Bill McMahon, Sr. AIA, OAA
Bill is a strategic, financial and architectural planning consultant to clubs throughout North America. He established McMahon Group in 1983 as an affiliate of the family architectural firm his grandfather founded in 1906. Over the ensuing years, the firm has expanded its club consulting services beyond clubhouse improvement planning to a full range of services for all aspects of private club challenges. To date, the firm has assisted more than 2,000 private clubs across the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. McMahon Group provides a unique approach to developing club facility projects first establishing design and financial feasibility so membership approval is achieved. Thereafter final design and construction firms are selected to build the member approved project.
Mr. McMahon is unique among club consultants in providing an integrated strategic, financial and architectural approach to solving club problems. His personal involvement with his own clubs in St. Louis (serving in the roles of president, board member and committee member) has allowed him to bring unparalleled experience to each client. Mr. McMahon’s club memberships have included Bellerive Country Club (St. Louis), Racquet Club Ladue (St. Louis), University Club of St. Louis, Spring Lake Yacht Club (Michigan) and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Mr. McMahon is a graduate of Washington University School of Architecture in St. Louis and holds architecture licenses in 44 U.S. states and in Ontario, Canada. He is a featured author in industry publications and a featured speaker at the annual conferences of the Club Managers Association of America, the Canadian Society of Club Managers, the National Club Association and the Hospitality, Financial and Technology Professionals. He serves as a visiting lecturer at continuing education sessions offered by regional CMAA chapters and at Michigan State University. Bill is a co-author of McMahon Club Trends®, the comprehensive research reports on strategic issues facing private clubs published with the National Club Association. He is also founder of the Excellence in Club Management Award.
Mr. McMahon is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and the National Club Association. He is a former president of the Missouri Council of Architects, AIA and has served on various charitable boards in the St. Louis area.
As in monetary policy or with society in general, certain laws of nature prevail. For many clubs they have become overly zealous in attracting new members with much less regard for whether they fit or not. Clubs are all about having compatible members who have something in common. Maybe it is a love of golf,…Read More
The old line about club food is always the worst compliment we ever hear: “It is pretty good for a club”. But today, our clubs are achieving great success in their dining programs as is evidenced by what is being served, how it is being served, and the rave reviews we are seeing for clubs such as The Army and…Read More
Club facility planning for major capital projects is probably the most challenging task a private club manager and Board will do. Good facility planning sets a club up for success or lost opportunities. But interestingly, true facility success is more dependent on initial strategic planning than on architectural elegance. Historically, clubs have approached facility planning…Read More
Protecting Club Culture As we strive for maximum club success with great facilities, delicious food, great golf, unlimited programs and ever-increasing quality in offerings, two basics for club success are often neglected; which, in the end, can undermine a club’s culture. These two often overlooked factors are member admissions and board compositions. They are most…Read More
Good things are happening at private clubs today as boards and general managers are partnering to achieve club success. The proof is the many very satisfied members we are finding in today’s clubs. The positive results coming from high membership satisfaction are strong membership retention and new member attraction. Based on the last five years…Read More
We are at an interesting point in our nation where the innovators are carrying the day. Look at technology, especially the iPhone, where the predominant use of this phone is no longer voice communication. Look at the auto industry where the Tesla of the new age is whizzing by the old-line companies like General Motors…Read More
This fine Connecticut club found itself in an interesting position after weathering the great recession. Pre-recession, the Club had a long waiting list of potential members waiting to join. Post-recession, that waiting list disappeared along with a generation of members under age 50. The problem was a very basic one – every nearby club had…Read More
At our recent strategic planning session for the firm (yes, we do annual strategic planning at McMahon Group), the suggestion was made that we should be offering some type of ongoing advisory service to club boards and general managers. We have clubs whom we serve this way today with our consultant-for-a-day service. Some requests we…Read More
Over time, country clubs have greatly expanded their recreation offerings. What began as a simple golf gathering place in the late 1800s has become a multi-recreational club of significant proportion. Clubs began the essential process of changing with the times as other recreation activities like tennis and swimming gained popularity. Dining became increasingly important as…Read More
The strategic planning process for any club should be a major event for any board undertaking it. Club strategic planning should never be done by anyone other than the board itself and the general manager as a partnership. This planning should be a joint effort to truly understand what a club’s true mission of service…Read More
The obvious something was reinvesting in the Club’s facilities. Back in 2014, the leadership and management of this 579-home residential Community on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean knew something had to be done to bring new life to their Community. The obvious something was reinvesting in the Club’s facilities. While they had a good…Read More
No matter what mountain a club has to climb when improving operations, governance, membership growth or facility improvements, it must always start by involving its members in the process. They are the customers and the owners of the club. If we know what they want beforehand, it is infinitely easier to give it to them.…Read More