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CMAE England have released details of their 2021 schedule of educational events.

A total of twelve professional development webinars all focusing on different areas of the 11 core competencies of club management have been organised throughout the 2021 calendar year. Eleven of the events will be held online.

The events feature an exciting line up of professional speakers who are experts in the relevant subjects, including Kevin Fish CCM, Jules Murray, Dr David Dann, Adam Rowledge, David Wallace, Dr Hilary Cooke, Debra Adams and Gabriel Aluisy.

The events are open to both members and non-members of CMAE England at a cost of £30 for members or £60 for non-members. Alternatively, CMAE England members can use their free session credits to attend two events that are included as part of their membership subscription.

Education credits are awarded for each event attended, which will count towards the CCM eligibility.

Commenting was CMAE England Chairman Tristan Hall CCM. “As we entered the new year in yet another national lockdown, the frustration felt over the disruption to our teams and their development is shared by the CMAE England Board and so this year, the largest educational programme to date has been scheduled. Whilst many of our clubs may be closed this is an excellent opportunity for developing ourselves and our teams, set at a price that will hopefully mean that most members can attend more than the two FREE sessions that are included within their annual membership for 2021.

Once conditions permit, we will also be adding to our schedule to include in person networking and further education”

Details of future events can be found at

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The CMAE Young Managers Group held their most recent meeting on the 26th November which was hosted online for the first ever time with 32 delegates from across Europe and the Middle East.


32 delegates took part in the online event with Kevin Fish  in which the topics for discussion were How has this unique period in our lives affected our approach to our careers and our thoughts about the club business and If a career in management remains one of our goals – what are the skills you need to revisit to underline your success.

Adam Walsh CCM, who heads up the group on behalf of the CMAE England region board commented on the day.

“I am delighted that our first online Young Managers’ Group event was a unanimous success.  Thirty two delegates came together in AM & PM sessions where we had the chance to reflect on an unprecedented and challenging year.  With Kevin Fish CCM presenting our pre-event survey findings and a number of breakout rooms, there was a great exchange of information and experiences with lots to take away and consider in the coming weeks and months.

Our attention now moves to our 2021 calendar, which is likely to be a combination of sessions online as well as hopefully events that people will be able to attend in person.  We can all be very encouraged by the fact that the desire has in fact grown for this type of networking and education from an already successful base.”

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In October CMAE England launched a competition to its membership giving one member the opportunity to win a complimentary delegate place at the online European Conference from 30th November to 2nd December.

The winner of the competition was Andrea Carlotta​ Montaguti, the Commercial Manager at the Oriental Club who wrote about her meal delivery service initiative during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The conference was held last week and was a huge success with over 160 delegates joining from 28 countries globally. We caught up with Andrea after the conference to ask her a few questions about her experience.


Firstly how did you hear about the European conference and why did you want to attend?
I first heard about the CMAE from Maria Teresa, a colleague of mine who has recently achieved the CMDip and shared with me her positive experience on various occasions. I then came across the programme of the European Conference through a CMAE Instagram post. Learning about all the interesting sessions and workshops, that related strongly to my current work experience, I decided to apply for the bursary and was thrilled to find out that I had won and was able to join the tribe and attend the event.

What did you think to the prospect of attending such a large event virtually. Did the online aspect work well?
The conference was set up brilliantly, it visually replicated an actual conference venue which made navigating the various sessions easy and networking fun and accessible. It really exceeded my expectations. I particularly enjoyed meeting other colleagues from all around the world during the breakout sessions. It was refreshing to find out that despite the different backgrounds and experiences, we all seem to face the same issues and hilarious situations.

What was your favourite session at the conference and why?
Hearing André van Hall and the life-changing experiences he faced in his life helped me reflect on all the professional changes I am currently experiencing, and the different approaches I could adopt going forward.

How did you feel at the end of the three days? What impact did the conference have on you, professionally and/or personally? Can you give us your top 3 learning outcomes/takeaways from the conference?
The Conference has amplified even further my already active interest in joining the MDPs, to take advantage of the learning opportunities they offer. Some of the takeaways I brought home from the Conference are firstly, the importance of turning off from work mode, as highlighted by Criscia and Fraser, which is something I am not really good at. Secondly, ‘of listening to relate and not to critique’, and keeping an open mind in all circumstances and, finally, the opportunity to join a book club of like-minded colleagues! After attending my first CMAE Conference, I now feel very much part of the tribe and look forward to the next experience!

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Last month the CMAE England region launched a competition for its members with the opportunity to win a delegate place at the CMAE European Virtual Conference 2020 which is being held online from the 30th November to 2nd December.

The theme of the competition was ‘Unique support to my club during COVID-19’ and welcomed entries from members who could explain how they had supported their club in the most unique way during the pandemic.

The regional board received a number of fantastic entries to choose from and selected Andrea Carlotta​ Montaguti, the Commercial Manager at the Oriental Club as the winner after reading about her meal delivery service initiative, designed to bring the club classic’s to the comfort of the members’ homes.

Andrea project managed the initiative from the start and planned, designed and coordinated operations, marketing and communications, with the initiative turning out to be a tremendous success.

Commenting Andrea said “I am extremely delighted to be given the opportunity to participate in the CMAE European Conference this year and was thrilled to learn I had won the bursary. I look forward to joining the tribe going “Back to the Future”. This provides a unique opportunity to network with colleagues around Europe and share my own experience within the virtual conference centre as well as to learn the best practices from professionals within the Club Industry.”

Also commenting was CMAE England Chairman Tristan Hall CCM. “The CMAE England Regional Board was delighted to have a variety of entries to choose from and clearly there are some very talented and creative managers out there successfully navigating their clubs through the government restrictions and uncertainties that the pandemic has created.

Not only are clubs surviving, but they are diversifying in order to prosper from what is clearly a challenging environment for our industry.

Andrea’s entry caught the eye of the board and it has touched the membership and local community to their club.  It has maintained people’s employment, created revenue for the club and supported staff who would otherwise be away from the comfort of their working environment.

We are delighted Andrea has won and look forward to seeing her at the Conference.”

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CMAE England has announced the engagement of GGA Partners™, the international consulting firm working with many of the world’s most successful private clubs, resorts, golf courses and residential communities, to facilitate the development of a five-year strategic plan for the association.

Established in 1992 as North America’s KPMG Golf Industry Practice, the independent firm has provided industry-leading advisory services to more than 3,000 clients worldwide. GGA has been recognised as “Strategic Planning Firm of the Year” by Boardroom Magazine and brings an unmatched financial, marketing, and operational focus to each of its strategic assignments. This extensive expertise was critical for CMAE England in their choice of strategic planning partner.

“CMAE England is founded on a dedication to club management excellence, education, knowledge-sharing, supporting career progression and on our powerful network of club professionals,” explained Chairman of CMAE England, Tristan Hall CCM. “The board believes it is time to reaffirm these values, and the strategy employed, to deliver a vibrant and sustainable future for the Association.”

“In securing the services of GGA Partners, we have retained the very best strategic advisory team in the industry to guide and inform this critical process,” said Hall.

Distinguished in its ability to build enduring value, GGA’s work will continue beyond the development of the strategic plan to ensure its strategy drives significant improvement. As a result, CMAE is pleased to announce that GGA Partners™ has made a multi-year commitment to support the association as a Corporate Partner.

Rob Hill, Managing Partner of GGA’s EMEA Office, said, “GGA and CMAE are passionate about the value of informed decision-making and strategic planning. We appreciate the privilege of being asked to serve CMAE England in shaping its future and to demonstrate our support for the professional development of club leaders throughout England”.

GGA Partners™ has offices in Toronto, Canada; Phoenix, USA, and Dublin, Ireland. For further information about GGA Partners™ visit:

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CMAE England’s latest seminar on Spoken Communication took place last week in London.

The seminar helps delegates with their spoken communication skills as well as how to prepare and deliver presentations. Led by Neil Chalmers, who has over 30 years of experience in the field and has worked with clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Boeing, Kleinwort Benson, JP Morgan, Macdonalds, Eurotunnel, Bank of Bermuda, XL Insurance and AT&T. He is also the author of ‘How To Make Great Presentations’ published as a how to: Academy book, which delegates received a complimentary copy.

The feedback from the delegates attending the one-day seminar was excellent giving an overall score of 96.5% and providing some fantastic comments as follows.

“This course really built my confidence up and has given me some objective information to improve my presentation skills”

“The group size and feedback has really boosted my confidence. The feedback was very constructive.”

“Very good seminar – never stop learning!”

“I now realize I have much to improve and I will practice, practice, practice”.

Tristan Hall CCM, CMAE England Chairman commented “We are delighted by the excellent feedback from the delegates on the seminar. To be able to provide members with the opportunity to learn from Neil for a fraction of what his services usually cost, shows the value of the CMAE membership and the network we have. It is a shame, that with Covid-19 restrictions more members were not able to benefit from this seminar, but we will certainly be engaging with Neil for more educational events in 2021 and beyond”.

The next events hosted by CMAE England are the annual golf days at Bradford Golf Club on the 15th October and at New Zealand Golf Club on the 9th November. For details see

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CMAE is pleased to announce that Alex Woodward has achieved the globally recognised Certified Club Manager (CCM) having recently passed the exam.

Alex is currently the General Manager of Hankley Common Golf Club in Surrey, having joined the club at the start of 2018. Prior to this he was the General Manager of Boyce Hill Golf Club in Essex, where he won GCMA ‘Newcomer of the Year’ Award in 2015 and was the Club Mirror Awards ‘Manager of the Year’ in 2017.

Prior to his career in Club Management he worked for both IMG and European Tour Productions for seven years, along with launching a successful series of consumer wine exhibitions in South Africa in between.

In order to take the CCM exam, Alex was required to fulfil a number of eligibility requirements, which includes completion of the CMAE’s Management Development Programme, attending the CMAA World Conference in the USA and gaining enough education and association credits through taking part in industry education and networking events.

Alex is now the 57th club industry professional to gain the coveted Certified Club Manager status in Europe and the Middle East.

Commenting on his success Alex said “Gaining the CCM designation is something that fills me with both pride and determination to not let this be the end of my professional development. I am so grateful to all the presenters and the CMAE for their learnings but also the other delegates, with whom I shared my journey along the way. They all helped inspire and drive me to this point and I am 100% a better manager because of all of you.

The tribe that comes with the CCM makes it even more special – trust me. I truly believe that any club industry professional at any level, especially those who aspire to be at the top of their game, should engage fully with this educational pathway and I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

CMAE’s Director of Education Torbjorn Johansson added “I am very happy to see Alex achieve CCM success. He has shown incredible commitment to his professional development on the MDP pathway and now his hard work and determination has been rewarded with the CCM certification. Well done Alex!”.

For more information on the CMAE Management Development Programme click here

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According to a survey of 1,800 golf, leisure and private club leaders across the UK and Ireland, 65% of clubs must embrace dramatic or significant changes over the next five years if they are to thrive in the future.

The research carried out by global consulting firm GGA Partners, also indicates the conservative nature of club leadership means that the overwhelming majority of clubs tend to effect the change that is necessary only when it is a financial imperative that they do so.

“The data indicates that in too many instances clubs are reacting to financial problems,” according to Rob Hill, the GGA Partner responsible for the firm’s EMEA practice, “rather than systematically preparing for the changes which the great majority of respondents believe are surely coming.”

Conducted with the support of The England Region of CMAE, GGA’s survey revealed an urgent need among clubs to prepare for an uncertain future.

“Only 13% of the clubs surveyed believe they enjoy the combination of strong leadership, financial expertise, and a clear long-term strategic plan,” Hill notes, “and these are exactly the elements any club expecting to navigate through an uncertain future must possess.”

In designing the survey, Hill said, GGA Partners wanted to determine how clubs could maintain their traditional identities, however defined, while responding to both local and global changes. “We wanted to know,” Hill continued, “where clubs fit within our ever-shifting social, cultural, technological and economic environment.”

The survey discovered that while governing boards / committees have the greatest influence on driving change, “clubs that delegate change leadership to the club manager were the most effective in managing those changes. This was not terribly surprising,” according to Hill, “because our experience advising thousands of clubs around the world has shown us that the best-managed clubs retain and empower extremely effective, professional general managers or secretaries.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how important it is for private clubs to prepare for change, even in uncertain times. “While only 36% of our respondents believed their clubs were well-prepared for the crisis,” Hill pointed out, “given the unprecedented scale of the pandemic, that speaks well of the industry. Perhaps it is also not surprising that most of the clubs which were well prepared also reported that they had strong leadership in place and made ‘change management’ a top business priority.”

The results of GGA Partners’ survey is available for download at

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CMAE England’s latest seminar entitled ‘Finance for non-financial managers’ took place last week consecutively in Liverpool and London.

The seminar, led by Debra Adams, aimed to develop commercial awareness and to facilitate delegates’ understanding of the key financial competences required to manage a club successfully, such as forecasting and cost control.

Attending the seminar was Sunningdale Golf Club’s Director of Golf Christian Foreman. “I would recommend attending The Finance for Non Finance Managers Course for any club manager or prospective manager as it highlights the key financial competences required to manage a business effectively. By attending the course I feel like I am now able to understand financial reports far more easily and have an improved awareness on forecasting and cost control”.

Debra Adams is the founder of the business, a leading practitioner in developing courses for improving financial know how and commercial acumen. She is the author of the highly acclaimed textbook ‘Strategic Management Accounting for the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Industries’, been the Head of Professional Development at HOSPA for over 10 years and was awarded the HOSPA Paragon Award in 2014 for her commitment to financial and revenue management education.

The seminar is the second to be completed within the 2020 CMAE England event calendar which is now encompassing both the southern and northern regions.

Details of future events can be found at

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