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Country Club of Darien – Darien, Connecticut  
General Manager/COO

About the Club
Country Club of Darien was established by Edgar S. Auchincloss in 1958 on land originally used for his family retreats. Today, the beautiful Club prides itself on being a “Club for all Seasons” for families by offering 18 holes of championship golf with a vibrant caddy program, a stunning 50,000 square foot Clubhouse, eight Har-Tru tennis courts, six paddle courts with a recently built Paddle Hut, six-lane pool with diving well, new pool bar, multiple dining outlets, and a fitness center to the over 700 members. It is truly a distinctive gathering place for social events and athletic endeavors.

The original golf course was designed by Alfred Tull, a partner of noted course architect Devereux Emmet. In 2007, Dr. Michael Hurdzan, architect of US Open host Erin Hills, was commissioned to modernize the course.  He earned the Renovation of the Year award in 2010 by Golf, Inc for the work done at Country Club of Darien. The course has hosted the 2018 Met Match Play Championship, 2019 Westchester Open, 2021 Connecticut State Open, 2022 IKE MGA Stroke Plan and the 2022 Ladies MET Open. The Club’s practice facilities are the most expansive in the area and include two practice ranges, and two chipping greens alongside the main putting green. An indoor Golf Performance Studio provides year-round hitting facilities, golf lessons, and high-tech swing analysis.

The Club is proud to be very family friendly offering six weeks of children’s camps, swim/dive/water polo teams and lessons, and junior golf and tennis programs and teams. There are active social and competitive adult programs including USTA Tennis and APTA Platform Tennis offerings. The Paddle Hut was completed in 2013 and features a lounge area with a stone fireplace, observation deck, and built-in fire pit to add to the winter activity list.

Gross revenue exceeds $13 million with annual dues at almost $7 million and Food & Beverage accounting for $4 million. There are 217 staff members at the height of season. The Clubhouse is open year-round yet closed on Mondays. Over the past 12 years, the Club has invested over $20 million in upgrades and renovations financed through an effective Capital Budget.  Future projects include the renovation of five more greens (~$1 million) in 2023 and discussions abound related to renovations of the wintertime Club favorite Grill Room and a ~$4m golf course irrigation project.

About the Position
The General Manager/COO is responsible for managing all operations of the Country Club of Darien consistent with the direction and policies established by the Board of Directors as well as by the By-laws and Rules and Regulations of the Club. This includes working in conjunction with the Controller in the preparation and final draft of the annual operating and capital budgets, which will be subject to the approval of the Finance Committee and Board, and management and control of operations to attain desired results.

The General Manager/COO is expected to coordinate and direct all management functions of the Club and work in concert with Committee Chairs to assist them with the development of policies, programs, and events. The General Manager/COO will consult with the President, the Board, and/or Committee Chairs as appropriate on matters of significance to the Club. He or she will be responsible for the daily operations of the Club, monitoring the quality of the Club’s products and services to ensure maximum member and guest satisfaction, and will endeavor to ensure an atmosphere of hospitality, friendliness, and goodwill.

About the Ideal Candidate
The Ideal candidate should have 10+ years of progressively more responsible club management positions leading up to a General Manager/COO role at a family oriented private club of similar scale and culture.  He/she should have a professional career “track record” of achievement and relative employment stability with experience in building budgets and managing the business from financial metrics. The chosen candidate will have a record of success in the selection, training, development, and motivation of a high-performing, service-oriented staff, strong food and beverage knowledge as well as ability to standardize high service standards across the Club. It is vital that he/she has experience with overseeing capital improvements and is facile with club-related technologies.

The selected candidate will be an excellent leader, team builder, communicator, delegator, and motivator with energy and enthusiasm and the ability to work effectively at all levels of the organization.  He/she should be respectful of tradition but also innovative and knowledgeable about industry best practices. The next GM/COO will have a positive and accessible leadership style with the ability to act decisively and be capable of quickly recognizing organizational opportunities. The ideal candidate will be able to “manage up” effectively to the Board and know what is appropriate to communicate and what is “below the line.”

A college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Hospitality Management, or equivalent is preferred as well as professional certifications (CCM, CCE) or similar professional development achievements.

Apply for This Position
Interested candidates should complete the online candidate profile form and submit a compelling cover letter and resume for consideration to DENEHY Club Thinking Partners at http://denehyctp.com/apply-for-a-position/. If you have any questions or to recommend a candidate, please contact Karen Alexander at 203.319.8228 or by email at karen@denehyctp.com.

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