GGA Partners and Vivid Club partner to strengthen management excellence for private clubs

New joint partnership helps supports the advancement of clubs around the world.

Toronto, ON, July 27, 2022 

As private clubs work to keep pace with rapidly changing business landscapes, shifts in member access and utilization, heightened workforce challenges, and the untapped potential of data, there is a need now more than ever to monitor and effectively implement strategies and streamlined processes. As part of their new international alliance, GGA Partners and the team at Vivid Club and Vivid Leaf have partnered to deliver advanced mindshare collaboration technologies designed to help clubs transform and lead.

Vivid Club provides clients with a fully integrated goals and objectives management system with pre-populated Balanced Scorecard templates and 360-degree feedback surveys and performance evaluation functionality. The platform also offers a file share system and a Club Social Responsibility section showing all initiatives clubs have in place for their employees, their community, the environment and their partners. The purpose is to optimize collaboration and ensure the alignment of all contributors towards the joint vision of the club.

Vivid Leaf is the real-time club sustainability platform, following the triple bottom line approach of sustainability: profit, people, planet. Vivid Leaf is helping clubs to advance on their journey to becoming fully sustainable and carbon neutral. All aspects of a club’s ability to have an effect on the three sustainability pillars are considered. The club’s carbon footprint is calculated as well as automated alerts are sent for unusual spikes in usage.

The Vivid platforms are also helping clubs to strengthen their operational and managerial processes for the future through artificial intelligence (AI), automation and monitoring tools that are built with private clubs in mind. With clubs from all over the world contributing in a mind-share fashion, the Vivid platforms improve on an ongoing basis, all available to every club on the platforms.

GGA will leverage the unique features of the Vivid platforms in the design of strategic actions plans, help clients use the platforms to monitor the implementation of strategy and continue to be the source of data-driven strategic solutions that consider the unique market, financial, operational and governance circumstances of each club.

“We are thrilled about our partnership with GGA Partners to better serve the club industry. Combining GGA’s experience and expertise in data and analytics, financial and operational analysis, surveying, governance, and strategic planning with state-of-the-art, easy-to-use, club mind-share and artificial intelligence driven technology, clubs have a framework at hand that supports their sustained success.”

Bettina von Ruexleben, Chief Executive Officer, Vivid Club and Vivid Leaf

“To adapt and respond to the ever-changing club industry, and the evolving expectations of members, it is imperative that clubs diligently plan, monitor, transform and evaluate their strategies, goals and objectives.  This is why GGA Partners is increasingly focused on helping clients to innovate and grow. Our new partnership with the Vivid Club and Vivid Leaf team is now more important than ever as we continue to help clients successfully implement important strategies for their long-term sustainability.”

Derek Johnston, Partner, GGA Partners

About Vivid Club and Vivid Leaf

The Vivid platforms are developed for the club industry in close cooperation with visionary club leaders. Supported by the team of the Brodtmann Consulting Group they focus on enabling clubs to easily share their thoughts, templates and initiatives with each other to learn and optimize collaboration as well as their sustainability progress. The Vivid team is located in Cologne, Germany as well as Denver, CO, Atlanta, GA and Naples, FL.

For more information, please visit www.vivid-club.com and www.vivid-leaf.com.

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. The firm is 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. GGA Partners has offices in Toronto, Ontario; Phoenix, Arizona; Bluffton, South Carolina; and Dublin, Ireland. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

Board Room Best Practices

In partnership with the National Club Association (NCA), we are pleased to release the inaugural issue of Club Governance, a publication focused on the fundamentals for effective club leadership developed to provide key insights into pressing board room issues and outline board room best practices to effectively govern your club.

In our inaugural issue, Henry DeLozier and GGA’s governance expert Fred Laughlin, discuss the following topics:

Three Keys to Effective Governance: Who Serves on the Club Board?

A Model for Club Governance: Policies and Practices of High-Performing Boards

How to Build a Board of Directors: Selecting Your Dream Team

Building Accountable and Transparent Boards: The Board’s Path to Excellence

Gaining Governance Consistency: How to Reduce the Annual Speed Bump

A Case Study of Good Governance: Greensboro Country Club

NCA members will receive Club Governance semiannually as a special insert in Club Director magazine. Through our partnership with NCA, we are making each publication available to our valued clients.

Read or download Club Governance here

A print version of Club Governance is available to GGA Partner clients. If you would like us to send one, please provide your name, club name and mailing address via email to linda.dillenbeck@ggapartners.com.

Mid-Year Predictions for the Second Half of 2021

At the start of the new year and in the spirit of planning, the thought leaders at GGA Partners sat down to predict what we believed to be coming throughout the year and shared our 2021 Predictions on the Shape of the Next Normal. Now, halfway through 2021 with the spring season in the books and summer underway, we reconvened GGA leaders for a mid-year check-in on predictions for the latter half of the year.

1. Ensuring fair and equitable access to amenities remains top of mind, especially on the golf course

A trending topic throughout the industry is golf’s demand surge and how long it will sustain, much has been written on this point and those who are closely watching rounds played metrics anticipate a clearer reading by the end of the summer.

Stephen Johnston, GGA’s founding partner, expects that private clubs will see the surge continue to elevate rounds played by members which will likely increase issues relating to compaction of tee traffic and accessibility.  He predicts the benchmark regarding average number of rounds per member to be higher by approximately 10% following the pandemic and also increased golf course utilization by members’ spouses and family members.  Both factors will create a greater demand for tee times at private clubs.

Johnston believes some clubs may need to consider permitting round play by fivesomes instead of foursomes, potentially catalyzing logistical challenges such as a greater need for single-rider power carts in order to maintain speed of play at the same rate as foursomes with all players using power carts. For club managers and course operators, this entails an increased need for current and detailed evaluation of the benefits of membership and the relationship between playing privileges and the practical ability to book a tee time and get on-course.

2. Effective demand management is key and will shift from agile, flexible approaches to new operating standards as demand stabilizes

During the pandemic and throughout 2020, many golf, club, and leisure businesses recognized the increased need to more accurately and routinely measure the utilization of amenities, adapting operations management to react quickly to change.

Craig Johnston, head of GGA’s transaction advisory practice, anticipates an evolution in this one-day-at-a-time, agile monitoring approach into a new and more formalized standard of operating procedures.  “At the start of 2021, we said we would see clubs provide flexibility and experiment with various operational changes,” he explained.  “With the pandemic feeling like it’s steadily moving toward the rear-view mirror, members will be expecting clubs to begin instituting the ‘new normal’ operations and the data compiled by clubs in the first half of the year will be critical to deciding on the new normal.”

Johnston believes that membership demand will continue to be strong through the second half of the year and that it is likely utilization will reduce marginally as members begin travelling again for work and social obligations.  Even with a marginal reduction in utilization, demand for private club services will remain strong and will continue to put pressure on capacity and access in most clubs.

Senior Partner Henry DeLozier encourages club and facility operators to embrace short-term continuations of high demand while keeping an eye on the future and the non-zero probability of a demand shift in the coming years.  “Clubs must create pathways to sustain demand while navigating utilization volume.  It is unwise to place hard or irreversible limitations on capacity while clubs are at historic maximums for demand and usage,” cautioned DeLozier. “Clubs will do well to establish a clear understanding of demand and utilization to enable innovative programs which serve to fill periods of low demand in the future.”

3. Ongoing uncertainty about the pandemic’s long-term impact on club finances will increase the review and reevaluation of club financial projections to ensure sustained budget flexibility

While data regarding utilization, participation, and engagement throughout the summer months continues to be captured and consolidated, business leaders should not delay their financial planning and instead get to work on reevaluating finances and updating their future forecasts.

“Now is the time to review, evaluate, and reset club debt levels,” emphasized Henry DeLozier. “Clubs need to recast financial projections based upon elevated joining/initiation fees arising from high demand.”

In support of alacrity in financial planning, DeLozier notes that labor shortages spurred by the pandemic will increase payroll-related costs at a material level. He also predicts that comprehensive risk review is needed at most clubs to evaluate possible impacts arising from cyber-crime and/or declining club revenues during 2022.

Beyond internal shake-ups in utilization or operations, club leaders should be anticipating external impacts that could impact their financial plans.  A hypothetical example raised by DeLozier is if the U.S. economy were to become more inflationary.  In such a circumstance he believes clubs would see an increase in the costs of labor and supplies which would necessitate increases in member dues and fees, a deceleration of new-member enrollments as consumer confidence dips, and a slight slow-down in housing demand.

Right now, uncertainty remains with respect to the virus as well as the resulting economic impact from the pandemic. From a financial standpoint, clubs will do well to advance their forward planning while retaining budget elasticity.  “It will be imperative for clubs and boards to build flexibility into their budgets and agility into their operations,” added Craig Johnston.

4. Existing governance practices, policies, and procedures will be revisited, refurbished, and reinvigorated

A litany of new ways of operating and governing the club arose as a result of the pandemic, some of which suggest an efficacy that can be sustained in a post-pandemic environment.  Essential to assimilating these adaptions into new standards of procedure is a review of existing governance practices and the documentation which supports them.

“At a time when boards can measure the full range of financial performance metrics, updating club governing documents is a primary board responsibility,” noted Henry DeLozier.  “Board room succession planning must be formalized to prepare clubs for the inevitable downturn from record high utilization.”

In considering the nearly overnight adoption of technology tools to enable remote meetings and board-level deliberations, partner Michael Gregory noted a substantial increase in the use of technology tools that go beyond virtual Zoom meetings.  “The pandemic has allowed clubs to test online voting,” he explained.  “For many clubs, once things return to normal, their bylaws won’t allow for the continued execution of online voting unless they make changes.”

“We have seen the adoption and implementation of online voting to be a huge success for the clubs who have tried it for the first time,” said Gregory. “Members love it, it’s easy, it’s convenient, it leads to higher participation from the membership, and many clubs are in the process of changing their governing documents to allow for online voting as a result.”  The challenges and opportunities of employing online voting are detailed in our piece on taking club elections digital, which features a downloadable resource that can be shared among club boards.

5. In human resources, expect to see deeper reevaluations of compensation structures and employee value propositions

Weighing in from across the pond, Rob Hill, partner and managing director of GGA’s EMEA office in Dublin, predicts that club leaders will face bigger challenges in human resources throughout the remainder of 2021.

The first of three particular items he called out is a reevaluation of compensation.  “Making decisions about employee pay is among the biggest challenges facing club leaders in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown,” stated Hill. “As they begin compensation planning for the rest of the year and into 2022, these leaders not only have to consider pay levels, but also the suitability of their mission and operating model to thrive in a post-pandemic world.”

Citing his recent experiences in the European market, Hill shared that club leaders are challenged with finding new ways to operate smarter and more efficiently, while also looking for innovative ways to implement sturdy, low-cost solutions that their employees will love.  Which leads to his second point, that there will be a renewed emphasis on what employees love and how clubs, as employers, can provide an enhanced value proposition for their employees.

“As employees get back to work onsite, employers are finding that what their people value from the employment relationship has changed,” Hill explained.  “Where pay has been viewed as largely transactional in the past, clubs may need to provide new types of benefits, especially programs that provide more flexibility, financial security, and empowerment to retain and motivate their people.”

Lastly, there is likely to be considerable movement of talent over the coming year brought on by employees’ new work-life ambitions and financial imperatives, said Hill, “As demand for their skills and experience grows, the very best talent will seek out employers that demonstrate they view employees not as costs but as assets and reflect this in their approach to compensation.”

Recalling our start-of-year prediction that the movement of people and relocation of companies will reshape markets, partner Craig Johnston added, “The relocation of people continues to be a prominent trend and one that is likely to continue in the second half of the year.”  For club employers, it’s not just the changing physical locations which impact the cost and supply of labor, but also the expectations of employees as they seek out competitive new roles and work experiences.

6. The repurposing and reimagining of club facilities, amenities, and member-use areas will continue

The pandemic pushed to the fore the need for clubs to adapt their facilities to match changes in the ways members use and enjoy their clubs.  A combination of practical evolutions for health and safety and circumstantial evolutions drawn from widespread ability for members to work remotely created increased desire for clubs to offer more casual outdoor dining options and spaces to enable members to conduct work while at the club.

Partner Stephen Johnston believes these sentiments will continue to near-term facility improvements at clubs.  “With more flexibility in the workplace and members working from home periodically, there will be a need at the club for members to do work or take calls before their tee time or their lunch date,” he said.  “It has been evident for some time that members generally prefer to enjoy outdoor dining and since, throughout the pandemic, it has become apparent that guests draw greater comfort in outdoor experiences, I see a greater demand for outside patio and food and beverage service.”

As society begins to reopen and communities begin to stabilize, time can only tell precisely how clubs will continue to evolve their operations, whether that be scaling back pandemic-relevant operations or doubling-down on new services and efficiencies.  Evident in our work with clients are significant efforts to reorganize club leaders, reevaluate operations, and retool plans for a successful future in the new normal.  Here are a few highlights of efforts clubs are making for the next normal:

 

  • Reinvigoration of governance processes and engagement of leaders to ensure alignment between boards and club strategic plans.
  • Renewed surveying of members to keep a pulse on how sentiments have changed from pre-pandemic, during pandemic, and currently as communities stabilize.
  • Enhanced adoption and application of electronic voting as clubs reevaluate membership structures, governing documents, and operating policies amidst “displaced” members.
  • Reconfiguring of budgets, capital plans, and long-range financial models.
  • Refinement and advancement of membership marketing strategies, tactics, and materials.
  • Tightening relationships between facility planning, capital improvements, and member communications campaigns.

GGA Partners Renews Legacy Alliance Partnership with the National Club Association

Top corporate partnership demonstrates GGA’s commitment to supporting the advancement of clubs nationwide.

(Washington, D.C., May 17, 2021) – The National Club Association (NCA) announced that GGA Partners Inc. (GGA) has renewed its corporate partnership with NCA at our top corporate partnership level, Legacy Alliance Partner, for three years. As a Legacy Alliance Partner, GGA will continue to provide industry-leading resources to NCA members in an effort to strengthen and advance clubs nationwide.

GGA is an international consulting firm and trusted advisor to many of the world’s most successful private clubs. Its global reach and wide-ranging experience allow its professionals to deliver proven best practices and innovative concepts to clubs of all types.

For NCA members, GGA will continue to be the source of data-driven strategic solutions that consider the unique market, financial, operational and governance circumstances of their clubs.

“We’re thrilled to continue to better serve the club community with industry leading education resources through this powerful partnership,” said NCA President & CEO Henry Wallmeyer. “GGA’s expertise in critical areas like market analysis, financial and operational analysis, governance, and strategic planning provides clubs of all kinds the framework they need for sustained success.”

“NCA serving as the foremost club authority on COVID-19 is emblematic of their visionary leadership throughout our partnership,” said GGA Partner Henry DeLozier. “We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership and eager to provide more value for the club community.”

As a Legacy Alliance Partner and lead sponsor of the NCA Board Leadership Institute, GGA will benefit NCA club members through numerous sponsorships, research and educational initiatives, including:

 

  • Hosting the Club Governance Symposium during NCA’s annual National Club Conference.
  • Sponsorship of NCA’s Board Leadership Institute, a leading resource for club board members.
  • Co-publishing a new joint periodical, Club Governance, to provide club leaders with industry data, case studies and best practices to improve club leadership, strategy and governance.
  • Sponsorship of NCA’s Club Governance Standards, a collection of whitepapers designed to educate and guide club boards on specific issues.
  • Presenting the Club Leadership and Governance Webinar Series focusing on improving the function of club boards.

 

About the National Club Association

The National Club Association (NCA) has been the advocate for the private club industry in Washington, D.C. for 60 years. As the voice of private clubs on Capitol Hill, NCA ensures that club concerns are at the forefront when legislative and regulatory issues affecting the industry are being decided. In addition, NCA provides club leaders an outstanding array of resources on club industry trends, governance best practices, legal and operational matters, and ways to strengthen club leadership. For more information, please visit nationalclub.org.

 

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. The firm is 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. GGA Partners has offices in Toronto, Ontario; Phoenix, Arizona; Bluffton, South Carolina; and Dublin, Ireland. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

Executive Search: General Manager/COO at Whitevale Golf Club

GENERAL MANAGER/CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
WHITEVALE GOLF CLUB
Pickering, ON

Whitevale Golf Club

With the first game enjoyed in 1958, Whitevale is a member owned, private golf club conveniently located in north Pickering, Ontario. We have a scenic championship golf course and a world class practice facility. Our sanctuary is surrounded by conservation lands to our east, west and south.
Completed in 2015, our state-of-the-art Clubhouse, designed by Richard Wengle, sits high on the landscape ensuring the perfect vantage point to awe inspiring views from all our dining, patio, and lounge areas. More recently, our Golf Operations and Turf Care Facility was completed in 2020.

Whitevale Golf Club provides an exceptional golf experience whether it is a casual round with family or friends or providing opportunities for members to compete and develop their game. Our course is our showcase, and it is conditioned to please and entertain members and guests alike.

The Position: General Manager & Chief Operating Officer

Whitevale Golf Club is seeking a General Manager and Chief Operating Officer who is dedicated to the Club’s Mission, Vision and Values. Reporting to the Board of Directors through the President, the role of the GM/COO is to manage Club operations in accordance with the strategic, financial, and operational direction set by the Board.

Guided by Policies and Bylaws, the GM/COO shall 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 GM/COO is the leader of the Club’s management team and is responsible for managing all facets of the Club’s operations.

Responsibilities:

 

  • Develop and deliver a consistently excellent experience to satisfy the members expectations in a private golf club.
  • Effectively manage all aspects of the Club’s activities and services provided by the Club to ensure a high level of member satisfaction and referrals to their family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Develop and implement innovative, industry-leading operating policies, programs, procedures, and methods. Direct the work of and support the development of all department managers.
  • In consultation with the Board and Finance Committee, deliver long and short-term financial objectives.
  • Prepare forecasts and executing the financial plan for the Club including development of annual operating, cash, and capital budgets. Preparing financial reports to the Board and Finance Committee.
  • Lead the Club’s human resources, including establishing, initiating, and monitoring personnel policies and overseeing training and professional development programs. Create an environment where staff wishes to return, and candidates want to join the Team. Act as a mentor to Direct Reports.
  • Coordinate and implement the strategies within the Club’s short and long-range strategic plan as created by the Long-Range Planning Committee and the Board.
  • Welcome new Club members, “meet and greet” all Club members as practical during their visits to the Club.
  • Coordinating the marketing and member relations programs to promote the Club’s services and facilities to present to potential members. Develop ongoing dialogue and rapport with members by being present at all major Club functions.
  • Ensuring compliance with all legal and regulatory matters affecting the Club.

Direct Reports:

Head Golf Professional, Golf Course Superintendent, Executive Chef, Food and Beverage Manager, Events Coordinator, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, Membership Administrator, General Accountant.

Qualifications

Candidate Profile:

The GM/COO will report to the Board of Directors through the President. Given the leading role this individual will play in achieving the strategic, business objectives and leading the continuing transformation at Whitevale Golf Club it is essential that the successful candidate possess the following core competencies, experience, and attributes:

Leadership Skills:

 

  • A trustworthy, dependable, and 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 with recognition that leads to positive outcomes. Fully engage and inspire department managers and their teams to enhance member experiences.
  • Exhibit leadership skills in continued team building, employee motivation and service training.
  • Is respectful and professional in all interpersonal dealings.
  • Proudly represent the Club to external groups.

Member and Guest Experience:

 

  • Thorough understanding of and capacity to consistently deliver exceptional standards of service as expected at a member-owned club.
  • Ability to set and maintain high standards for the golf course and all facilities, services, and communications.
  • Analytical with the ability to proactively use data in forecasting and managing revenue and cost.

Interpersonal/Fit:

 

  • Demonstrates integrity, ethical conduct in words and deeds; embodies the characteristics of a successful leader through honesty, straightforwardness, accountability, leadership, empathy, and dedication.
  • A self-starter with a results-oriented work-style combined with excellent verbal and written communication as well as interpersonal skills demonstrated with all the Club’s stakeholders.
  • Flexible and adaptable to changing needs in schedule demands & time commitments. There is an expectation this position will be present and visible at Club events.
  • Demonstrates energy with a desire to interact and build relationships with the membership.
  • A confident, diplomatic, competent professional who is a “doer”. A take-charge person who recognizes the importance of accountability and innovation.
  • A track record of strong professional results with a clear commitment to member service.
  • Interacts with an open and transparent approach with members while maintaining a professional balance between empathy and process adherence.

Business/Finance Skills:

 

  • An entrepreneurial style combined with a strong understanding of all aspects of business management including business development, finance, information technology, marketing, human resources, risk management and performance management.
  • Experience managing golf course operations and capital projects.
  • Values marketing (including digital) and its organizational impact.
  • Direct experience and understanding of the operation of a not-for-profit golf course including the hospitality aspects.
  • Incorporates succession planning by preparing staff for key leadership roles.
  • Efficient knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail and use of the Internet & social media platforms.

Education:

 

  • A post-secondary degree in business, hospitality or professional golf management credential is preferable.

Experience and Accreditation:

 

  • Experience as a senior leader in a private golf club environment or other similar top tier golf facility
  • A passion and understanding of what it means to deliver a private golf club experience.
  • Experience in the hospitality with an excellent understanding of food and beverage operations, including pricing, menu development, inventory management and costing.
  • Proven experience developing and managing budgets and business plans.
  • Experience reporting to a board that has adopted a club governance, structure, and processes to lead the Club and GM/COO to thrive.
  • Evidence of continued professional development.

Compensation

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

Application Process and Deadline

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, April 30, 2021. Those documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Whitevale Resume” and “Last Name, First Name, Whitevale Cover Letter”) respectively to: execsearch@ggapartners.com.

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

 

For more information on Whitevale Golf Club please visit whitevalegolfclub.com.

GGA Partners and USGA to Collaborate on Golf Course Superintendent Executive Search and Placement Services

New offering combines organizations’ expertise to improve golf facilities’ ability to deliver better playing conditions and enhanced golfer experience

BLUFFTON, S.C., and LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (April 14, 2021) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) will join with GGA Partners (GGA), an international consulting firm, to launch a new service to place top-notch golf course superintendent candidates at facilities across North America.

As part of its suite of advisory services, GGA has long provided executive search services for facility clients. The collaboration will expand the company’s offerings, with the USGA Green Section’s agronomic and maintenance expertise serving as key factors in targeting the unique needs of each golf course and identifying superintendents with matching skills who can help facilities elevate playing conditions, improve course presentation and foster sustainable practices.

“For any golf facility, the ability to hire the right talent is crucial for long-term success, and we believe in creating and maintaining partnerships with facilities,” said Patrick DeLozier, GGA’s managing director of executive search. “The stakes are higher than ever for facilities looking to hire superintendents, and they are looking for candidates with a wide variety of skills.”

Added Craig Johnston, a GGA partner: “The ability to complement our services in strategy, facility governance, finance and operations with the USGA’s agronomic strength will ensure that we can continue to support our clients with the gold standard in best practices, education, innovative products and research.”

The collaboration will allow the USGA to expand its reach and enhance its ability to inform best management practices for golf course maintenance, including resource prioritization. As part of its mission to champion and advance the game, the USGA is helping to ensure a sustainable game in which course managers are empowered to create a positive experience for their golfers.

“GGA’s values and business areas are strategically aligned with our mission,” said Matt Pringle, managing director of the USGA Green Section. “With this new joint service, we can find the best match between the needs of the golf course and the skill set of their next superintendent, while providing ongoing support to deliver outstanding playing conditions and improved golfer satisfaction.”

The joint service will utilize the USGA’s nationwide network of agronomists, whose extensive knowledge of the facilities and superintendents in their regions will be pivotal to the program’s success. They will work closely with DeLozier, who heads up the firm’s executive search practice.

To learn more, contact Patrick DeLozier at patrick.delozier@ggapartners.com or Elliott Dowling at edowling@usga.org.

 

About the USGA

The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via global set of playing, equipment, handicapping and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Associations, Research and Test center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.

 

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. GGA Partners has offices in Toronto, Ontario, Phoenix, Arizona, Bluffton, South Carolina, and Dublin, Ireland. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

Executive Search: General Manager at Richmond Country Club

GENERAL MANAGER
RICHMOND COUNTRY CLUB
Richmond, B.C.

 

The Club:

In 1951, a group of young Vancouver Jewish business and professional men purchased a nine-hole golf course in West Vancouver (Glen Eagles Country Club). They did this because there were few, if any, country clubs in the Lower Mainland who admitted Jewish members. In 1959, under the leadership of a small group of people from the Jewish Community, and with the support of many interested members, Richmond Country Club was created. The services of golf course architect, Arthur Vernon Macan, were engaged to build an outstanding course, with 5,000 new trees planted in a park-like setting. Since that time, the Club continues to attract a diverse group of members, who want to be part of an engaged social community; who are looking for family activity or an athletic outlet, and who want to get involved in a private club atmosphere.

In 1991, both the clubhouse and golf course were renovated with added amenities of the Fitness Centre and significant improvements to the swimming pool. Since then, a further renovation has taken place with many upgrades to our facility that included newly updated indoor (4) and outdoor tennis courts (4 – bubbled in winter), an updated fitness centre, heated outdoor pool and two renovated restaurants. The Club contributes to amateur golf and tennis by periodically hosting provincial and national events.

Our mission is to be one of North America’s most dynamic, full facility family Country Clubs while respecting and maintaining our core values and Jewish Heritage. Our values include Stewardship, Integrity, Respect, Fairness, Service, Leadership and Accountability, Innovation and Creativity.

The Position:

Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, the General Manager (“GM”) will guide and work with the Board in the development and implementation of Club policies, programs and strategy. The GM shall 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.

Richmond Country Club is seeking a GM who is dedicated to being the best and is willing to embrace the Club’s core values.

The GM will be responsible for the following:

Membership Experience:

  • Develop and deliver a consistently outstanding member experience commensurate with specified member expectations and in keeping with a premier private club.
  • Manage all aspects of the Club’s activities to ensure and maintain the highest standards and quality of activities and service provided by the Club to ensure a high level of member satisfaction.
  • Oversee the development and successful implementation of all marketing and member relations programs to both attract new members and foster positive relations with existing members and their guests.   Ensure all new club members are “met” and properly oriented to the Club.  It is important to be visible and accessible to our members.

Leadership:

  • Act as a catalyst in the development of a Strategic Plan that charts the future course of the Club. The plan will be updated on an annual basis and will act as the framework in which the Club is operated.  The achievement of the key objectives in the plan will be the primary responsibility of the GM.
  • Develop and implement an Annual Business Plan in the context of the Strategic Plan. Regularly update the Board on progress relative to both the Strategic and Annual Business Plans.
  • Maintain and develop a management philosophy that recognizes our people are a key part of the foundation of the Club’s success in delivering a great membership experience and competitive advantage.   Actively promote a positive work environment where teamwork is emphasized.
  • Develop and monitor Human Resource policies consistent with the Board’s desire to treat employees fairly at all times and be compliant with all laws and regulations.
  • Manage and clearly define direct reports’ goals and objectives.  Provide consistent feedback towards continuous improvement, and ensure appropriate personal development occurs, while incorporating succession planning for all key leadership roles.
  • Be visible and approachable to all employees.
  • Ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory matters affecting the Club.

Operational Excellence:

  • Develop and implement best-in-class and industry leading operating policies, programs, procedures and methods while directing the work and promoting the development of all department managers.
  • Monitor long and short-term financial objectives and reporting. In consultation with the Board, Finance Committee and Accountant, prepare and execute the financial plan for the Club that drives Club revenues and achieves the agreed upon financial results.
  • Monitor and stay current with industry trends and ensure Richmond Country Club implements improvements as required.

Communication:

  • Provide quality and timely communication with the Club’s President, Board, employees and members.  Working collaboratively with the Board, this position will take responsibility/ownership of all aspects of Club operations, and share in the Club’s overall success.

Direct Reports:

Assistant General Manager, Controller, Membership Director (vacant), Director of Racquets and Athletics, Food and Beverage Director, Head Golf Professional, Golf Course Superintendent, Facilities Manager.

Candidate Profile:

The GM reports to the Board of Directors through the President. Given the leading role this individual will play in achieving the strategic and business objectives of Richmond Country Club, 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.

Member Experience:

  • 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.
  • Leads our Commitment to Health and safety protocols and processes.

Interpersonal/Fit:

  • Demonstrates integrity and ethical conduct in words and deeds; embodies the characteristics of a successful GM through honesty, straightforwardness, accountability, leadership, and dedication.
  • A self-starter with a results-oriented work style 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, tennis, fitness and food and beverage businesses preferred.
  • 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 country club or other similar top tier facility, with a passion and understanding of what it means to have a premium country 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 GM to success.
  • A Certified Club Manager designation (CCM) is preferred.

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 Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Those documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Richmond Resume” and “Last Name, First Name, Richmond Cover Letter”) respectively to: execsearch@ggapartners.com.

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

 

For more information on Richmond Country Club please visit richmondcc.ca.

GGA Partners Opens East Coast Office in South Carolina to Support Continued Growth

Central location in the heart of golf country chosen to provide even better access to clients and applicants

TORONTO, Ontario – GGA Partners Inc., an international consulting firm and trusted advisor to golf courses, private clubs, resorts, and residential communities around the world, announced the opening of an East Coast office in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area, effective immediately.

Patrick DeLozier, Director

Patrick DeLozier, Managing Director of GGA’s Executive Search practice in the U.S. will manage the new office and continue to contribute his exceptional experience and expertise to the firms Strategy and Operations practice.

“Moving to the Hilton Head area will provide easier access to the clients we serve in the eastern United States,” commented DeLozier. “Our new location in the heart of East Coast golf and private club communities will expand our access to the top tier talent our clients demand.”

“Helping our clients source the right executive talent to successfully execute their strategic goals and objectives is a rapidly growing segment of our business” stated Derek Johnston, a partner in the firm. “Having an office in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area along with our western U.S. office in Phoenix, Arizona, increases our ability to remain connected to our clients and executive talent across the country, especially as pandemic restrictions continue to ease and the economy reopens.”

GGA’s approach to executive search is founded on the basis of partnering with our clients to support long-term success and sustainability. Our search professionals leverage the expertise within the firm’s Strategy & Operations, Research & Analytics, Governance, and Branding and Communications practices to ensure our clients have the resources to succeed.

“What separates a good organization from a great organization is leadership,” said DeLozier. “Our goal is to source the best talent for our clients and then support them in achieving success.”

 

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. GGA Partners has offices in Toronto, Ontario, Phoenix, Arizona, Bluffton/Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Dublin, Ireland. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

 

Media Contact:

Bennett DeLozier, Manager
GGA Partners
bennett.delozier@ggapartners.com
602-614-2100

The Three Keys to Effective Governance

Governance in private clubs can too often resemble what is seen on the evening news: factions, resentment, distrust, skepticism, cynicism. In troubled times, sound governance is essential.

In our continuing Whitepaper Series, Senior Partner Henry DeLozier highlights the three keys to effective governance and proactive steps leaders can take to address and improve it at their club.

 

 

Read our Governance Whitepaper

Executive Search: HR Director at The Boulevard Club

HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
THE BOULEVARD CLUB
Toronto, ON

 

The Boulevard Club:

For 115 years, there has been a place on the lakeshore devoted to athletic endeavour and a sense of community that is truly unique. It all started August 11th, 1905 when the Club officially started as the Parkdale Canoe Club, setting in motion the hundred plus years of history, activity and memories. The Club moved to its current location at 1491 Lakeshore Boulevard West only a few years later. There have been four fires that devastated the Club, a Great Depression and Two World Wars. Nothing has been able to stop the Boulevard Club in its pursuit of fun, fellowship and sportsmanship.

Today, the emphasis is on family activity as The Boulevard Club continues to keep pace with the dynamic of the world around us. The Club is a modern and vibrant organization offering swimming, tennis, fitness, group lessons and private, badminton, fencing, karate, boating – power and sail, and a full range of lakefront activities including stand-up paddle boarding, rowing, dragon boating and canoeing.

Vision Statement

Our Waterfront Oasis in the City

Mission Statement

Our Members are a Community on the Waterfront.
Inspired by our History, we Foster an Active and Social Environment.

The Position:

The Boulevard Club is seeking a well-qualified, dynamic individual to oversee and manage all Human Resource activities and work cooperatively with all departments to provide an exceptional member and guest experience.

As the Human Resources Director, you will plan, direct and coordinate human resource management activities throughout the Club to maximize the strategic use of human resources. You will maintain overall HR functions such as recruitment, orientation, policies, regulatory compliance, compensation and employee benefits and staff engagement.

The Human Resources Director will be responsible for the following:

 

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships – Developing and maintaining constructive and cooperative working relationships with all levels of management & employees.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems – Analyzing HR data/information and evaluating results to choose the best solution or solve a problem.
  • Staffing – Responsible for overseeing job advertising, recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, orientating (on-boarding) and promoting employees.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Applying Discipline – Handling complaints, settling dispute & conflicts of employees, terminating employees and administering the disciplinary process/procedures.
  • Developing Programs/Policies – Analyze, modify and maintain HR programs such as benefit and compensation plans. This includes analyzing salary/benefit information from external sources. Develop necessary policies/programs to align with Club goals/objectives,
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating – Providing guidance, direction and encouragement to managers/supervisors/employees that includes monitoring & maintaining a performance management system and helping identify the developmental needs of others. Includes providing a leadership role to develop/maintain a culture that enables employees to perform in accordance to Company objectives.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards – Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Training and Teaching Others – Help identify the educational needs of employees, provide formal educational or training programs or classes.
  • Documenting/Recording Information – Maintain all employee records in paper or through a computer system.
  • Committee Involvement – Oversee and participate in the Health & Safety Committee and other such Club committees as may be assigned.
  • Developing Objectives/Strategies/Budget – Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them including establishing and maintaining the HR budget & input into the overall company budget.

Candidate Profile:

The Human Resources Director reports to the General Manager. Given the leading role this individual will play in achieving the strategic objectives of The Boulevard Club, it is essential that the successful candidate possess the following core competencies, experience and attributes:

 

  • Diploma/degree in Human Resources supplemented by 5 or more years of experience in a human resources generalist role, preferably in a club or hospitality environment.
  • CPHR Designation.
  • A record demonstrating strong customer service orientation.
  • Experience in a diverse, sensitive and ever-changing environment involving many demographics
  • Understanding of club, food & beverage environments with high levels of customer service.
  • Solid business skills are a must in office management, budgeting, information systems, sensitivity to revenue/costs in a membership-driven culture.
  • Well organized, strong analytical skills, excellent interpersonal & decision-making skills.
  • Strong people manager with maturity and confidence to provide leadership in complex situations
  • Knowledge of government regulations.
  • A self-starter and results oriented work style combined with excellent communication and interpersonal skills with all the Club’s stakeholders.

Note: This is a newly created position at the Club.

Compensation:

The Club will offer an attractive year-round 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 Friday, March 19, 2021.

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

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

 

For more information on The Boulevard Club please visit boulevardclub.com.

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