Since our last newsletter Kopplin & Kuebler International has started on its quest to deliver its brand outside of the US. The concept and benefits of Executive Search and consultancy in the club industry is relatively new internationally and therefore the story behind the brand has to be told.

In the last 4 months I have travelled to London, Madrid (twice),Milan, Dubai (twice), Edinburgh and Amsterdam. We have had articles published in numerous countries and have spoken at several conferences and seminars. In addition we sponsored the European Club Managers Conference in Madrid. The reaction has been amazing and the industry is excited by our brand and inquisitive about the services and products we provide.

We are delighted to have received more than 350 resumes from some of the most talented Club Managers, Directors of Golf, and Course Superintendents in the world. We have also been asked to endorse the new Director of Golf programme for the PGA of Great Britain and asked to support and teach some of the Golf Degree syllabus at Bournemouth University.

At a seminar held at Golf Club Milan for presidents,owners and managers in May, when Dick and Kurt joined me on a small European Tour, the question was asked “what does our brand represent?” The following answer was put forward by the group:  Knowledge, Trust, and Experience.

This is exactly what we wanted to hear as it endorsed the fact that, between us, we have over 60 years of experience (Dick having the most of course!) in the club industry at the very highest level, and can bring clubs a unique insight into helping them find exactly what they are looking for when requiring a search or undertaking a review of their operations or strategic planning. This is something that other search firms, especially outside of the US, cannot compete with and we believe this will help us to become one of the leading executive search firms for the club industry in the world.

Whilst traveling I have adopted the club’s mantra that “Leaders are Readers” and have read a number of books on leadership and best business practice. The two that stand out are Setting the Table, by Danny Mayer and Onward, by Howard Shultz, CEO of Starbucks. Both books provide so many examples of best practices for the club industry and how we can learn from our mistakes to deliver a great product for members, employees, and in some cases, the finance houses who now have a very big say in how some clubs operate.

Kurt has also been inspired by Onward, and watch out for some new material from Kopplin & Kuebler International as we are developing a series of presentations from some of the ideas and strategies identified by Howard and his team to turn around a billion dollar business and identify the core meaning of their brand and what it represents.  We believe these ideas and procedures can really help the club industry as we come out of recession.

My first few months with the company has also allowed me to re-establish long term friendships within the golf and club business and prove to me what a great profession we work in. I would especially like to thank Jerry Kilby, Orlaf Born, Arnaldo Cocuzza ,Daniel Asis, Jorgen Kjellgren ,Kevin Fish, the guys at KPMG, The Education Dept. at PGA of  Great Britain, and my colleagues at Kopplin & Kuebler International – especially Nan and Lisa, for all their technical help, for allowing me to establish our brand internationally and for their support and friendship in our start-up period. – NF

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.