McMahon Group, Inc., the St. Louis-based consulting firm, and Club & Resort Business have announced the 2013 recipients of the Excellence in Club Management (ECM) Awards program, established in 1997 by the McMahon Group and co-sponsored since 2005 by C&RB.
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; the McMahon Group and Club & Resort Business are not involved in the selection of the award winners.
A full listing of judges, in addition to information on past winners and on how to nominate candidates for future years’ awards, can be found at the special website for the ECM Awards program, www.clubmanageraward.com.
In-depth articles detailing the achievements that led to the selection of each of the 2013 winners will appear in upcoming issues of Club & Resort Business.
Tony D’Errico, CCM, CCE, ECM
Westwood Country Club
St. Louis, Mo.
An ongoing objective for many club managers is to succeed in having members and Board officers, all of whom have been very successful in their own careers, recognize that club management is a highly specialized and challenging profession requiring unique expertise. In nominating Tony D’Errico for Excellence in Club Management recognition, Westwood CC President Andrew Kohn attested that D’Errico had not only led the club to “unprecedented success,” but had also helped Kohn to personally develop a “new and profound appreciation for the complexity of running a private club.” Because of D’Errico’s leadership in his 14 years at Westwood, Kohn said, the club’s senior management team has “flourished, operating with a synergy I have witnessed in few other businesses.” It all led Kohn to conclude, after working closely with D’Errico during his two years as President, that “Tony is not just a fine club manager; he is truly one of the most capable, well-regarded business executives I know—anywhere.”
Michael Stanton, ECM
San Luis Obispo Country Club
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
When Dr. Luke Faber, President of San Luis Obispo CC (SLOCC), was interviewed for C&RB’s January 2014 cover story on his club’s remarkable turnaround (“Restoring the California Dream”), he gave credit to many, from both the member/Board and management sides, who’d helped to bring about the club’s recovery. But when asked about the role of Mike Stanton, who was brought in to be SLOCC’s new General Manager/COO in 2009—a time when, Faber said, the club was “within weeks of financial ruin”—the President made it clear who has been the single most valuable contributor to saving the central California property. “Mike is our ‘franchise player,’ and the key to our current and future success,” Faber stated flatly.
Stanton had not worked in the club business prior to coming to SLOCC, but his background in food and beverage and hospitality served him, and the club, well in blazing positive new paths for all departments. He has now immersed himself in continuing education for his new profession, and is still brimming with fresh ideas. “We haven’t stopped—and I know Mike never will,” says Faber.
Robert L. Williams, CCM, CEC, ECM
When he was named GM/COO of the Westmoreland Club in 1995, Robert Williams had only four years experience at a very small and exclusive property. But that “club”—the Governor’s Mansion in Harrisburg, Pa.—and Williams’ previous position—Executive Chef/Culinary Manager for Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey—clearly prepared him well for the challenges that awaited him in Wilkes-Barre.
In nominating Williams for Excellence in Club Management recognition, current President Harold Flack and three Past Presidents described the Westmoreland of 1995 as a “sleepy downtown club” that had “stagnated under mediocre management.” But “from the onset of his tenure,” the group wrote, “Robert walked into our club and in very short order began asking the hard questions that led [us] in a direction of pursuing excellence.” With Williams showing the way, the club officers said, Westmoreland has been transformed in the 18 years since into “the vibrant, five-star Platinum Club that we know today.”
Maria A. McGinity, ECM
River Oaks Country Club
When Maria McGinity came to work at River Oaks Country Club (ROCC) as Director of Catering in 2005, the club’s Chief Operating Officer, C.J. “Joe” Bendy, Jr., CCM, CCE, says she “literally hit the ground running.” ROCC had just undergone an extensive renovation and expansion, and McGinity was now charged, in her new position, with helping to make the improvements pay off. The challenge was compounded, Bendy says, by the fact that McGinity “inherited a department that functioned, but not in the best way possible.” In just a few short months, though, Bendy says McGinity “had the department working well”—so well, in fact, that during her tenure as Director of Catering, departmental revenues went on to grow by over $1 million, and member support for club and private events “reached unprecedented levels.” That performance earned McGinity a promotion to become ROCC’s first female Clubhouse Manager, and her star has continued to rise through her most recent promotion to Club Manager, a new position at ROCC.
Celebrating In Style
In addition to presentations at their individual clubs that will be held throughout the coming year, the 2013 Excellence in Club Management winners, along with those from previous years, will be recognized at an Awards Dinner to be held at The Country Club of Orlando (Fla.) on Friday, February 7, in conjunction with the 2014 World Conference of the Club Managers Association of America.