“The Club Managers Association of America advances the profession of club management by fulfilling the educational and related needs of its members.” As you probably know, that is CMAA’s mission statement. Speaking from my own personal experience in working with the CMAA and its chapters directly for over eleven years, and indirectly for over 28 years, I have seen the benefits that the organization provides to its members.

The invaluable education that continues to evolve as the needs of today’s clubs and managers change and the networking that the association provides its members are quite obvious when you attend an education and/or networking event at the national or chapter level.

Members know the value that CMAA provides, but it is up to you to educate your club members, committees, and boards about the values of your (and your staff’s) involvement in the organization. Who better to sing its praises and reinforce the importance and value of the organization than the leaders and managers at the club who benefit, which in turn benefits your members?

For that reason, Tom Trainor at Grosse Pointe Yacht Club wrote an article recently for the club newsletter that shared his experience at CMAA’s World Conference and informed his membership about the organization. With his permission, I share the article with you below as an example of how to incorporate education and buy-in from the membership.

April 2015 GM Newsletter Article by Thomas Trainor, CCM

During the first week of March, the annual meeting of the Club Manager’s Association of America (CMAA) was held in San Antonio, Texas. Each year over 2,000 managers from around the world will attend this five day event. These managers are representing Yacht Clubs, Country Clubs, City Clubs, Athletic Clubs and a whole host of other social clubs.

The focus for this annual meeting of managers is almost entirely on continuing education. During the course of the week there are over two-hundred 90 minute educational sessions being offered on a wide range of club disciplines. Many of the sessions offered are directly related to being sensitive to member satisfaction. Some of these sessions focus on membership retention, while others are focused on catering to the particular needs of a specific generation, Millennials.

The CMAA has identified nine core disciplines that all managers should be proficient in. These include Human Resources, Marketing, Financial Analysis, Athletics, Food & Beverage, Facilities, Leadership, Business Analytics, and Professional Development.  To support the CMMA mission, those educational sessions being offered over the five day conference will included at least one and sometimes more than one of these disciplines.

You may have noticed that some club managers have the acronym CCM(Certified Club Manager) after their name , this denotes this manager has demonstrated a proficiency in these core disciplines with over 350 hours of educational credits,  and has successfully passed a six hour written exam testing each of those disciplines. Once this certification has been earned it is then incumbent upon that manager to continue their education and be recertified every five years.

The requirement for this recertification process includes attending 180 hours of continuing educational sessions at both the local and national level. If you do not earn these educational credits, your CCM designation is forfeited.

This certification process is certainly used in other professional organizations. With CMAA, the goal is to ensure that, as managers, we are continuously improving upon our core skills and educating ourselves on club industry trends. The ultimate goal of CMAA, and its membership, is to educate ourselves so that we remain relevant to today’s club trends and maintain a level of excellence our membership has come to enjoy and expect.

Finally, our mission at CMAA, and at a local level, is to engage more than the General Manager in these educational opportunities being offered. We want to prepare for the next generation of club managers that will uphold and maintain the standards our members deserve.  Our national offices fully support these efforts as evidenced by the following initiative being launched:

“The CMAA Board of Directors unanimously approved and launched the 2027 Club Professional Initiative. Because the club world is constantly changing, this program is designed to ensure that the specialized competencies of club management professionals meets these changes by focusing on the necessary skills for continues success.”  These initiatives will be integrated into the curriculum beginning in 2015.

Thank you.

Lisa Carroll
Lisa Carroll is a Search Executive at Kopplin & Kuebler, LLC, recruiting GMs, AGMs, Executive Chefs, and Clubhouse 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.