Reaching New Heights

Published Wednesday, January 29, 2020
by Henry Wallmeyer

When my tenure as president and CEO of the National Club Association (NCA) began a little more than four years ago, I set about to develop a plan to grow the association, make it a stronger advocate for our members, be a more aggressive voice for the club industry and to produce industry-leading programs and education.  

So far, through the leadership, direction and hard work of the NCA board of directors, our committees, our members and the NCA staff, we have succeeded. We still have a way to go to be the biggest, strongest, loudest and most prolific association we possibly can be, but as we travel on that path, we will continue to chart new territory and break new ground.

This is more evident today than ever in our government relations efforts. The winter issue of Club Director includes NCA’s first Policy Agenda and an incredibly interesting outlook of the 2020 House of Representatives elections from the campaign committees of the respective parties prepared specifically for NCA. I thank the Government Relations Committee for their work with Joe Trauger in creating the Policy Agenda, and Joe for his doggedness to secure the election outlook.      

Another area where we blazing new trails is with our National Club Conference. The mission of the National Club Conference is to inspire and educate private club leaders. We do this each year by identifying influential individuals from a variety of industries who will embolden general managers, club directors and industry professionals to be better custodians and provide understanding into ways private clubs can be successful. This year we look forward to welcoming 250 managers, directors, guests and industry professionals to the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla., May 17-19 for superior speakers and extraordinary experiences.  

Conference speakers will include sportswriter Rick Reilly; brothers and co-founders of vineyard vines Shep and Ian Murray; former AVIS executive and leadership specialist Tom Gartland; entrepreneur, real estate developer and private club owner Don Peebles; negotiation expert Kwame Christian and a panel of the 2019 Excellence in Club Management Award winners.  

Once-in-a-lifetime experiences include golf at Card Sound Club—the private club within Ocean Reef Club; the VIP Reception and Dinner at Key Largo Anglers Club; receptions and dinners at Ocean Reef Club and behind the scenes tours of the facilities. To see everything the conference has in store for you and to register before it is sold out, visit

The recent successes have been tremendous for NCA and the club community. However, they would not have been possible without the strong foundation laid, effort and dedication exhibited by those who came before me. In November, NCA and the club community was deeply saddened by the news of Jerry Hurley’s passing. Jerry was instrumental in NCA’s growth and development as Executive Vice President from 1974-1993, and his work and passion for the industry is still felt today. Jerry reestablished NCA as the most authoritative source of all legal, taxation, policy and trend information for private clubs and developed the first Club Director Reference Series, which continues to benefit industry veterans and rising club talent. Jerry was a fearless advocate for private clubs, serving as the public voice of the industry in television, print and in front of Congress, testifying to protect the private club community.

We are fortunate to have the opportunity to carry on Jerry’s legacy and hope that we, as the private club community, have done everything we could and are viewed as stewards who made it a better industry for those who come after us.

Club Industry Brief

NCA's free bi-weekly news digest is designed specifically for private club leaders. It covers industry news and trends and articles on golf, membership and operations for private clubs.