By Dave White
As happens at this time of year, there’s a changing of the guard as Tony D’Errico takes the president’s reins of the Club Managers Association of America for 2015.
D’Errico got his start in the business early, at age 26. Storytelling often presages what might be expected. However, it often isn’t enough to deter general managers who dedicate their careers to serving private club members.
“I’ll never forget my first day on the job, meeting my very first club member – a snarky fellow right out of central casting, who looked like Jackie Gleason in the Hustler,” D’Errico recalled recently.
“With a cigarette dangling from his mouth and gesturing toward the other members, he said, ‘Good luck keeping all these (bleeping expletives) happy.’ Welcome to club management!”
Well, it has been an engaging time for D’Errico, who along with his commitment as CMAA’s president is also general manager/chief operating officer of Westwood Country Club in St. Louis, MO, where he’s been since 1999.
One of the big items on D’Errico’s ‘to do’ list focuses on broadening the reach of the CMAA’s hallmark designation – the Certified Club Managers (CCM). As well, it’ll be a year of working with the CMAA’s new chief executive officer Jeff Morgan, as he assimilates to his new duties. Yes, an interesting and exciting year for the CMAA.
HFTP’s CEO Frank Wolfe, in his contribution this issue, raises a most interesting discussion about drones and the club industry. As a population we’re becoming more and more familiar with all kinds of drones…for both good and bad reasons.
Yes, they’re a big deal with the military, they’ve been a flying hobby for many, and Amazon is having some success in making deliveries. Yet they’ve become a nuisance (or hazard) to others, so much so that various levels of government are placing increasingly tight restrictions on their use.
So, can drones make life easier in the private club industry? Wolfe thinks they might, and bases his discussion on the experiences of a Singapore company – Infinium-Serve. The company offers a service touted as “the only fully autonomous and smart flying robotics servers in restaurants and F&B outlets.” (www.infiniumrobotics.com).
Hmmm…how will that fit into the private club community? Ah, so many questions looking for answers. For more, read Frank’s offering.
This issue we also recognize our BoardRoom Award recipients and our Lifetime Achievers. BoardRoom Awards are presented annually to the private club industry’s vendors…the only awards of its kind, and the presentations this year happened on the red carpet at BoardRoom’s booth at the CMAA’s annual World Conference in San Antonio.
BoardRoom’s Lifetime Achievement Awards this year go to three of the industry’s most deserving people – George and Linda Carroll, both of whom retired recently as private club general managers and Henry DeLozier of Global Golf Advisors. The story about the Carrolls, written by friend and colleague Jim Singerling appears in this issue. DeLozier’s exploits will be featured in our May/June issue.
And finally, we continue with our series on BoardRoom’s top presidents with stories about: Beau Anders, president, The Landings Club, Savannah, GA; Joseph J. Buska, president, Interlachen Country Club, Edina, MN; Bernie Carballo, president, The Club at Admirals Cove, Jupiter, FL; and Jim Diepenbrock, chair, St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, CA.
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