Private Club Executive Search

KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE continues to methodically add the brightest and most accomplished industry executive talent to the team. We would like to welcome the esteemed Michael G. Smith, CCM, CCE, ECM who will be joining us in January 2022, as a search and consulting executive.

Smith has been an industry professional for 30 years—managing clubs for more than 20 of those. Most recently he is serving as the GM/COO at The Country Club of Rochester in NY; a club nationally recognized by Platinum Clubs of America and BoardRoom’s Distinguished Clubs. Smith’s extensive career in club management has  provided him the knowledge and experience to work with clubs seeking to establish a road map to the future. He brings a wealth of industry and community expertise to the firm and will soon put that knowledge to work for you.

“Michael represents the continued organic growth of our company and our practice has been to add quality people, not only when there is a need, but also when we think their skill set and personality would be additive to the KK&W team and culture. Michael grew up in the private club world, observing and  learning from his mother, Mary, who was also an accomplished club general manager. He has demonstrated 20-plus years of leadership in the club industry, earning his CCM and CCE while being awarded the ECM designation. We believe Michael’s skills, experience and connectivity will make him an outstanding partner for our clients and candidates,” stated the KK&W partners.

“I have been incredibly fortunate throughout my career in the private club industry. The connections and relationships I have built – with both club members and colleagues both nationally and internationally – speak to the remarkable nature of this profession. Club management has always been incredibly rewarding for me. As a leader in this field, I recognize the necessity of mutually beneficial practices. I know the importance of creating a supportive and collaborative working environment, where staff and peers are encouraged and lauded in their professional development and exchange of best practices. I fully anticipate my experience will continue as I transition to my new role with KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE. I am excited and honored to be joining the KK&W team. I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Tom Wallace and Sam Lindsley on various successful projects throughout the years and have always enjoyed the educational opportunities KK&W have provided. I am thankful that I will be among a group of colleagues that has shown me the stalwart mission of their great  organization,” Smith responded.

Smith began his career in hospitality at The Rochester Yacht Club. From there, he furthered his career in management and leadership roles at The Union League Club of Chicago, Hilton Restaurant Group, the Country Club of Ithaca in NY, and as GM/COO at Penfield Country Club in NY. Most recently, while leading the team as GM/ COO at The Country Club of Rochester, Michael has achieved several notable accomplishments…

  • He was instrumental in leading a $6 million-dollar club capital improvement project, which added key amenities that focus around family and state of the art facilities for casual dining, pool and fitness.
  • Smith led the process in establishing capital budgeting procedures, which was instrumental in planning for future capital projects at the club and recently lead a $3 million-dollar capital campaign in 2021.
  • Smith worked with his team in establishing the Thistle Promise, a service excellence program which has set the highest level of standards for the team’s service culture at The Country Club of Rochester.
  • Smith and his team worked to developed premier manager-in-training and internship programs, which have attracted the highest quality young professionals interested in private club management. These highly regarded accomplishments have become a standard for local and national clubs.

Smith’s professional accomplishments in his 30-year career include receiving the 2008 Willmoore H. Kendall Scholarship; achieving his Club  management and Chief Executive Certifications, serving six years on the board of directors for the New York State Chapter of CMAA, including two years as chapter president, the 2018 Rich Regan Club Manager of the Year Award by the New York State Chapter of the Club Management Association of America, and the 2019 Excellence in Club Management Recipient of The Mead Grady Award presented annually by the McMahon Group and voted on by a panel of industry experts. Smith has spoken on local and national panels for CMAA and the National Club Association. Smith also serves as a mentor to young professionals in the  industry including students at The Rochester Institute of Technology’s Saunders School of Business and Niagara University’s Student Chapter of CMAA. Please join us in welcoming Michael to the KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE team!

Michael G. Smith is a search and consulting executive with KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE. He can be contacted at: or (585) 794-6150.

BoardRoom Magazine – November/December 2021