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Award Programs

CMAA offers a variety of awards programs for individuals and chapters. There are also scholarships and grants available from The Club Foundation.

For further information about these awards, please contact Erica Benjamin, senior director, Member and Chapter Relations, or call 703-739-9500.


Chapter of the Year

The Chapter of the Year (COY) award competition recognizes outstanding work, participation, and accomplishments by CMAA Chapters. First place Chapters will receive a $3,000 education grant, and most improved Chapters will receive a $2,000 education grant all funded by The Club Foundation.

Entries due December 15

2021 Winners

Small Chapters
First Place: Evergreen Chapter
Second Place: Tennessee Volunteer Chapter
Most Improved: Utah Chapter

Medium Chapters
First Place: Pittsburgh Chapter
Second Place: Upper Midwest Chapter
Most Improved: Virginias Chapter

Large Chapters
First Place: Connecticut Chapter
Second Place: Golden State Chapter
Most Improved: Metropolitan Chapter

Student Chapter of the Year

The Student Chapter of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding work and successful accomplishments of our student chapters. This program will now reflect the student academic year and go from August 1st – April 30th of every year. There will be a Student Chapter of the Year winner for each size category and those winning chapters will receive a $1,000 World Conference registration grant provided by The Club Foundation.

Entries due April 30

2021 Winners

Small Chapters
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Medium Chapters
Niagara University

Large Chapters
Florida State University

Club Executive of the Year

Today, the award continues to evolve with a focus on professionals who have demonstrated mentoring, creating a supportive club culture, and sustained engagement with the local CMAA Chapter.

Nominate a club management professional who embodies professionalism at their club and within the CMAA community. CMAA welcomes and encourages nominations from diverse backgrounds and work experiences.

2021 Winner

Marc Ray

Marc Ray, CCM, CCE, CHAE

General Manager/Chief Operating Officer of The Ford Field & River Club in Richmond Hill, GA

Club Management magazine has named Marc Ray, CCM, CCE, CHAE, the 2021 Club Executive of the Year. A 22-year member of the Club Management Association of America (CMAA), Marc currently serves as the General Manager/Chief Operating Officer of The Ford Field & River Club in Richmond Hill, GA.

Marc has more than 23 years of experience in the club industry. Prior to joining The Ford Field & River Club in 2015, he served as the General Manager/Chief Operating Officer of The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, CA, from 2012 to 2015. His previous experiences included General Manager & COO roles at Hammock Dunes Club in Palm Coast, FL, and at Metairie Country Club in Metairie, LA. In his first role in the club industry, Marc was the Assistant General Manager of Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, MI. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The Ford Field & River Club President Jeff Fusile describes Marc and his impact on the club and community, “In addition to performing his job at an exemplary level at all levels with an incredibly diverse amenity offering, Marc demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to The Ford community as well as our local, city, and county population.”

Past mentee Sean Miller, CCM, explains his contributions to those around him, “Marc has a very good sense for great talent and is always willing to share his knowledge to those who have the desire to learn and succeed. He has helped grow many individuals within the clubs he has managed as well as others in our industry. There have been many managers who he has promoted within as well as managers he supported when great outside opportunities were present.”

Annually, Club Management recognizes the best in club leadership with the Club Executive of the Year Award. Created in 1985 and originally known as the Club Manager of the Year, the award was re-titled in 2008 to mirror the evolution of the club management profession. This prestigious honor is presented to the club management professional who embody professionalism within their club and community—embracing mentoring, creating a club culture that supports the staff team through on-going educational opportunities and crisis assistance, and supporting and impacting their local community. Nominations are accepted in early fall, and selections are made by a committee of club management professionals.

Marc is the 35th individual club executive to be honored through this award. He will be featured in the January/February 2022 issue of Club Management magazine, profiled in a forthcoming edition of the Let’s Talk Club Management Podcast, and honored in person at the 2022 CMAA World Conference and Club Business Expo in San Diego, CA.

2020 The Club Industry
2019 Tony D'Errico, CCM, CCE
2018 Burton Ward, CCM, CCE
2017 Richard L. LaRocca, CCM, CCE
2016 Terra S.H. Waldron, CCM, CCE
2015 Gregory J. Patterson
2014 C.J. "Joe" Bendy, Jr., CCM, CCE
2013 Jim G James, CCM
2012 Paul Astbury
2011 Michael Leemhuis, CCM, CCE
2010 Damon DiOrio, CCM, CCE
2009 Michael McCarthy
2008 G. Mead Grady, CCM
2007 ***
2006 George Carroll, CCM, CCE
2005 John Crean, CCM, CHA
2004 Larry L. Thompson
2003 Jonathan McCabe, CCM
2002 A. Graham McDeson, MCM
2001 Richard Bayliss Jr., CCM, CCE
2000 John R. Sullivan Jr., CCM
1999 William Schulz, MCM, CCE
1998 Jay DiPietro, CCM
1997 Stan Orr
1996 Robert James, CCM, CCE, CHE
1995 Richard Kolasa, CCM
1994 Melvin Rex, CCM
1993 John Hudson, CCM
1992 Christopher Borders, CCM
1991 Sally Burns Rambo, CCM
1990 James Brewer, MCM
1989 Joe Brem, CCM
1988 E.M. "Mike" Fraser, CCM
1987 Edward Drew, CCM
1986 Donald Hayes, CCM
1985 Laurice "Bud" Hall, MCM, CCE

*** No award due to magazine publishing transition

Idea Fair

The purpose of the Idea Fair is to share ideas with other managers through a visual medium (i.e., display board.) The Idea Fair is held annually in conjunction with the World Conference. Entries are judged on creativity / clarity / content; transferability of idea. Winning entries are recognized at Conference and in other CMAA publications.

Entries for the 2022 Idea Fair are now closed.

Previous Entries

2022 2021 2020 2019

(Archive migration is in progress)

Category Winners

Club Events- Alexandra Donohoe, Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland
Special Holiday Programs- Allison Boyd, Champions Run, Omaha, Nebraska
Youth Programs or Events- Cory Conklin, Mission Hills Country Club, Mission Hills, Kansas
Staff Management & Incentives- Philip Kiester, The Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia
Safety Programs and Risk Management- William Norem, Country Club of Buffalo, Williamsville, New York
Club Communications- Tai Tran, CCM, Detroit Athletic Club, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan
Membership Development- Michael Wheeler, MCM, CCE, Cherokee Town and Country Club, Atlanta, Georgia
Renovation Programs- Patrick King, CCM, CCE, Army Navy Country Club, Arlington, Virginia
Environmental Impact- Brandon Johnson, Farmington Country Club, Charlottesville, Virginia
Golf Operations- Philip Kiester, The Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia
Alternate Sports & Recreation- Joe Krenn, CCM, CCE, Farmington Country Club, Charlottesville, Virginia
Fitness, Health and Wellness- JulieAnne Brown, CCM, CPA, Farmington Country Club, Charlottesville, Virginia
Food Concepts and Beverage Concepts- Tyler Winkowski, Wanakah Country Club, Hamburg, New York
Cost-/Time-Saving Concepts- Eben Molloy, CCM, CCE, Woodfield Country Club, Boca Raton, Florida
Community Outreach- Holly Bilotti, Bay Head Yacht Club, Bay Head, New Jersey
Silver Linings- Michael Palamara, CCM, Army Navy Country Club, Fairfax, Virginia
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion- Nathan Lamb, Charlotte Country Club, Charlotte, North Carolina

The Chairman's Award
Matt Guzik, CCM, CCE, Tara Iti Golf Club, New Zealand, for his entry in the Staff Management Category

The Most Innovative Idea Award
Laura McCarthy, Dataw Island Club, Dataw Island, South Carolina, for her entry in the Membership Development Category

The Showstopper Winner
Ben Lorenzen, CCM, Champions Run, Omaha, Nebraska, for his entry in the Alternative Sports and Recreation Category

Chapter Idea Fair

The purpose of the Chapter Idea Fair is for Chapters to share innovative ideas with each other in specific categories. This award program is presented at the annual Leadership/Legislative Conference (LLC). Winning chapters are recognized in various ways both at LLC and throughout the year. One chapter’s idea is recognized as "Best in Show" and will be awarded a $2,000 grant sponsored by The Club Foundation. New this year: One Chapter’s Idea will be recognized as the “Most Transferable Idea” and will be awarded a $1,000 grant sponsored by The Club Foundation.

Entries are due on August 24, 2022.

For further information, please contact Erica Benjamin, senior director, Member and Chapter Relations, or call 703-739-9500.

Previous Entries

Idea Fair Boards on display

2021   2020

(Archive migration is in progress)

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)/Member Communities
Florida Chapter

Chapter Communications
Oregon Chapter

Florida Chapter

Membership Engagement
Wisconsin Badger Chapter

Community Outreach
Carolinas Chapter

Student Chapter Engagement
Greater Chicago Chapter

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Connecticut Chapter

“Best in Show”
 Georgia Chapter for their idea in "Membership Engagement"

New Member Recruitment Contest

The New Member Recruitment Contest is set up to provide encouragement for CMAA chapters to increase, maintain and preserve their membership. This annual chapter contest awards grants to chapters (in size categories small, medium and large) that surpass, achieve or are closest to reaching their set membership recruitment goals. The goals are determined by taking the average number of each chapter’s new member total for the last five years and adding five percent.

Chapter goals and contest standings are noted every month in Chapter Digest, including an updated list indicating each chapter’s progress toward its goal. The contest runs from January 1 to December 31 of the given year. Grant amounts are as follows: first place - $2,000; second place - $750; third place - $500. Additionally, every chapter that meets their goal is automatically entered in a drawing to win a $1,000 education grant from The Club Foundation. A winner in each size category is announced at the World Conference on Club Management.

2021 Winners

January 1–December 31, 2021

Small Chapters
Inland Empire (275%)
Evergreen (250%)
Illini (200%)

Medium Chapters
New York State (243%)
Greater Cleveland (188%)
Mile High (158%)

Large Chapters
Ohio Valley (200%)
Connecticut (194%)
Greater Southwest (157%)

New Member Recruitment Contest for Student Chapters

The New Member Recruitment Contest got a makeover! This contest will now recognize all the student chapters that have reached 100% of their goal! Goals are calculated by taking the average of each chapter’s new membership over the past three years and increased by 5%. This program will run the length of the academic year, September 1 through April 30 each year.

The chapters that have reached 100% of their goal will receive two complimentary World Conference Registrations.

2021-2022 Winners

Small Chapters
First Place: Iowa State University
Second Place: Western Carolina University

Medium Chapters
First Place: University of Hawaii
Second Place: University of Wisconsin - Stout

Large Chapters
First Place: University of South Carolina
Second Place: Northern Arizona University

Student Shark Tank Competition

In 2022, CMAA student membership participated in our first annual Student Shark Tank Competition! This competition is for any student member (or a group up to 5) that has an innovative mind! Have an idea or product that you think the club industry could benefit from? Tell us about it! There is the potential for three rounds of competition: the first being a one-minute video, the second being a five minute presentation via Zoom to a panel of “Sharks” (club professionals) and the third and final round at CMAA’s World Conference with the Sharks and any conference attendees who would like to sit in on the presentations!  

Submissions Due January 18, 2023

2022 Competition Winners

Staff Recruitment and Retention-
Gigi Ortiz & Kate Dauphinee, Niagara University


Watch the 2022 Submission Pitches

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