This blog features updates from CMAA’s CEO, Jeffrey D. Morgan, FASAE, CAE, for the CMAA membership. It will keep you up to date on the latest CMAA news and club industry developments.

Subscribe via RSS  CMAA on Twitter  Jeff Morgan on Twitter 

Recent Posts

Search Blog

February 2019 - The 2018 Annual Report Highlights

 Permanent link

02.10.19 Annual ReportThe countdown to Nashville is on! I can’t wait to see so many of you in a few weeks. Since January 1, CMAA has added five more hotels to our room block, so Nashville will definitely feel CMAA’s presence throughout World Conference. I hope you are ready for informative education, wonderful networking opportunities, plentiful new and repeat companies to visit in the Club Business Expo, and a whole lot of Nashville hospitality.

One of my favorite times of the year is the opportunity I have to stand before you at the World Conference’s Opening Business Session and provide you with a the “State of Your Association.” It is also at this time of year, we release our annual report and audit report looking back on the past year. You can access both at www.cmaa.org/annualreport.

Our 2018 highlights include:

We changed our name on July 1, 2018, to the Club Management Association of America, a decision overwhelmingly confirmed by CMAA members.

We began a process that will be completed by the middle of 2019 to create a unified CMAA brand across CMAA National and Chapters with a consistent CMAA logo.

Late in 2018, the Club Spa & Fitness Association (CSFA) became a subsidiary of CMAA, in much the same manner as The Club Foundation (CF) currently exists with a separate Board and focus benefiting club professionals.

Financially, we had another healthy year with $400,000 of positive net excess. The Board has set aside one half of any excesses going forward in a reserve to help offset some of our mortgage ballon payment when it comes due early in the next decade.

Our membership held constant and while we lost some student members, we gained Professional members, as we had 742 club management professionals join this past year. You will hear more on a task force related to students at World Conference.

The Club Resource Center continues to grow as an additional fee-based resource for clubs. At a cost of about $100 per month, clubs access staff training, club financial, operational and compensation information, as well as many other online resources.

World Conference in San Francisco was very successful with a growth of about 10 percent in attendance and almost 300 first-timers. Education sessions were well-rated and half were first time CMAA conference speakers.

More than 700 CMAA members attended 19 Business Management Institutes (BMI) this past year. We also developed a new BMI Sports and Recreation elective which launched in early 2019 in Scottsdale, AZ.

There were almost 200 attendees for the four Governance/Leadership Summits in 2018. CMAA’s summits, generally shorter formats of one to two days, have been so successful, that in 2019 we are launching a Communications Summit in March in Atlanta, GA, and a Capital Improvements Summit in fall 2019.
Almost 2,000 members listened to one of CMAA’s more than two dozen webinars during the year.

One of our big operational changes in 2018 was the migration to a new Association Management System (AMS) that sets the stage for future incremental changes and improvements to member’s online CMAA experience.

Last, but certainly not least, we developed and launched a CMAA Fellows program to recognize those leaders who have given back to CMAA and our profession and are those distinguished CMAA leaders who members look to as some of the best in the profession. Our inaugural class of CMAA Fellows will consist of 10 members who will be honored at the 2019 World Conference.

Without question, 2018 has been a busy year for CMAA’s leaders, staff, and our CMAA National Board. And there is no stopping the CMAA flywheel as members, Board, and staff continue to partner to push CMAA forward for you!

Finally, CMAA continues to evolve without raising dues (since 2012). I hope you like how CMAA is evolving on your behalf over the past few years and encourage you to tell us in our current member satisfaction survey. My thanks to everyone for your support and assistance, particularly the CMAA National staff team, for making 2018 a success!

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan

P.S. For those traveling to Nashville to be part of World Conference, I look forward to seeing you soon.

January 2019: Nashville Accommodations Update and Upcoming Membership Survey

 Permanent link

 01.23.19 Nashville

Hello CMAA members and Happy 2019! Last month I shared with you the CMAA plans we have for this year.  As I write this monthly blog, I am in Phoenix, AZ, for CMAA’s new BMI Sports & Recreation Management elective. CMAA’s World Conference in Nashville is up next month and I want to share a hotel update.

The enthusiasm for the 2019 World Conference and Club Business Expo in Nashville, TN, has been tremendous! You have been registering at such a pace – more than four to six weeks ahead of normal trends – that hotel rooms have become a challenge. As with any conference, CMAA strives to hold enough rooms to ensure members can have rooms without obliging the association to pay for those rooms if they are not filled. For World Conference in Nashville, we originally contracted with three hotels for CMAA, with the largest room block at the Omni Nashville. Our total rooms were equivalent to what we normally book for a World Conference. Earlier this month, we ran out of rooms at the three hotels for those who would want to stay for the length of the event.  We have added additional rooms at several other hotels to give CMAA members additional options.

Not all conference attendees use the CMAA room block and some make other plans. There are plenty of hotels and options in Nashville, but there are also two other conferences being held around the dates of our event. That is why hotel rooms are scarce, especially if you are planning to arrive early, as other conferences have already booked those rooms. Fortunately, Nashville is a compact city so most hotels are easily accessible to the Music City Convention Center. Do not despair as there are options. In addition, we usually have attrition and cancellations due to club business conflicts and member change of plans. Hotel rooms are also likely to become available in our CMAA room block in the coming weeks. Our providers at ConferenceDirect always have the most up to date information on availability and can be accessed online or via telephone at 844-572-7253 (available 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. EST). I am excited and appreciate your enthusiasm for Nashville. We can’t wait to welcome you next month.

Before I end this month, I have one request of you. One of our activities for this year is to create a 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. To start this effort, we want to listen to you. Please take a few moments to answer the Membership Pulse Survey that will be released by the end of January, as this will help us to understand the challenges you are experiencing at your club, what you might be looking for from CMAA, and broadly help us to begin to frame some of our larger strategic issues for discussion. As we build to the Leadership/Legislative Conference in September where we will co-create a strategic plan, this first effort of listening to you is so critical. Five years ago, when we began a similar journey, almost one third of CMAA members responded. Your answers set the stage for CMAA’s evolution over the past five years. I hope you will take the time to set CMAA up for strategic success again by answering this brief survey.

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan

December 2018: Looking Forward to 2019

 Permanent link

12.17.18 GreetingsHello CMAA and Happy Holidays! 2018 is coming to an end and I hope you and your club had a terrific year. I also sincerely hope your 2018 professional plans came to fruition too. At CMAA, our 2018 plans were implemented. Our year was a success thanks to you and the passion you have for CMAA and club management. The 2018 Annual Report is in the works and will be ready for World Conference, so I will take a complete look back at 2018 in a future blog. Instead, I want to look forward to 2019 and tell you our plans for the coming year.

Each Fall, the CMAA National Board and Executive Committee establish organizational goals for the coming year that move forward CMAA’s Strategic Plan. For 2019, these goals are:

1. Conduct and execute the necessary steps to develop CMAA’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan.

2. Complete CMAA’s Chapter Affiliation Agreement implementation including Chapter endorsement and Chapter logo implementation.

3. Finalize the work of the Chapter Alignment Task Force using the recommendations for CMAA’s strategic planning effort.

4. Relaunch the Mid-Management Conference (MMC).

5. Launch BMI Capital Improvements Summit in fall of 2019.

6. Implement planned Certified Club Manager (CCM) review using the 2018 member competency study to begin updating Business Management Institutes (BMI), the Contemporary Club Management textbook, and updates to the CCM exam.

7. Complete integration of Club Spa & Fitness Association (CSFA) into CMAA’s infrastructure as a result of the November 2018 consolidation.

8. As completion of the first-year integration of CMAA’s new Association Management System (AMS) concludes, initiate second year enhancements.

9. Conduct a successful Club Communications Summit in spring 2019.

10. Continue to increase growth in the Club Resource Center leveraging CMAA’s research and other efforts.

11. Focus on event and other sponsorship opportunities to continue to fuel CMAA’s growth.

12. Focus internally on developing a comprehensive dashboard of financial and other key performance metrics for internal and Board use.

13. Focus internally with a CMAA Senior Staff offsite retreat to allow for a deeper planning effort on critical CMAA strategic, growth, and operational matters.

14. Focus internally on continuing to ensure our CMAA staff culture has a high level of service/hospitality to our members and to each other.

Whew – this is a healthy list of 2019 plans. I truly believe CMAA can do so much more for each of you on your professional and club journey. That is why I am so excited this time of year. CMAA’s National Board and HQ staff team is rightfully proud of our accomplishments, but we get even more excited over what is in process to benefit you in the upcoming year. It is why CMAA exists – to be your professional home.

Have a wonderful holiday season at your club and at home. CMAA is blessed to have wonderful and passionate members. As 2018 comes to a close, thank you for being a CMAA member.

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan

November 2018: Giving Thanks and #CFGivingTuesday

 Permanent link

 11.13.18  CF Giving Tuesday

Happy November all! CMAA began a new fiscal year on November 1, as well as our official subsidiary relationship with the Club Spa & Fitness Association (CSFA). Thanksgiving is the focus for many this month. When you think about Thanksgiving, you most likely think feast (at home or at your club), family (serving those families in your club and spending some time with your own), and probably football! But at its core, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all that we have received.

I have fond memories of going around the dining room table during Thanksgiving dinner with everyone sharing what they were thankful for. Most of the comments were about love for family, friendships, good health, and happiness. It is one of those times when love and thankfulness are at the forefront. I recently had the opportunity to hear from best-selling author and lauded speaker, Tommy Spaulding (Heart Led Leader and It’s Not Just Who You Know). He spoke about love and leadership and asked the group if our individual leadership philosophy included love.

The emotion of love can be awkward to speak about in a business or in a club setting. But Spaulding’s message told us that our head and our heart are 18 inches apart and that this proximity reminds us to connect the two in order to be more effective leaders. Having intellectual or technical prowess in your profession is great, but Spaulding asserts that those whose leadership includes leading from the heart are much better leaders and can be transformational for their organizations. Words that often come to mind for the heart-led leader include: authentic, vulnerable, empathetic, trustworthy, generous, humble, and/or gracious. 

The message is straightforward and puts love at the forefront of our deepest relationships, whether personal or professional, because we focus on another person’s needs. It’s a great thought for Thanksgiving and for everyday as we are grateful for those meaningful relationships in our lives. I certainly feel that love is part of the magic of CMAA. I felt it immediately when I began my journey here four years ago, as there is a deep caring for the organization and for each other. I am thankful for that, and thankful for you as I too continue to grow with heart and head as we move CMAA forward. 

Another part of your heart-led leadership as members of CMAA was the vision to create Foundations to help each other. We have seen The Club Foundation as well as CMAA Chapter Foundations fund education for members, help members in need, and support local communities. This caring side of CMAA makes me proud to be your CEO. It’s one reason why I am drawn to write a personal contribution to The Club Foundation each year and know many of you do as well. 

As I end this month, I hope you will think about your own leadership style and what you can do to add more heart. I also hope in this season of giving thanks you will consider contributing to The Club Foundation. Nationally recognized “Giving Tuesday” – November 27, 2018 – is the perfect opportunity to come together with care and love as we globally celebrate giving and philanthropy with our hearts, our heads, and our contributions.

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan

October 2018: New, New, New!

 Permanent link

10.16.18 BMI Intl NZ

Hello CMAA members, this month I want to share several things with you that are rather important:

1. CMAA’s National Board approved an Expected Conduct for CMAA Events & Programs policy. This will be referenced in our event app going forward, as well as elsewhere for those attending CMAA events. This policy strives to ensure we create a safe, hospitable, inclusive, and productive environment for all participants at CMAA events. These types of policies are somewhat new for associations, but are a best practice and were adopted with advice of our legal counsel.  

2. The National Board also recently released the CMAA Policy Manual, which details all national policies for members and Chapters. Some of these policies are required to be followed by Chapters, like brand management and logo usage as National and Chapters migrate to one standardized CMAA logo in 2019. Other policies are association best practices and your Chapter should consider implementation of some of these (like the Expected Conduct for CMAA Events & Programs) too.

3. Another policy that has been fully developed over the past year relates to dishonesty in submitting education credits. In recent years, CMAA developed online tools to make this process simpler and more efficient for members at events. In rare instances, members have abused the system to submit for credits for sessions they did not attend. The Certified Club Manager (CCM) and Certified Chief Executive (CCE) designations are hallmarks of the club management profession and cheating in any form will not be tolerated. Dishonesty in submitting credits, knowingly providing inaccurate information on your certification petition, or committing fraud in any other part of the CMAA certification process including the CCM exam itself can result in the revocation of your certification. Honesty, integrity, and professionalism are core to CMAA. If you see another CMAA member cheating, you have a responsibility to call it out and report it.  

4. Before I leave this policy discussion, I want to mention CMAA’s Code of Ethics & Conduct.  This is different than item one outlined above and is a part of what all members strive for as good stewards of CMAA. I want to remind you that this has changed over the last few years on advice of CMAA legal counsel. It is aspirational in nature. For example, it is always a good idea to contact another club’s manager during the interview process of that club’s professional staff. However, this contact is a professional courtesy and is not an act that can jeopardize your CMAA membership if not done. This is a good opportunity to take a moment to review CMAA’s Test of Compliance as well; this assessment poses three questions for reflection when seeking favorable approval as a response during a conflict.

5. During the Leadership/Legislative Conference (LLC) last month, I gave a brief State of the Association update. The theme of 2018 seems to be new. To hear a summary of my remarks about all that is new at CMAA, check out the recent CMAA podcast.

6. Speaking of LLC, next September this event will be in Charlotte, NC, and we will be working with attendees to develop CMAA’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. Any CMAA Professional member may attend this CMAA program and I would encourage you to consider it. 

I will end this month reminding you that it is CMAA membership renewal season. If you haven’t renewed yet, please consider getting the process started. I’m grateful for your swift action to this matter, as the time, money, and other internal resources that go to collecting dues can affect other efforts to serve the overall membership. As always – thanks for the part you play in CMAA!

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan

September 2018: Shaping the Future of the CCM

 Permanent link

 09.19.18 LLC - Town Hall

You recently received an email with a very big call to action – tell us how you spend your time in your role at your club. While this may seem like a CMAA request you can skip, please don’t! Your response to this survey is at the root of updating the Certified Club Manager (CCM) program. This survey is a time or competency study that will give us the necessary understanding of how club professionals spend their time as well as the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to strategically lead a club and manage the operation. This information will ultimately impact the CCM exam, Business Management Institute curriculum, club management text book, and all other CCM materials, as we strive to ensure the authenticity of the CCM educational and testing process. To preserve the validity and relevancy of the CCM, it should mirror as closely as possible what competencies you are using and how often you are using them in your club management position.

The last time we completed this evaluation was more than a decade ago, so we are presently on a path to evaluate our CCM materials and exam approximately every five years. Here is how this important survey will be used and hopefully why you should take the time to complete it:

1. Now through winter 2018 – Competency Study completed, and results tabulated.
2. Beginning in early 2019 – Use the Competency Study to evaluate curriculum to address new competencies, including evaluation of where to place emphasis in curriculum offerings. Retool BMI programs and shift educational offerings including further development of BMI Summits for other critical club professional needs, such as capital improvements, human resources, etc.
3. This will include reverse engineering the BMI curriculum by asking faculty to examine how much time they spend teaching each competency. This will ensure we are teaching competencies that are important and most frequently used by club management professionals.

4. Early 2019 – Begin work on the 4th Edition of Contemporary Club Management with the goal of a 2020 publish date. This edition will focus on the critical competencies for club management professionals.

5. 2019 through 2020 – Continue to evaluate the CCM exam and update it based on new competencies and curriculum revisions. Continue to explore and leverage security software to protect the exam’s integrity. Advance the test bank of questions by adding new questions and purging irrelevant ones; establish a process for evaluating and developing questions on an on-going basis to ensure test validity and reliability. 
6. Mid 2019 – Begin the process to develop a competency self-evaluator tool that will allow club professionals to assess their own club management competency gaps. The results of this evaluator tool will be to suggest educational offerings and other resources to fill these gaps.
7. Late 2019 or 2020 – Begin to focus on the Certified Chief Executive (CCE) requirements and how the evolving club management competencies might be included in revisions to the CCE certification program. We will be examining the applicability of using a cohort education model to further enhance the CCE experience by integrating BMI Tactical Leadership and Strategic Leadership into a robust curriculum offering. We will also be examining whether other educational or experiential projects should become part of the CCE requirements.

This vital CMAA journey begins with you answering an in-depth survey on your time allocation in various club management competency areas. Now that you know more about the need for this information, I hope you will understand how your answers to the survey help to become the new foundation for CMAA’s certification programs. On behalf of the CMAA Board and Staff Team, we sincerely appreciate your time and attention to the survey as we embark on this important CMAA journey.

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan

August 2018: CMAA and CSFA Under One Umbrella

 Permanent link


(Left to Right) CSFA Past President Kevin Caldabaugh, Founding Members Jeremy Barker and Pamela Caldwell, and Current President John Porter.

Hello CMAA members – I hope you are having a terrific summer! This month I’d like to expand on an announcement that you may have read about recently regarding the Club Spa & Fitness Association (CSFA) becoming a subsidiary of CMAA. I want to share my perspective on what this means and how it will affect your CMAA membership.

First, unlike corporate mergers, there was no money or payment made by CMAA to CSFA. CSFA is a membership organization, just like CMAA, so the process to become a subsidiary required some changes in CSFA’s bylaws and a vote by the Boards of CSFA and CMAA. 

CMAA already has a subsidiary organization – The Club Foundation, so the addition of another subsidiary is not unique or atypical. Additionally, CMAA has been managing CSFA since October 2017 and it quickly became apparent that the synergies of bringing the Association under the CMAA umbrella would benefit both organizations.

By becoming part of CMAA, CSFA keeps its existing Board and focus, but now has better access to leverage the larger outreach of CMAA for growth and service to the clubs and CSFA members in the areas of spa and fitness. For CMAA members, the CSFA organization remains a separate membership organization but adds the ability to integrate activities at World Conference, combine research initiatives related to wellness, and leverage CSFA members, partners, and their respective networks to educate and inform all levels of club management.  

Ultimately the mission of CSFA supports the mission of CMAA and vice versa. As CSFA grows with the help of CMAA, that increase in CSFA member value is really part of CMAA. As The Club Foundation’s success benefits CMAA, so will CSFA. We often think of mergers and acquisitions in a corporate environment to mean lots of upheaval, but in the case of CMAA and CSFA it means mutual partnership while operating as separate organizations, all under the CMAA umbrella.

Corinne Grimaldi, Executive Director of CSFA and CMAA’s Senior Director of Community Strategy & Outreach, rejoined the CMAA National staff team last fall to lead this effort. Corinne’s focus hasn’t changed with this announcement. Corinne’s role puts her in the position of guiding CSFA, while growing CMAA’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as well as focusing on other emerging positions in clubs.

CMAA’s focus on supporting these emerging or vertical club positions is an effort to support those professionals who may not have an association home. However, they are integral to the overall success of the club industry, CMAA club professionals, and our mission at CMAA. It is why this new relationship with a young CSFA organization makes sense for CMAA. It is also why CMAA hosted a group of club communications professionals at the 2018 World Conference. We will continue to learn from such groups and develop mutually beneficial programming where those groups are given opportunities they did not otherwise have, and where CMAA members are given a broadened scope of the club management industry. In the example of the club communications professionals, members of the group and our CMAA members can look forward to a new Summit in the spring of 2019. The Summit will follow a similar format to our already-successful Governance/Leadership Summits, so stay tuned to what this new one has in store!

In conclusion, I hope this helps you to better understand why both governing Boards of CMAA and CSFA decided it made sense to create a more formal ownership relationship.

Until next month,

Jeff Morgan