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Met Club Managers Association Celebrates 100 Years

The Metropolitan Club Managers Association – the local chapter of the Club Management Association of America – in 2023 has been celebrating 100 years of excellence in guiding and educating club managers.

The MCMA was established in 1923 with a goal to provide more guidance and unity across the profession as the club industry experienced dramatic growth. They improved the profession on many levels within their first decade, creating a national code of ethics, establishing a uniform accounting system, and providing advocacy and education regarding the need for qualified, full-time general managers. Though much has changed in 100 years, the purpose of the Chapter remains steadfast, aiming to advance the profession by supporting members through education and camaraderie.

“As MCMA celebrates its centennial year it is apparent how the overall theme of successful club management is consistent, but conversely how the industry has changed over the last 100 years, and how it will continue to change going forward,” says Chapter President and Orienta Beach Club general manager Mark Sheehan.

By 1943, the Chapter had approximately 60 members, but that changed after World War II. As the U.S. flourished, so did the Chapter. By 1951, suburban development had grown exponentially, and the need for clubs grew quickly. Today the Chapter - which includes Long Island, Westchester and Putnam counties, and the eastern part of New York State including the Hudson Valley, Albany and through Plattsburgh, N.Y. – has 320 members from 150 different clubs.

Adolph Koenig, who started his career as a chef and later became one of the founders and early presidents of the Chapter wrote: “Before MGMA existed there was no manifestation of esprit de corps nor any signs of working fraternity among those who managed the numerous town and country clubs in the Metropolitan New York area. Each general manager kept his personnel and management policies, according to which he discharged his various duties, to himself. The annual reports of operations of the various clubs were guarded more secretly than top secret documents at the Pentagon.”

Sharing of ideas and collaboration among members has stood as a key part of the Chapter over the years, providing plenty of guidance as managers must oversee a wider range of operations at clubs.

“What sets our industry apart from others is the knowledge needed to be successful,” says Sheehan. “Those who work in private club management need to wear many hats and be experts at many things. Most private clubs have golf courses, pools, restaurants, and tennis courts; some have beaches and watersports, overnight accommodations, kids’ camps, and hold banquets and cater for both private and club events.”

Within all those areas managers must have a wealth of knowledge in how to manage governance, human resources, accounting, facilities, purchasing and how to navigate multi-million-dollar capital projects. On top of that, there’s always an understanding that the membership’s desires usually come first as well.

“The MCMA provides so much and such vast education to help its members be knowledgeable, understanding, and successful at all these things,” says Sheehan. “To top it all off, the cultures of clubs and industry trends are continuously changing, so association members must always be updated on the times.”

This year alone, the MCMA has provided educational opportunities that cover everything from strategic planning for a construction project and alcoholic beverage laws to onboarding new employees, with classes covering storytelling and inclusion still to come.

“Getting involved has changed my life both professionally and personally in so many ways,” says Sheehan. “As a younger man I started attending education sessions and meeting the membership and we spoke about things happening at that time. Now looking back, I see how very different it was from the conversations of today. All in all, however, there is still a common theme of hospitality and member services.”

With 100 years of history and success in advancing the club management profession, the MCMA is poised to carry on that legacy and continue to lead the way for its members now and in the future.

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