Spotlight on Dorothy (Dottie) Donovan, RPh, MCM
General Manager, Retired
Valley Country Club
Dorothy (Dottie) Donovan served as the General Manager of the Valley Country Club in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1958 to 2005. Her parents were stockholders in the Club and, in 1958, Dottie’s husband and her Father purchased the club from the other stockholders. The result: she “instantly” became a Club Manager!
At that time, Dotty was a pharmacist who owned her own drug store. After selling the drugstore, she participated in classes at Cornell University and, as she likes to say, “I took every hospitality course that I could find.” Her interest in continuing education followed her throughout her career and, “Whenever there was another level of education, I wanted to achieve it.” True to her belief in the importance of on-going professional development for private club managers, this philosophy prompted Dottie to pursue CMAA’s Master Club Manager (MCM) designation.
The topic of her MCM monograph is an “Exploratory Study of Leadership Styles.” Her insightful project encourages club managers to review their leadership styles and provides them with an opportunity to compare their own style to those used by their club manager peers.
As a result of completing the MCM requirements, Dottie says that “I learned that I could accomplish a significant career challenge with the same fortitude, aptitude, and skills that I have successfully used during my entire professional career. She also notes the impact that the project had on improving her own personal leadership skills that are a “must” for every club manager. She notes, for example, that “Every day you have to be a leader, and it is important to understand your leadership style and strengths in alternative workplace situations.”
Dottie is very pleased that others have found her MCM monograph information to be useful. She has been told, for example, that some readers had never realized how often effective leadership skills could made a difference in the successful outcome of a wide variety of management situations. She believes that a club manager is like a coach, and proper leadership leads to a successful operation.
Dottie says that eligible CMAA members should consider attaining their MCM to enjoy the personal and professional benefits that will accrue to them. “It will take personal time and it will create challenges, but the rewards will be worth the challenge. Perseverance is an important leadership trait, and it will be helpful as the MCM monograph is developed. In the process, persons will learn more about themselves that will enable them to become much better club managers.”
An interesting endnote: Dottie’s husband (Art Donovan) was a professional football player, and they frequently discuss the many similarities between coaches and team members on football teams and within the private club environment.