The School of Hospitality Business's Club Managers Association of AmericaThe student executive board and several members of the School’s chapter of the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) traveled to Orlando, FL Feb. 7 – 11 for the 90th Annual CMAA World Conference.  Club advisor and adjunct professor Richard Bruner, CCM, CCE, retired professor of practice and general manager of the University Club of Michigan State University, accompanied them.

The 19 MSU students joined over 350 students from universities around the country at the conference, and they participated in the CMAA’s annual Club of the Future Contest.  Zhenqi (Bruce) Tan (MA Hospitality Business ’17), Connor Ford (BA  Hospitality Business ’18), Maeve Geary (BA Hospitality Business ’19), and Sydney Brodeur (BA Hospitality Business ’17) created three entries designed to forecast trends in the private club industry five, 10, and 15 years from now.

The World Conference is strongly focused on students, with several sessions explicitly for them, and with opportunities to build leadership skills, network with attendees, attend general sessions, and hear from keynote speakers. At the end of a session presented by David Porter, CCM, general manager of the Greystone Golf & Country Club, Connor Ford won a competition which earned him an all-expense paid trip to Birmingham, AL to attend the Regions Tradition PGA Tournament and tour the Greystone Golf & Country Club from May 19 – 21, 2017.

The students also enjoyed a session presented by Damon DiOrio, CCM, CCE, chief executive officer of the Charlotte Country Club which discussed how clubs make themselves attractive to college interns and recent graduates entering the workforce.

CMAA Secretary Madison Skornicka (BA ’19) says, “Everyone we met was happy to offer mentoring advice and an inside look into the club industry, as well as assistance in the future.”

When the school year began, CMAA Chapter President David Bartosiewicz, III (BA ’17) outlined a goal to “rejuvenate the relationship with the Greater Michigan Club Managers Association (GMCMA) and private clubs around the state of Michigan.”  On Thursday, February 9 the students attended a reception with the GMCMA where club managers from around the State graciously offered assistance with internships, club tours, and career advice. “We appreciate these professionals taking an interest in our chapter and in our individual career interests,” says David.

Through hospitality industry associations such as CMAA, School alumni play a critical role helping guide and mentor students.  On Friday, Feb. 10 the GMCMA hosted the annual Spartan Alumni/Student breakfast at the Orlando World Center Marriott, allowing student leaders to converse informally with alumni who are current leaders in the club industry and to share memories of campus and look forward to future collaboration.

Student travel to the World Conference was made possible in part through scholarship funds established by alumni and friends of the School.  “We are very grateful for the opportunity to attend the World Conference,” says David.  “The School’s historic presence in the club industry and in CMAA gives us an even greater advantage as we progress toward our careers.”

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