Executive Search: General Manager for The Georgian Peaks Club


General Manager
The Georgian Peaks Club
Thornbury, Ontario

The Club

For over 60 years, the Georgian Peaks Club (the “Peaks”) has been providing exceptional experiences for Southern Ontario’s most active families in a safe and rewarding environment. The Peaks provides the highest, longest, and most challenging terrain in the province including some of the best intermediate and beginner runs for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities. The Peaks has 750 member families who enjoy 3 lodges, 5 lifts and over 24 runs. Here you will find the only ski area in Southern Ontario with enough vertical to hold a F.I.S. sanctioned Giant Slalom race and, our best-in-class Alpine programs are recognized across North America, consistently turning young athletes into Olympians.

The Peaks is located on the shores of Georgian Bay, 12 kilometers west of Collingwood and 5 minutes from Thornbury. Downtown Toronto is less than 2.5 hours away.

The Position

Role Summary

The General Manager (“GM”) is responsible for the execution of all strategic plan initiatives while fostering a culture of continuous operational and experiential excellence. Reporting to and working with the Board of Directors, this individual will bring the Peaks vision to life. The candidate’s willingness to take on bold challenges along with strong leadership and strategic capabilities, ensures the success of the Club while protecting its fiscal integrity.

Direct Reports

  • Director of Finance
  • Director of Alpine Programs
  • Director of Outside Operations
  • Director of Food and Beverage
  • Membership and Guest Services Manager
  • Membership Experience Manager

Position Responsibilities

The GM will be responsible for the following:

  • Oversee the complete operation of the Club in accordance with the direction and vision established by the Board and all applicable local and federal laws.
  • Build and maintain excellent relationships with members, staff, local government officials, leaders of other private ski clubs, etc.
  • Lead, coach, direct and mentor the management team which will include setting annual goals and objectives, performance evaluation and accountability.
  • Oversee the creation, approval and execution of annual business plans, annual budgets, annual capital plans and long term strategic and capital plans.
  • Provide an active presence at the club and be highly visible to the membership and staff.
  • Troubleshoot day-to-day operating challenges in a timely manner.
  • Oversee the Club’s, health and safety, security, and risk management programs – protecting members and employees as well as physical assets.
  • Responsible for communicating effectively with the Board, in a timely and accurate manner, providing necessary information for the Board’s fiduciary and oversight responsibilities (e.g., monthly reporting).
  • Work with the Board and its Committees and serve as a liaison between the Board, staff, and membership.
  • Maintain familiarity, knowledge and compliance of all Club by-laws, health and safety legislation, insurance, T.S.S.A Regulations, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, etc. and assure standards are met.
  • Continuously strive to improve member and guest experience.
  • Oversee the new membership development initiative. Set and achieve targets for new membership numbers.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate member expectations through effective communication practices. Create a communication strategy including frequency, content and requests for feedback.
  • Solicit member feedback through pulse surveys.
  • Create, obtain approval for, and execute short and mid-term strategic plans.

Candidate Profile

  • Minimum of 10 years experience of progressive leadership and management experience in a private club environment or related field.
  • A University or College Degree/Diploma in Hospitality Management, Business Management, Ski Resort Management or a related field.
  • Exceptional leadership skills with proven success at leading teams.
  • Excellent relationship management skills with the ability to build, grow and cultivate new and existing relationships.
  • Experience partnering with a Board of Directors.
  • Exceptional near term and long-range strategic thinking and planning capability
  • A ski or snowboard enthusiast.
  • An experienced visionary and transformational leader who can lead, coach, and motivate staff to take bold actions.
  • Strong team player with an orientation to take initiative. Flexible, adaptive, and able to execute a range of job duties and changing priorities. Ability to successfully handle multiple complex priorities concurrently.
  • Ability to work in an environment where unanticipated changes in demands often necessitate a change in priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality, professionalism, and diplomacy.
  • Ability to organize and manage projects, adapting as needed to changing priorities and deadlines, emerging issues, impacts of decisions, competing and conflicting demands, and to keep staff, colleagues and the Board informed as required.
  • Strong judgment, interpersonal, problem solving and influencing skills.
  • Strong conflict resolution skills.
  • Possess excellent verbal, written and presentation skills.
  • Possess professional maturity, sensitivity and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Club’s core values.


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


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 June 18, 2023. Those documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Georgian Peaks Resume” and “Last Name, First Name, Georgian Peaks Cover Letter”) respectively to: execsearch@ggapartners.com.

Lead Search Consultant: 






Michael Gregory
Managing Director & Partner
GGA Partners™


For more information on The Georgian Peaks Club, visit https://www.georgianpeaks.com/


Leveraging Personality Research to Find Club Leaders

As the club industry continues to evolve following the COVID-19 pandemic, many clubs are facing the challenge of finding the next great Chief Operating Officer/General Manager (COO/GM).  The increase in retirements, a constrained talent pipeline, and the change in expectations of work-life integration contribute to an increasingly challenging talent acquisition environment.

Many clubs will turn to search firms to help find the right leader for their club. As part of the process, most firms conduct an introductory inquiry into the functional aspects of the position by identifying the requirements and the unique knowledge, skills, and abilities the club needs. While this is an important introduction to the position’s basics, it doesn’t necessarily identify the often hidden and interrelated needs unique to the club and the membership. To successfully conduct an executive search, a deeper understanding of the position is often necessary.

Using a research-based approach creates deeper, data-informed insights to target suitable candidates and enhance the success of the search.  In developing an understanding of the position and the club itself – its traditions, culture, and future aspirations – a more targeted approach can be used to locate the right candidate. This is accomplished by engaging multiple stakeholder groups at a club to identify the right candidate pool, attracting potential hires and correctly assessing fit, and placing a candidate with the best opportunity to help move the club forward.

Unlike traditional, industry connections-first processes focused on managerial skillsets, research can further clarify the unique considerations of each club to find suitable candidates. Examining the personality required of future leaders creates a depth of insight to help build the managerial environment, meet the members’ expectations, and position the club for long-term success.

Personality tests, which have been widely used for decades, are based on the four temperaments identified by Hippocrates:

  • supportive personality traits (e.g., supportive, thoughtful, considerate).
  • inspiring personality traits (e.g., persuasive, inspiring, personable).
  • driver personality traits (e.g., results-oriented, independent, ambitious).
  • analytical personality traits (e.g., systematic, structured, logical)

Unlike personality tests applied to potential candidates, GGA emphasizes the importance of the club’s expectations and environment to identify suitable candidates. This process includes pinpointing the specific operational skills and personality traits needed to be successful in the COO/GM position.  After meeting with the governing board and search committee to understand the specifics and unique considerations of the position, a multi-step research process is undertaken. This includes engaging staff and member stakeholder groups to help identify the right criteria for the position. We continue to collaborate with the club during the extensive interview and placement process, continuing through and past the placement as part of the extensive executive search process.

Our research in COO/GM executive searches has found that the most preferred personality traits relate directly to the need for leaders to demonstrate key components of empathy. Being personable is one of the most mentioned personality traits, followed by needing a professional demeanor and showing effective leadership characteristics.  Being friendly is also important, along with the need to have a natural ability to communicate with members and employees alike. Most importantly, these attributes are distributed across all four groups of the personality traits mentioned above (supportive, inspiring, driver, and analytical), indicating the need for balanced leaders that demonstrate an effective mix of personality traits.

While more than 35 personality traits have been identified as important, there is a high degree of overlap and alignment between the staff and membership (e.g., each group sees professionalism as incredibly important). However, differences also emerge between these two groups. Being friendly was the members’ most important inspiring personality trait while compassion was most important for employees. These differences demonstrate how each group’s preferences are driven by their interaction with the COO/GM (e.g., employees want a leader to show compassion, whereas members want a friendly leader). Personality traits also differ based on the club’s current needs, culture, and other dynamics identified during the search process.

While basic research can identify the unique needs of each club and even potential differences between stakeholder groups, a more detailed process paints a much deeper picture of what is required. Take professionalism, for example.  Everyone knows professionalism when they see it, but how does professionalism relate to other personality traits? Using our advanced analysis techniques, results indicate that professionalism is not simply a construct that exists on its own. When searching for a club leader, professionalism must be demonstrated across multiple other traits, such as how candidates listen, communicate, and how they establish approachability. Crucially, the importance varies across other personality traits, indicating clubs are looking for professionalism as related to some areas more than others.

Like leadership abilities and functional skills, personality is essential for a club to find its next successful COO/GM. Understanding the importance of and interaction between supportive, inspiring, driver, and analytical personality traits is an area that clubs, search committees, and potential candidates would be wise to focus on. While detailed research can help clubs understand unique needs, clubs and candidates should consider that when working with a search firm that emphasizes personality traits as part of their process, they will both be put in a better position to succeed.

Using a research process that goes beyond leadership skills and industry knowledge needed for a position allows search firms to:

  • Truly understand the needs of a club to help identify candidates with the best opportunity for success based upon the culture, situation, and specific stakeholder needs.
  • Understand what specific personality traits are essential for each club and how these behavioral considerations differ.
  • Go beyond the closely cultivated network of contacts looking to transition to seek out passive candidates who are not looking to change but could be interested in a position that aligns with who they are.

If you would like to learn more about our Executive Search services can help your club find its next club leader, please get in touch.

Michael Gregory, Managing Director & Partner
Contact Michael

Dee Anna Clarke, Director
Contact Dee Anna

Dr. Eric Brey, Ph.D.
Contact Eric