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James to Receive MGA's Distinguished Service Award

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (November 3, 2017) – The MGA is proud to announce that longtime Westchester Country Club Executive Director Robert C. James will receive the 2017 MGA Distinguished Service Award. James, who recently retired, is the first-ever club management leader to receive the DSA award—a fitting honor for his remarkable 40-plus year career in the Met Area.

Related: Previous MGA DSA Recipients

The MGA Distinguished Service Award, created in 1973, is presented annually to a candidate who has contributed “distinguished service to golf and its related activities, consistent with the valued standards and honorable traditions of the game.” Some of its earliest winners include Joe Dey, Harry Cooper, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and P.J. Boatwright, while names such as Dave Anderson, David Fay and Jim Nantz have received the honor in recent years.

James, who graduated from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and received his MBA from Pace University, began his career as Club House Manager at The Philadelphia Country Club in 1973. In 1976, James returned to his roots in the Met Area, taking the position of General Manager at The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Conn. He then held the same position at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, N.Y., from 1981-1991 before ultimately joining Westchester Country Club as Executive Director.

“The exemplary standards for service that Mr. James set and provided throughout his career make him more than deserving for this honor,” said past MGA president and DSA Committee chair Jeff Holzschuh. “Beyond his commitment to his own career, James also remained steadfast in his dedication to the profession and served graciously as a volunteer leader for a number of organizations.”

James is a Founding Director of the Metropolitan Club Foundation and has served as Director for both the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) and New York State Club Association for extensive periods. He has served as both Director and Chairman for both the National Club Foundation and National Club Association, and served as a Council Member for the MGA’s Presidents Council since 1990.

His enthusiasm for volunteering began at Cornell, when he served as a CMAA student chapter president. He was named Club Manager of the Year for CMAA Region One and by Club Management Magazine in 1996, and has been a co-chair for both the Certification Committee and Club Management Institute for the CMAA. This year, James served as CMAA President, becoming the first CMAA National President to have also served as a CMAA student chapter president.

“2017 President Bob James, CCM, CCE, CHE, has spent a lifetime dedicated to the club industry and to the betterment of club management professionals,” says Jeffrey D. Morgan, CEO of the CMAA. “His outstanding contributions will positively affect the profession and club managers for years to come.”

In addition to his variety of volunteer roles in which he helped guide the profession, James has shared his expertise as an adjunct professor at Cornell, has authored articles for publication, and has been a featured speaker or panelist for numerous conferences.

The award, the MGA’s highest honor, will be presented to James at the MGA’s 120th Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, December 6 at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y.

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