Letter #5

Happy New Year everyone,

Houston, we have a problem! While not of the life-threatening variety, as it was for Apollo 13, the TPC may indeed have a technical problem; our line of communication between the Club and its members may be deeply impaired. Over the past 5 weeks 4 letters have been posted on the Club’s website and distributed to members via TPC’s weekly bulletin which is emailed on Mondays. The new Board’s objectives for the coming year (letter #1), a modest dues increase covering inflation costs (letter #2), a management change in the Café (letter #3) and a possible change in the Club’s financial model (letter #4) were all sent out and accompanied by a request for member feedback – especially as it relates to future changes in the Café. To date, the response rate has been pretty slim: #1 – zero, #2- zero, #3 – 33 (all right, struck a nerve perhaps), #4 – 15. For an 875 family club, this is a paltry response indeed – the holidays notwithstanding.

Over the past month, I’ve asked members I’ve been around about their reactions to the material in the letters. “What letters?” has been the almost universal response. The weekly TPC bulletin goes out each Monday to just over 1000 email addresses. I’m guessing now but I suspect the reading rate is below 20% – this is consistant with numbers provided by our web-host. I don’t care too much about whether my precious letters are actually read, I do care about getting member input regarding what they want from their Club. Good communication between a Club and its members is essential to a Club’s well being. Here’s an example that came up this week. The club is considering a catering company as a stopgap measure for the Super Bowl Party in February, under these circumstances member sign up in advance would make the whole affair much more efficient for everyone involved. If our communication line is impaired, how can we expect a widespread change in member behavior (sign-ups) if they aren’t getting the messsage? Consequently, member services will launch a campaign to update the Club contact list beginning this month. I imagine our email distribution list should probably be closer to 1700-1800 of member’s most current email addresses. If we got 50% readership and a higher response rate – that would be a major improvement. In addition to an audit of the member contact list, you’ll see a lot more information at the Club’s point of entry, direct emails outside of the weekly bulletin and town hall meetings.

Speaking of town hall meetings, did you know that all committee meetings, to include the meetings of the BOG, are open to all members, not just committee members? If the Club’s Board is there to provide Club governance and the Club’s management is there to execute the Board’s governance in the day to day management of the facility, then committee’s are where members participate in all the decisions and recommendations pertinent to the specific committee activity. There are three committee meetings this week: Fitness (Tuesday 6:30pm), Tennis (Wednesday 6:30pm) and Café (Thursday 6:30pm) – please consider attending any of these, particularly the Café Committee Meeting where the agenda is very long as you might imagine. Your input on these decisions is invaluable.

In the last letter I promised to address such issues as the mission statement and long term plan for the Club’s F&B. While quite limited, the responses we did receive (15) have been almost universally supportive of what was proposed. Unfortunately, the response was so limited that a decision shouldn’t be rendered just yet. These issues will be decided Thursday night at the Café Committee meeting.

President’s Corner Archive
(Click any title below to view the corresponding letter)

Letter #1 – Objectives for 2013
Letter #2 – Modest Dues Increase
Letter #3 – Changes in the Café
Letter #4 – Club’s Financial Model

All the best,
Mike

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