CEO Blog: Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Published Friday, April 20, 2018
by Henry Wallmeyer

The annual National Club Conference is one of the highlights of the year for me, as I’m sure it is for our members who are able to attend. This year’s show in Los Angeles was no exception. Over the past three days old friends and colleagues have had a chance to reconnect, and we’ve heard from a host of experts about trends and best practices that we can pursue to improve our clubs. We also had a chance to visit two extraordinary member clubs, The California Club and The Jonathan Beach Club.

The final day of The National Club Conference mixed interesting stories and important information. It began with a changing of the guard. Kevin Vitale, GM/COO at Baltusrol Golf Club, was reconized for his service as Chair of the NCA board for the past year. Frank Vain, president at McMahon Group, was named chair for this upcoming year. New officers were announced as well in an important moment for the association. 

Next was an engaging presentation by Deidre Marie Capone, author and grand niece of Al Capone. Deidre told us about the trials and joys of growing up in the shadow of the notorious crime boss and his family, and she offered many fascinating stories about Al Capone and her family.

Our second presentation of the day looked at the water challenges and opportunities facing clubs. Brad Herrema of Browstein Hyatt Farber Schreck talked about trends in water issues, how climate change is impacting water supply, and contemporary water infrastructure issues. He offered terrific guidance about how clubs can best manage their vital water assets. As I said in my introduction of Brad, it’s certainly not a dry topic!

Our final presentation of this year’s show was offered by Kirk Reese and Bob James of Club Thinking Partners. In a very detailed presentation they techniques to "Manage Up," offering insightful guidance on the best ways to manage a board and promote a healthy governance culture. By encompassing so many of the most important issues facing clubs, it was a fitting closing session for the 2018 National Club Conference.

I would like to thank our sponsors and exhibitors one last time. They are vital to our ongoing success, and we appreciate their ongoing support:

  • Condon O’Meara McGinty & Donnelly LLP, President’s Circle Sponsor
  • NCA Foundation, Premier Sponsor
  • Studio JBD & Jefferson Group Architecture, Presenting Sponsor
  • Creative Golf Marketing, Presenting Sponsor
  • Club Car, Transportation Sponsor
  • Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, Program Book Sponsor
  • Private Club Radio Show, Contributing Sponsor
  • International Opulence Magazine, Media Sponsor

As sad as we are to be leaving Los Angeles and all of our friends in the industry, there’s no time for rest. It’s time to start planning the 2019 National Club Conference, which will take place next May in Washington, DC. We are excited about next year’s conference and we are already beginning the planning.

See you next year in Washington, DC!

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