About Us

CMAA Who We Are

The Club Management Association of America (CMAA) is the professional Association for managers of membership clubs. CMAA has close to 6,800 members across all classifications. Our manager members operate more than 2,500 country, golf, athletic, city, faculty, military, town, and yacht clubs. The objectives of the Association are to promote and advance friendly relations among persons connected with the management of clubs and other associations of similar character; to encourage the education and advancement of members; and to assist club officers and members, through their managers, to secure the utmost in efficient and successful operations. CMAA is headquartered in Alexandria, VA, with 28 staff, 42 affiliated chapters and more than 40 student chapters and colonies.

Vision: CMAA seeks to ensure the existence and growth of a thriving club industry led by CMAA educated professionals. Strategically, CMAA looks to enhance membership offerings and build an even more inclusive, value-driven, well-functioning organization. Under the covenants of professionalism, education, leadership and community, CMAA continues to extend its reach as the leader in the club management practice.

Who We Are: St. Louis District Chapter CMAA

The Club Managers of the St. Louis District Chapter link over 30 clubs and 72 club professionals representing thousands of Club members. The St. Louis District Chapter works to support the professional growth of club professionals through education and scholarship support, and by serving as a strategic governance resource for clubs.

What We Do: The St. Louis District Chapter

Education and Professional Development Complimentary educational opportunities prepare Chapter members to succeed, innovate, stretch boundaries, expand expertise and create a thriving club community.

Topics such as Food & Beverage Management, Membership Recruitment and Retention, Human Resources, and Interviewing Skills are offered. The monthly education sessions are designed to provide the members with knowledge crucial to success in the club industry, as well as to provide a forum of social and professional interaction among managers.

In addition to educational sessions, the Chapter also hosts several social functions throughout the year including a summer social, fall golf tournament, holiday social, and the Annual Meeting & wine dinner. These events are a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the Chapter as well as promote friendship and collaboration among the members.

  • Certification - The CMAA and the St. Louis District Chapter take great pride in our internationally recognized certification program. Since 1965, CMAA certifications have become recognized as the hospitality industry's most respected certification program. The pinnacle of the private club certification includes the following.
    • Certified Club Manager (CCM)
    • Certified Chief Executive (CCE)
    • Master Club Manager (MCM)
  • Scholarships Access to scholarship funds designed to lessen the financial impact on club operating budgets while supporting the continuing education and certification of our Chapter club professionals.
  • Career Services Access to information and assistance with career management and placement in the private club industry locally and nationally.
  • Strategic Governance Assistance - Industry expertise and resource to club boards and committees including a strategic governance management library, access to experienced and knowledgeable club professionals, board retreat opportunities, compensation and benefits information, secret shopper opportunities, operations and financial comparisons and much more.

Executive Search Member clubs can access numerous options for assistance finding and placing club professionals. Regional and national resources are available to member clubs.

Chapter History

On February 5, 1941, managers of the St. Louis District organized the newest chapter of the Club Management Association of America and applied for a charter. Charter members at this University Club gathering included:

  1. Irvin L. Jochin Noonday Club
  2. W. J. Conboy M.A.C.
  3. Fred Bernet M.A.C.
  4. Robert B. Weis M.A.C.
  5. Fred J. Clausen Triple A.
  6. John Hanna Glen Echo
  7. Jack Harrigan Edgewater Club
  8. E. R. Hensely Elks Club
  9. Al Harrington Bellerive C.C.
  10. Sam Lyle Norwood Hills C.C.
  11. Howard Tarpy University Club Mr. Tom Yoe of Club Management Magazine was made an Honorary member of the new local chapter.

Officers elected that night were as follows:

  • Irvin Jochin President
  • Howard Tarpy 1st Vice President
  • Fred Clausen 2nd Vice President
  • Bob Weis Secretary
  • A1 Harrington Treasurer
  • E. R. Hensely Trustee
  • W. J. Conboy Trustee
  • Sam Lyle Trustee

"Mississippi Valley" was selected as the charter name in the hope to make it a regional rather than local organization. Ironically, in later years "Mississippi Valley" would be deemed too broad and easily misinterpreted to include all managers from Minnesota to New Orleans. As a result of this confusion, in 1952 the chapter's title was changed to its present form, the Saint Louis District Chapter.

Excerpts from early chapter meetings prove startlingly current when compared to topics of today . . . educational presentations on a myriad of club-related subjects . . . round table discussions for the sharing of ideas and knowledge . . . concerns over taxes, rising food costs and budgets . . . golf tournaments cancelled by rain and excessive heat . . . the baseball Cardinals beating the Cubs . . . and all around good fun, excellent food and fine fellowship in the pursuit of club management professionalism.

It is interesting to note that a mere three years into its existence, our fledgling chapter was host to the 1944 National Conference. "Planning for Progress," the official theme of the convention, was held on February 13th, 14th and 15th at the Hotel Jefferson. Missouri Athletic Club manager, Wm. J. Conboy presided as the general conference chairman. Due to "wartime experiences" this conference was streamlined to three days addressing issues such as food rationing, shortages of liquor and labor, expanded patronage and other wartime concerns. Plans for post-war club expansion and management were also stressed.

The registration fee for members and guests of C.M.A.A. at this 1944 conference, including all education programs and speakers, cocktail parties, luncheons and grand banquet was set at a staggering $15.00 per person ($10.00 for ladies). Rooms at the Jefferson were listed at $3.50 and up.

In 1958, fourteen years later, St. Louis hosted the 31st C.M.A.A. Annual Conference. Held at the now Sheraton-Jefferson Hotel, 695 registered for the event, outpacing 1944 attendance by some 525 members and guests. Thomas C. McGuffey, then manager of the Missouri Athletic Club and 1954 president of C.M.A.A. presided as conference chairman. Tours of Algonquin Golf Club, Westwood Country Club, Old Warson Country Club and St. Louis Country Club were conducted for early arriving delegates. Social events punctuating this convention included drama on the Goldenrod Showboat, German Beer Festivals in the Khorassan Room at the Chase Hotel and various gala banquets and cocktail parties at the Sheraton-Jefferson and area dubs.

History of the St. Louis District Chapter, no matter how brief, would not be complete without mention of two of its most accomplished members: Thomas C. McGuffey and Wesley H. Clark.

Tom McGuffey moved to St. Louis in 1951 to accept the position as manager of the Missouri Athletic Club. Prior to this time, he had managed the Indianapolis Athletic Club. This same year, at the age of 38 he held the position of C.M.A.A. National Director. He was elected Vice-President in 1953 and President in 1954. Even after reaching the C.M.A.A. "summit," he continued to serve the association in various capacities, such as chairman of the certification committee in 1969 and in 1974 was a member of the long-range planning committee. He has earned the Certified Club Manager designation from C.M.A.A.

Mr. McGuffey retired from the M.A.C. in 1976 receiving the highest accolades from his Board of Governors for his 25 years of dedicated, professional service. At the 1978 Annual Conference, held in Los Angeles, McGuffey was awarded Honorary membership status in C.M.A.A., one of the national organization's highest honors.

Wesley H. Clark has served Club Management Magazine and its parent company, Commerce Publishing, for nearly forty years. Clark joined Club Management as an associate editor in 1941, named managing editor in 1950, editor in 1960 and publisher in 1968. He was elected President of Commerce Publishing in 1972 and elected Chairman of the Board in late 1978.

At the keynote breakfast of the 1986 C.M.A.A. Annual Conference in San Francisco, Clark was named to Honorary membership in C.M.A.A. Then President, Bob Hedges read the following proclamation to conference delegates: "Considering that Wesley H. Clark has been a dedicated supporter and actively involved in the progress and growth of the Club Management Association of America, it is our . . . mandate that he be recognized and honored for his many fine contributions, whereas his . . . actions and leadership have substantially enhanced the general welfare and professionalism of our association through CLUB MANAGEMENT Magazine and his other efforts, we hereby . . . acclaim him to be an Honorary member in the Club Management Association of America . .The coveted honor of Honorary C.M.A.A. membership placed Wesley Clark and Tom McGuffey in the company of a select few who have greatly contributed to the growth and success of the C.M.A.A. The St. Louis District Chapter is proud to be associated with Messrs. McGuffey and Clark and salute their long and celebrated careers in working for the improvement and recognition of the professional club manager.

Today, the St. Louis District Chapter continues to flourish. With more than 70 members representing approximately 30 clubs in the area, the organization continually strives to maintain the spirit, goals and attitudes of its original incorporators.

July 28, 1987
Michael G. Chollet