Peet de Wet - 2018 CMASA Club Manager of the Year
I am so grateful to CMASA and JONAS Software for
the wonderful opportunity to attend the World
Conference & Club Expo in Nashville. The quality of
the business sessions and educational
presentations were world class and will assist me
with my future career path and personal growth as Club Executive. The
two-day Club Business Expo featured over 250 companies and the
exhibition showcased every product and service a club management
professional would need.
My club, Steenberg Golf Club will definitely benefit and capitalize from my
exposure to the latest trends in the club industry.
Some highlights for me were how leaders in the industry embrace
educational programmes and their continuous focus to improve staff
retention and increased morale. Ultimately it will keep members satisfied
and loyal to the club.
I encourage all our CMASA Club Executives to attend the next or future
CMAA World Conference – it will be the best investment you will ever make
to be a leader in the industry.
I have the utmost gratitude for our CMASA GM – Janyne Marais, who
served as our brand ambassador during her presentation at the Global
Leadership Networking Luncheon, the Global Symposium and various
other international business and networking events.
Hopefully this report can bring our experience to life, and ignite a fire and passion within our members, in the short-term, to
see value, benefit and growth in participating in our own local education and training programmes, and long-term, to set
budget aside to develop your staff and for you as your club leader, to attend and experience a CMAA world conference
sometime in the near future.
Day One: Sunday, February 24
After registering and bumping into familiar faces and re-igniting friendships developed from my attendance at previous
conferences, we made our selection from 20 possible sessions of education. These sessions included The Relationship
Factor: Secret Networking Strategies to Maximize Influence, Build Consensus and Create Engagement in Business and in
Life; Performance Management: Adapting to a Changing Workforce, Cross-Pollination of Your Club’s Departments for Better
Revenue Generation, Driving Profit in Food & Beverage, and IT Strategic Planning, and many more.
I attended the three sessions listed below, and have added my key takeaways from each:
- The Relationship Factor – Relationships are the foundation for success in business and in life. One needs to
build credibility through ongoing education, acquiring this either through business experience or by
attendance of ongoing education. Relationship drivers are TRUST – VALUE – CONTRIBUTION.
Communication determines the quality of the relationship a) Ask better questions b) Be a good listener.
Subscribe to Harvard Business Review – Michael Hughes recommended that if we do not already subscribe to this review, we should do so as he has already seen benefit in ideas that have been successfully implemented in clubs.
- Wake Up! The many faces of fraud at your club. How some of your employees are steeling you blind!
Blaine Burgess from the Country Club of Little Rock highlighted the importance for GM’s to reconcile bank
statements every 6 months; ensure segregation of duties is taking place; access to fuel on the property – are
staff taking advantage; Cell phones used by staff to commit theft – don’t allow cell phones to be used during
- Stop Coaching and Start Mentoring – this session was brilliant, and we will be sharing Robert’s insights on
the value of mentoring with our MID learners at our upcoming MID workshops in May. A brief Excerpt is
Understand the difference between purpose and passion.
My advice to you is that you ALSO find purpose in what you are doing. I am in this business because I want to make
a difference in the lives of the people I serve and the people I lead.
That’s my purpose and no amount of hard work, stress, criticism or politics will change that. That’s why I get up the
morning and look forward to coming to the club. What’s your purpose?
If you are struggling to answer this question – ask yourself “who is it that you want to help?”
Day Two: Monday, February 25
The morning started with Opening Business Session where attendees
heard from candidates for the CMAA Board of directors and CEO Jeff
Morgan, FASAE, CAE, who addressed key CMAA developments in the
State of the Association Address. Next, the 2018 CCMs (Certified Club
Managers) were acknowledged and the inaugural class of 2019 CMAA
Fellows were announced.
Once again, an extremely proud moment for us South African’s as our
Honorary Member Michael Leemhuis, CCM, CCE, PGA Professional,
was one of the chosen nine.
CMAA Fellows program is a recognition of the active thought
leaders in our community with a mission to continue support of
CMAA, the profession, and future CMAA Fellows initiatives.
Well done Mike - we are very proud of you and we appreciate all
that you do for our club industry.
Then it was GAME DAY with featured speakers Kirk Herbstreit, Emmy-Award
Winning Analyst joining Cooper Manning, host of the show “The Manning Hour” for
Fox Sports, and Principal and Senior Managing Director of Investor Relations for AJ
Capital Partners. He was one of the nation’s top wide receivers, signing with Ole
Miss out of high school before a spinal stenosis diagnosis ended his playing career.
Even though we did not know much about the College football scene, the banter
between these two popular personalities was highly entertaining and provided for a
wonderful start and set the tone for an excellent conference.
Global Luncheon – thank you to Global Golf Advisors who sponsored this global networking event
which allowed the global community to come together and meet each other at the start of the week. 17
countries were represented, 18 if we include the US managers and several CMAA Board members, Jeff
Morgan and a few other key stakeholders.
I was asked to present a brief overview of CMASA’s accomplishments on what our association has
achieved educationally in 2018 (highlighting BMI’s, Conferences, local programming and other
initiatives in 2018).
Education continued day two with sixteen additional concurrent sessions including Simple Numbers for Business Segment
Management, Small Footprint, Large Impact: Maximizing Your Boutique Fitness Center, Beyond Customer Service: Gracious
Hospitality, and Taking Action on Membership Retention.
The afternoon’s general education session featured a 21-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Colonel Nicole
Malachowski (USAF, Ret.).
She wanted to fly military jets from the
moment she saw them at her first air
show when she was five years old.
She achieved that goal – and then
some. A leader, a combat veteran, the
first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds
Air Demonstration Squadron, an
instructor, a White House Fellow, and
an inductee into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s
Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams.
Nicole’s words resonated and inspired me deeply with
her experiences as a member and leader of exceptional
teams. How necessary it is as a pilot to have the
headwinds to get you up into the sky, so that you can
experience ‘blue skies and tail winds’.
Other powerful insights she shared and elaborated on
when we are experiencing our own headwinds are to;
cultivate your new perspective; embrace your new level
of compassion; yield to overcome and show resilience to
Day Three: Tuesday, February 26
Time to visit the Club Business Expo. Approximately 250 club-industry specific vendors shared their latest products, services,
and resources. I was interested in finding out more about two specific service offerings:
Club Resource Centre (CRC) – a platform developed by CMAA, it offers a simple and cost-effective way for clubs to train
their employees. A variety of specific club related training is offered for all staff from F&B, Events, Marketing, Customer
Service to Management. Annual survey reports are also made available.
ClubInsights – launched at the Club Expo, they focus on providing research and strategic planning assistance to clubs to
enable them to harness the power of strategic intelligence to drive success.
Both services fall into CMASA’s objectives and we are currently engaged with local partners to bring these offerings to our
member clubs. Watch this space…
In the early afternoon, the Career Opportunities & Mentoring Showcase took place. This job fair and networking forum allows
GM’s and HR Managers to connect with hospitality industry students and potential future team members for their clubs.
Approximately 300 students from top hospitality programs around the country attended this event. Fabulous way to find
More educational sessions available on several topics including Creating and Maintaining a Thorough F&B Curriculum, Team
Building for 2020 and Beyond, and Point-Counterpoint: The Committee Adventure. I attended the presentation on DO I
HAVE TO MAKE THAT PRESENTATION? Presented by Kevin Fish and Bill Sanderson.
Only spiders and snakes generate more fear in humans than the thought of public speaking! Kevin and Bill were amazing in
providing a template and formula to conquer our fears when giving a presentation, whether it’s to our colleagues, to our
members, our board, or in an official capacity at a function away from the club
The magic formula being – A+P+P.
A = Audience. Start with your audience, first time every time, without exception. Who are they?
P = Purpose. What do they want to hear? State your purpose to the audience. Show how it will benefit the audience.
P = Points. Decide on the points you want to make. Limit it to three points, no more than five. Deliver your purpose.
I’m hoping we can bring Kevin Fish out from Europe to deliver this interactive, fun and highly effective presentation at our
annual conference in August. Watch this space…
The Networking Event took place on Tuesday evening at the historic Ryman
Auditorium, with Jake Owen (a popular American country music singer). Predrinks and delicious food stations where offered prior to the main event at
three popular bars on Broadway avenue – also known as ‘the strip’. Jason
Aldean’s, Luke Bryan and Tequila! It was a very
Day Four: Wednesday, February 27
Education sessions began at 8:00 a.m. with 90-minute educational sessions including Active Threat: Preparedness,
Response, & Recovery, Seven Most Frequent HR Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, and Industry Insights.
Our GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUM took place mid-morning from 10:45 for two hours, bringing together all the global
attendees from Europe, China, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, for a powerful two-hour interactive presentation on ‘The
Challenge of Change - How to build sustainable success’. Presented by Phil Kiester from VCC -The Country Club of
Virginia, and John Schultz from Carmel Country Club. After giving us a brief overview of their club facilities and operations,
which were amazing to see, they took turns in sharing their experiences of having to implement change at different clubs, at
different times and with different teams, during their careers.
Many powerful insights were gained from this session for all involved, covering board dynamics and relations, member
experience, employee culture and more. I recommend you download this presentation - CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
During the afternoon, attendees could choose from fifteen, one-hour educational sessions including Financial Fundamentals,
The Power of Video and How to Use It, A New Strategy for Human Resources Management, The Fine Art of Cultivating
Connections: One Member at a Time, and Why ‘Me Too’ means ‘You Too’
I had the opportunity to browse the IDEA FAIR (think the science fair of great club operations
ideas). There were more than 200 entries submitted by club managers from all over the country. Below are just a few of the winning ideas from certain categories. My favourites were the‘Stainless Steel Straws’ and ‘When Disaster Strikes’ as these are two very simple
initiatives for clubs to implement and keep their members informed.
Many more have been posted on our Facebook page, and members will find huge value in
looking through these and identifying which ones will work well for their own clubs.
Day Five: Thursday, February 28
It was another full day of education and opportunities, kicking off at 8:00 a.m. The day kicked off with five concurrent sessions
including Advanced Crisis Communications and Media Relations for Private Clubs, Club Law Boot Camp, and Building
a World-Class Golf Operation.
During the middle of the day, ten, 90-minute sessions were offered including Rejuvenation and Innovation in Clubs,
Transform Your Culture, Ten Best Governance Practices, and Make Sure Your Website Isn’t Working Against You. I
attended the Ten Best Governance Practices session, and members attending our GOVERNANCE WORKSHOPS
next week, will receive the important messages and guidance that came from this session. The session gave
structure to how clubs should be set up to ensure best practice and governance. It covered board/committee roles
and responsibilities, strategic plan, constitution, legal compliance, importance of benchmarking for fact-based
decision making and more. This presentation gave guidance to GM’s in re-assessing their roles and responsibilities
between the Board/Committees and themselves, in their own clubs.
Another powerful presentation
The day ended at 3:30 p.m. with the Closing Business Session, spotlighting “The Pied Piper of Potential” and “Superwoman
Undercover” Sarah Robb O’Hagan. Sarah is an executive, activist, entrepreneur, and now the founder and CEO of Extreme
Living - a company designed to help individuals, teams, and organizations play to their highest potential. She is the former
CEO of Flywheel Sports, the former president of luxury health club Equinox, the former global president of Gatorade, a former
GM and marketing director at Nike, and a former marketing director at the Virgin Group. She is a rare blend of fierce
businesswoman, cheer leading Mom, passionate women’s advocate, and high-energy innovator.
The Sessions I Attended of Note:
- Advanced Crisis Communications and Media Relations for Clubs
- Stop Coaching and Start Mentoring
- Become a SMART CLUB - the value of benchmarking
- Time Management Workshop
To access the presentations of the sessions I attended, they are available on our website, in the Members Only
section - CLICK HERE.
Note – members will need to register on the website to gain access to these resources.