#CFImpact Amy Shaftel: Willmoore H. Kendall Scholar

Amy Shaftel

Amy Shaftel

Amy Shaftel is a 2013 Willmoore H. Kendall Scholar, and has been working in the club industry for approximately 30 years.  She has attended BMI Club Management (formerly BMI I) and BMI Leadership Principles (formerly BMI II), and most recently used the scholarship she received to attend BMI General Manager/COO (formerly BMI III) in November 2014.  Having the tuition for these programs paid for has put her club in a position to support her continued education as she works toward achieving her Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation.

As a result of her involvement with CMAA, Shaftel was recently promoted to Assistant General Manager of the Seattle Yacht Club, and has been given more responsibility in running the club. She also says that she has more confidence in attending House, Finance, and Board Meetings.

Shaftel says the contacts she has made at the BMIs are invaluable. When she has questions, she has a variety of experienced managers to call for advice. Receiving the scholarship made her club’s management, her peers and her club members consider her expertise in a new light.

Shaftel values that The Club Foundation provides educational opportunities at all stages of careers for dedicated club managers, and describes the Foundation as “an extremely valuable resource for career advancement in the industry.”

Shaftel graduated from Oberlin College, and has a Masters in French Civilization from New York University. She attended New York Restaurant School, took hotel management classes at the New School for Social Research, and classes at La Varenne in Burgundy. She has worked at the Seattle Yacht Club since 1992, starting as the Catering Director and becoming the Assistant General Manager in 2013. She lives in Seattle with her husband, a firefighter and retired Air Force Pararescueman, and has two sons, one a freshman in college and the other an Air Force Pararescueman stationed in North Carolina.


#CFImpact: Rachel Zilka, Joe Perdue Scholar

Rachel Zilka

Rachel Zilka

Rachel Zilka is a senior at Niagara University where she plays tennis for the Purple Eagles. Currently the President of her University’s CMAA student chapter, Zilka was a 2013 and 2014 recipient of the CMAA Joe Perdue Scholarship. She used the funds to attend World Conference in Orlando for the first time and again joined CMAA in San Antonio in 2015. She described the experience as amazing, saying that she felt reenergized about the industry and going into the field after graduation.

Zilka values the network that exists within CMAA, and loves being able to meet so many people who are willing to help their fellow managers learn and grow. CMAA is unique in this way, as there is so much emphasis on sharing ideas between managers and between chapters, ensuring a constant learning curve in the industry. Zilka’s experience at the World Conference exemplified this mentality in the industry. She wants to work in a field where the people are always willing to help others while still remaining hungry to learn more.

To Zilka, the most valuable aspect of the Foundation is the funding it provides to not just college students, but anyone looking to further their career in the club management industry. “It doesn’t matter if a manager is just entering a new club or has been the GM for over a decade; the Foundation will help anyone who wants to continue to learn and develop, especially those who pass on this mentality to their coworkers.”

Zilka also values the Student Conference and educational events that go along with it. She thanks Kate Scott in particular, manager, Student Development and Career Services, for the work she does for the student chapters across the country. The Foundation is very dedicated to its students, and Rachel sees CMAA as providing a huge opportunity to start building a career and connections early in college.

To her fellow students and future managers, Zilka says: “Use the Foundation more, and do not take it for granted. Apply for those grants and scholarships.  The Foundation is here to help managers at all stages of their career, and I urge all members to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Zilka also says that she has never met another student with the network connections that she has made through CMAA, and has had an internship every summer in school through that network. She urges those students and young managers in the industry: “Put yourself and your goals out there and you will find a hand to help you out.”

#CFImpact: Alexis Hoey – Faculty Internship Program

Alexis Hoey

Alexis Hoey

Alexis Hoey began her membership with CMAA as a student member in 2001, and is now a faculty advisor for the student chapter at the University of Houston. Hoey says that the faculty internship was extremely useful to her becoming the chapter advisor, and has greatly enhanced her role in CMAA. She gained a full understanding of all of the resources CMAA provides to its chapters, from contact networks to educational materials, and says it is invaluable to have this wealth of information at your fingertips.

During the faculty internship, Hoey attended CMAA’s Leadership Legislative Conference. She says seeing the industry’s leaders from all over the country come in and talk was an amazing experience. She particularly liked hearing about students who started their CMAA interests and careers in college only to have an amazing career await them as a result of the support and connections they gained in CMAA.

Alexis describes the networks and all of the resources provided by the Club Foundation and CMAA as invaluable to the industry as a whole. In her personal career, Hoey says that the faculty internship provided resources and vital information to the student chapter. As a result, she says, Hoey is able to be a better advisor, and better educate her students. She encourages all of them to apply for scholarships and conference internships, as well as positions throughout the industry.

Hoey has been the chapter advisor for 5 years. There had been several before her, but none of them completed the faculty internship. Hoey says that through the internship, she has been able to expand the knowledge of CMAA faculty and students. Research grants have also been extremely useful, allowing for the continued education of colleagues, as well as overall awareness at the college.

Hoey is her chapter’s cheerleader and proponent of CMAA at her university. She strives to get the students as excited about it as she is, and it has been working. Hoey’s chapter has won Club of the Future awards at World Conference the past two years in various categories, and they continue to be one of the strongest student chapters in the country.

Student Blogger: Sam Garra – World Conference Day 4

5:30 a.m.  the alarm sounds – another great day of World Conference begins.

The Niagara University chapter gathers together at 6:30 a.m. and off to our education we go. I, along with the chapter, choose to go to Mr. Stephen Barth’s session, who spoke to us about legal compliance in a private club. Things that we may not have to worry about right away as students, but a great topic to be familiar with and understand as we transition into the management field. Mr. Barth had another session that morning and this time it was on leadership and how to enhance one’s presentation effectiveness. A perfect opportunity for me to learn about and improve upon a weakness. Public speaking has never been a strong point for me – I have no trouble talking in conversations, but in the limelight I get too nervous and it becomes a disaster.

An hour and a half later I found myself standing and clapping in awe – this was the best presentation I have had so far at a World Conference. The energy that he gave off, the audience participation and the way he made us work together as a team was nothing short of amazing. He highlighted how to utilize support media in a presentation. Use music and videos to aid and guide your presentation. Defining your delivery method, something I struggle with, was something he made it look so effortless.

He stressed that how you look visually and how you sound vocally are vital to a good presentation. Eye contact is very important, make sure to meet everyone eyes in the room. Use the podium or the platform to your advantage, have the correct posture. Posture can affect your tone and your delivery. Mr. Barth addressed and gave little pointers on how to change all the little things that happen in a presentation that you don’t realize you do. Little tips and tricks I certainly will be using as I move forward in my professional field.

After this session it was time to really focus on me and talk to potential employers. I spoke with one club about an opportunity and another club simply to catch up on the past two years. The greatest thing about World Conference is being able to grow your network. When I look back at how far I have come from my first World Conference in San Diego to where I am now, I truly am amazed at what CMAA can do for an individual. Each day at Conference is a new adventure and a new opportunity to learn about yourself and about this industry.

We, as students, are incredibly lucky to work in an environment where everyone is looking to help you, and help you grow. As a senior, this is my last World Conference as a student and as a member of the Niagara University Student Chapter. I could not be more excited about the opportunities and challenges that await me in the future. The day concluded with a chapter meeting and a review of what sessions we liked and also which sessions we didn’t enjoy so much. Then we were off to enjoy our night in San Antonio.

Sam Garra

Sam Garra

Sam Garra is a senior at Niagara University and is the Vice President of the Niagara University Student Chapter. San Antonio is Sam’s third World Conference.

Student Blogger: Kaitlin Smith – World Conference Day 2

As part of The Club Foundation’s support of CMAA’s student members, this week, we’re sharing student perspectives on the 88th World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo.

Monday was a great day at Conference! Each event was interesting and kept me listening. Each session brought something new to the table, from elevator speeches to meeting new mentors. Our first session was the Student Achievement Breakfast, where we met with our fellow colleagues and got to hear who won various awards from the previous academic year. During the breakfast, there was a tribute made to Joe Perdue, CCM, CHE, that touched each and every person in the room. Reflecting on all of the educational opportunities Mr. Perdue has created for students like myself was so moving.

Following the achievement breakfast, we had a student education session based around deconstructing and reconstructing our own personal pitches. This was a really great session in particular because working on elevator speeches is typically a dreadful task. Many students are nervous about presenting them in front of others even though it’s an extremely beneficial thing to do. On top of critiquing our pitches, we also talked about future goals that will lead us to success. It was a great topic to end on since it focuses us in on the next step in reaching our professional goals. This made me realize my short-term goal is to meet a new mentor within CMAA, someone who I can reach out to during my internship this summer to ask questions and help push me to the best I can be.

The next session I attended was the Mentor Luncheon. This is always one of my favorite things to attend during Conference. The roundtable discussion format is awesome because it’s an easier way to talk to managers and pick their brains. It also establishes connections between the managers and students like myself. This year I was able to meet Steve Richardson, GM of Paradise Valley Country Club and past national board member. He knows everyone within

CMAA and was such a valuable person to meet. Mr. Richardson and I established a great connection, where I found out that he knows the general manager I will be working for this upcoming summer. He gave me excellent insight as to how I would get the most out of my experience at that club.

Lastly, I attended the Club Tour Networking Event. My chapter and I were so lucky to find enough tickets to go on this trip. Not only was the food to die for, but seeing clubs from around the San Antonio area was something not many people get to do. Visiting with the managers in a more relaxed setting was also a great way to build genuine connections. A talk on a bus en route to San Antonio Country Club with the manager sitting next to you is about as real as it gets. You are simply “hanging out” with your potential employers, and the managers get to see students in a light that they don’t really get during other Conference settings.

Overall, Monday was a great way to start my week here in San Antonio. I’m looking forward to all of the amazing people I have yet to meet and the exciting professional development that is to come.

Kaitlin Smith

Kaitlin Smith

My name is Kaitlin Smith, and I am a junior in The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University.  I am Vice President of our CMAA student chapter. My involvement in CMAA has been extremely valuable to my career development because of the numerous opportunities I have had to interact with industry professionals, and the things that I have learned from them. I interned at Baltimore Country Club in Baltimore, MD during the summer of 2014, and I will also be interning at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, CA this upcoming summer.

Who Do You Support? Conference Has Options!

It goes without saying that Conference is THE biggest event of the CMAA year. It’s also the biggest event for The Club Foundation – no surprise there. Whether it’s the silent auction or the Run With the Presidents, our events at Conference raise more than $200,000 annually, all of which goes to benefit the scholarships, grants and programs that The Club Foundation funds throughout the year.

Last year's Casino Night was a big hit!

Last year’s Casino Night was a big hit!

2015 is no exception! This year, we have a full docket of events at Conference that will not only (hopefully) continue the tradition of raising significant funds for our programs, but will also be a TON of fun. Like, a Texas-sized amount of fun. Which is a lot.

We’re starting the week off with a return of a Conference favorite! The Texas Lone Star Chapter is hosting a golf tournament at The Quarry Golf Club on Sunday, March 8. The proceeds from this event will directly benefit the Sally Burns Rambo scholarship – a scholarship that provides financial support to female club managers interested in furthering their professional development. Interested in playing? Register today!

Runners in Orlando get ready to fly.

Runners in Orlando get ready to fly.

In addition to the new events, we’ve got a couple of member favorites rounding out the week. On Tuesday, March 10, we’ll get an early start to the day with the Gregg-Rhodes showdown at the Run With the Presidents. Trust me, that’s a race you won’t want to miss! The 5K run (or 1.5 mile walk) will take us through the streets of downtown San Antonio and the funds generated will benefit Tee It Up for the Troops (Seth wrote a bit about our relationship with TIUFTT last week).

Tuesday night we head to the Texas State Fair! Okay, not the real State Fair. We’re actually just headed to the Marriott Rivercenter for The Club Foundation event. But, the event is going to be pretty spectacular. Evoking a Lone Star State tradition (since 1886! They don’t mess around with fairs in Texas.), The Club Foundation event will feature amazing food, games, live music (!), dancing and more. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to taste some fair food. (Rumor has it there’ll be fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches!) Added bonus: the proceeds from the evening go to provide essential funds for The Club Foundation’s Scholarship and Grants Program. So, not only do you get to have a fun at the Fair, you’ll be helping fund the future of the club industry.

The Wine Society and Club Foundation Auctions promise to be even more exciting this year with new online bidding!

The Wine Society and Club Foundation Auctions promise to be even more exciting this year with new online bidding!

Not to be forgotten are the annual Auctions. In conjunction with the International Wine Society’s wine auction, The Club Foundation will have items to bid on Tuesday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 11. What’s exciting about this year’s auction? It’s moving online! Bidders can preregister for the auction by visiting www.cmaaconf15.auction-bid.org or register in-person with a swipe of their credit card. Bidders can place bids from their smartphones, regardless of their location at Conference or the time of day. Bids can also be placed by text message, and there will be on-site kiosks available in the auction area. They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and the changes to the auction are no exception!

If you’re still looking for another way to support the Foundation at Conference, you can “Fill the Boot!” Pick your target from any of the scholarships the Foundation offers (Can’t choose? Make a general donation instead!), drop a pledge card in the giant cowboy boot, located across from Registration, and help us kick the year off right!

We can’t wait to welcome you to San Antonio!