As your new board hits its stride in 2022, Tom Wallace of KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE urges club executives to remember their duty to be good stewards of their club. Focusing on stewardship takes the attention off individuals and allows the board to prioritize the overall mission of the club’s existence. It becomes less about personal agendas and more about the club as a whole. “It is crucial for clubs to articulate, define and stimulate a stewardship attitude throughout their governance model,” Wallace said during a recent Club Leadership Alliance Webinar. “When this happens, it results in boards and GMs/COOs that approach their work in synergy. As a result, they are more effective and efficient overall.”

Neither strong core values, nor strong governance are enough to sustain the mindset of stewardship within the club, according to Wallace. But together they provide a focus on the mission which ultimately creates fulfilling and enduring clubs. He encourages clubs to have a strong governance model and to conduct regular board training because it profoundly impacts the ability of board members and the GM/COO to create and maintain a stewardship mindset and behaviors that support it.

Wallace provides the following advice for boards as they embark on the new year:

  • Engage in regular communication to connect the leadership of the club and alleviate stress, generate new ideas and improve the flow of information.
  • Boards become inefficient when they don’t stay strategic and advisory and become too mired in operations. Remember your role.
  • Training and education for everyone in clubs (from service to governance) must be ongoing, ingrained in the culture and prioritized.
  • Highly effective boards and their GMs/COOs are preparing for new ways to do business because the pandemic has shifted club operations and will permanently impact the industry’s strategic direction.

Relevant and enduring clubs have informed leadership, strategic stewardship, an empowered management and team and a compelling member experience. The journey to excellence is a never-ending pursuit and evolution, Wallace concluded.

Tom Wallace is Managing Partner for KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE. Tom can be contacted via email at

Private Club Advisor – January 2022