John Fornaro

What Are the Trends for Private Club Memberships? What Should Clubs Be Offering?

By John G. Fornaro What’s the right mix for memberships in a private club? And what kind of memberships should private clubs be offering today? Are they different from five, 10, 20 years ago? And if so, why?  Fact is, what’s being offered at private clubs today varies. Is there a one-fits all membership, or…

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Should Your Board Meetings Be Open to Members?

By John G. Fornaro For most private clubs in this country, board meetings are closed-door affairs. The question is: Why are they closed? Should they remain closed? Are there any reasons why a club should handle board meetings any differently? For example, if board meetings are open to board members, committee chairs and senior paid…

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2016 Distinguished Ideas Summit: Best of the Best

By Dave White Photography by: Philip Gabriel Photography and Laura Ladendorf “Thanks for pulling off the Summit. It was one of the best conferences I’ve been to in my 35-plus years in the business! Union League made it extra special.” And that comment from Stephen Roper, general manager of the Meridian Hills Country Club in…

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Isn’t It Time We Quit Taking the Maalox?

By John G. Fornaro Private club boards of directors pose a fleeting presence. In fact, in most cases, the board goes through a 100 percent change within three years, with usually a third of the board being replaced each year. This can be a ‘sticky wicket’, because it’s often more difficult for a club to…

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How Do Boards Avoid Mistakes and Find Solutions?

By John G. Fornaro Yes, to err is human, but repetitious mistakes are a plague. The failures and mistakes of non-profit boards have been well documented over the years…failure of fiduciary duties, little or no effective oversight of the club’s operation etc. But are these issues really ‘sacred cows’ because boards of directors are unwilling…

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What Do You Mean ‘Dog Days?’ It’s a Busy Time of Year

By Dave White Ah, the ‘dog days of summer.’ But to be clear, for private clubs, it really has nothing to do with dogs. The expression comes from the ancient Romans who referred to the hot, humid days of summer as ‘dog days.’ The Romans associated summer’s hottest days with the star Sirius…known as the…

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Dealing with Your Club’s Membership Transfer List!

By John G. Fornaro In recent years, private clubs have faced many issues – depressing economic conditions, stagnating golf statistics, members’ time and money constraints and competition from daily fee golf courses and nearby first rate restaurants – while seeking to retain their members and searching out prospective members. Dues-paying members are a private club’s…

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Why Are Private Clubs Late Adopters?

The private club world is evolving…and with it so are the leaders of tomorrow’s industry. However, change – technological change and otherwise – in the private club industry often lags behind other industries. Certainly some clubs are at the forefront as early adopters, and even better, the industry does benefit from innovators, as change continues…

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How Much Do You Appreciate Your General Manager?

By John G. Fornaro “On a weekend morning a few years ago as I sat in my office preparing for the day ahead, a young housekeeping employee stopped by to clean my office. I asked him about his plans for the future. He replied, “I want a job like yours!” I asked him to elaborate.…

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Dues Increases – What’s Too Much or Too Little?

By John G. Fornaro “We’re in the dues business!” That’s often the sentiment expressed about the private club industry. “We’re in the dues business!” That’s often the sentiment expressed about the private club industry. What’s too much and what’s too little? What does it all mean for the future of private clubs? So what are…

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