Innovation a Theme at MGA Presidents Council Conference
SUMMIT, N.J. (October 10, 2012) - More than 175 Met Area club representatives were in attendance on Tuesday, October 9 for one of the most popular events on the fall calendar: the annual MGA Presidents Council Fall Conference, held this year at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J. The Presidents Council, which is part of the MGA Foundation's series of educational programs, is a seminar meant to give club leaders valuable information about industry trends and issues affecting golf clubs. Each year, a panel of distinguished experts are invited to attend and present their ideas to the full group. This year, innovation was a common theme, as the speakers shared ways that clubs can improve relationships with their members and enhance their overall club experience.
Kimberly Erusha, Ph.D., the new managing director of the Green Section at the USGA, was the first guest presenter and spoke about the importance of meeting member demands on a restrained budget. One of her main points was how vital it is that clubs map out all maintenance expenses to look for more efficient ways to keep budgets in check. Dr. Erusha also spoke about how weather, water, and the limited use of pesticides are becoming increasingly difficult for courses all over the country, and how the USGA Green Section's research is a valuable tool for clubs as they deal with these issues.
Jack Zook, a former private club president and current chairman of the National Club Association, then provided a brief overview on current key legal and legislative issues facing the private club industry. These included the Affordable Care Act, private status, immigration, taxes, errant golf ball cases, unionization and other issues, both on the local and national level.
Lastly, Steve Tyink, vice president of business innovation at Miron Construction Co., delivered a fast-paced, high-energy presentation on the importance of how clubs engage with their members and potential members. Tyink, a former general manager with more than a decade of experience in the private club industry, offered up his innovative ideas on how clubs can set themselves apart from the competition and modify their habits so they relate with the ever-changing and demanding marketplace.
The conference was held at Canoe Brook Country Club, which is also a regular host of U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying, including for the last three years. After the speaker presentations, attendees were treated to a round of golf on either the South or North courses, followed by cocktails and hors d'oevures in the evening.