The Patterson Club General Manager/COO
GM/COO
The Patterson Club
Fairfield, CT

GENERAL MANAGER/CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER PROFILE:
THE PATTERSON CLUB (TPC)
FAIRFIELD, CT
 
THE CLUB’S HISTORY
 
In 1929 General Electric Co. employees first organized The Patterson Club as a Dining and Social Club with 20 charter members. The Club's name was derived from Mr. C. E. Patterson, a Vice President and General Manager of the Appliance and Merchandise Department, as he both personally donated $10,000 to assist the Club in its formative years and was a great supporter of the Club internally at G.E.
 
General Electric Co., for the betterment of their local executives, purchased Quasset Farm, the home of Carlton H. Palmer and Winthrop Palmer, the first female CT State Senator, on December 24, 1945 so that the Club could be expanded to include facilities for golf. The big white barn across the street from the main club entrance was once a horse barn and served as the equipment storage facility for more than 20 years. The original main clubhouse was the Franklin Banks' family farm home, which was located across the road from the current tennis courts. After some modifications, the Clubhouse was opened on June 15, 1946. The original farmhouse remained a major part of the members' clubhouse including numerous renovations and additions to accommodate a growing membership until the fall of 2010.
 
Under orders from The Patterson Club Committee and by the direction of Robert Trent Jones Sr. (the premier golf architect of his time), Neil Martin, the first greens superintendent, and the golf pro at Patterson built what he was directed to do: a difficult course to score upon. In its construction, workmen cleared 60 acres of woodland and swamps, buried five miles of farm stonewalls, and dug five artificial lakes, which dot the layout. It was determined by the Golf Committee, Robert Trent Jones, and Neil Martin that the golf course should have Scottish rolling types of greens and rolling fairways which make it difficult for the good golfer and just the same for the average golfer.
 
In 1968, a benchmark in the Club's history was reached when the real estate, comprising the entire land acreage, buildings, structures, and improvements was purchased from General Electric Co. and the Club achieved status as a member-owned Country Club.
 
The current Patterson Club's location has seen constant improvements to its facilities since the day it opened.
There were numerous extensive efforts to improve the golf course including the change of greens, the periodical strengthening and updating of the irrigation system, the reconstruction of bunkers, surrounds, and tees, the dredging of ponds, the constant improvement in drainage, and the construction of the maintenance building in 1979.
 
There have been many tennis and platform tennis improvements over the years as well. The two original clay courts were constructed from materials on the property, in subsequent years, five Har-Tru tennis courts replaced the original two tennis courts and two new courts were added in 1997. The four platform tennis courts have been added over time as the sport gained popularity and they are one of the most actively used facilities the Club. The platform tennis building was updated in the early 2000's to include bathrooms as well as a social area for members to gather.
 
A pool and associated facilities have been part of the Club since the late 1940's. The pool area has always been at its current location. The pool and the pool house have received several major updates throughout their time (1956, 1970, 1971, 1996 and 2002). In 2006 the membership voted on, approved, and committed to the construction of a new clubhouse which was to be designed by Mark Finlay Associates and located on the old first and tenth tees. This also included a new complete master golf plan from the renowned golf architect Rees Jones, son of Robert Trent Jones. The new clubhouse was completed in 2010, combining both functions of the original clubhouse and locker room buildings. The new building provides expansive and enjoyable social settings for the members and their guests as well as improving on the flow and functionality of club operations. The members celebrated the Grand Opening of the new Clubhouse in May of 2010.

The new master plan for the golf course focused on maintainability, playability and aesthetics. Using Rees Jones' Senior Design associate Greg Muirhead, the Club developed a comprehensive plan to improve the playability of the course for golfers of all levels. Muirhead brought extensive renovation experience to the project design and oversaw the three-year program of tee construction, bunker reconstruction, re-grassing of the greens, re-construction of the sixth and eighteenth greens and the addition of the putting green adjacent to the new clubhouse. Rees's unique design features greatly enhanced the course while seamlessly maintaining Robert Trent Jones Sr.'s original vision and layout. 
 
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE
 
One of Connecticut's premier golf and country club facilities, The Patterson Club, is seeking a positive, energetic, enthusiastic, competitive, highly capable professional who has strong leadership experience at a verifiably well-run and well-regarded club.  The future GM/COO must be able to demonstrate teambuilding skills, financial literacy, project management skills, proven skills relevant to success in the changing demographics of the club world, and have an intuitive strength in building consensus, setting clear goals and objectives, and executing effectively to these well-defined targets, and doing so with a strong and natural “mentorship” style.  Visibility, member engagement, and authentic enjoyment of building member relationships is critical, as is having the style of someone who can positively guide the Board and Committees in a professional, respectful, and diplomatic manner.
 
Growing revenue, growing membership and instilling a strong culture of exceptional service will likely be achieved by creating an “employer of choice” approach to staff recruitment, retention and empowerment.
 
THE PATTERSON CLUB & COMMUNITY
 
The Patterson Club is situated on nearly 150 acres, nestled in town of Fairfield, Connecticut, one of the most desirable communities in which to live in the greater Metropolitan area. It is located just 50 minutes from Manhattan.  The 2010 census recorded its population to be just over 59,000 residents in Fairfield, and it is recognized for having an exceptionally low crime and was recognized by Money ® Magazine as the “second safest municipalities” in the country.
 
In the nearly 54,000 square foot Clubhouse, complete with multiple dining venues and kitchens, and multiple function rooms, member dining can occur simultaneously and seamlessly with multiple entrances and ample spaces and views.  The significant renovation and expansion of the clubhouse that occurred in 2010 provided members with a tremendous facility that has been well maintained in the intervening years. The beautiful Clubhouse is a perfect venue for weddings, Bar/Bat mitzvahs, corporate meetings, charity galas and golf outings. The Greenfield Room (Ballroom) accommodates 240 people with comfort and elegance. The Fairfield Room is an elegant space with a fireplace and outside terrace which are ideal areas for cocktail hour and smaller parties under 100 guests. The large Board Room is well equipped with all the equipment and technology needed for modern meeting presentations.
 
Additionally, the well-stocked and impressive presentation wine vault and lockers provides members with an outstanding wine selection to complement their entree selections.
 
The makeup of the membership of The Patterson Club has changed over the last century. Nevertheless, a family tradition has been maintained to this day, as exhibited by the number of second and third generation families among present and recent past members. The participation level of its youth members and the many new members in club activities such as swimming, tennis, and junior golf suggests that the family tradition is being perpetuated. TPC continues to evolve as a premier ‘Family Club’ catering specifically to the needs of its members.
 
THE PATTERSON CLUB BY THE NUMBERS:
  • Approximately 475 members in all categories
  • Approximately $7.0M in gross operating revenues
  • Approximately $2.7M in capital income from initiation fees, capital contributions and assessments
  • Nearly $3.75M in annual dues volume
  • Slightly more than $2.0M F&B volume
  • Approximately 140 FTE in the height of season in all departments
  • 13 Board members serving three year terms 
THE PATTERSON CLUB WEB SITE: www.thepattersonclub.com
 
GENERAL MANAGER/COO POSITION SPECIFICS
 
The GM/COO at TPC has full responsibility for all aspects of operations at The Patterson Club (TPC), effectively managing all resources and reporting to the Board of Directors and the President, and is expected to be the embodiment of an “exceptional member-centric experience.”  The GM/COO will lead the management team, many of whom have many years of tenure at the Club, be representative of modern management ‘metric-oriented’ practices, and indirectly supervise all employees of the Club while intuitively promoting a positive, engaging and highly competent service culture in all operations.
 
He/she is expected be an interactive “thought partner” with the Board and Committees, working closely with both groups as collectively they make decisions and set strategic direction for the long term well-being of the membership.  Like many clubs, TPC has a number of new, younger members with families and the balance of tradition with relevance to today’s member needs and expectations is a critical success factor.  Supporting and effectively working with a large number of committees, who are important part of TPC’s long history and success, is a necessary and important skill set.
 
The successful new GM/COO at TPC will need to have especially strong skills in “mentoring” and “holding accountable” a senior staff and group of meaningfully engaged employees.  The Club membership has a high regard for its staff, and the enhanced continuance of an energized, well-trained, committed team is critical for continued success.  A sincerely engaged, personally invested, instinctual style is particularly important for one’s success.  At the same time, it is desirous to engage a leader who has a clear and proven ability to recruit, orient and retain a ‘team’ in all areas of the operation AND ensure that they work as a collaborative group interdepartmentally.
 
He/she must be a proactive leader in TPC’s membership recruitment and retention efforts.  It is very critical that s/he understands the local market and economy.  The candidate has to be comfortable and competent being an integral and proactive part of developing relationships that lead to membership interest, retention and/or business opportunities, and is effective in orienting new members so that their initial experience with TPC results in constant use of the Club.
 
Additionally, the new GM/COO must be a professional and highly respectful in his/her personal style, demeanor and presence, and someone who recognizes and is comfortable interacting with all demographics of members, staff and other constituents who contribute to the success of the Club; name recognition is a basic foundation of such success and this style must be a critical competency of the top executive. He/she must be able to clearly and intuitively “walk the talk,” exemplifying how to perpetuate a true top “Member Experience” commensurate with what should be one of the top family-oriented country clubs in the Northeast. 
 
Also critically important is for the GM/COO to have especially strong and verifiable financial skills and acumen, and to be able to communicate very effectively, both verbally and in writing as the primary communicator of important Club information.  Strong attention to detail and having necessary and appropriate follow up skills are very important intuitive personal characteristics.
 
INITIAL PRIORITIES OF THE NEW GM/COO 
  • Listen and observe, a lot, while “learning and assessing” the operation;
  • Get to know members and staff as quickly as possible, engaging them in an intuitively sincere and enthusiastic manner;
  • Work closely with the Board, Committees and senior management staff to ensure a full and complete understanding of TPC, its history, culture and traditions before making any significant changes;
  • Focus on the Food and Beverage operation, recognizing that it is the ‘heart’ of the TPC experience, and its consistent delivery and execution of a positive, well-regarded product is a critical success factor;
  • Understand the financial model, its history for implementation and need for adherence by all departments/managers, and clearly understanding how TPC makes it financial projections; 
  • Focus on the key elements to long-term success at TPC---membership engagement, membership recruitment/retention, and building a staff culture of efficient, effective service.
  • Conduct a full and complete evaluation of the organizational chart and return to the Board within sixty days a ‘State of the Club’ report with executable and soundly backed recommendations. 
To reiterate, fostering a culture of solidarity and teamwork throughout the team and the Club at large is very important to the staff and membership. Significant to this expectation is the ability to lead a team of friendly, engaging, competent, and passionate staff who are sincere about serving the Club’s members.
 
CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS 
  • Significant progressive management experience in a well-regarded private club or similar hospitality environment, preferably with at least 5 years in the GM/COO or AGM roles, the latter of which will need to be working with a verifiably competent mentor to that candidate’s success.  Preferably, strong and verifiable experience in leading a dynamic, progressive, “family-centric” club environment with significant recreational and social activities and amenities.  The Club will consider non-club hospitality professionals who demonstrate to clear understanding of effective leadership in a volunteer, non-profit leadership (member boards and committee) environment.
  • A verifiable commitment to on-going professional development and clear understanding of both trends and benchmarks in the club industry, as well as a strong professional “network.”
  • Possessive of solid and verifiable success in F & B operations, including the proven ability to inspire, train, and set standards; is creative and innovative, and generally regarded as having overseen a top tier F & B operation.
  • Especially strong financial acumen, budgeting and presentation skills, along with an intuitive “ROI” mindset, being able to effectively communicate the vision behind the numbers.
  • A true appreciation of golf, its history and how to deliver an exceptional “experience” to members and guests.
  • A verifiable history of success in working in a volunteer, member owned organization, appreciating the need to gain consensus and ”buy in” to well-conceived, majority interest objectives benefiting the long term well-being of the organization.  Having proven and demonstrable success in a strong committee culture is necessary.
  • A history of “mentoring” others to both develop their skills and to benefit the organization.
  • Strong and polished personal presence with an intuitive desire to meet, interact with, and build strong relations amongst all constituents.
  • A fundamental nature of calmness and strength, as well as tactfulness and diplomacy.
  • Especially strong overall communications skills in both verbal and written form, as well as in listening.  Further to this attribute is the ability to communicate in multiple media forms, and to recognize when and how such communication is most effective and presented. 
The Club is strongly interested in the best candidates, regardless of where they currently live.  The key attributes, as outlined above, include the proven ability to continue to elevate services, programming and execution of a well-defined “mission.” 
 
The role of GM/COO at The Patterson Club should be attractive to those qualified candidates seeking a stable, long-term commitment in a community with outstanding schools and quality of life.  For the right individual with passion, enthusiasm, and consistently enhanced skill sets, TPC can be a “pinnacle of one’s career” role!  Fairfield, Connecticut is an exceptional ‘small’ town community easily accessible to NYC, and one with an outstanding family environment.

EDUCATIONAL AND CERTIFICATION QUALIFICATIONS 
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from a four-year university or college is desirable, preferably in Hospitality Management.
  • In lieu of the degree, substantial private club or hospitality experience may be considered.
  • Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation preferred. 
SALARY & BENEFITS
 
Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The club, along with the typical CMAA benefits, offers an excellent bonus and benefit package.
 
INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO APPLY
 
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. 
 
Preparing a thoughtful letter of interest and alignment with the above noted expectations and requirements is necessary.  Your letter should be addressed to the TPC Search Committee, and clearly articulate why you, why at this stage of your career and why TPC.
 
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 Nan Fisher: nan@kkandw.com
 
Search Partners leading this search:
 
Kurt D. Kuebler, CCM                                    
Kurt@kkandw.com
561-747-5213
 
Thomas B. Wallace III, CCM/ECM
Tom@kkandw.com