2020 Northwest Regional Conference
rescheduled for April 18-20,2021
Click Brochure for Schedule & Registration Details
Our 2020 speakers have committed to the 2021 Conference, although their content may change as circumstances determine
Managing Moments of Truth
Marcus King CCM, CCE, PGA, General Manager of Overlake Golf & Country Club, grew up in Seattle, earned an Evans Scholarship and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science. He avoided law school and entered the United States Peace Corps, serving in Honduras and working as a social worker, small business specialist, and special education teacher.ˇHe then served as the Head Golf Professional at a municipal golf course and private club and then as the General Manager of a resort and three private clubs, experiencing every corner of our industry. He recently served as the Golf Commissioner for the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle.
Club Relevance in Member Recruiting, Retention & Referrals
Shannon Herschbach, principal and cofounder of Pipeline Marketing, is a recognized sales and marketing leader in the private club industry and a frequent speaker at worldwide CMAA conferences. She has over two decades of experience in membership, event and hospitality sales and has been recognized as one of the most influential women in the club industry by BoardRoom Magazine.
Michael Phelps, principal and cofounder of Pipeline Marketing, leads the strategy and brand marketing efforts for Pipeline Marketing. He is a 23-year veteran of the club industry including over a dozen years with American Golf where he led all Finance and Technology efforts during their hyper-growth years. Mike has been named one of the 10 Most Innovative People in Marketing by Golf Inc. Magazine.
50 Ways to Improve your Board of Directors
Robyn Stowell is an attorney whose practice focuses on real estate and general business matters with a nationally recognized focus on golf and private club matters. Ms. Stowell helps clubs nationwide update their documents, implement best practices and address the changing legal landscape in a timely and effective manner. She helps buyers, sellers, lenders, clubs and member groups with all matters related to the sale, turnover, finance and operational issues related to golf and private club assets.
Robyn is recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Chambers, and also as a Top Lawyer in Arizona by Arizona Business Magazine. She was one of the Top People to Know in Commercial Real Estate by Arizona Commercial Real Estate Magazine in 2008-2011. Golf Inc. named her to their list of Best Lawyers in the golf industry. She was recognized by BoardRoom Magazine as One of the Seventeen Most Influential Women in the Golf Club Industry in 2009 and as recipient of two of its Excellence in Achievement Awards, for Educator of the Year in 2009 and Law Firm of the Year in 2010.
Ms. Stowell graduated with honors from the University of Kansas and earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. She served for nine years on the Board of the National Club Association, is a regular speaker for Club Managers Association of America and writes for industry publications.
Christian Thon, CCM, CCE is in the Honors Society of CMAA and is an accomplished Club Manager with comprehensive knowledge of the private club industry. Originally from Denmark, Christian speaks six languages. After graduating with his A.A. degree from Lansdowne College in London, he moved to the Bay Area and received his B.A. in Hotel and Restaurant Management and his Masters in Hospitality Management from Golden Gate University. He now has over two decades of experience in private clubs, including Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club, World Trade Club, Menlo Circus Club, and now the Seattle Tennis Club - one of the largest clubs in the Pacific Northwest and one of the oldest in the country. Christian brings an expertise to all aspects of hospitality management, with a specialty in construction planning and large projects. He inspires his staff of over 250 with lots of energy. He is an outdoor enthusiast and particularly loves hiking up mountains and skiing down them, paddle boarding from Mercer Island to work, and sailing (as far as New York to Denmark).
Christina Lehman is a strategic thinker, brand storyteller, and passionate marketer. She graduated a year early from the University of Washington Foster School of Business with a B.A. in Business Administration and a specialization in Marketing. Having completed three internships in school, Christina launched her career working at Seattle advertising agencies for clients such as Hawaiian Airlines, Microsoft, and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. She loves hospitality and has since led marketing for over half a dozen properties including The Woodmark Hotel, Salish Lodge, and now Seattle Tennis Club. Christina believes in promoting moments of connection, inspiration, and appreciation.
Business Intelligence & Data Driven Decision Making
Derek Johnston is a Partner at GGA where he leads the development of business solutions for GGA's roster of clients, in addition to managing the firm's internal operations. Derek is an expert in club financial and operational analysis and strategy and has had the privilege of serving hundreds of GGA clients around the world. Prior to joining GGA, Derek led the business solutions division for a global technology provider operating in the club industry and spent a number of years in operations consulting with Arthur Anderson and Deloitte.
Amilcar Davy joined CMAA in 2015 as a Manager of Research, which involves managing CMAA?s research strategy. This includes responding to research requests, designing surveys that benefit the CMAA membership and staff, producing annual survey reports (Finance & Operations and Compensation and Benefits), supporting the educational offerings such as BMI and sessions at the World Conference on Club Management.
Prior to joining CMAA, Amilcar had over 10 years of experience in the Television Research field while working with such companies as Discovery Communications and the National Geographic Channel. Amilcar attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Management Sciences and Statistics.
Chuck Nelson is the President & CEO of the Washington Athletic Club, a role he has held since February 2012. He took on the position after 13 years as a member of the WAC and a varied and diverse professional career that developed the skillset needed to now lead one of America's top city athletic clubs.
A 1982 graduate of the University of Washington, Chuck spent five years in the National Football League. Returning to Seattle post-football, he entered the investment management world and began a 20-year side-career as the radio analyst for Washington Husky football games. In 2004, Chuck helped create and served as Executive Director of the PGA Tour Champions event in Seattle, and later moved into leadership work for a consulting firm. He serves on multiple community and business boards and is an active member of the CMAA Evergreen Chapter.
The Washington Athletic Club was founded in 1930. The 20-story clubhouse, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, sits at the heart of downtown Seattle, serving the club's 11,000 members. The region's premier social, fitness, and professional community, in one of America's most thriving, diverse, and rapidly evolving cities, the WAC is nine-time Platinum Club designee as a top five athletic club in the country.
Food & Beverage Trends
Ken Batali, President of Batali Associates, has spent more than 25 years in the restaurant industry. During his career, Ken has contributed to the success of a wide variety of food-service organizations including coffee shops, casinos, private clubs and independent restaurants. As the Senior Operations Executive at Restaurants Unlimited, he led a diverse group of high-end, full-service restaurants to peak levels of service and profitability. At Taco Del Mar, a quick-serve franchise organization, he created the training programs and quality-control systems.
Gregg Patterson was GM of The Beach Club for 34 years, stepping aside for the next generation in 2016 and becoming a full-time speaker and writer. Gregg has been a featured presenter at club management seminars, assistant manager conferences and hospitality forums around the world; teaches club management courses at BMI-II and BMI-V; was an Adjunct Professor in the Collins School of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly University, Pomona for fourteen years; and is a visiting lecturer at various universities both in the states and around the world.
Gregg also writes for BoardRoom Magazine, Club Management magazine, Golf Retailing magazine and The St. Andrews Management Center and is the author of Reflections on the Club Experience, an anthology of essays on club cultures and operations.
In acknowledgement of his efforts as an educator in both the university and the corporate worlds, he was awarded the 2002 Gary Player Private Club Educator of the Year Award by BoardRoom Magazine, the Club Executive of the Year by the Club Management Association of America in 2015, the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian Pacific Hospitality Summit in 2015 and the 2015 BoardRoom Magazine Award of Dedication for his timeless, energetic and dedicated service to the private club industry.