Menlo Circus Club General Manager
Menlo Circus Club
Atherton, CA

The historic Menlo Circus Club is a premier family and field club in the community of Atherton, California and is seeking a General Manager who is an effective hands on leader, business executive, and someone with impeccable credentials.  The successful candidate should be widely respected and regarded for the way in which he/she conducts business, as well as, for the results achieved thus far in his/her career.  Especially critical is to be a keen developer/mentor of staff, and ensure that necessary and appropriate accountabilities are in place for all levels of employees within the Menlo Circus Club organization.
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The Menlo Circus Club has a unique and fascinating history, steeped in charity work, polo and family events. Over the years, the Club has hosted generations of members and their families in an informally elegant atmosphere. The Club’s assets sit on 30 acres on the peninsula 25 miles south of San Francisco on the northern edge of Silicon Valley, just north of Palo Alto.
In 1920, a group of young girls gathered on an Atherton estate to play and ride their ponies. As young children will, these girls formed a "club" and decided to give a circus for the enjoyment of their parents, friends and neighbors. Mrs. W. B. Weir, the mother of one of the girls, suggested that the proceeds of this circus be given to the Stanford Convalescent Home (now called Lucille Packard Children's Hospital). The first circus was held in the summer of 1920. Youngsters performed on their ponies and horses while others brought pet cats, goats and dogs which they had taught to do stunts. The first circus raised $500 for the Stanford Convalescent Home.
The following year, the circus grew. Adults promoted the circus into a social event, drawing people from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as San Jose. The third year, the circus became even larger, as did the social event, and it became obvious to parents the circus had outgrown the two fields. In the fall of 1922, land was purchased for the development of Menlo Circus Club, which was incorporated the following year.
Over the years, the Club has been the scene of outstanding horse shows, polo matches, swimming events, tennis tournaments and gala parties. While the present Menlo Circus Club has evolved from its simple family beginnings--children's parties, family picnics, trail rides, etc.--it has always been and continues to be a family club.

The Club’s culture, amenities and programming reflect a true neighborhood club with a majority of members living within five miles. Club amenities and services include: 13 tennis courts, a just completed year-round heated outdoor swimming pool plus diving well, a recently doubled and refurbished fitness center, fine and informal dining, a children’s playground and playroom and a variety of social programming and events for all segments of the membership. Menlo Circus Club is a tremendous venue and hosts a number of high-end events for up to 1,200 on the grounds. The Club hosts many equestrian events including summer polo matches and the Menlo Charity Horse Show, an “AAA” rated United States Equestrian Federation Heritage Horse Show, every August. This horse show features elite hunter/jumper class horses and their riders from all over the world. 

The Club’s stable hosts 66 stalls and an elegant barn reception area. Additional training facilities include a covered and an outdoor riding rink and an additional barn hosting 12 Club horses.
  • 711 Members, all categories
  • $10.5M Gross volume
  • $4.1M Annual dues volume
  • $4.2M F&B volume
  • 90 FTE; 125 in season 
Menlo Circus Club website:
The General Manager will be responsible for managing all operations of Menlo Circus Club consistent with the strategies and policies established by the Board of Directors, the By-laws and Rules/Regulations of the Club. This will also include working in conjunction with the Finance Committee in the preparation and final draft of the annual operating and capital budgets, which will be subject to approval. Management and control of the operations to attain the desired results is the responsibility of the General Manager.
The General Manager is expected to drive, direct and coordinate all management functions of the Club and work in concert with committee chairs. The General Manager will consult with the Club President, the Board, and/or committee chairs, as appropriate, on matters of significance to the Club’s operations. He or she will be responsible for the operations of the Club, shaping the quality of the Club’s amenities and services to ensure excellent member and guest satisfaction.
  • Aquatics & Youth Director
  • Controller
  • Equestrian Center Manager
  • Executive Assistant
  • Executive Chef
  • Facilities Manager
  • Fitness Director – Outside Contractor
  • Food and Beverage Director
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Membership Services/Communications Coordinator
  • Recreation Manager
  • Tennis Director 
  • Provide excellent, progressive leadership and a positive image for the Club and its facilities and amenities to the membership, staff and surrounding community. Ensure that members receive premier service and treatment in all the Club’s services.
  • Oversee a first-class, competitive food and beverage operation with appealing menus, while providing exemplary service that connects with needs of the predominance of the membership.
  • Direct athletic programs in equestrian, fitness, swimming and tennis to be of the highest quality, consistently attracting the participation of members and their families.
  • Lead committees in the development and promotion of creative and popular events. Ensure the highest standards of execution for all club programming, sports events, special events, entertainment, and other Club activities.
  • Host world-class special events highlighting the elegant venue and grounds while providing the renowned service of the Club.
  • Plan his/her work schedule so as to be visible and readily accessible to members and their guests. Welcome new members; “meet and greet” club members during their visits to the Club, providing a warm and relaxed reception for which the Club is renowned. Be the face of the Club within and outside the Club.
  • Manage the first impression of the Club maintaining an impeccable attention to detail that improves the member and guest’s experiences.
  • Provide support to the Membership Committee. Be the Club’s key contact in representing and promoting the Club’s services and facilities to current and new members.
  • Create a club-wide service-focused culture, emphasizing member recognition, the comprehension of member preferences and achievement of overall member satisfaction to the highest possible degree.
  • Coordinate and implement Board policies
  • Assure a high level of member satisfaction, including soliciting member feedback and improving the sense of “inclusiveness” for all members
  • Provide ongoing evaluation of the physical plant and equipment, anticipate needs, and oversee capital projects
  • Develop and monitor protocols to assure compliance with local, state, and federal laws
  • Manage staff in a professional manner, including regular performance reviews that reflect achievement against individual performance goals. Provide guidance and support to staff to help them perform at an optimum level.
  • Improve Club operational efficiency and effectiveness
  • Manage to the annual budget. Review income and cost relative to goals and recommend corrective action. Implement controls to safeguard funds.
  • Be informed of club industry “Best Practices” (i.e., governance, bylaws, member surveys, policies and procedures, etc.)
  • Create excellent and efficient formal and informal communication systems to the Club Board, department leaders and their teams, committee chairs and the membership.
  • Participate in appropriate Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) seminars and conferences, and other events as approved, in order to enhance his/her value to the Club and its membership.
  • Participate in selected community activities to enhance the prestige of the Club; broaden the scope of the Club’s operation by fulfilling the public obligations of the Club and creating goodwill on behalf of Menlo Circus Club as a participating member of the community. 
  • A minimum of 4 - 6 years of progressively more responsible private club management positions leading up to a General Manager position at a top tier club. Preferred experience would include a local/regional lifestyle setting. Assistant General Managers with excellent relevant experience will be considered as well.
  • Strong personal qualities of integrity, confidence, credibility, energy, commitment, and humor along with exemplary ethics.
  • A professional career “track record” of achievement and employment stability.
  • A desire, interest and commitment to live in the Bay Area. This is also critical for the candidate’s family to have as well.
  • Proven leadership qualities and a track record of excellence in the hiring, training, development and management of service-oriented team members. Must possess a humanistic and highly communicative management style.
  • A sharp eye for detail in every element of operations, especially with dining, housekeeping and maintenance areas.
  • Successful experience in large scale event management is critical in executing the premier equestrian event in the world on an annual basis.
  • Possess exceptional financial and budgeting acumen.
  • Demonstrated skills in food and beverage operations and quality are essential.
  • Technologically proficient and recognizing best practices use of technology to improve ‘high touch’ service delivery to members, as well as to more effectively manage and lead operations. 
  • Someone who respects the history and traditions of the Club, while also being an innovator and a champion of new ideas and initiatives, looking to consistent improvement of member experiences and operational efficiency.
  • A true, confident, diplomatic, and competent club industry professional with exceptional “executive presence,” who recognizes the importance of accountability, and who has a strong history of success in working with member boards and committees.
  • Outstanding communication skills are necessary for this role and to be successful.  As the primary communicator of much of the information at the Club, proven outstanding verbal and written skills are absolutely critical, as is a keen ability to “listen,” “engage,” “build trust” and “be highly approachable.” 
  • Must be a visionary and mission oriented; anticipating how the Club continues to evolve is important, as is being actively ‘networked’ in the industry to the point of being on the forefront of trends in clubs.  He/She should be able to project and steer the club in the right directions for the benefit of the membership.
  • A “hands on” leader who recognizes the balance between leading, doing and delegating.
  • A visible, sincerely engaged and hard-working leader that brings ideas to the table and can express those ideas thoughtfully and easily to team members, the Board and Committees.
  • Being strategic in focus and able to gain support and execute approved plans and directions, sometimes exhorting the Board to make actionable decisions, albeit it with a strong and natural ability to analyze and communicate the reasons behind recommendations.
  • Being naturally outgoing, conversant, respectful, and diplomatic, but able to diplomatically say “no” when appropriate.
  • Innately understanding, empathetic, reliable, and relatable to members and staff at all levels.
  • Possessive of a strong financial acumen for hospitality trends and metrics, and able to fully comprehend and explain P/Ls, balance sheets, cash flow and operating, capital and project management budgets.
  • A true “partner” with the Board, recognizing that he/she needs to be a creative problem solver whose ability to convey ideas, suggestions, and solutions in a thoughtful, well-reasoned manner with a high level of integrity results in high levels of respect.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year university or college is highly desirable, preferably in Hospitality Management.
  • In lieu of the degree, substantial private club or hospitality experience will be considered.
  • Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation preferred but not required. 
Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The club, along with the typical CMAA benefits, offers an excellent bonus and benefit package.
Please upload your resume and cover letter (in that order) using the link below.  You should have your documents fully prepared to be attached when prompted for them during the online application process. 
Your letter should be addressed to Mr. Jeff Berry Search Chairman, and clearly articulate why you want to be considered for this position at this stage of your career and why Menlo Circus Club and the Bay area will likely be a “fit” for you, your family and the Club if selected. 
IMPORTANT:  Save your resume and letter in the following manner:
“Last Name, First Name Resume” &
“Last Name, First Name Cover Letter”
(These documents should be in Word or PDF format)
Note: Once you complete the application process for this search, you are not able to go back in and add additional documents.
For directions on how to upload your resume and cover letter visit this page
If you have any questions please email Holly Weiss:
Lead Search Executives:
Thomas B. Wallace III, CCM, ECM
412-670-2021 (Cell) - Strongsville, OH
Richard Kopplin
480-443-9102 - Scottsdale, AZ

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