Letter #33

Happy Monday everyone,

Here we are at the end of August; vacations have concluded, the kids are back in school, programs are re-launching around the Club and, Holy Toledo, it is the end of August and I suddenly realize I only have another 3 months to get a lot of Toledo done. Let’s change the format of these silly letters this week and give you a stream of (un)consciousness of what’s on the Toledo list and what I’m thinking about.

Jerry – in all seriousness, I think about Jerry a lot, like most of you do. His first line protocol is working by all accounts but it is nevertheless debilitating and he’s just not physically capable of working full days at this point. He’s insisted on a reduction in compensation because he knows he just can’t put forth the same effort he used to. If it’s all right with all of you, we’ve insisted that we not reduce his compensation until his various forms of long term disability engage. That begins to come on line in the coming weeks and we’ll adjust accordingly. Please stop by and remind him how much you think of him and how great you think he is – because he is!

ClubSoft – a good software backbone for a private club facility has two key dimensions; a history suite and a future suite. The history part should be relatively simple; programs have been handling this since Excel hit mainframes. It’s what has already happened – basic accounting; payables, receivables, billing, payroll, etc. The future suite is essentially scheduling in all areas of the Club but it’s the part of the software that most enhances the member experience. We can’t get the future element of the program working effectively until we have the history part buttoned down and I’m sorry to say we’re just not there yet. Many of you have seen errors on your bills or seen the corrections to errors you didn’t see on your bills. We’re taking this very seriously – there isn’t anything more important to an operation than accurate numbers. Management cannot manage without them. We’ve turned up the heat on the ClubSoft adoption process and have secured the services of a well vetted outside consultant to help us. He comes by way of another Board member to whom we’re very grateful. I’ve spent some time with Jason, our consultant; I was very impressed and expect to see the fruits of his team’s labor very shortly and, therefore, so should you.

Locker room and bathroom upgrades – all right, here goes (suck it up big fella). To all of the young mothers with young children running around the pool area; I apologize. In my wildest dreams I didn’t expect an upgrade to the boys/girls locker rooms, the 1½ family bathrooms and the men’s/women’s bathrooms off the Club’s main entrance to take even remotely this long. Yes, I accept as true what you’ve all been saying all along; I’m an idiot. Nevertheless, changing tables will be installed this coming week in all five rooms: B/G locker rooms, family baths and M/W bathrooms by the entrance. Changing stalls (5-6) will be installed in the B/G locker rooms by mid-September, they’ll be repainted by then with all the appropriate product within children’s reach (even though it will still end up all over the walls, floor and mirrors). Maintenance is way up in these areas already and you should be seeing a much more acceptable environment there.

Code of conduct and enforcement – we promised you these months ago; sorry. The good news is it hasn’t been forgotten. Two of our Board members have put in some serious work on this and will have a completed version to you in September; I promise.

Social fabric around the Club – well, after completely bombing the July Third Thursday (remember the wine tasting fiasco?), August’s Third Thursday was an unequivocal success. Almost 50 members attended Paella Night on a gorgeous evening on the patio with dollar sangria and food prepared in front of us all in a giant, 5ft in diameter, pan. No one threw anything at me so I was just thrilled (although I did get a pretty cool reception to one introduction – oh well, Toledo happens). I think everyone had fun and we didn’t lose much money, which is all we’re trying to do. Mark your calendars for the September Third Thursday (9/19) – I’m not sure what we’ll be doing but Mark will let you know this coming week. A lot of effort has been put into Labor Day preparations by all our Club’s departments – come on down and have some fun next weekend.

Survey – jeez, I’ve procrastinated enough on this one. This week I promise I’ll ask everyone how they feel about a whole host of different things: expand the kitchen, refurnish the dining areas, enhance the south property area, a food minimum, a slow expansion of our membership numbers, another Jacuzzi, why don’t we have a Flag at TPC and some things I can’t think of but know you will.

• Formulate the 5yr Plan to execute all those survey topics – nuff said – this is my personal Everest (I guess mine’s in Ohio).

Reconstitute the board – we’re losing 4, maybe 5, of 11 Board members in November. Would you like to serve? Please email Jerry or me if so, otherwise we’ll start asking around – let the arm-twisting begin.

Hey, speaking of ‘The Board’, there is another Board Meeting tonight (Monday, 8/26, 6:30pm), why don’t you come down and give your input to all these items I’m thinking about above as well as some of these:

  • Committees inadvertently putting Directors in harm’s way
  • Waitlist privileges and can we increase inactive member replacement?
  • Ugly Rumors circulating within the membership (I know because I get the calls with “This can’t possibly be true but I heard…”) – can we do anything about them? It’s disgusting!
  • Entrance Hall – Member Communication and Appearances

Come on down and get a sense of what goes on at these gatherings of pure joy. See you there?

All the best (from Toledo),



  1. Mike,
    Please share my comments with the Board.
    I voiced previously that my concern was not the little children with their parents but the underage kids from 7 to 14 in the adult locker rooms. On 8/31/2013 at approximately 1:40 P.M as I was entering the women’s locker room, 2 twelve year old girls were entering and I informed them that this was for adults only. I went to my locker and as I was coming around he corner, 2 more eleven year old girls were coming in. I again told them that this was adult only. I showered and went into the steam room to decompress. After about a minute, I heard screaming and shouting children running around the locker room. Then the showers were turned on and the shouting and yelling continued. I came out of the steam room and told the eight year old girls that they did not belong there and to leave. I went back to my looker and a mother came in with 3 out of control older children who were shouting. I immediately dressed and got out of there. On my way out, I saw 4 thirteen year old boys going into the men’s locker room. None of the life guards or staff seem to care. It should not be up to members to enforce the regulations. I go to TPC to relax, unwind and keep in shape. I do not go there to be stressed and frustrated. Having regulations without enforcement is useless. In all the years since the remodel, I have only seen 2 TPC employees enforce locker room regulations. One was a cleaning lady years ago and the other was a life guard a weeks or so ago.
    You can do all thee renovations so that the adult looker rooms are for adults only but if the rules are not enforced then we will be back to the way it was before.

  2. Joyce Kami says:

    Mike.. your informative Monday letters have made me a believer that a President, of a family club like our TPC, does make a positive difference. You and Jerry have carried out so many needed changes. Being at the helm of this club is a challenge for anyone since most members insist on voicing complaints and yet are not willing to help change things for the benefit of the majority. Keep your Mojo going!
    Also, please continue to compensate Jerry. He is remarkable and so caring and concerned about his club. We continue to pray for his complete recovery.
    Joyce Kami, an ancient member

  3. I truly enjoy your letters. Informative and funny.

    I agree – please do not reduce Jerry’s renumeration. I have been a member for close to 50 years and never ever has the Club been managed more efficiently. He is by far THE BEST manager we have ever had.

    Since I no longer have a vote (Senior Member) there is really no need for me to come to Board Meetings, although I would love to hear the nasty rumors. But, don’t forget – they have been around for a loooong time!!!

    You are doing a great job, Mike. Take care – Marianne Strotz

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