McMahon Group, Inc., the St. Louis-based consulting firm, and Club & Resort Business have announced the 2011 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 2011 winners will appear in upcoming issues of Club & Resort Business.
The 2011 group has five award winners, because of a tie that resulted from the judging in one category.
Winner: Country/Golf Clubs with Fewer than 600 Full-Privilege Members
When Patricia Calder became the Thornblade Club’s new General Manager in 2001, the club was struggling to find its way, according to Jody Gallagher, current President of its Board of Governors.
One possible path, according to Gallagher, would be to become a “pure golf club”—and this would certainly make sense, given that the Thornblade Club was founded in 1989, in partnership with a local developer, by PGA Tour Pro Jay Haas, and features an acclaimed Tom Fazio course.
But there was also a strong push to move Thornblade to the forefront of the then-emerging “family-centric” trend. Adding to the budding identity crisis was the need to come to grips with how to make the best use of a new 55,000-sq. ft. clubhouse that had been built to replace the club’s original building, after it burned down in 1999.
Ten years later, Calder’s Excellence in Club Management award attests to how she was able to skillfully lead the Thornblade Club down all the right roads—and guide it to the best of all worlds. The club has an even stronger golf profile today—the Thornblade Classic pro-am charity tournament hosted by Haas annually attracts top players, and the BMW Charity Pro-Am earns the highest Golf Channel ratings for the Nationwide Tour. Golf’s prominence has grown so much at Thornblade under Calder’s direction, over a dozen active tour pros now hold special memberships and regularly assist with club events throughout the year.
At the same time, Thornblade’s clubhouse is now alive year-round with a full schedule of junior and family programming, and the average age of its membership has declined in recent years “because of the influx of young families, which will help to secure the club’s future,” says Gallagher.notice