From Private Club Leader to Private Club Advisor

Connecting my technical background to leadership development

Growing as a professional has meant different things to me at various times in my career. After business school, my focus for growth centered around academic achievement and professional accreditation – becoming certified as a CPA, CA, and then a CCM. As my career developed, I have transitioned to focusing on the development of my team even more than myself. My focus has shifted from technical expertise to leadership, which is a change that I quite enjoy and am proud of. Prior to joining GGA Partners in 2022, my career had two distinct chapters – first, my professional practice as a public accountant and then my work running a premier private golf and country club. My career path accurately represents who I am, a self-proclaimed adrenaline enthusiast with a strong penchant for accounting!

Navigating through a pandemic

Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge, to say the least, but it has not been without it’s benefits. In the first year of the pandemic, I was operating a golf and country club. I felt a tremendous sense of responsibility to members and staff to deliver an exceptional experience in a safe way, even more so because it was our last year of operations following the sale of the club’s land and buildings. The highlight for me that year came from watching my team rise to the many challenges. I am tremendously proud of what we accomplished under truly extraordinary circumstances. As hard as it has been, I am optimistic that some of the changes forced upon us due to COVID-19 may be for the better – whether that’s the flexibility that comes from a hybrid work environment, the rapid acceptance of various new technologies, or the understanding that it’s better to stay home when you are feeling sick. With a young family at home, I am grateful to have had more time to spend together, even under very unusual circumstances.

Using my financial expertise to drive growth for private clubs

“My role as a Director at GGA Partners bring me immense joy, one of my core values. The opportunity to apply almost 20 years of professional accreditation and leadership experience in an industry that focuses on one of my own core values is a huge benefit, and I am thrilled to be able to share it with clients.”

GGA is the perfect fit for my skills and interests, and I get immense satisfaction out of advising private clubs, drawing on my background as a private club manager and from my technical expertise.

I am able to learn something new from each engagement, whether from the client, our team, or both, which keeps the work exciting and fresh. I can participate in a wide variety of engagements, from governance and strategic planning to operations and financial management, so there is never a dull moment.

Currently, I am conducting financial modelling for a prominent private golf club, a valuation exercise for a well-known golfing brand, and providing professional training through the Club Management Association of Canada.

More about me

I am a mom to three young, busy kids who keep me on my toes. Our family values time together through shared experiences, usually self-propelled and outside, like cycling, skiing, golf, team sports and hiking.

Liz McDowell is a Director at GGA Partners. You can reach her at