Maplewood CC hosts networking, vendor event to share tips, raise money for charity.
Customer service is the trademark of all successful golf and country clubs. The recent meeting of the New Jersey Club Managers Association gave a variety of vendors the opportunity to show off some of their wares, and raise money for charity.
Michael Lusk, General Manager of Maplewood Country Club, is President of New Jersey Club Foundation, the charitable arm of the the NJCMA, hosted the event at Maplewood CC.
“Over the years we have collected well over $1 million dollars,” says Lusk, a past president of the NJCMA. “This money comes from the annual vendor show, the annual golf outing, and our member contributions,” Lusk says. “We have contributed these funds to charities such as Shelter Our Sister, First Tee, St. Barnabas Burn Center, various food banks throughout the state. In addition, we give out scholarships to students studying in the club-management field at University of Delaware, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and other fine institutions that have restaurant and hotel-management programs. These events also fund continuing-education workshops and retreats for general managers and staff annually.”
More than 275 people, representing more than 50 country clubs and another 75 vendors, attended the show. From stemware to employee uniforms, food and liquor purveyors, landscapers to magicians, and everything in between, vendors got the opportunity to schmooze with managers and other club personnel to show off the latest goods. Vendors and club personnel paid fees to cover costs and raise the money for charitable causes.
Fred Gilbert, a first-time vendor, says the show gave him exposure to show off his Tropitone line of patio furniture. “We have a good base of clients, but this gives us an opportunity to network with existing clients and connect with managers and buyers from other clubs we haven’t met yet. It’s an interesting event for us, and gives us opportunity to open new doors.”
Albert Constantini, GM of Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, says the event covers everything club managers need. “These shows give us the chance to keep up with current trends, find out about new products and vendors, connect with our peers, and support the NJCMA and the foundation.” Constantini, who also serves as Vice President of the NJCMA Board of Directors, adds, “It’s a great way to consider options for this season and the years to come.”
Dan McHugh, General Manager of Roxiticus Golf Club in Mendham, says one of the most important things for his staff comes after the show. “It’s important to get our staff to see everything at this show, because we will get together a week later to share what we saw, what we learned from our peers, and then make plans to implement this information to benefit our members.”
Lusk says the managers appreciate the support that allows their programs to grow. “We have to thank all the vendors and clubs that participated. The evening is a great networking event for our industry and gives us all the opportunity to see the latest trends and products for the opening season.”
For more information on the NJCMA or the New Jersey Club Foundation visit www.njcma.org.