Max Passino Deboer, Director of Marketing & Membership for The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla., shares her thoughts on the biggest challenge a club faces. She discusses the importance of implementing an effective governance model.
“Ask Max” is a regular feature of C+RB’s monthly Membership + Marketing column, where Max Passino Deboer, Director of Marketing & Membership for The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla., answers questions sent in by readers.
(Have a question you want to “Ask Max”? Send it to [email protected])
The Club at Mediterra is a Distinguished Elite, Platinum Club inside the community of Mediterra, which has been named Community of the Year in Naples 12 times in 16 years.
Max is a veteran hospitality leader with a 15-year hotel career followed by an almost 20-year club career, the last 13 at Mediterra. Max is a proud member of the Membership Directors Association of Southwest Florida, whose program for exchanging ideas and information is unmatched.
Max’s passion is being helpful, so… let’s “Ask Max”!
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge a club faces?
I think it’s governance. A lot of clubs have governance models that don’t work. Members are placed on committees with no real vetting process, and new committee members often have hidden agendas they want to address after they get their places.
Committees can end up getting bogged down with the same issues that percolate year after year, limiting progress. Some clubs don’t even have prerequisites for placing Board members, so elections may become popularity contests.
Club policies create culture, and your governing bodies create policies. So you can see that without the right leadership in place, the club is not being properly served.
The first step in making sure you have effective governance at your club is to start a Leader Development Committee. This committee can ask for volunteers who want to help lead your club and then vet them thoroughly, recommending them for proper placement (or not) in the areas where they will be most useful and effective. Before being a Board member, a member must have served on a committee.
The Club Management Association of America has a great set of governance guidelines that I highly recommend.
Get to vetting,