The Excellence in Club Management Awards Dinner held at the Music City’s Nashville City Club was filled with tributes to the exemplary leadership and achievements of the 2018 honorees.
Record attendance was once again achieved at the Excellence in Club Management® (ECM) Awards Dinner, held February 25 at the Nashville (Tenn.) City Club while the 2019 World Conference of the Club Management Association of America was being held in the Music City.
The overflow crowd reflected the continued growth and prestige attached to the ECM Awards, which were established by the McMahon Group in 1997 and have been co-sponsored by Club + Resort Business since 2005. The National Club Association (NCA) joined as a new sponsor for the 2018 awards.
The annual awards are selected through nominations submitted on behalf of qualified candidates by other parties. Award recipients are selected solely on the basis of their achievements at the club they currently manage; “lifetime achievements” are not considered.
A Selection Committee comprised of a peer group of club managers conducts the judging for the ECM Awards; the McMahon Group, Club + Resort Business and the NCA are not involved in the selection of the winners. The Selection Committee for the 2018 Awards (see box, pg. 44) was chaired by Jeffrey Kreafle, CCM, General Manager/COO of Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
The 2018 Excellence in Club Management winners honored in Nashville included:
The James H. Brewer Award (for Managers from Country/Golf Clubs with 600 or More Full-Privilege Members)—Patrick King, CCM, CCE, ECM, General Manager/COO, Army Navy Country Club, Arlington, Va.
(James Brewer, MCM, was General Manager of The Los Angeles Country Club for 35 years, as part of a distinguished 45-year club-management career.)
King’s award was presented by Frank Vain of the McMahon Group and Capt. John C. Tuck, USNR (ret.), the Chairman of Army Navy CC’s Board of Governors.
The Mead Grady Award (for Managers of Country/Golf Clubs with Fewer than 600 Full-Privilege Members)—Christopher Wyles, CCM, CCE, ECM, General Manager, Bald Peak Colony Club, Melvin Village, N.H.
(Mead Grady, CCM, managed clubs of various sizes in Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Georgia during a distinguished 56-year club-management career.)
Wyles’ award was presented by Bill McMahon, Jr. of the McMahon Group and Donald B. Taylor, President of Bald Peak’s Board of Governors.
The Mel Rex Award (for managers of City, Athletic or Specialty (Non-Golf) Clubs)—John Warnack, CCM, CFBE, ECM, COO/General Manager, The Army and Navy Club on Farragut Square, Washington, D.C.
(Melvin D. Rex, CPA, CCM, ECM, was the long-time Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh, Pa., and a winner of the ECM Award in 2000.)
Warnack’s award was presented by Bill McMahon, Sr. of the McMahon Group.
The ECM Awards also include “Rising Star” recognition for Assistant Managers and there was a tie in this category for the 2018 award. The two Risng Star recipients who were honored in Nashville included Kristen LaCount, CCM, ECM, Assistant General Manager, The Country Club, Chestnut Hill, Mass., and Mark Jablonski, CFBE, CSW, ECM, Assistant General Manager, Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Ill.
LaCount’s award was presented by Henry Wallmeyer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Club Association, and Kirk O. Reese, CCM, Executive Vice President of Denehy Club Thinking Partners. Reese started his career as Clubhouse Manager at The Country Club, working for its current General Manager/Chief Operating Officer, David Chag, CCM. Chag was unable to attend the Nashville City Club dinner, but sent remarks about LaCount, who has worked for Chag at The Country Club since 2013, that he asked Reese to convey as part of her Rising Star recognition.
Jablonski’s award was presented by C+RB Editor Joe Barks and Robert Sereci, Medinah CC’s General Manager/Chief Operating Officer.
The event also included special recognition for Dan Ramella, Club + Resort Business’ President and Founding Publisher, for his role in helping to elevate the profile of the ECM Awards, and the Awards Dinner, since C+RB first partnered with the McMahon Group as a co-sponsor in 2005. The Nashville event marked Ramella’s last Awards Dinner prior to his retirement at the end of March.
On-site presentations will also be held at each ECM Award winner’s club throughout 2019, and in-depth articles detailing the achievements that led to the selection of each of the winners will appear in issues of Club + Resort Business throughout the remainder of 2019.
More information about the ECM Awards, including a full listing of past winners and their affiliated “Clubs of Excellence,” can be found at the special website for the ECM Awards, www.clubmanageraward.com, along with details for how to nominate candidates for the 2019 awards.
2018 Excellence in Club Management Awards Selection Committee
Jeffrey Kreafle, CCM
Congressional Country Club
Mark Bado, MCM, CCE, ECM
Myers Park Country Club
Steven Buck, CCM, CCE
Shady Canyon Golf Club
Robert Crifasi, CCM, CCE, CEC, CPA, ECM
New Orleans Country Club
John Dorman, CCM, ECM
The University Club of New York
Brian Kroh, CCM, ECM
John’s Island Club
Chief Executive Officer, The Canadian Society of Club Managers
Jeffrey McFadden, CCM, CCE, ECM
The Union League of Philadelphia
Thornhill Golf & Country Club
Christine Pooler, CCM, ECM
Indian Creek Country Club
John Schultz, CCM, ECM
Carmel Country Club
Thomas Spellman, CCM, ECM
The Chicago Club
Terra Waldron, CCM, CCE, ECM
Greensboro Country Club
The Music City Center convention complex in downtown Nashville provided a bright and airy backdrop for the Club Business Expo that was held as part of the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) 2019 World Conference at the end of February. (Those who attended knew they were lucky to have the bright sunshine that flooded the building and warmed them while walking around that week; Nashville had seen extended periods of heavy rain and severe area flooding in the days leading up to the conference, and more bad weather hit the city as soon as the CMAA left town.)
The 2020 CMAA World Conference and Club Business Expo will be held February 8-12 in Grapevine, Texas, outside of Dallas, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center.
A full variety of versatile vehicles for all facets of club operations was on display.