively. Flexibility will be critical until the long-term impact on golf demand is better understood.

While clubs continue struggling to ensure fair and equitable access to the tee or courts while accommodating increased demand, Senior Associate Andrew Milne added that clubs should expect that best practice solutions may shift regarding reservations and tee sheet management to include lottery systems and Chelsea systems to ensure dissatisfaction among members is minimized. Understanding that new reservation management approaches may change the value proposition for members, a clear plan and message acknowledging this, and for measuring and adapting the approach as the future becomes clearer, will be important.

4. Clubs must better understand what women want from their club

According to the National Golf Foundation, while only one in five golfers are women, females represent a disproportionately higher percentage of beginners (31%).

Women ease into the game for a variety of reasons; to spend time with their family, to compete, to be outdoors, and to enjoy the support, community, and socialization. As these women age and consider joining a club, they will choose the clubs that shape programs, staff, activities, and offerings to blend the female competitive group with the group that is more interested in the social community.

“We’ve known for some time just how important the role of women and the family dynamic is regarding the decision on whether to join a private club,” commented GGA Director Murray Blair. “For clubs to succeed in 2021 and beyond, they will need to understand how women are impacting the decision-making process and implement the necessary adjustments to make them feel welcome, whether they play golf or not.”

5. Operational efficiencies gained during the pandemic will carry forward in 2021, and their challenges will too

Among the most remarkable takeaways from 2020 was the ability for clubs to adapt their operations and service offerings swiftly and effectively in the face of facility closures, variable human resource availability, and rapidly changing restrictions for public health and safety.

Contactless payments, varying tee time intervals, and pace dispersion tactics are pandemic-inspired efficiencies which GGA Associate Andrew Johnson predicts will continue.

Adding to the list, GGA Director Ben Hopkinson expects clubs will become more efficient at managing grab-and-go meals, take-out dining, and mobile ordering, following the best practices of companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash.

New ways of operating have also brought about new challenges, some of which will persist into 2021 and require even more new solutions to be generated at clubs and courses.

GGA Senior Associate Andrew Johnson expects that the increased costs associated with COVID-19 mandated protocols such as labor for sanitation and cleaning, as well as elevated maintenance expenses due to increased rounds, will remain through 2021.

Clubs that effectively determine what increased interest and golf participation means for facility accessibility, program creation, membership categories and associated privileges will find increased membership satisfaction and interest from new prospects.

6. The pandemic’s impact on club finances will remain uncertain, expect to see more measurement, flexibility, and experimentation

Despite successful adaptations in club operations and economic relief opportunities afforded by governments and municipalities, the full extent of the pandemic’s economic impact will remain varied across club types depending on business structures and market areas.

GGA Senior Manager Martin Tzankov, remains concerned about the financial position of many clubs and believes the brunt of the economic impact has yet to be seen.

“The reliance of clubs on dues increases and capital assessments has been particularly apparent this year and may have stretched the value proposition too far for some,” stated Tzankov.  “2021 will show the clubs where a clear and present value proposition is being presented to members, who in turn, will continue to pay the cost of belonging.”

GGA Partner Derek Johnston believes there are clubs that will be able to increase pricing and sustain the increases in the long-term and there are clubs that will overshoot the mark. Johnston expressed concern that some clubs may move joining fees too high, too fast; golf businesses may move their green fees too high, too fast; and some may move away from tee sheet management practices too quickly.

“Nobody knows what’s coming.  If clubs have experienced less attrition than in the past, it may be due to members being unwilling to give up their safe sanctuary, but when things begin to stabilize post-vaccine that may not persist,” he explained.  “I believe that a portion of the historical attrition hasn’t been abated, just held back.  There will be increased attrition over the next 12-24 months and there may not be the same demand there to replace those who leave, especially as other social and lifestyle pursuits become more widely available again.”

2021 will be a time for clubs to experiment.  A measured, flexible approach to joining fees and dues will be a prudent approach this year.

7. A club’s success will in part be driven by its sum of parts in 2021

Craig Johnston, a partner and head of GGA’s transaction advisory practice, emphasized that the success of clubs during and following the pandemic will in part be driven by its sum of parts. Johnston explained “A private club may include a fitness center, retail store, several restaurants, a golf course, and a marina. The pandemic has impacted the utilization and thus success of all those ‘parts’ differently, and therefore the overall success of the club will largely be dependent on the club’s product or shall we say parts mix.”

“Every club is going to be different depending on its type of business and the operations which comprise it, the extent and variability of pandemic-related changes means that comparatives are going to need to be refined,” continued Johnston.  “Clubs that understand and appreciate the challenges and successes of the various parts of their business will be in a better position to realign and optimize heading into the ‘new normal’.”

8. The movement of people and relocation of companies will reshape markets

Our news feeds have been full of stories about high-profile people and companies moving out of California into Texas, as well as the movement of bankers to Florida from New York. If looking at this as a trend, you might imagine seeing increased need and greater attrition among clubs in the California and New York markets and, conversely, excess demand for clubs in markets like Texas and Florida.

According to GGA Manager Alison Corner, it will be important for clubs to understand the movement of people – not just the movement away from major urban centers and into the suburbs, but also the movement of companies and the actual physical locations of corporations – because they may have drastic impacts to how certain club and leisure businesses perform over the next 5 – 10 years.

Clubs that are mindful of these relocation trends will help themselves to recognize and either seize new opportunities, or mitigate future risks.

What Are You Doing to Develop Future Leaders?

One of the most important responsibilities for managers is developing the next generation of leaders and preparing them for the professional challenges they will face. The most obvious way to develop leadership qualities is simply to pay your knowledge forward by identifying the most important lessons you’ve learned — often the hard way — and passing them on to your team.

That responsibility starts with acknowledging that agronomic knowledge is simply table stakes. Knowing how to grow turf and keep it healthy is expected of anyone in the superintendent role, and most up-and-coming turf managers come to the job well prepared. GCSAA educational programs and the generous teaching of consulting specialists and suppliers go a long way in helping to lay this foundation. Certainly, the college of hard knocks provides its lessons as well.

But what lessons will you teach your assistants and crew members? And how can you help prepare them for their next opportunity to move into more responsible positions? In addition to making yourself available as a mentor, you can also broaden your own knowledge by paying attention to what your most respected peers consider their priorities. Here are suggestions from two of the best in the business.

Bill Cygan is the exceptional young superintendent at Silver Spring Country Club in Ridgefield, Connecticut. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Bill spent six years as an assistant at Innis Arden Golf Club in Greenwich and another six years caring for the West Course at Winged Foot.

Build strong relationships and communicate often.

“This is not easy and doesn’t happen overnight, but the stronger your relationships are at the club, the smoother the ride will be, especially during times of adversity,” Bill says. “Relationship building should include department managers — especially the golf pro, controller and general manager — as well as certain key members of the club, including the green chairman and treasurer, who can be important allies.”

Trust your teammates.

In addition to the administrative leaders with whom a successful superintendent works, Bill adds, “Be sure to build a strong team responsible for the daily golf course maintenance operations.” The strength of the team is your strength.

Carlos Arraya, the assistant general manager at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, began his career as a golf course superintendent and over two decades has grown into a key leadership position at one of America’s finest clubs, having hosted the 100th PGA Championship in 2019. Carlos teaches several key points of focus:

Lead the way.

“Understand your leadership style and voice,” he says, adding that managers who favorably influence the next generation of leaders practice mindfulness, leaving their ego at the shop door, putting the interests and needs of their crew ahead of their own and recognizing a job well done. Further, he recommends continue evolving as a leader to best handle the needs of a changing workforce.

Be present.

Some managers are overly focused on the next job, but Carlos counsels: “Focus on being great in your current role.” One can never know too much; by the same token, one can never know everything, so don’t pretend that you do.

Hone your own character.

Superintendents and managers of all descriptions work in the proverbial glass house. The key to being effective at each level is understanding that one is setting an example for others up and down the organizational chart. “Know the difference between an excuse and a reason,” he says. “And don’t fall into the trap of professional jealousy.”

Rely on science.

“(Superintendents) are trained in the scientific method. But sometimes we overreact and are too quick to make a decision,” he says. Club and course managers can pressure superintendents, especially when times are tough, to have immediate answers. “Be deliberate, rely on the science.”

Developing young people into experienced and highly effective crew members, ones who will one day lead their own operations, is one of the most important jobs of any superintendent. And only when you lose some of your best people, when they move on to the top job at another club or course, you will know that you’ve been successful.

This article was authored by Henry DeLozier for Golf Course Industry magazine

Executive Search: Assistant General Manager at Hampton Hall Club

ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
HAMPTON HALL CLUB
Bluffton, SC

 

The Club:

Located in the heart of Bluffton, SC, the Club at Hampton Hall Club and Community is much more than a collection of amenities. The Club experience is focused on bringing people together – friends, family, members and guests – and it’s designed to evolve and adapt to the membership’s wants and needs. No one element exists on its own: the golf blends seamlessly with dining and the same is true for the tennis and pickleball program and the fitness center. Each piece relies on the other, and they all come together to form what the community calls the Total Experience. One that can be shared with the whole family and is the source of cherished memories again and again.

Hampton Hall Club and Community is a lifestyle community with 944 private residences. The stunningly unspoiled natural beauty of Hampton Hall’s private links-style golf course from legendary architect, Pete Dye, is a thrill to behold – in the early morning or late afternoon, from the tee box, the fairway, or simply walking through the neighborhood. A comprehensive golf practice facility allows members to work on their game before they play and the full menu and bar at Pete’s Grill gives them a place to celebrate after.

Members hit the courts to enjoy a variety of racket sports including tennis and pickleball. The tennis program is designed to appeal to newcomers and seasoned players alike, the friendly head professional focuses on not only improving members’ game but helps them learn to enjoy it more as well. A full calendar of clinics, mixers, and socials provides ample opportunities to meet new players and make new friends. The bocce and basketball courts are accompanied by a children’s playground to accommodate the large family demographic in the community.

Every amenity is designed for the entire family to enjoy, especially the Club’s lakeside zero-entry pool – a year-round resort-style poolside vacation where families, children, and grandchildren swim, play, and dine at the Splash Café in the summer. Plans are in place to expand all of these amenities for the future.

Conveniently located next to the swim and tennis complex, Hampton Hall’s state-of-the-art, full-service fitness center offers everything members need to live well. Whether they prefer swimming laps or lifting weights, they enjoy a quality workout in a clean, friendly facility staffed by experienced sports trainers and fitness instructors. Spa and massage rooms offer a full array of facials and massages by appointment. The 14,000 square foot fitness center offers a full-line of exercise equipment, personal training, fitness instruction, and a variety of daily group fitness classes. Within the facility is featured a 25-meter indoor pool for laps, swim lessons, water aerobics, and free swim.

At the heart of the community is the beloved Clubhouse, a 24,000 square foot gathering place where members meet up with friends, play cards and mah-jong, host a community club meeting, plan an event, or simply pass the time together.  The Club offers multiple dining rooms for every family or friend-filled gathering, from the formal Brasserie dining room, with vaulted ceilings and intricate wood detail, to a cozy spot in the Tavern Bar or Library room for a more casual atmosphere. The Club also boasts one of the largest ballrooms in the area for significant life or member events. Indoors, outdoors, big or small, whatever in the need, all are welcome at the Community Clubhouse.

Once you exit the gates of the Community, there is adventure that stretches out in every direction of Bluffton: shops and festivals, a stroll down Old Town Bluffton for eclectic shops and galleries, or excursions on the river and historic tours to see where yesterday meets tomorrow. Hilton Head beaches are a bridge away.

Hampton Hall Club Overview

 

  • 944 Members (Golf: 300)
  • Initiation Fee (Resident Member $6,000, Golf $5,000)
  • Annual Dues (Resident Member $4,383, Golf $5,440)
  • $7.50M Gross Volume
  • $3.90M Annual Dues
  • $1.27M Annual Golf Dues
  • $1.0M F&B Volume
  • $2.44M Gross Payroll
  • 78 Employees
  • 7 Board Members
  • Average age of members is 65

The Assistant General Manager Position:

The Assistant General Manager is ultimately responsible for all clubhouse, food and beverage, fitness, aquatics, tennis, and facilities operations daily, including the general housekeeping over these areas. The Assistant General Manager is responsible for all aspects of the operation in the absence of the General Manager and performs specific tasks as requested.

This managerial position works closely with, and reports directly to, the General Manager/COO, and provides quality leadership and contributes to the positive atmosphere of the Club and associated operations. He/she will also prepare annual department budgets in concert with the GM/COO.

The AGM will enhance the “club culture” and is responsible for the dissemination of hospitality, friendliness, and goodwill among members, guests and staff. His/her goal is always to help members and guests enjoy the facilities, recreation amenities, and events of the Club. In addition to building relationships with Club members, guests, and employees, he or she provides support to the respective committees and advisory groups as well. Being the “public face” of these operations with a hands-on approach and an understanding that full member and staff engagement is critical to success in this position.

The AGM consistently provides anticipatory hospitality along with superb dining and other food and beverage experiences for the Club’s membership and their guests. Alignment with the Executive Chef is very important to this position to ensure collaborative, innovative, harmonious relationships between front and back of house operations.

Primary Responsibilities

Member Services:

  • Consistent sincere and significant engagement of members, highly visible to members and staff in the dining areas of the club is of premium importance. The AGM is ultimately responsible to ensure that all member dining and club events are well-conceived and executed along with all amenities.
  • Provide quality leadership in a positive and upbeat manner for the members, guests and staff.
  • Create and maintain a first-class service culture throughout the club property and its amenities.
  • Address and resolve all member and guest complaints and suggestions, general service, employee attitude, maintenance, and presentation of the clubhouse operations.

Employee Relations:

  • Oversee the recruiting, hiring and development of clubhouse and recreational amenity personnel.
  • Oversee ongoing training programs complete with up-to-date training manuals to ensure exceptional service in all parts of the club’s operation.
  • Provides for training and future development of all subordinate managers and supervisors subject to budget approval by the General Manager/COO. Instill the concept of being “team players” in all employees. Continue to coach, counsel, and evaluate departmental staff.
  • Ensures that a positive spirit and healthy work environment exists throughout the club operations, one that is free of safety risks and all forms of employee harassment.
  • Maintain an effective communication program where employees are treated in a fair, structured and consistent manner.
  • Function as an administrative and communication link between departments in the club.
  • Guarantee that all clubhouse employees are regularly trained and certified in areas that help guard the safety and well-being of our members, guests and other employees including, but not limited to responsible alcohol service, safe food handling, etc.
  • Help to facilitate a team environment with morale, high ethical standards and efficient use of resources to position Hampton Hall Club to be a preferred employer of choice in the community.

Financial Management:

  • Works jointly with the Controller and General Manager/COO to prepare the annual operating and capital budgets for all clubhouse and recreational operations, assists in managing and controlling the operations to attain the desired results.
  • Monitors the budget each week/month and directs the taking of corrective action as necessary to assure that the budgeted goals are attained.
  • Provides input to all clubhouse and recreation personnel regarding annual budgets, capital spending plans, fiscal controls and operational guidelines.
  • Responsible for all labor cost payouts and maintains them within the constraints of the budget and through close coordination and with approval from the General Manager/COO and Controller.
  • Monitors payroll records to control overtime and maintain labor costs within budgetary guidelines.
  • Supervises the purchasing, receiving, safekeeping and disbursement of operating supplies and equipment to maximize quality and profitability.

Personnel Management:

  • Displays very hands-on approach and leads the staff by example. Must be approachable to staff, members and guests.
  • Assists the General Manager/COO in developing and implementing long-range (strategic) and annual (business) plans, operating reports, forecasts and budgets.
  • Works with Human Resources to develop long term staffing needs for area of responsibility.
  • Responsible for the hiring, discipline, termination and documentation of all clubhouse and recreation staff.
  • Reviews all accidents, works with HR and Safety Committees in completing accidents reports and implementing improved procedures.
  • Attends meetings of senior management and carries out directives because of these meetings and any other requests of the General Manager in a timely manner.
  • Serves as an ad-hoc member of appropriate club committees and advisory groups.
  • A warm personality, a sense of humor and the ability to work effectively with all levels of the internal staff and members.
  • Works with Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Team to develop P&L statements prior to each event, makes appropriate notes following events and files information for future use.
  • Works with Executive Chef on menu development.
  • Works with the F&B Team to organize and market special club events with guidance of the Social Advisory Group.
  • Furthers his/her own continued development as a club management professional as a member of CMAA. With the assistance and approval of the General Manager/COO participates in appropriate seminars/training programs, thereby enhancing his/her value and quality of services to Hampton Hall Club.

Operational Responsibilities:

  • Understands and abides by Hampton Hall Club policies and departmental procedures. Suggests changes and may direct the implementation of change.
  • Provides content for and manages communications and marketing materials for department.
  • Assures that the Clubhouse operations and Recreational amenities are run in accordance with all applicable local, state and federal laws.
  • Ensures that the club’s preventive maintenance and energy management programs are on schedule and in use.
  • Disseminates information effectively and coordinates activities between departments on a timely basis.
  • Keeps the General Manager/COO informed of all potential problems and activities related to the smooth operation of the clubhouse and recreation amenities.
  • Oversees inventory management throughout departments and completes a periodic china, glass and silver inventory to maintain par levels.
  • Coordinates and approves all entertainment in consultation with the Food and Beverage Team and others.
  • A sharp eye for detail in the overall management of the operation.
  • Responsible for regularly reporting of performance and financial data, i.e. weekly report to General Manager/COO.

Direct Reports

Executive Chef, Food and Beverage Team, Dining Services Manager, Social and Events Director, Director of Facilities and Common Grounds, Sports and Recreation Director, Tennis Professional, Housekeeping.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressive leadership and management experience in a private club environment.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in Hospitality Management or Business.
  • Certified Club Manager (CCM) or in active pursuit of designation preferred.

Note: A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required. The position is available January 18, 2021.

Salary & Benefits:

Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The Club offers an excellent bonus and benefit package including CMAA membership and continuing education.

Inquiries:

IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit résumés along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Friday, February 5, 2021.

Documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Hampton Hall AGM Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Hampton Hall AGM Resume”) respectively to: patrick.delozier@ggapartners.com. Please email résumé with references.

 

Lead Search Executive
Patrick DeLozier, Director
GGA Partners
(501) 258-2911
patrick.delozier@ggapartners.com

 

For more information about Hampton Hall Club, please visit hamptonhallclubsc.com.

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