Eyes on the future
Club Managers Association chapter wins national award
February 13, 2014
A University of
Wisconsin-Stout student chapter of the Club Managers Association of America has
received a national award, thanks to an innovative idea involving one of the
most popular trends in the food industry, farmers markets.
The chapter was
named a Club of the Future at the CMAA World Conference Feb. 4-8 in Orlando.
Club of the Future
awards were given out to just five chapters. UW-Stout won in the event category
for a concept that would involve clubs, such as country clubs, hosting farmers
markets at their facilities. Members would buy local, organic produce and
sample recipes freshly made by the club's chef using the produce. Then, members
would vote on their favorite recipes, and the winner would be added to the
president Colin Roche, of Grafton, said all 19 chapter members at the
conference contributed to the development of the contest submission. He singled
out Cody Davenport, of Bristol, for the initial idea and Laura Myers, of St.
Paul, for designing the poster that summarized the key ideas.
After winning the
award, chapter members presented the idea to dozens of club managers at the
conference. "It seemed to be really well-received. One manager said he wanted
to try it at his club," Roche said.
research to support their idea, noting that the local, organic food market is
growing by 20 percent a year and is an $11 billion a year industry in the U.S.
The number of farmers markets have tripled in the last decade. In addition,
people are seeking more farm-to-table dining experiences, in which restaurants
use food bought directly from a local producer.
"The contest helped
us gauge what we'll be doing in the future and how managers assess our skills,"
said Roche, a senior majoring in golf enterprise management.
Roche thanked Bailey
Miller, who works at the Tuxedo Club in Tuxedo Park, N.Y., for support with the
contest entry. Miller is a mentor to Roche and Davenport, both of whom had
internships at the Tuxedo Club.
"One of the special
aspects of being involved in CMAA is mentoring. Many students have professional
mentors during their early years in the industry to help them succeed," Roche
Along with the award,
the UW-Stout chapter tied for having the most students at the conference, Roche
said. Students were accompanied by Lalia Rach, director of the School of
Hospitality Leadership, and club adviser Phil McGuirk, an associate professor.
"Attending the conference allows
the students a unique view of their chosen profession and reinforces the
polytechnic concept of putting theory into practice," Rach said. "We are very
proud of our students' accomplishment."
which drew about 2,400 club managers from around the world, included a business
expo. Students were able to network and interview for internships. All 19
returned with internship offers, McGuirk said.
"I received many
positive comments at the conference about the 19 students in regards to their
professionalism, dress and leadership skills. Some of the students received as
many as four offers for internships," McGuirk said.
UW-Stout's CMAA chapter, the first one admitted to the national organization,
For more information
about the programs in UW-Stout's School of Hospitality Leadership, go to the website.