Newsletter Volume 9

Holiday Time for What Really Matters

Maybe the best part of celebrating the holiday time of year is that it allows us to slow down, reflect, remember, plan and most importantly spend quality time with family and friends. As I reflect on the past twenty years of watching our company grow I continue to be thankful for all of the wonderful clients, candidates, associates and friends we enjoy in this private club world we all live and work in.

We have much to be thankful for, including a great country, which gives us the opportunity to pursue our passions with freedom and protection. I hope you enjoy your time with family and friends because at end of day that is what makes life worth living. Merry Christmas and all the best to you and your family for the New Year from the entire team at Kopplin and Kuebler!

Richard M. Kopplin
Dick Kopplin is a Partner of Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC, The Most Trusted Names in Private Club Executive Placement.

Holiday Time for What Really Matters2019-09-04T20:00:31+00:00

MULTIPLIERS for the Holidays!

As many of you know from over the years, our Firm’s team members have always been signficant proponents of reading to further our professional minds and spur our creative and reflective juices.  A recent favorite of mine is a book called MULTIPLIERS, written by Liz Wiseman.

Being in the midst of the holidays and on yet another flight where I have time to think between club meetings and interviews, I came across my notes from reading (and rereading) the book.  Certainly, every year about this time, many of us think about what we’re thankful for and do a good job of letting people know that we appreciate them.  Reading my notes made me think further about our annual holiday efforts combined with Ms. Wiseman’s perspective that most club leaders today are either “multipliers” or “diminishers” of people and talent.  Holidays often bring out the multiplier energies many of us hold, but often, it’s a fleeting, ‘once a year’ effort that doesn’t sustain itself for long.

According to Ms. Wiseman, diminishers often show the following characteristics:

They are often “Empire builders” who hoard and underutilize talent; they tend to be “Tyrants” who create anxiety and suppress thinking within their staff; they are “Know-it-alls” who tell people what to do without ever asking for input, advice or suggestion; they are “Decision makers” who make isolated decisions because they believe THEY are the smartest ones in any situation; and they are often “Micromanagers” who take over, control and don’t allow for anyone on their team to take credit or often up better, more effective means of getting things done for the greater good of the organization. According to the extensive research of Ms. Wiseman, what they get is less than half of people’s capability!

Compare that with the research Ms. Wiseman has done that shows the characteristics and results from leaders who are viewed as multipliers:

They are “Talent magnets” who attract the ‘best and the brightest,’ and optimize their teams’ talent; they are “Liberators” who create intensity and focus that requires best thinking to reach thoughtful decisions that are likely in the best overall interest of the organization; they are  “Challengers” who extend challenges that encourage people to ‘raise the bar’ on themselves, thus benefitting the organization; they are “Debate makers” who debate before deciding and aren’t looking for or happy with being told ‘yes’ for the sake of going along; and they are “Investors” who instill ownership and accountability, but who also often recognize their absolute need to ‘mentor’ and have appropriate and very necessary ‘humility’—knowing what it is that they don’t know!. According to Ms. Wiseman’s research, what these multipliers get is 2X capability from people with them!

In our own Firm, we’re especially grateful and proud to have our patriarch, Dick Kopplin, being that “multiplier” and moral compass of the Firm, resulting in a Team committed to working hard for and on behalf of our clients and candidates, hopefully to the benefit of and significantly improving lives and outcomes.  I’m further grateful to work with such a terrific group of individuals committed to a common goal and who consistently exhibit “Multiplier” characteristics in all they do!

In the club industry in general, you can see loads of great examples of “Multipliers” in the efforts of industry leaders like Damon DiOrio, Rick Bayliss, Tony D’Errico, Al Antonez, Terra Waldron and countless other great professionals who consistently give back, promote the well being of their clubs and associates, and who constantly challenge themselves with developing their personal and professional skills.

During this holiday season, I’m reflecting on whether I can do more to ensure that I demonstrate (and intuitively live) as many of the great “multiplier” characteristics as I can.  If you haven’t read the book, I’d encourage you to “gift” yourself with it over the holiday and see how you do against the best “Multiplier” characteristics outlined therein. Then please share your thoughts on the book in our Leaders are Readers LinkedIn group.

We sure appreciate what you all do to help us continue to raise the professionalism of club leaders, both paid and voluntary, and wish you all the very best of holiday seasons!!

– Kurt Kuebler

Kurt D. Kuebler, CCM
Kurt Kuebler is a Partner of Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC, The Most Trusted Names in Private Club Executive Placement.

MULTIPLIERS for the Holidays!2019-09-04T20:00:31+00:00

Why Clubs are Cool

Why Clubs are Cool!
I was lucky enough to spend four days with over 140 students from 18 hospitality schools across the country at CMAA’s National Student Education Conference last Fall. Some of the students were certain that they were going to transition into the private club business while others were undecided and were considering the hotel, resort, and restaurant industries.

The educational discussions at the conference highlighted the benefits of working in the private club business and how truly “cool” this amazing industry is. The club tours (we visited six different clubs in two days including city clubs, a yacht club, a country club, and a golf club) allowed students to experience a wide variety of options in the private club industry.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share with all students entering the hospitality industry (management, culinary, agronomy, etc.), as well those with experience in hotels/resorts who might be considering a career move to the private club industry, why the KK&W team thinks “Clubs are Cool.” Collectively, we have been actively involved in the private club business for over 300 years (if you add up the years of experience that each of us on the team has in the industry). We bring many different perspectives to this industry but one thing we all agree on is that Clubs are Cool!

  • Build Relationships – If you want to really get to know your customers – work for a club. You build lasting relationships with members (they return to the club on a daily or weekly basis). You will get to know their names, their likes and dislikes, and their families. It is so rewarding to be an important part of generating positive memories through the experiences that members’ families have at the club.
  • Get Mentored by the Best –The managers you work for in private clubs have a vested interest in your professional development and will support you in those endeavors (at least the good managers). Clubs also have some amazing members who are leaders in their industries, and you can learn so much by developing relationships and learning from them. My husband, who manages the Bath & Tennis Club, has had some amazing mentors (some previous board members) over the years who aren’t in the club industry but are great leaders.
  • Continue Your Professional Development after Graduation – The best club managers of all levels are actively involved in the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) because they know the networking and education offered through the CMAA (and other professional organizations) is invaluable to their own development and to the success of the club. They will therefore support your continued professional development and involvement in such organizations as the CMAA, the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), the Professional Golf Association (PGA) or the Club Spa and Fitness Association (CSFA) after you graduate (depending on your role at the club). There is a special category of CMAA membership for post graduates called Alumnus Members that you may want to look into if you were a member of a Student CMAA chapter).
  • Move More Quickly Up the Ladder – Typically clubs have flatter organizational structures than hotels and resorts and, if you prove yourself with a strong and efficient work ethic as well as learning quickly and growing with the position, you will find yourself moving up the ladder more quickly than you would have at a big box hotel or resort.
  • Experience a Wide Variety of Clubs – One of the best kept secrets in this industry is that we get to experience other private clubs all over the country (and the world) through CMAA conference club tours and chapter meetings; as well as just calling and asking for a tour when you are visiting a city. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said and I’ve heard CMAA members say: “Our members don’t even get to experience this,” when I’ve had dinner at an amazing club for a CMAA meeting. Typically the clubs that are hosting the events go “all out” to showcase their club and staff and we get to reap the benefits by enjoying the experience. We get to see the best of the best and take great ideas back to our clubs. Through the CMAA I’ve even experienced clubs in Europe and Asia. In fact once I was lost in the Scottish Highlands on a hike with a group of CMAA members and their spouses – it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure! For the record, we did get rescued after about five hours – seriously!
  • Meet Really Cool People – From celebrities, to sports greats, to leaders of industries, to amazing managers and mentors, to the cohesive team that you work with on a daily basis; you will meet some really cool people in this industry. Some will have a profound impact on your lives and others will just be a neat experience. Either way you get to meet and work with members and their guests, and managers and associates who are really cool people.Let me also state for the record that the staff at CMAA and the KK&W team are cool too and you get to work with them and us!
  • Work Better Hours – Hopefully you didn’t sign up to be in the hospitality industry to work 9 to 5! Otherwise you have picked the wrong industry! Yes, those of us who work in clubs (and search firms for that matter) work on weekends, evenings, and holidays. But I believe that the work schedule is still better than in hotels and resorts where you have guests on property 24×7. And even if you work at a city club or country club with overnight accommodations available, you have still have a better balance than working in a hotel. We see more people leaving the hotel business to work at clubs than vice versa.
  • Earn Higher Salaries – Typically private clubs pay better both starting out and as you move up the ladder, than hotels, resorts, and restaurants. We see it all the time when we receive compensation information from candidates who are interested in moving from a hotel career to a private club career.
  • Make a Bigger Impact – Since the organizational structure is flatter in most private clubs, you have the opportunity to contribute ideas and implement system improvements with less red-tape and bureaucracy than at a large hotel or resort company. You also have more impact on your members’ lives as they return over and over again.
  • Be Part of the Club “Family” – Often staff at a private club feel that other team members and club members form a kind of extended “family” bond. As a result, members are often quick to praise and give positive feedback. Members are truly appreciative and vocal about a job well done.
  • Challenge Yourself – Because club members return to the club over and over again, you are challenged to always deliver more and exceed expectations. You are only as good as the last member experience, so it is a challenge to continue to deliver and motivate your team to deliver on exceeding expectations and being proactive in anticipating members’ needs. The private club industry is not for people who prefer to have one experience with a customer and not worry about whether or not a customer will return. Your customers will return if they are members! And you want to entice their guests to return as new members.

Private clubs are not for the faint of heart. As our founder (and one of my mentors) Dick Kopplin says: “If you are a GM at a Marriott and the customer is not happy, the customer leaves. If you are a GM at a private club and the customer (member) is not happy, YOU leave.” But if you like the challenge of always doing it better and being sincerely and visibly engaged in the club operations and your members’ experiences, working at a private club is a rewarding, exciting, and enjoyable experience. Clubs ARE cool!

Lisa Carroll
Lisa Carroll is a Search Executive at KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE, recruiting Executive Chefs, AGMs, Clubhouse Managers and General Managers. She is a faculty member of CMAA’s Business Management Institute I (BMI I) at Georgia State University and speaks at CMAA conferences and chapter meetings around the country.

Why Clubs are Cool2019-09-04T20:00:31+00:00

Ask Nan: Tips for Video Interviewing with Confidence

Since video interviewing is becoming common practice in the job application process, candidates should be prepared to participate in video interviews at some point during their job search. The KOPPLIN & KUEBLER team has been using digital interviews for the last three years so we wanted to share some important tips for preparing for a video interview.

While video interviews are more convenient than traveling to an in-person meeting, they can also be daunting. Many people are not comfortable in front of a webcam and are not familiar with using the technology. However, with these tips and some practice you can increase your confidence and the success of your next video interview…

  • Dress appropriately from head-to-toe. That’s right, even from the waist down! You’ll feel more professional, and a recruiter won’t get an accidental glimpse of your sweatpants. For the best appearance, where a white shirt, conservative tie and dark suit for men and a jacket and white shirt with skirt or slacks for women.
  • Test your equipment prior to the interview including the Internet connection, lighting, video, and sound. If possible, use a wired (vs. wireless) Internet connection which is stronger and more dependable. Place the webcam just above your sightline. Looking up slightly is a more flattering angle and it encourages you to sit up straight.
  • Practice, practice, practice, and remember to smile, which goes a long way on a digital interview. If a one-way video interview offers practice questions, take advantage of them to check your settings and get more comfortable with the process.
  • Choose a quiet place to interview with a clean background so that there are no audio or visual distractions. Put a do-not-disturb sign on the door.
  • Close other programs on your computer so there are no interruptions from incoming mail or Facebook messages. Give the “interviewer” your undivided attention.
  • Look at the camera to make eye contact, which is just as important in a video interview as in-person. Consider taping a sign next to the camera as a reminder of where to look. It is okay to look at the interviewer when they are asking the question, but direct your responses directly to the webcam.
  • Check the thumbnail image of yourself on the screen to see how you appear to the interviewer, then ignore it during the rest of the interview. If you find your own image on the screen distracting, close that window if possible, or cover it with a post-it note.
  • If you are recording a one-way interview, be aware of the timing so that your answer is not cut short. And don’t be afraid to make a mistake and start your answer over. Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s better to fix your answer than continue with a poor choice of answer.
  • Avoid using hand movements, which are more distracting on video than in-person.
  • Use the notes you prepared for the interview, but don’t rely too heavily on them for your answers. Write them so they can be quickly scanned for thoughts and ideas, but don’t use them like a script.
  • Before your next interview check out Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on having confidence in stressful situations entitled: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.  It is a 20-minute investment that is well worth your time.


Follow these tips and add some practice to help you feel more confident for your next video interview. Just as with a traditional interview, and most things in life, preparation and practice are the keys to confidence and success!

– Nan Fisher

Nan has worked with Dick Kopplin for over 14 years. She is the Administrative Manager at Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC. E-mail your “Ask Nan” questions

Ask Nan: Tips for Video Interviewing with Confidence2019-09-04T20:00:31+00:00

Information Security – Who is Watching the Documents?

No executive in their right mind would voluntarily distribute the sensitive, personal information of their clients to anyone who asked for them, right?

Well, that is exactly what many of us may do, albeit unintentionally.

Private clubs keep a great deal of sensitive information about their members.  Often this includes information such as full names, dates of birth, social security numbers, bank account numbers, home addresses, etc.  In short, everything a social engineer would need to steal an entire identity (as well as someone’s net worth).

The first question to ask yourself is, “How much information on my members do I really need to have on hand?”

If you offer direct billing to the members’ bank account or credit card, then obviously you need that financial information.  Perhaps you also want it initially when you are confirming eligibility for membership.

When information is no longer needed, consider getting rid of it.  (And dispose of it in a way that someone cannot possibly retrieve it.)

After you determine what information you need to have, you then have a responsibility to safeguard that information.  When you dispose of a document with any personal information on it, shred it.  The U.S. Government learned this lesson when the U.S. Embassy was overtaken in Iran in 1979.  Crosscut shredders are very cheap and can easily be obtained at office supply stores, and they can prevent dumpster divers from scoring an information bonanza.

Consider where you keep your paper files.  For paper files that you need to have on hand, keep them in a securely locked room and limit the access to the room.  The door to the room should have a deadbolt lock, and the files should be kept in locked containers within that room.

Surprisingly, I once saw member records kept in labeled boxes in the unlocked coatroom near the front door of a club.  You can imagine the bonanza a social engineer would realize if he/she found that.

Electronic files present a different challenge.

Again, get rid of anything that you don’t need to have.  Often we collect information because we have always done it, not because there is a good reason to have it.  If you really don’t need to have it, don’t keep it.

Once you know what you need to have, secure it (sound familiar?).  Your club’s internal records should not be on the same server that any open email networks use.  In addition, you should have a good hardware firewall and a strong virus/malware protection software.  Speak to your IT professional for specifics.  Access to these files should be limited to only the people who need to have them and should be protected with a strong password/access system.

Speaking of passwords… Walk around your staffs’ computer terminals and look under their mouse pads, on the inside of any cabinet doors, under the keyboards, or even in open sight for any passwords.  Far too many people are a bit lazy and will keep their passwords written down in a convenient place.  Needless to say, this is a very bad practice.

Do you have a comprehensive computer policy that is distributed to all employees?  This policy should include descriptions of your password protocols, types of behavior allowed or not allowed, and a description of actions to be taken as a result of violations of the policy.  Every employee should read and sign a copy of the policy, and that signed copy should be maintained in their employment file.

It should be made clear to everyone that allowing access (intentional or not) to the club’s computer files is akin to leaving the bank deposit bag sitting on the front steps of the club overnight.

Your member information is arguably one of the assets you can least afford to lose.  No one I know would want to deal with the results of a breach of this data. These are just a very few reminders and ideas to try to get you thinking about your information security practices.  Now it is up to you.

– KP

peters2012smKevin R. Peters, MA
Kevin Peters is a retired federal agent and former club manager who conducts the candidate backgrounding for Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC. He is also owner of K.R. Peters Security, LLC, a security consulting company primarily servicing the private club industry.

Information Security – Who is Watching the Documents?2019-09-04T20:00:31+00:00

Leadership with a Holiday Twist

In this season of giving and appreciation, I am reflecting on my new role with Kopplin and Kuebler. As we search for new leadership for clubs throughout the country and the world, we frequently hear the same words from General Managers and Club Boards to describe what is needed from a leader and partner to bring their club to new heights of success.

Common threads include wanting leaders that are educated not only by books but by experience. Clubs want leaders that are present and omnipresent. Leaders need to be consistent and have a consistent vision. Clubs need leaders who are good and active listeners, taking a real interest in members and the team.

So in wishing you a happy holiday season, I present to you:
 “The 12 Ways to Lead Us”
For the first way to lead us, the Board Prez said to me
Go bring me someone that’s driven
For the second way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
Must be charismatic and
For the third way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
Is she visionary?
For the fourth way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
Make sure they are present
For the fifth way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
I need a goooood lis-ten-er
For the sixth way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
No if they are not fun
For the seventh way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
Makes quick, good decisions
For the eighth way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
Mind is always focused
For the ninth way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
Consistency’s a bonus
For the tenth way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
Do they know who they are?
For the eleventh way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
Passion comes out their pores
For the twelfth way to lead us the Board Prez said to me
Negative’s a no – no
Happy Holidays everyone. Take time this season to instill some trust with and in your teams.
— Tom Wallace

Tom Wallace III, CCM
Tom Wallace is a Search and Consulting Executive at Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC, recruiting General Managers, Directors of Golf , and Agronomists, and advising Clubs. He has 25 years of experience in Club Management and frequently speaks at local, national, and international CMAA and Club Management educational events.

Leadership with a Holiday Twist2015-03-16T21:05:57+00:00
Go to Top