It was great to see so many international managers at the CMAA World Conference in Orlando last month. It took me back to the first conference I attended in1998 when I was one of only a handful of international managers who knew about CMAA and their education programs, let alone traveled to conference.

Across the globe there is now a need for qualified club managers to ensure that clubs survive in what are very hard economic times and when expectations of members have never been higher. In addition, the numbers of financial houses who have invested millions in real estate projects attached to leisure and now see that the facilities are not just a loss leader to sell the real estate but actually need to break even or make money.

These financial groups are now looking for people who know how to run the financial matters of clubs and can bring leadership to head up the staff structure and deliver top class service across the range of facilities on offer. In addition managers need to be involved in strategy and develop a legacy so that the club can continue well after they have left.

By traveling to conference, managers from around the world enjoy the education but can learn even more from the networking and the experience from those managers who have been through multiple issues and crisis only to survive and become stronger.

I was delighted to see so many young managers from China earn their CCM certification. They can continue to learn a great deal by networking with experienced managers at conferences and other educational events

With Kopplin & Kuebler’s International office now open, we actively encourage hearing from managers who have these networking and quality leadership traits so that we can provide great opportunities for those who come from emerging markets. After all, we want to strive to make the club business recognized as a very professional and well qualified career all over the world so as to increase the worth of all managers everywhere.

By increasing the brand of our organizations such as CMAA & CMAE, just like our clubs, we can create our niche which will make us stand out to sponsors and financial institutions so as to continue the educational opportunities, but more importantly, the growth of our network worldwide.

Niall G. Flanagan
Niall Flanagan is a Managing Partner of Kopplin & Kuebler International, spearheading International Executive Search Services and Consulting throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America.