Complimentary Dinner tendered to M. H. Cox. by the Club Managers Association of Boston. Murray, New York. November 11, 1920: Fred A Taylor, John P. Squire, Fred L. Owen, Joseph J. Hoyle, Patrick I Mullen, M. H. Cox, Edward D. Curley, Thomas P. Jones, Charles L. May, Price Evans, A. Morandi Barlett, George Morrison, Samuel Southwall, William Sparrow.
Even earlier than this photograph, the records show that on October 15, 1916, a group met in New York in the apartment of Eugene Blanc. What they did has been lost to history, but we do know that on March 16, 1917, they elected officers. In 1914, Tom Jones held a meeting of managers at the Harvard Club in Boston. Both groups were prominent in the eventual founding of CMAA. In 1922, Club Management magazine offered to publish news of clubs and club management for the managers.
How It All Began
In the beginning, Colonel C. G. Holden invited club manager throughout the United States to become charter members of the National Association of Club Managers. When the invitation was extended, there were no initiation fees or annual dues. The organizational work began in mid 1926, the earliest correspondence showing October 12, 1926, on the letterhead of the Hotel Sherman Company, Randolph Street at Clark, Chicago, Illinois, the temporary headquarters for the National Association of Club Managers, M. B. Seltzer, Acting Secretary.
Although the organization was headed by Colonel Holden, the first communication of record was distributed over the signature of Acting Secretary Seltzer, explaining that the organization of a National Association of Club Managers was being considered and pointing out that the first meeting would be held at the Hotel Sherman, January 24-28, 1927.
It is interesting to note that this first meeting was to be conducted without financial obligation on the part of the committee. The expense of the convention was to be born by the club equipment exposition which was held at that first annual convention.
One of the earliest efforts to develop the National Association of Club Managers was a news bulletin entitled AS-O-CL-MA. Volume 1, Number 1. It was published Wednesday, June 10, 1925, under the auspices of the Association of Club Managers. Apparently, this publication was created by club managers in the New York/Massachusetts area. Reference is made to New York, Brooklyn, and Bayside. Since club managers in the Boston area were the first to formally organize a group, apparently this publication first emanated from them.
No record is available to show that additional issues of Volume 1 were ever printed. The next publication appeared either in late 1929 or in 1930. It was called the Club Managers Association of America Bulletin.
Colonel Holden and M. B. Seltzer began an enthusiastic campaign to organize CMAA, to attract members and develop their first annual convention. Their correspondence exhibits their interest and dedication in beginning to "get it all together."
The program for the 1st Annual Convention of the National Association of Club Managers contained 20 interesting subjects. In those formative years of CMAA, unlike more recent educational endeavors, the participants in the program gave their "papers" or other presentations to the general membership at a general meeting. It is highly significant the the various subjects at the first annual convention program, the subjects included "Why Clubs Need A General Manager"; "Club Cost Accounting", "Club Budget and Budget Control" and "Laundry Service, Food Service and the Manager's Contract." Obviously, subjects that concerned managers in 1927 continue to concern club managers in 1977.
Club Managers Association of America
The Board of Directors of the Club Managers Association of America
does hereby certify that these Chapter Members:
Joseph J. Hoyle, Thomas Phelps Jones, Patrick J. Mullen, S. Gardner Sleeper,
William Sparrow, Samuel H. Southhall, and Frederick A. Taylor
and their successors are hereby duly constituted as the
Chapter, Club Managers Association of America, to have
jurisdiction within the geographic area defined as:
the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts
They are entrusted with the guardianship of the interests of the
Club Managers Association of America, and are charged to uphold its Code of Ethics.
This Chapter is recognized as the continuation of one originally formed in 1914;
and acknowledged as the oldest association of Club Managers in the United States.
In witness where of I give my hand and seal this first day of April in the year 1960 A.D.
Signed: Kenneth Meisnest, President
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NECMA's First President
Thomas P. Jones
Harvard Club of Boston
NECMA President 1914-1915
CMAA President 1932
(photo circa 1932)
From the Minutes of the First Annual National Association of Club Managers Convention
Hotel Sherman, Chicago, Ill., January 24, 1927.
Thomas P. Jones of the Harvard Club of Boston offered some very sound advise to the assemblage:
As you are organizing this association today, it appears fitting to ask if it is only going to be just another organization or are you going to bring it to be something that is worth-while, that is going to carry a message to every club manager throughout the country, that will benefit them personally and professionally. Those are the things we must consider and if we are firmly fixed in our minds that this organization is going to be something that is real, viable, and effective, then we must see that we put the right men in it to administer the government of the association.
Don't make a man your president simply because he is popular, or secretary or treasurer for that matter. Put into office only such men who are willing to work for the association, who will sacrifice time and sometimes money and often times comfort to carry on the work for the association. It is only the devoted work of such men that you can put over this national organization.
Some members will respond unfavorable. They will say I'm sorry but I cannot serve on this committee or that committee. It will be one of the most trying times when your officers have to face the problem of finding men who are willing to serve with them and for the organization. If the president is asked to appoint a committee and a member feels equal to the task of serving on that committee, he should contribute his part.
Copyright © 1977 Club Managers Association of America from "The First 50 Years" CMAA 1927-1977 Golden Anniversary, by Horace G. Duncan, CCM, CAE -- Library of Congress Catalogue Number 76-51474
NECMA Past President Council
NECMA Past President 1914-2014