Practice What You Preach

How NCA Walks the Talk

Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019
by Terra S.H. Waldron

THE NATIONAL CLUB ASSOCIATION (NCA) is a leader in private club advocacy and education, providing a voice for the industry and best practices in critical club areas. However, it takes great work, effort and strategy to achieve the level of success we have earned in our 58-year history. In 2016, as part of a brand overhaul, NCA adopted three pillars: Insight, Advocacy, and Governance. In the spirit of good business practices, we have also adopted a Strategic Plan that lays the groundwork to ensure that your Association fulfills its mission to promote and advance the interests and well-being of all private clubs.

Our Strategic Plan consists of four key issues: revenue generation, purposeful federal and state advocacy, club governance expertise and building NCA’s brand. To make a positive impact in these areas, NCA will focus on initiatives to grow membership, grow our corporate partner program, increase member engagement, build our fast-growing political action committee ClubPAC, improve effectiveness of club boards, be the voice of the private club community and much more.

The beauty of the plan is we have one hundred percent board commitment to execute it, which is evergreen and will not sit on the shelf as we too often experience in our own environments. This comprehensive plan is ambitious and achievable. Through this document, we can more effectively fulfill our vision to be the preeminent advocate and resource for the private club community. With NCA’s talented staff and visionary board, no bar is too high.

In addition to our strategic initiative we have pivoted in our Advocacy tactics. We now have a more concerted effort to reach across both sides of the aisle to make our voice heard. Joe Trauger, NCA’s new vice president of government relations, is committed to inform legislators, regulators and administrators, regardless of party affiliation, about the impact the actions they’ve taken or propose have on our community. Also, Trauger has already made a significant contribution of his own money to ClubPAC, NCA’s political action committee, setting an excellent example for the NCA Board, our members and the private club community.

Regarding our Insight activities, NCA’s publications and resources are consistently among the best in the industry. Club Director and Club Trends, which is co-produced with the McMahon Group, continue to provide timely, relevant and original content to inform even the most seasoned club executives. This year NCA has unveiled Club Business, produced jointly with Club Benchmarking, to deliver key industry benchmarking statistics and real-world examples of how data can improve your club’s governance capability. These resources, along with our books, white papers and the National Club Conference, which continues to be one of the most exciting and informative events each year, sets the high mark for club education.

Closing the loop is governance. This ever-challenging area is critical to a club’s well-being. NCA consistently provides the resources your club needs to keep it successful, focused and relevant.

For example, NCA is a proponent of each club having a Board Policy Manual (BPM). This document defines the roles and responsibilities for the board. Having relied on BPMs, I believe it should be front and center at all meetings. Using the BPM, board meetings remain on task and schedule, instead of meandering through topics that do not fall under the board’s jurisdiction. A BPM is a perfect way to for the board and management to follow today’s approved policies and reap the benefits.

These examples represent a fraction of the ways NCA works to serve you. The new strategic plan will ensure that NCA continues to enhance its activities to create a vibrant and fruitful private club community. It will take hard to work to meet our goals, but we are up to the challenge. As an organization we must practice what we preach and walk the talk.

Terra S.H. Waldron is COO of Greensboro Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. She also serves as chair of NCA. She can be reached at 336-691-5824 or 

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