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Idea Fair

Dataw Academy "How Our Island Works"

The Most Innovative Idea Award Winner

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

We developed this four-day intensive "Dataw Academy" training program to help nurture members towards board and committee service, and also as an excellent training tool for new members - helping them understand "How our island works."

Members are required to commit to all four days to "graduate." They enjoy presentations and tours from all areas of operations, from behind-the-scenes kitchen and cart barn tours, to demonstrations of landscape equipment and marina operations; from numerous lecture/presentations to hand-on sports demos.

Dataw Academy has successfully produced numerous board candidates and has inspired many more to committee service. Additionally, the understanding of Club operations that participants gain is unparalleled: they graduate understanding our successes and challenges, and with an enhanced appreciation for our staff and all that we accomplish.

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

Two staff members act as the primary coordinators and communicators, accompanied by two Member Chairs (former Board presidents -- one from the Club, the other from the Owners Assoc. - preferably from the recent past so their knowledge of current issues and operations is fresh.) Staff advertises the program and handles booking the spaces and coordinating staff presenters; the Chairs coordinate with the Members who present and act as emcees for the week.

Members LOVE Dataw Academy! Each time we offer this 18-hour program, seats sell out in a matter of minutes! Comments commonly include praises for management, an appreciation for the in-depth understanding of Club operations, and overall that they just truly enjoyed the experience.

About the author

Laura McCarthy

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