This blog features updates from CMAA’s CEO, Jeffrey D. Morgan, FASAE, CAE, for the CMAA membership. It will keep you up to date on the latest CMAA news and club industry developments.

Subscribe via RSS  CMAA on Twitter  Jeff Morgan on Twitter 

Recent Posts

Search Blog

July 2018: Benefiting from CMAA’s Coaching Services

 Permanent link

 07.24.18 Coaching Services

A fun CMAA moment at Army Navy Country Club: An in-person delivery of Marshall Micheal’s new member kit. Welcome to CMAA Marshall!

A few weeks ago, I received a note from a member who lost his position at his club after almost 20 years. The note went on to say how appreciative he was of the coaching services provided as part of his CMAA membership at a time when it was most needed. Thanks in part to the coaching experience, he found direction and moved forward in a positive manner. He has since found a new club position. 

This isn’t the first time I have received comments like this about the coaching provided by Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall through CMAA. Finding a positive way forward when you experience unexpected change is important. It is why CMAA has established additional member benefits for those in transition, including providing a temporary shift of your membership to Continuation status and complimentary access to World Conference education.

Accessing coaching services and the Coaching Newsletter is not just for those who find themselves in need of a job. CMAA provides this benefit to all members annually. I encourage you to consider taking advantage of it. As part of my own CMAA journey of trying to experience all that members have access to, Kevin conducted a telephone coaching session with me last year to help me assess my own areas of personal need. This beneficial session left me with my own personal introspection. While I am not planning to leave CMAA, the discussion helped me with internal insights to ensure I was receiving as much as I was giving in my professional and personal life.

I wish that no CMAA member ever has to go through an unplanned career change, but I hear about it way too often. It is why CMAA is always looking for those reasons why club professionals might be in jeopardy and what we can do to help. This is one reason CMAA’s Governance Summits were launched two years ago, as we know club governance is an area that can be challenging for club professionals. It is also one of the reasons why we are launching a new Summit next year focused on capital improvements at clubs. For many of us, capital improvements are not something we oversee regularly. They can sometimes be a tipping point for an unplanned career transition. CMAA wants to provide you with educational grounding to help to ensure your capital project is a success. More details on the Capital Improvements Summit will be available in the fall.

As I end this month, I would ask each of you to ask yourselves if you are professionally satisfied? If not, do you know why, and are you doing something about it? We may not need a full-time executive coach, but all of us have times in our lives when we can benefit from professional coaching. Kevin and Shelley do a great job and I hope you will think of them and check out the CMAA Coaching Services.

Until next month,    



June 2018: A New Name, AMS, & More

 Permanent link

CMAA Logo - Club Mgmt

Hello CMAA members! This month I have several newsworthy notes:

1. Cue the trumpets! July 1, 2018, marks the date when CMAA will be officially become the Club Management Association of America!

2. I am hopeful you have seen the recent communications related to the changes to your online membership experience as we “go live” with a new association management software system. These include:

  • New login procedure for CMAA.org;
  • Discontinuation of @member.cmaa.org email address; and
  • New online member directory tool to allow for direct messaging other members that preserves email privacy of recipient until they desire to share their email and contact information.

3. CMAA’s biennial Compensation & Benefits Survey  invitation will be arriving in your email box in the coming weeks. This CMAA survey and our annual operating analytics data collection serves clubs by providing more than one source for club analytical data. I hope your club will complete this survey sometime this month. The report will be issued this fall.

4. Nominations for the inaugural class of CMAA Fellows are due June 30. The CMAA Fellows Program is an honorary recognition program distinguishing those living CMAA members who epitomize the leadership, integrity, involvement, and contributions of club management professionals. These individuals have made significant contributions to the betterment of the profession and CMAA throughout their careers. Those selected as a CMAA Fellow are recognized as highly engaged individuals for their contributions to the profession and are called to continued service as mentors, facilitators, thought leaders, and champions within the club community.  Anyone can nominate a CMAA professional member peer via the  Fellows nomination form.

5. Speaking of nominations, it also time to consider running for the CMAA Board of Directors. All materials are due by June 30 and the 2019 slate will be announced in early September by CMAA’s Nomination Committee.

6. For those who submitted session proposals for consideration as a speaker at the 92nd World Conference on Club Management in Nashville, TN, the Conference Focus Group will be meeting at the National Headquarters this month. You will be notified in July if your submission was accepted. I truly appreciate all of you who took the time to consider delivering a session at Conference. I know your peers will have a tough time selecting speakers from the quality of proposals we’ve received.

7. Last, but certainly not least, I want to call your attention to CMAA’s new information tool – a Podcast entitled “Let’s Talk Club Management." My thanks to Melissa Low and Kyle Jennings for developing our capabilities to do this at CMAA and acting as CMAA’s hosts. I am excited for this launch and hope you will add CMAA’s podcast to your regular podcast listening.

Until next month,


May 2018: Pivoting to Nashville

 Permanent link

 05.15.18 Planning Nashville

While the World Conference in San Francisco is still fresh in our minds, believe it or not, we are already pivoting to the planning and coordination for the 92nd World Conference on Club Management in Nashville, TN. As we look ahead to next year’s event, I need your help. But first, let's take a brief look back at San Francisco.

Thank you to all who attended. Attendance was up this year by more than 10 percent. Every conference city or site may have some challenges but it was great to be back in San Francisco after almost 20 years. We have heard your desire to continue to add some new locations to the Conference rotation and Nashville will be another city that CMAA has not visited for a very long time (1993). CMAA Staff and the Conference Committee read through your Conference surveys and each of the individual comments. We’re grateful for your feedback. Overall, the World Conference was graded as a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, but there were some things we can always do better. Our First-Time Attendee Orientation (newbies) needs to continue to evolve as attendance grows each year. While it was wonderful to go to St. Francis Yacht Club for our networking event, the hotel site was not conducive to loading buses and we need to think differently about transportation in future years. Lastly, with the addition of the new CMAA Fellows program recognition next year, we need to rethink our awards presentations. These are just a few of the things we are assessing as we look ahead to Nashville. Overall, San Francisco was a great success, with most attendees willing to recommend the event to a peer. 

The national Conference Committee, comprised of CMAA members, met in Nashville at the end of April to review attendee surveys, consider changes to the 2019 program flow, and evaluate venues for the networking event. It was a very successful meeting and we are well along in our schedule development as the World Conference in Nashville in 2019 comes into focus. While nothing is yet confirmed, your Conference Committee peers agreed that we want to take full advantage of being in "Music City."

Here’s where we need you to ensure the World Conference in Nashville is another success.

One of the critical success factors for any conference is professional development and the educational programming. CMAA is now accepting proposals to present at our 2019 World Conference. All proposals must be completed online. Simply fill out each section and the file will be sent to David McCabe, CMAA’s Senior Director, Education.  You can submit for a 90, 60, or 15-minute session. The 15-minute sessions will take place on the floor of the Club Business Expo. Proposals for student sessions are also welcome. Please reach out to David with any questions on the proposal process.

The CMAA Education Department works with a focus group of CMAA members to select the Conference education sessions. We are looking for sessions that are engaging for club management professionals. Our membership expects new and innovative delivery methods from the Conference presenters. Proposals incorporating these concepts have a distinct advantage over those that do not.

All proposals are due no later than Monday, May 28, and must be submitted online. We will review all submitted proposals and all who submit a proposal will be notified of the status of their proposal in July.

Thanks for your consideration!

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan

April 2018: CMAA Fellows Program

 Permanent link

Jeff Morgan 2018Last month I shared an update from CMAA’s World Conference, including the results of members voting on the Bylaw changes and the CMAA name change. I received several questions of timing related to changes, so want to share these for clarity:

1. CMAA's name change to the Club Management Association of America will likely happen around July 1, 2018, as we get the legal and regulatory requirements completed, as well as other communication pieces updated to reflect CMAA’s new name. For CMAA chapters, any name change consideration will likely be much longer and coordinated around other changes that include an affiliation agreement, updating chapter bylaws, and chapter logos. Change can be messy and our organizational name change will be messy for a while.
2. I have also been asked about when does CMAA National change from using the title of President to Chairman. Bobby Crifasi, CCM, CCE, CPA, will be CMAA's final National President and Randy Ruder, CCM, CCE, will be our first CMAA National Chairman. Going forward, CMAA Past Presidents will remain as Past Presidents. You can’t change history. Of course, once Randy Ruder completes his term as Chairman, we will start Past Chairmen too!

I am excited to share a bit more about the CMAA Fellows program this month! More information will be sent to the CMAA membership over the next few weeks, but here are a few initial questions (and answers) you may have:

Why is CMAA launching a Fellows program?
CMAA values long-time volunteers and highly engaged members for their contributions to our shared profession. The CMAA Fellows Program marks top honors, recognizing individuals who have made a significant impact on the club management community through exemplary service and leadership, accomplishments, and/or other major contributions to CMAA and the club management profession. The CMAA Fellows Program serves as the Association's dynamic "Hall of Fame."

Who is eligible to be a CMAA Fellow?
Any active Professional member of CMAA is eligible to be nominated to be a CMAA Fellow. The intent of a CMAA Fellows program is to mark recognition of service to the profession and a call to future service to club management. It is not a certification program, like the CCM or CCE, nor a researched-based designation, such as the MCM. CMAA National Board members are not eligible to apply to be a CMAA Fellow until three years post Board service.

What does CMAA Fellow mean?
CMAA Fellow is expected to be an honor bestowed upon less than one percent of CMAA's membership; the term "CMAA Fellow" may be used by active Fellows, who remain CMAA members in good standing, to represent their status and increase the recognition/visibility of CMAA's Fellows Program.

How are Fellows selected?
The Fellows program uses a process governed by a Selection Committee composed of CMAA members in good standing. Nominees (applicants) for CMAA Fellows must be peer nominated. The nominee must then submit detailed endorsement letters from three colleagues/peers, his or her résumé/curriculum vitae, and submit an essay. The curriculum vitae should document service and involvement with CMAA. The essay is designed to capture the nominee’s thinking on how to foster and give back to the CMAA community.

The Selection Committee reviews all applications and final candidates are invited for individual interviews with multiple committee members. If a candidate is not chosen by the Selection Committee to move forward, he/she may be nominated again the next year or any time after that.

I hope this gives you a better understanding and starts to get you thinking about those who deserve to be nominated for consideration as a potential CMAA Fellow.  As I said, more information is coming soon, so stay tuned to learn more about this great way to recognize club luminaries! #CMAAFellow

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan

March 2018: Conference Wrap Up and More

 Permanent link

 03.14.18  2018 Executive Committee

Hello CMAA members! CMAA World Conference in San Francisco just ended and was well attended with a 10 to 15 percent increase in members and almost double first-time attendees from three years ago with more than 280 first-timers. I have much news to share from CMAA’s World Conference, so here is your update: 

1. CMAA’s 2017 Annual Report and annual financial Audit has been updated. They can be accessed online. 

2. If you are interested in watching my “State of the Association” with a 2017 recap and 2018 preview from World Conference, you can access it on CMAA’s YouTube Channel.

3. CMAA members have spoken and voted on the five 2018 National Bylaw propositions. All were approved by more than 90 percent. They were:  

1. Consideration to implement the thorough legal review/recommendations of the CMAA National Bylaws.
2. Consideration to change the official name of the Association.
3. Consideration to remove the membership classification of Surviving Spouse.
4. Consideration to update the titling of CMAA’s elected Executive Officers.
5. Consideration to add Professional members to two national Standing Committees.

4. As noted above (#2), CMAA’s name will change to “Club Management Association of America” on or about July 1, 2018.

5. The CMAA Board approved a “CMAA Fellows” program that will act as a Hall of Fame for CMAA, recognizing outstanding club management professionals. The first class of CMAA Fellows will be announced at World Conference in 2019. More details on the CMAA Fellows nominating process will be released in the coming weeks.

6. CMAA will be adding to our 2017 club operations” analytics report with a 2018 version and a  "compensation & benefits" survey and report in 2018.

7. CMAA’s Board approved a new BMI elective (for a total of three elective offerings - where someone pursuing the Certified Club Manager (CCM) will be required to attend one BMI elective) – “Sports & Recreation” focusing on non-golf activities, as well as children/youth/other activities. The first offering of BMI – Sports & Recreation will be in Scottsdale, AZ, January 6-11, 2019.

8. CMAA will begin updating the CCM program in 2018 with a review of competencies necessary for a club management professional. The club professional competency review will then cascade into refreshing the club management textbook, BMIs, and the Certification exam

9. CMAA has announced four 2018 Governance/ Leadership Summits for club managers and their board members. More information can be found online and space is limited based on location.

10. CMAA has announced 2018 BMI International will be in Queenstown, New Zealand from October 4-9, 2018. This unique offering is presently more than 50 percent subscribed and increasing daily. Register soon here.

11. CMAA elected and installed a new CMAA National Board. Your CMAA National Board listing can be accessed online 

12. CMAA has announced additional World Conference dates and locations. They are: 

Nashville, TN February 24-28, 2019
Dallas, TX February 6-10, 2020
Tampa, FL March 10-14, 2021
San Diego, CA February 19-23, 2022

We have a great many things happening on your behalf at CMAA. My sincere thanks to all the CMAA volunteers, CMAA staff, and others working on these initiatives.

Until next month,


February 2018: CMAA Bylaw Changes – Your Voice and Vote Count!

 Permanent link

2.13.18 USPTA Visit

The World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo is almost upon us and with it, a time of transition at CMAA. Transition comes in the form of leadership changes that includes new Board officers and directors, and new member volunteer committee assignments. Before we arrive at the month of March, I first want to look back. I am amazed and grateful to the hundreds of CMAA volunteers and all the work they did in 2017. I can’t wait to share more with you during my State of the Association address, and the soon to be released CMAA 2017 Annual Report. Still, one important 2017 member volunteer action needs your attention! 

At the request of CMAA National Board and Bylaws Committee, CMAA professional members have the opportunity and responsibility to consider and vote on five (5) CMAA National Bylaw amendments/propositions on this year’s national ballot. I want to ensure you are aware of these and understand the roots for the recommended changes as you consider each one.

In early 2017, CMAA’s Bylaws were comprehensively studied by the Association’s legal counsel; as such, several legal recommendations and housekeeping items were brought to the attention of the CMAA Board of Directors and the 2017 Bylaws Committee. These Bylaw proposals are now presented for the membership’s consideration and vote. Each has the full support and approval of the National Board and the Bylaws Committee.

2018 National Bylaw Propositions:

  1. Consideration to implement the thorough legal review/recommendations of the CMAA National Bylaws.
  2. Consideration to change the official name of the Association.
  3. Consideration to remove the membership classification of Surviving Spouse.
  4. Consideration to update the titling of CMAA’s elected Executive Officers.
  5. Consideration to add Professional members to two national Standing Committees.

#1, Complete Legal Review and Overhaul of CMAA’s National Bylaws. The National Bylaws have not had a legal review in more than a decade. The 2017 Bylaws Committee worked extensively with legal counsel to make the proposed Bylaws consistent with association best practices while preserving CMAA’s historical integrity and intent.

#2, Proposed official name change of the Association. This proposal marks a change of our organization’s name to The Club Management Association of America, still maintaining the acronym of CMAA. Please take the time to review the rationale behind this proposal. A good place to start is re-reading CMAA President Bob James’ explanation from 2017. This change recognizes that CMAA is becoming an umbrella organization for many of the professional staff within clubs as well as indicates that a new name will be even more credible in understanding and delivering content to club boards.

#3, Proposed removal of Surviving Spouse membership classification. Due to diminishing interest, this national membership classification is no longer relevant. CMAA currently has one Surviving Spouse member.

#4, Proposed titling updates to the Association’s elected Executive Officers. This change is an association best practice, and eliminates confusion with CMAA staff and committee/chapter volunteer titles. President to Chairman; Vice President to Vice Chairman.

#5, Proposed additions of Professional members to Standing Committees. CMAA’s Board is adopting best practice by recommending changing the composition of the Budget & Finance Committee and the Audit Committee to allow for up to two (2) additional Professional members beyond the current named CMAA National Officers.

I hope these CMAA National Bylaw changes make sense to you. If you have questions, please feel reach out to me or any of your National Board members with your questions. If you are not attending World Conference and are eligible to vote, you can do so online at https://www.cmaa.org/vote/ no later than 12:00 noon EST, Monday, February 26. If you’ll be joining us at Conference in San Francisco, eligible voters will have three days to vote on site.

As I end this month, I want to express my sincere thanks to all the CMAA volunteers at both CMAA National and in our 43 Chapters for your efforts over the past year. I am looking forward to many of you continuing your involvement as we turn the CMAA calendar with new national leadership. Speaking of CMAA National leadership, my thanks to Bob James, CCM, CCE, CHE, for his leadership as CMAA National President this past year as well as to Jill Philmon, CCM, CCE, and Bill Langley, CCM, CCE, for their Board leadership and tenure. Each has contributed at the highest level for CMAA and has made a big difference for your organization. 

Until next month,

January 2018: Five Character Traits of Innovation Leaders

 Permanent link

 01.16.18 New Pres Dinner

Happy New Year! I am full of hope for 2018! For me that hope starts with looking inward and self reflection. How can I start the year with the best mindset possible? How can I be a better person in 2018? I want to share from a blog that was posted in Forbes titled “Five Character Traits of Innovation Leaders.” In my opinion, the blog could have easily been titled “Five Character Traits of Successful Club Leaders.” So, what are the five traits that are important for [club] professionals as well as innovators?

Don’t Do. Influence. Being a role model in your club is critical. The tone, the work environment, and the culture start with the management staff. The higher up you go in the organizational chart, the more influence you have. So my hope for 2018 is that we all become better role models at our clubs and organizations.

Seed the future, not the present. As leaders, we all need to be in the present, but we need to be continuously thinking about and planting seeds for the future. The health of our clubs or organizations is dependent on it. So my hope for 2018 is that we all keep our feet firmly in the present, but plant seeds for growth, change, and a path to ensure our clubs and organizations thrive today and into the future.

Work for the love of change and improvement, rather than what you get for yourself. As leaders, it is important that we focus outwardly – on the success of our staff, on the exceptional member’s experiences we provide, and on the health of our clubs. So my hope for 2018 is that we all put our personal interests aside and focus our attention on how to improve our clubs and organizations. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of yourself too, so I hope you focus on improving your own personal health, wealth, and happiness in 2018.

Take risk that will benefits others, even when – especially when! – those who will benefit may not even know what you are doing. While often a scary concept, risk taking is part of being a leader. But when you, your Board, and your management team are grounded in doing what is best for the organization, that entrepreneurial spirit becomes second nature and thrives. So my hope for 2018 is that all of us become better aligned, better risk takers, and better at becoming entrepreneurs in our clubs and organizations.

Share, share, share all the time. Transparent leaders are often the most respected and successful leaders. They treat information and knowledge as a “treasure to be shared” and not as a control mechanism. This transparency creates aligned organizations that are in sync and headed in the same direction. So my hope for 2018 is that all of us become more transparent leaders - trusting and sharing within our organizations more freely.

The blog ends with some critical insight. “There is one thing that all five of these leadership characteristics have in common: They are all ways of being, or thinking, or acting. They are not skill-based; they don’t require any specialized knowledge; and they certainly don’t require any authority. They simply require a change in how a leader thinks.” So as I end for this month, my hope for 2018 is that all of us become better people in 2018, by being, thinking, and acting better! I will do my best to be a better person in 2018 and I hope you will too!

If you’d like to read the Forbes blog, you can access it online.

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan