J.G. Ted Gillary, CCM, CCE, ECM, CMAA Fellow

Coach, Search & Consulting Executive

Ted Gillary comes to the KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE team after a very successful 35 years of experience in leading private clubs.

During that time, he built a reputation for effectively instilling performance excellence throughout club operations. He has extensive knowledge in strategic planning and has demonstrated how to align vision and strategy to build member loyalty and growth.

The practices Ted implemented for employee engagement and quality processes were consistently recognized by awards from the Michigan Quality Council, Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, and the Detroit Free Press.

Ted most recently was the CEO of the Detroit Athletic Club, a position he held for over twenty-five (25) years.  Prior to the DAC, he served for nine years as the COO of Orchard Lake Country Club and two years as General Manager of The Recess, a city club. Other positions prior to his first GM role, included the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, and Food & Beverage Directorships with Hilton and Sheraton properties.

Ted received lifetime recognition when selected to join the 2019 Inaugural Class of Fellows, an honorary recognition program distinguishing those living CMAA members who epitomize the leadership, integrity, involvement, and contributions of club management professionals. Being recognized as highly engaged individuals for their contributions to the profession they are called to continued service as mentors, facilitators, thought leaders, and champions within the club community.

In 2020, Ted was Honored through the Excellence in Club Management Awards for Lifetime Achievement, was named Detroit’s Executive of the Year in 2017, was a recipient of the Excellence In Club Management Award and honored to have mentored three Rising Star Award recipients.

Ted’s experiences with serving thirty-five Boards and Presidents and engaging large and diverse employee groups has provided him a deep understanding of how to succeed in today’s challenging club environment.

Email: ted@kkandw.com

Phone: 313-220-6140

Resources & Insights From Ted…

A month after 9/11, my wife Annie and I sat in a restaurant on Annapolis’s Main Street, enjoying a rare dinner with a young plebe.

He wouldn’t admit it, but we could see he just wanted to sleep. He politely made small talk while darting glances at the door, ever vigilant for the appearance of an officer. Then, pausing between bites, he quietly announced he had discovered a new way to learn.

We put down our forks and turned to him with interest. “First,” he said, “I read profusely, whether I completely understand the subject or not. Then, after a while, I put away the books and think intensely about what I have read, heard, and observed. In time, things come to me, the subject becomes clear; I conceive of new concepts and ideas.”

This young plebe had discovered how to do the deep work. Fifteen years later, Cal Newport would write “Deep Work – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.” Making sense of this practice for a general manager is what this article is all about.

This article introduces the concept of brand strategy and makes the case that what is so highly valued in public companies has positive implications for clubs as well. A strong brand has the stamina and agility to weather the ups and downs of the inevitable swings of the economy and fortune. Every club that systematically and intentionally builds their brand will positively impact all facets of their operation and the people it serves.

The following case study is drawn from my experience as executive manager at the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) working in collaboration with DAC leadership and the Gyro Creative Group, a Detroit identity studio. Our primary objective was to grow the membership to enable the DAC to proceed with the Facilities
Master Plan in time for our centennial anniversary. We recognized the DAC membership was our salesforce and only they could restore our membership affected by the 2008/09 recession. Our task was to connect with the membership on an emotional level, the wellspring of loyalty.

KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE, for nearly 25 years, continues to methodically add the brightest and most accomplished industry executive talent to our team to better serve our Clients and Industry Leaders. We would like to officially welcome the esteemed J.G. Ted Gillary, CCM, CCE, ECM, CMAA Fellow as a Consultant and Search Executive. Ted, having most recently retired as Executive Manager/CEO of Detroit Athletic Club, brings a wealth of industry and community knowledge to our firm.