I would like to start this month’s column by thanking Communications Director Meredith Laitos (3.5 years) and Creative Director Anna Hoit (7.5 years) for their stellar contributions to our Club. This team has taken our communications department from virtually non-existent to where it is today—among the best in the club industry. From the highly polished Mainsheet to the tri-weekly Current, to the redesigned stfyc.com, and heaps of top-notch printed material, Meredith and Anna have poured their dedication into everything they produce. Beginning this month, the pair will be branching off to form their own company and they will continue to produce the Mainsheet on a freelance basis. We will miss seeing them around, but we’re grateful to know they won’t be far away. Their last official day in the clubhouse is March 5, so please be sure to thank them for their work. Our search for a new Communications Manager is well under way. They will have big shoes to fill, so we’re taking our time to find the right candidate.
Meanwhile in the Clubhouse, your staff has been laser-focused on the Club Managers Association of America Networking Event, which we are hosting on March 5. We are preparing to welcome 1,800 leading club managers to this party, where they will get to experience firsthand why your club consistently gets ranked number one. We were so honored to be asked to host this event, and we are grateful to the membership for allowing us use of your fine clubhouse. We’ve done our best to structure the weekend in a way that shows off your club while keeping the impact to a minimum. Please note that beginning Friday, March 2, there will be a large tent in the west parking lot. The Club will be open as usual on Saturday, but the Main Dining Room and Clippership will be closed on Sunday; the whole club will be closed on Monday.
It has been inspiring to observe my team as they pour their energy into this massive event. None of us have ever hosted an event this large, and we’re learning so much about our limits and capabilities. The hours of work and planning that have gone into this have been immense, especially as they’ve done it all while maintaining the usual club operations. The whole experience has been a reminder to me of just how talented this team is!
The March 5 Networking Event marks the culmination of a week of activity at the CMAA Conference. Several of your club’s managers will be attending educational sessions throughout the weekend on topics that range from food and beverage best practices to membership development and retention strategies. StFYC staff members Pam Brewer, Nora Cotter, Ryan Stiles, Albert Beltran, Leslie Blakely, Jessica Arnold and I are all looking forward to learning more about how best to serve our members and then bringing those ideas back to benefit your club.
Speaking of professional development, I want to congratulate Race Coordinator Graham Biehl who recently returned from Miami where he was racing in the 470 North American Championships and the Miami Sailing World Cup with his former Olympic teammate, Stuart McNay. Of the 35 competitors, Graham and Stu finished the North Americans as the top American team, securing them the title for 2018. At the World Cup, they were the top US team, finishing 3rd in the Medal Race, and 7th overall. Not bad for a guy who’s taken five years off of professional sailing! We’re lucky to have such talent on staff here.
Finally, a note on improvements in your clubhouse. At the board meeting in January, the Board approved a renovation to the fitness room that has been in the works for a while. At the beginning of March, six new workout machines, including a treadmill, an elliptical, two adaptive motion trainers, a recumbent bike and an upright bike, as well as a new set of dumbbells, will be in place and ready for use. We encourage you to come take advantage of your club’s exercise room the next time you’re here!