Category: Operations

Why is Storytelling so Important?

Do you know your Club’s story? Can your Board and your staff confidently answer that question? If not, it’s time to put in some work.

Storytelling can captivate an audience, evoke emotions, and memorably convey your message. Storytelling is the most effective way to build brand identity, rally members around a capital project, and motivate employees. Why? Because stories elicit emotion.

Consider your most recent big purchase, “Did you feel good about it?” Notice the word, feel, that is an emotion. The right story will sway you, but you need to know what you are selling. Yes, selling because everybody is selling something, whether it’s a product, a Club membership, or an idea. Nike is selling you an attitude (Just Do It), Southwest Airlines is highlighting a passenger-first approach with low costs, and your favorite insurance company is selling you the peace of mind of knowing you are protected.

From browsing the websites of dozens of Clubs, most believe their story is their history. They list when they were founded, and the rest of the “About Us” page reads like a resume with dates and a quick blip of what they accomplished. This approach does not work because it reads like a middle school history exam. Off the top of your head, can you tell me when the Revolutionary War started? Probably not. However, you do know why it was necessary. The “Why” is the motivation for your story. How do your members feel about belonging to the Club? Describe the atmosphere, build a narrative of whatever it is, and then share the vision. Show me pictures of your members having fun, not empty dining rooms or a vacant swimming pool.

For stories to work, you need characters, people smiling, enjoying the company of others, and using the amenities. Solve a problem, explain why your lifestyle is the one for me, and back it up with visual words like “Imagine” and “Discover.” Those words transport us, create intrigue, and, most importantly for you, keep prospects reading about your Club.

Crafting your story takes time and expertise. Get a facilitator to help you brainstorm ideas, whiteboard the emotions, and establish your point of view. You then need to rework the mission and the vision statements to identify what was revealed. Then, teach the team the new messaging and share it so that it becomes memorable, builds community and loyalty. Post it on the menus in your restaurants, member bills at the bar, or the video screens throughout your clubhouse so that it becomes a part of your fabric.

You, too, are a brand. People choose to join your Club, so in this competitive marketplace, make their decision an easy one.

Club Leadership Alliance Partners With BellesBoard to Offer Club-Focused Board Portal

Club Leadership Alliance Partners with BellesBoard to Offer Club-Focused Board Portal

Charlotte, NC, (September 2023) – Club Leadership Alliance (CLA) is partnering with nonprofit software expert BellesBoard, to offer the CLA Board Portal, an online board and member management solution created specifically for private clubs.

The CLA Board Portal, powered by BellesBoard, is a secure, cloud-based platform that increases efficiency and alignment among club boards, directors, committees, and management teams. With club-specific modules focused on areas like the new member intake process, governance pipeline, and connection to industry best practices, the CLA Board Portal is a powerful resource adopted by a growing number of top-performing private clubs.

For John Schultz, respected private club industry executive and CEO of the Club Leadership Alliance, adding a club-specific board portal has advantages for all stakeholders. “The proprietary information shared by the expertise within this partnership adds significant value to the CLA Board Portal, above and beyond the many benefits that come with generic board portals. From key performance indicators to the searchable resource center, the CLA Board Portal offers numerous opportunities for club boards, committees and members to advance their understanding of their club and the industry.”

Features of the CLA Board Portal include:

  • Meeting scheduling
  • Availability polling
  • Online document storage and dissemination
  • Meeting management/online voting capabilities
  • club-specific governance pipeline/nominating committee capabilities
  • club-specific new member intake and waiting list management capabilities
  • Club Performance center with valuable information provide by CLA and its partner firms, KOPPLIN, KUEBLER & WALLACE, McMahon Group and Club Benchmarking

To learn more, visit

Club Leadership Alliance Welcomes Christy Latimore as Newest Addition to the Team

Charlotte, NC – Club Leadership Alliance (CLA) is pleased to announce the addition of Christy Latimore as the newest member of their growing team. Christy will be assuming the role of Operations Lead to help propel the organization’s mission forward.

Christy brings over 13 years of experience within the private club industry to this new role, having recently served as Client Manager of Creative Golf Marketing.

“The CLA’s core values serve as framework for the proven best practices that create relevant and enduring clubs, and we believe Christy’s addition will play a vital role in achieving this goal,” said John Schultz, CEO of Club Leadership Alliance.

Her exceptional communication skills and marketing background will make her an asset to the organization.

“I am thrilled to be joining Club Leadership Alliance and working alongside such a talented team of professionals,” said Christy Latimore. “I firmly believe in the mission of the Alliance and the expertise they provide to the club industry”.

As the Club Leadership Alliance continues to expand its reach and impact, the addition of Christy Latimore to the team reinforces the organization’s commitment to drive the club industry forward.

About Club Leadership Alliance:
The Club Leadership Alliance (CLA) is a partnership between three of the nation’s most highly regarded firms serving private clubs. Established in March 2020, CLA is comprised of partner firms KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE, McMahon Group, and Club Benchmarking. With the mission to “Rally Club Leaders Around Best Practices”, CLA divisions include Strategic Governance, Interim Management Solutions, and the Experience Network – a hands-on consulting operation focused on providing private clubs with expertise that is tailored to their needs. In all aspects of their consulting and educational services, including the noted Presidents Council, CLA adheres to Core Values and Best Practices adopted by their partner firms and recognized as essential to a club’s long-term success.

For more information about the Club Leadership Alliance, please visit or reach out directly to John Schultz, CCM, CCE, ECM at

John Schultz Joins CLA

Industry Veteran to Lead Club Leadership Alliance

On June 16, 2022 the Club Leadership Alliance launched a new chapter with the announcement that acclaimed, award-winning former private club General Manager John M. Schultz, CCM, CCE is joining the team as CEO. This heralds an expansion of the CLA offerings and increased industry presence for the Club Leadership Alliance and its partner firms. Established in June 2020, the CLA is comprised of partner firms KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE, McMahon Group, and Club Benchmarking.

After 18 years leading 36-hole member-owned Carmel Country Club (Charlotte, NC) to recognition as one of the country’s most successful, family-oriented private golf clubs, John Schultz brings numerous strengths to the Club Leadership Alliance and clubs seeking to improve the effectiveness and success of their governance and operations. Under Schultz’s leadership as General Manager, Carmel Country Club’s achievements included implementation of waiting lists in all membership categories, the increase of initiation fees by 100%, and improvement of the club’s net worth by approximately $40 million following close to $60 million of capital improvements.

Schultz sees his new role at the Club Leadership Alliance as an exciting opportunity to partner with the industry’s best. “By combining forces around our shared expertise and vision, we’re helping private clubs increase their value, elevate member experiences, and achieve new levels of success in all areas.”

Individually, the three CLA partner firms are national leaders in the private club industry, with over 3,000 clubs served. Together, KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE, McMahon Group, and Club Benchmarking have collaborated for more than a decade. By pooling their expertise, data, and resources, the partner firms increase the reach of their individual offerings, which remain independent, while providing new and increased opportunities through the CLA for private clubs to become top performers.

Club Benchmarking Founder and CLA Partner Ray Cronin said Schultz brings a unique skillset to CLA that was the “secret sauce” behind Carmel becoming one of the industry’s greatest clubs. “The innovations, discipline, and vision John Schultz brought to Carmel’s strategic governance program have been emulated at top clubs nationwide. Now, as CEO, Schultz will work with the three CLA partner firms to drive the industry forward by helping clubs seeking to transform their leadership models and embrace best practices.”