Spotlight on William A. Schulz, MCM
General ManagerHouston Country Club
Bill is a culinary school graduate and spent his early years as an executive chef before advancing into the club management profession. His resume of successful clubs includes Twin Orchard Country Club in Long Grove, Illinois, Brynwood Country Club and the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has been the General Manager of Houston Country Club since 1990.
Bill’s exceptional vision about the club industry has yielded model ideas and programs that have significantly benefitted private clubs. For example, he has won numerous recognitions in CMAA’s Idea Fairs and was instrumental in developing the Club Operations Manual that is the cornerstone of CMAA’s Premier Club Services.
Bill was elected to CMAA’s Board of Directors and became its National President in 1994. He has chaired numerous CMAA committees, has served a five-year term as Governor on the Club Foundation Board, and currently serves on the MCM Academic Council.
Bill became CMAA’s eighth Master Club Manager (MCM) in 1997. His MCM monograph, “Assistant Manager In Development Program,” is used throughout the club industry in the United States and Europe, and CMAA awards credits for its completion. He is a Senior Partner & Principal of Master Club Advisors, a firm that specializes in Executive Placement and also offers management symposiums throughout the country. The organization also publishes Club Management Perspective (an international newsletter) and Club Leader’s Digest (an electronic-publication especially for club leadership).
Bill has been involved at the University of Houston since 1991 helping to teach its club management course. In 1999 he was chosen Club Management Magazine’s “Club Manager of the Year,” and in 2002 he received the “Excellence in Club Management Award.”
Bill was asked about what prompted him to pursue his MCM. He explained that, when he was given the opportunity to become a club manager, he had to learn the business using resources different from those entering the industry from a hospitality school. He took additional courses, attended numerous workshops and seminars, learned by sharing with his peers, read a lot, and learned through “trial and error.” These experiences provided a solid foundation that made him a better all around club manager.
He notes that today’s managers need a more coordinated approach to attain their leadership skills. Clubs can no longer afford the” trial and error” method of management. The “Assistant Manager In Development Program” detailed in his MCM monograph provides a structured learning experience for those who may take the “back of house” path to club management. It anticipates education that is required and provides a plan to secure it. It is also very beneficial for those with a hospitality degree who desire a club management career path because it helps to connect theory learned in school with “hands-on” experience required in all club departments.
Bill offers some great personal reflections about his MCM. For example, he says it reaffirmed his commitment to the industry, and it also provided new perspectives about how multi-faceted club management positions really are. As importantly, he feels a great sense of accomplishment and pride knowing his monograph assists club management professionals including those in his own club.
Bill says his work on the MCM designation has made him a better manager, and he feels more respected by other managers and his Board. On a personal note, the designation has created a sense of obligation to be “the very best he can be.” He enjoys assisting other managers whenever he has an opportunity to do so and has an interest in staying on the “cutting edge” of the profession. As well, Bill has enjoyed financial benefits: another point of interest to almost all managers.
Why should others consider the MCM? Bill notes that club management is a complicated profession that requires the input and experiences of professional managers to continue to improve the profession. MCM monographs provide a great resource for others, but they also reflect a sense of pride and accomplishment in those author them. Bill states that the MCM program is not for every manager. Instead, it is for those who consider themselves true professionals and who are willing to share their knowledge with others and become a role model for younger managers.