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President's Column May 2018

President’s Column

Over the past year, the MAC Board of Trustees has been working very closely with the Executive Leadership Team to finalize a new strategic plan. In the interest of transparency for members, this edition of The Winged M contains an early overview of the plan, its general direction, and some of the areas of focus for the next two years. When you read this material, please take these three very important things into consideration:

• Strategic Direction: This strategic plan lays out an overarching strategic direction with a long-term set of initiatives and strategies for MAC. Effective execution of these strategies will take time — from one to five or more years. This differs from a tactical plan, which would be focused on the detailed action items and short-term goals that are part of executing a strategic plan.

• Data: Elements of this strategic plan focus on improved data acquisition. We believe that effective planning is data driven. Better and more current data is needed to more clearly define the strategies that will be executed. The data we collect will also be used to design and formulate our action plans.

• A Living Document: While its overarching direction would probably not change much, we must be able to adjust the plan as needed to account for potential changing conditions. This could impact what, when and how we can successfully accomplish

The framework and high-level elements produced by the Strategic Planning Committee in 2017 served as the foundation for the plan.

elements of the plan. Therefore, the plan is not static and should be reviewed periodically and updated based on new information and events.

Some members have asked me why we haven’t made much progress executing prior strategic plans. In my own experience and observation, previous planning processes, along with the nature of governance at MAC, made it difficult to achieve consistent execution of a strategic plan. The trustees rotate on for three-year cycles, committee members also rotate, and management was previously not extensively involved in the earlier process. The result was often a lack of clear long-term ownership of the plan, especially when it transitioned to the execution phase, where the management team assumed the primary responsibility. Therefore, the Board of

Trustees felt we needed to adjust our strategic planning process.

A lot of time and effort has been put into creating the new strategic plan, and I would like to thank everyone who has actively participated. The framework and high-level elements produced by the Strategic Planning Committee in 2017 served as the foundation for the plan. The work completed by the Ad Hoc Strategic Steering Committee helped immensely to better define our market demographic trends, membership interests, property assets, and perceived strengths and weaknesses. Engaging the entire Board of Trustees and the Executive Leadership Team in this process created stronger long-term ownership of the plan. In the future, members will be involved, through the committee system, in advising and supporting key elements of the plan as they move to execution.

Getting the Data

As noted previously, data is important to the strategic planning process. The last general membership survey was conducted in 2015, and while it contains very useful information, there are some missing pieces that we need to acquire. These include gaining an updated and deeper understanding of member use of the club; trends in athletic, fitness, and social activities; and engagement of new members. We are planning on rolling out a new membership survey later this year to gather deeper information that can be used to better define and support MAC’s strategic plan.

Turning the Ship

I think of strategic planning for a 126-year-old, highly successful and respected organization with 20,000 members as being like navigating an aircraft carrier. Planning and executing a change in course doesn’t happen quickly. Making even smaller course adjustments takes strong planning, communication and coordination. I close on this point because we have the time to do this right — in a thoughtful, well planned and objective fashion that is fiscally responsible. There are always emerging challenges in how we evolve and continue to deliver highly effective programs and services to a changing membership demographic. MAC is operating successfully with overall high member satisfaction, good financial results and a lottery list for new members. Successful execution of the strategic plan will ensure that MAC continues to effectively meet its current and future member expectations. WM

Strategic Plan


To be one of the most successful and desirable private athletic clubs in the country.


Enrich lives, foster friendships and build upon traditions of excellence in athletic, wellness and social programs.


• Stewardship

• Professionalism

• Inclusiveness

• Respect

• Involvement

• Teamwork


• Premium

• Member focused

• A home away from home

• Family oriented

• Pillar of the community


The Multnomah Athletic Club is the premier private club in the Portland metro area that provides its members:

• Convenient access to exceptional programs and services in athletics, wellness, social programs and dining in superior facilities

• Opportunities for people of all ages and stages of life to foster life-long relationships within a caring and supportive community

Imperative 1


Maintain current headcount and achieve multigenerational, lifestyle and demographic mix that ensures financial sustainability.


• Member Satisfaction (Retention and Recruitment)

• Member Categories and Profiles


1. Identify current and new member target profiles.

a. Collect and review lifestyle, athletic, income and geographical data for our region and from current members.

b. Decide on new member target profiles and coordinate with the Club Experience programming plan.

2. Evaluate existing membership procedures, categories, tiers and fees.

a. Conduct a benchmarking analysis of other athletic clubs.

b. Develop fee structure and lottery process recommendations that reflect business needs and incentivize new member target profiles.

3. Execute a member engagement strategy focused on new member target profiles.

a. Focus outreach to existing members that are representative of new member target profiles.

b. Develop diversity targets that reflect community demographics.

Imperative 2


Create a balance of premium programs and services to engage and delight current and future members.


• Member Satisfaction (Friendliness, Cleanliness, and Ease of Use)

• Reduction/Elimination of Programs with Declining Demand

• Development/Expansion of Programs with Increasing Demand


1. Complete periodic reviews of programs and services to assess the ongoing relevance and projected future demand for the current and new member target profiles.

a. Develop a common framework with consistent, clear criteria to evaluate existing programs and services.

b. Collect data, based upon the framework, of existing programs and services to establish the current state.

c. Collect industry trend data, based upon our current and new member target profiles.

d. Establish desired future state in order to achieve better balance of resource allocation among recreational, wellness and competitive programs.

e. Perform a gap analysis to evaluate all programs and services against the framework and identify declining and increasing program needs.

2. Develop a plan to evolve programs and services as identified in the gap analysis.

a) Execute the plan to phase out or right-size declining programs and services with clear timelines and commitments.

b) Execute the plan to pilot new or expanded programs and services.

3. Develop a long-range programming plan that informs the development of the Facility Master Plan based upon the gap analysis.

Imperative 3


Optimize and enhance our campus to reflect and support the premium club experience.


• Facility Master Plan

• Transportation Plan


1. Ensure that current facilities are clean, well maintained and meet current codes and standards.

a. Review and refine the annual operations budget to meet required facilities needs in providing a premium club experience.

b. Develop the annual capital budget to ensure deferred maintenance does not exceed identified targets.

c. Incorporate efficiency and sustainability standards into purchases and remodels to minimize utility budgets.

2. Implement short-term (0-3 years) measures to meet current program and service needs.

a. Develop short-term transportation strategies to address member access challenges such as managing parking, leveraging technology, and encouraging alternative transportation usage.

b. Encourage the use of multi-functional spaces by identifying low-cost investments to maximize current facility usage.

c. Initiate preliminary analysis and conceptual planning that can lead to improved capacity and utilization of the E&C and fitness class space.

3. Develop a 10-year Facilities Master Plan to support current and future programs and services.

a. Determine need and location for increased space based on long-range membership and programing goals for overall club experience, including member access strategies.

b. Determine useful life of current facilities with a building assessment prior to Facilities Master Plan development.

c. Incorporate the disposition or development of real estate holdings into the Facilities Master Plan.

Imperative 4


Enhance structures, processes and technology that empower people to deliver the premium club experience.


• Employee Engagement

• Strategic Plan Execution


1. Enhance club culture and engagement among members and employees.

a. Develop and implement strategies that address gaps identified in the biennial employee engagement survey.

b. Improve use of organizational values to guide decision making, relationships and behaviors among employees, trustees and members.

2. Develop and execute a Technology Master Plan that enhances member experience and anticipates club needs

a. Identify and prioritize club-wide technology needs and investment required.

b. Optimize use of technology to ensure business continuity across all programs and activities.

c. Create Business Intelligence capability to meet information needs throughout the organization.

3. Adopt guiding principles and processes to ensure data-informed decision making and improved change management.

a. Identify and assess core capabilities required and identify gaps within existing teams.

b. Review and select decision-support and change management frameworks/methodologies.

c. Create and rollout an implementation roadmap that includes communications, training, tools and ongoing supports.

4. Increase effectiveness of existing governance structure.

a. Strengthen engagement and improve continuity between the executive leadership team and trustees.

b. Develop and implement a revised governance model that is aligned with the strategic direction and addresses performance gaps of current governance structure.

Imperative 5


Increase awareness of MAC’s positive impact in the community to improve perception and stakeholder support.


• Support for MAC Initiatives

• External Perception

• Internal Perception


1. Execute a targeted internal and community relations plan that enhances the reputation of the club as a pillar of the community.

a. Prioritize and commit resources to outreach philanthropy and volunteerism based on club needs and strategies.

b. Evaluate opportunities to open select club events to the community.

c. Expand philanthropic volunteerism through expanded use of the successful 125th Anniversary community involvement model.

2. Develop positive relationships with city officials and neighborhood groups.

a. Identify and foster relationships with key community stakeholders and leaders through support of common interests and needs.

b. Develop an outreach plan that leverages existing member and employee relationships.

3. Increase awareness of the club’s support for youth athletics and fitness and recreation in the broader community.

a. Increase awareness and participation in Multnomah Athletic Foundation (MAF) internally.

b. Develop a marketing and sponsorship strategy to increase awareness.

c. Engage member and employee volunteerism and philanthropy in targeted events and

activities. WM

Send questions, concerns and feedback to playbook@theMAC.com.

5. Develop a long-range financial planning methodology that aligns operational and capital planning