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European & American Club Managers Tackle Change & the Environment


Leading club managers from America and Europe gathered in Stockholm, Sweden, for the seventh annual Business Management Institute (BMI) International Conference, October 15-20, 2009.

The event, themed "The Changing Dynamics of Clubs - Adapting to the Current Environment," brought together senior club managers from seven countries (USA, Canada, Sweden, UK, Finland, Denmark and Spain) for five days of education, networking, cultural and club tours, plus golf.

Organized by the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), in association with the Club Managers Association of Europe and the Swedish Golf Management Association, it is the only event in the BMI programs to be held outside of the U.S.

The conference covered a variety of topics and benefited from a keynote presentation by Swedish "future consultant" Troed Troedsson on trends, with additional presentations by Dick Kopplin of Kopplin & Kuebler and tour professional Joachim Haeggmen, Sweden's first Ryder Cup player.

The environment was high on the agenda, with Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of the Golf Environment Organization, explaining how his group is helping to make golf a more environmentally-friendly game, and how it is "greening" next year's Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. It is hoped to be the first golf event that recycles all its waste.

Delegates appreciated an insightful presentation from STERF (Scandinavian Turfgrass and Environmental Research Foundation) and Fortum, a Swedish company that has conducted energy audits at all Swedish golf clubs. So far, it has reduced clubs' energy consumption by an average of 25%, and up to 40% in some cases, significantly reducing costs.

"There is no doubt that the club business is changing and club managers are required to adapt to that change," said Jerry Kilby Chief Executive Officer of the Club Managers Association of Europe. "So we were fortunate to have such an outstanding panel of expert speakers and the opportunity to go deeper into critical issues affecting our businesses.

"The environment, clearly, is an important issue for us all, and to hear how Swedish clubs are proactively taking the lead in reducing their carbon footprint and simultaneously reducing their costs was a valuable lesson that I am sure club managers will be taking home to their clubs."

BMI International 2010 will take place in Dublin, Ireland, October 14-19, 2010. For more information about the CMAE, visit http://www.cmaeurope.org.