Derek Johnston of GGA Partners serves as expert resource in new podcast series exploring the CMAA 2020 Finance & Operations Report
The Club Management Association of America (CMAA) is the leading professional association for managers of membership clubs. With nearly 6,800 members across all classifications, CMAA manager members run more than 2,500 country, golf, city, athletic, faculty, yacht, town and military clubs. The objectives of CMAA are to promote and advance friendly relations among persons connected with club management; to encourage the education and advancement of its members; and to assist club officers and members, through their managers, to secure the utmost in efficient and successful operations.
CMAA’s research efforts have grown exponentially over the past several years, increasing the depth and breadth of information available to CMAA members and the broader club industry. In the Summer of 2020, CMAA released its updated competencies for the club management profession which featured the addition of data analytics as a core competency. Today “the numbers” are more important than ever and understanding what they mean, identifying trends, and deploying them for informed management decision-making is no easy task.
As a long-time CMAA Business Partner, GGA Partners has been called upon to assist members of the Association in exploring the recently released 2020 Finance and Operations Report – a detailed report of key financial and operating data from the club management industry which is based upon confidential surveys completed by 357 clubs in 2020 and includes a compilation and analysis of club finance and operations data.
In January 2021, CMAA launched a new micro-podcast series to help to bring the numbers to life, make them understandable, and give them context. In each of installment of the five-part series, Derek Johnston, CIA (Partner, GGA Partners) and Phil Newman, CPA, CIA (Partner, RSM) feature as expert resources to elucidate the significance of the research findings, expound the implications on club management, and translate the best practice application of these insights to club operations.
Johnston and Newman sat down with CMAA’s Melissa Low, CAE (Senior Director, Communications and Government Relations) and Kyle Jennings (Manager, Communications) to conduct the first in the series, a full-length podcast to introduce the series and provide an overview of club finance and operations.
Listen to the first podcast, below, for an overview of the series and dive deeper into the research in future episodes which will become available here and on the CMAA Soundcloud page. Subsequent episodes feature shorter “micro-pods”, 15-minute episodes focused on one of four key areas highlighted by CMAA in their Executive Summary.
Part 1: Introduction & Overview
Full-length podcast, 45 minutes
Using a methodical approach, the series begins with a high-level discussion about the Executive Summary of the report, the value of the research findings, and possible ways managers can use the financial and operational data in their roles.
“Take a look at your audited financial statements. What’s the first page? It’s the balance sheet…This is the most important financial statement,” explained Phil Newman. Listen to the second episode in the series to find out why understanding capital is so important in club management.
It has been said that golf facilities have been one of the unintended and lucky beneficiaries of situational and environmental changes brought on the coronavirus pandemic. But what does it mean for club operations and what changes should be expected in the new normal? Tune into the third episode in the series to find out.
The fourth installment in the series hones in on that which all clubs have – members. That is, until they don’t. Hear from the experts on membership attrition and why membership numbers are such a key driver on financial outcomes for club businesses.
The last installment in the series dives into the Personnel section, exploring how the interrelated components of dues, operations, and membership impact personnel considerations, staffing philosophy, and levels of service. “It’s really important to make sure you’re tracking all the different lenses through which you can look at your labor force,” said Derek Johnston. Listen in for more insights.