Jim Butler brings a unique perspective to his leadership role at Club Benchmarking. He earned a PhD in Hospitality from Iowa State University for his research on member loyalty and attachment. In addition, he holds an MBA in Real Estate Development & Finance, a Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry and a Turfgrass degree. Jim has a wealth of operational experience and a proven track record in real estate sales and capital improvement and renovation in gated communities. He is a recognized leader in data science and academic research and a highly sought educator and public speaker. A native of Michigan, Jim and his wife Ruby call Estero, Florida home.
Email: Jim Butler, CEO
Ray has been leading high technology companies for more than 30 years specializing in building teams and navigating early startup phases. He founded Club Benchmarking in 2009 and is recognized in the club industry for his ability to communicate the strategic financial dynamics in private clubs. He has earned a reputation as a top-rated speaker for club manager, controller and board education, best known for his high-energy presentations, thought-provoking delivery and thick Boston accent. Ray was named Club Industry Educator of the Year by BoardRoom Magazine in 2018 and recognized as an “Industry Influencer” in 2019. He served three terms as President of Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton, MA. He holds a BSEE from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Harvard Business School. An avid golfer and a hockey fan, Ray lives in North Easton, MA.
Email: Ray Cronin, Founder
Steve Mona is a well-known and highly respected figure in the golf industry who joined the Club Benchmarking team in 2019 as Director of Governance & Leadership. His career includes leadership roles with the Northern California Golf Association, United States Golf Association and Georgia State Golf Association, and both Golf Digest and Golf Inc. magazine have recognized him as one of the "Most Powerful People in Golf." Mona was named CEO of the World Golf Foundation in 2008 after 15 years as CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. A native of New York, Mona earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Jose State University (CA). He lives with his wife Cyndi in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
Email: Steve Mona
Mike is a self-professed data geek who has been analyzing economic trends and providing clients with market intelligence related to housing and community development for more than 30 years. Before joining Club Benchmarking, he was Senior Vice President of Meyers Research, a national real estate advisory and data technology firm. He holds a bachelors in Economics and he is a CRE member of the Counselors of Real Estate. Mike enjoys serving clients across the country and his home base is in Florida.
Email: Mike Timmerman
Dave Duval brings a unique scope of experience and impressive professional qualifications to his role as Executive Consultant for Club Benchmarking. Dave and his business partner Joe Abely co-founded Club Board Professionals in 2017 to provide financial planning and strategic governance training to private clubs and HOAs around the world. As “CB Pros,” the pair developed an annual governance survey that gained notoriety as a powerful tool for measuring awareness of and adherence to recognized best practices for club governance.
Duval and Abely joined the Club Benchmarking team as Executive Consultants in 2020 and will lead expansion of Club Benchmarking research on the relationship between strong governance and a club’s long-term financial health. In addition, they will provide in-depth analysis of club governance and financial models and facilitate board workshops and orientations.
Dave’s practical experience includes serving as a President, CEO and Trustee of Quechee Lakes Landowners’ Association and The Quechee Club in Quechee, VT. During his tenure he focused on upgrading governance practices; the completion of a membership survey and five-year business plan; improving communications with members; financing a $5 million aquatics complex; integrating committee and board activities; implementing more meaningful financial reporting; and developing a 10-year Integrated Funds Plan. He previously served on the Board of Governors of Charles River Country Club in Newton Centre, MA for eight years total including six as Treasurer where he was credited with planning the $20 million modernization of the campus and implementing best practices derived from a peer group he organized.
For more than 20 years of his professional career, Dave was a Partner in venture capital firms. He has served on numerous corporate and non-profit Boards. Dave is a Certified Public Accountant and earned his undergraduate degree from Bentley University and an MBA from Babson College. An avid golfer, Dave enjoys memberships at Charles River Country Club, Turtle Creek Club, The Quechee Club and Portmarnock Golf Club.
Email: Dave Duval
Joe Abely brings an extensive history of personal and professional experience to his role as Executive Consultant for Club Benchmarking. In 2017, Joe and his business partner, Dave Duval, co-founded Club Board Professionals to provide financial planning and strategic governance training to private clubs and HOAs. Together, Dave and Joe developed an annual governance survey that gained notoriety as a powerful tool for measuring awareness of and adherence to recognized best practices for club governance.
As a member of the Club Benchmarking Strategic Governance team, Joe will focus on research aimed at analyzing and quantifying the relationship between strong governance and a club’s long-term financial health. In addition, Joe will support efforts to drive widespread adoption of governance best practices as a facilitator of board orientations and workshops.
His personal club experience includes serving on the Board of Directors of Brae Burn Country Club in West Newton, MA for 12 years; as Treasurer for six years and President for three years. During his tenure, Joe addressed the service culture of the club and oversaw the return of the golf course to championship caliber, renovation of the main member dining venue and the pool complex and upgrading of the tennis facility to address growing family utilization. He instituted an annual membership survey to measure member satisfaction and priorities. Over the last decade of Joe’s tenure, Brae Burn undertook over $20 million dollars in capital improvements funded within the existing dues and fees structure with no borrowings or additional member assessments. Joe currently serves as Chair of Brae Burn’s Nominating Committee.
Joe is a Certified Public Accountant with an undergraduate degree from Boston College and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Over his 40-year career, he was a partner in a major international accounting firm and served as CEO/COO/CFO of public, venture-backed and non-profit entities. He has also served on the boards of a variety of public, private equity, non-profit and membership organizations. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of the Hundred Club of Massachusetts and Finance Committee Chairman and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Braille Press. In addition to Brae Burn, Joe is also a member of the Wianno Club.
Email: Joe Abely
John Clark is an experienced financial advisor and business strategist who specializes in bridging strategic, operational, and financial initiatives in private clubs to achieve the goal of aligning strategic goals with operational and financial realities. As an Executive Consultant for Club Benchmarking, he supports partner clubs through the Capital Strategies Modeling process.
John's career began at Deloitte & Touche, one of the leading public accounting firms in the United States. His track record of success spans more than 30 years serving and supporting organizations in the hospitality industry including Kemper Sports, First Tee, Potbelly, Jimmy Johns, The Pebble Beach Company, the Il Fornaio Restaurant Group and Quail Lodge and Golf Club. He holds a BS in Business Administration and Accounting from California State University, Fresno and his non-profit board experience includes terms as President of The Land Connection and Treasurer of The First Tee of Greater Chicago.
Email: John Clark
Jim's club career began in 1988 as Chief Financial Officer at Ipswich Country Club. He holds a BS in Management and a Masters in Accountancy from Bentley University in Waltham, MA. As Director of Member Success, his passion is supporting Club Benchmarking members and refining the company's tools and processes. Jim is an avid reader and a proud father of nine who lives in the North Shore area of Boston.
Email: Jim Boyle
Chris is an experienced financial professional with expertise in budgets and strategic planning. His golf industry career includes event management at the U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Open at Pinehurst and Walker Cup Matches. Chris served as Director of Operations for Peter Jacobsen SPORTS for more than ten years. A Massachusetts native and proud father of two, Chris earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Boston College, Carroll School of Management.
Email: Chris Davis
Jessie Hershey is a Member Success Manager specializing in compensation & benefits. Her career as an HR Director began at the Association of Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where she served for 15 years. During her eight-year tenure as a Human Resources Manager for Phoenix Financial Services, she oversaw day-to-day HR operations for six private clubs in South Carolina.
Jessie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Mount Saint Mary’s College (NY) and a Master’s in Human Resources Management from Mercy College (NY). Her certifications include PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional). A native of Pennsylvania, Jessie currently resides in Charlotte County, FL.
Email: Jessie Hershey
Kevin is a Member Success Manager focused on CB special projects. Prior to joining Club Benchmarking, he served as Assistant Manager at Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta, GA and at The Country Club in Brookline, MA. He holds a Hospitality & Business Management degree with a minor in Economics from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A native of Duxbury, MA, he enjoys playing golf and he is a major supporter of all Boston sports teams.
Email: Kevin Shea
Mike is a Member Success Manager and research coordinator for CB Employee Engagement Surveys and Member Surveys. Prior to joining the Club Benchmarking team, he worked in management for the UMass Club in Boston, Jupiter Island Club in Florida and Bald Peak Colony Club in New Hampshire. He holds a Hospitality Management degree from University of New Hampshire. Mike is a family-oriented New Hampshire native and he stays active by golfing and running.
Email: Mike Morin
Teri began her club industry career in 1994 as editor of Club Management Magazine. She went on to serve as editor of the Private Club Advisor business letter for 10 years before joining the Club Benchmarking team in 2012. As Director of Communications, Teri’s focus is advancing the company's mission to support and strengthen the club industry through communication, education and partnerships.
Email: Teri Finan
Director of Capital Reserve Studies Brent Hildreth has extensive experience in developing and executing strategic business initiatives, with specialization in facilities oversight, and evaluation and improvement of operational efficiencies. Prior to joining Club Benchmarking, Brent led teams in the US, Europe, UK and Asia. A US Navy veteran, he served six years as a Sonar Technician on nuclear submarines. He attended Milwaukee Technical College. A proud father of two, Brent resides just outside of Boston and enjoys playing golf and watching the Red Sox.
Email: Brent Hildreth
Matt is a Capital Reserve Specialist with experience in residential and commercial property valuation and appraisals. His hospitality background includes serving as Clubhouse Manager at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania and Assistant Manager at Cherokee Town & Country Club in Georgia. Matt holds a B.S. in Hospitality Management & Business from The University of Tennessee and an EMBA from Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA. Born in Plainfield, NJ, Matt was raised in Charlotte, NC where he currently resides.
Email: Matthew Bragg
Over his 18-year private club management career, Lew has served a variety of different types of clubs; an historic member-owned club, a developer-owned club and a 15-year-old transitioned club. As Chief Operating Officer for eight years at Heritage Club near Cincinnati, Lew led a successful effort to develop and implement a 10 year strategic plan for the club. He resides in the Greater Cincinnati area with his wife Connie. He is passionate about the club industry and enjoys golf and cooking.
Email: Lewis Rosenbloom
Zach is a Capital Reserve Specialist with extensive hospitality and private club experience. Prior to joining the Club Benchmarking team, he served as Clubhouse Manager of Outlaw at the Desert Mountain Club in Arizona, and as Assistant Manager at Cherokee Town & Country Club in Georgia. Zach holds a B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management from the University of South Carolina, as well as an MBA from the University of Georgia. Zach currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, but was raised in Atlanta, GA. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf, cooking and participating in a variety of outdoor activities.
Email: Zach Adams
As a veteran of the golf business with more than a decade of experience in golf-specific asset reserve studies, Mike brings a unique perspective to his work as a Club Benchmarking Capital Reserve Specialist.
He got his start in the golf business as a caddie in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and his career includes more than 30 years of experience in golf course construction and maintenance. He also served as General Manager of a private club in Illinois.
After graduating from Pennsylvania State University, he served as President of the Illinois Turfgrass Foundation and received the Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award in 1990. An AA Life Member of the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association, a Certified Golf Course Superintendent and a Certified Golf Irrigation Auditor (CGIA), Mike has received numerous awards and recognitions as an author and presenter on topics pertaining to the golf industry. He is an avid fly fisher and he resides with his wife Vicky in Saint Charles, Missouri.
Email: Michael Vogt
Andrea Drake is a Capital Reserve Specialist with nearly three decades of experience in the private club industry. Prior to joining the Club Benchmarking Capital Reserve Study team, she enjoyed a successful career as a PGA Golf Professional known for her ability to strengthen and enhance golf operations.
Andrea holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Alabama. Originally from Memphis, TN, Andrea currently resides in Bonita Springs, FL with her husband Tom.
Jay Buongiorno is a Data Specialist with expertise in business analytics and extensive experience in the golf industry. Prior to joining the Club Benchmarking team, Jay served as an Assistant Golf Pro and the Golf Shop Manager at Deepdale Golf Club on Long Island, NY.
Jay graduated from Penn State University's Professional Golf Management program in 2016 and completed a Master’s degree in Sports Management from Georgetown University in 2018. He is currently working on an MBA from the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management which he expects to complete in the Fall of 2022. His home base is Stamford, CT.
Eric is a recognized club industry expert on the subject of capital planning and capital strategies. His club career spans more than two decades including 10 years as GM/COO and an adjunct professorship teaching Advanced Club Management at Cal Poly - Pomona. Based in Southern California, Eric joins Club Benchmarking as Executive Director to introduce Capital Strategies Modeling and to support the entire range of Club Benchmarking Solutions.
Email: Eric Gregory
Territory: CA, OR, WA, NV, UT, ID, AZ, HI
Chris studied Sports Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and began his club career at Vermont National Country Club where he served as General Manager for seven years. He earned his Certified Club Manager designation (CCM) from the Club Managers Association of America in 2014 and in 2016, he became the first General Manager to serve Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton, MA. He joined the Club Benchmarking team in January of 2020 as a CB Partner for clubs in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada. Originally from Colchester, VT, Chris recently put down roots with his wife and two daughters in Plymouth, MA.
Email: Chris Barron, CCM
Territory: New England and Northern New York State in the US and Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces in Canada
Tom is a dedicated club industry professional who has managed private clubs for more than 10 years, serving as General Manager at St. Cloud Country Club and Minneapolis Club in Minnesota and North Hills Country Club in Wisconsin. A native of the Midwest, Tom has lived in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Tom studied Business Management with an emphasis in Operations Management at St. Cloud State University. He also teaches several chapters of the Contemporary Club Management text at University of Wisconsin - Stout. Tom is an avid sports fan/participant who loves the outdoors and is proud of his Norwegian heritage.
Email: Tom Olson
Territory: CO, IL, IA, MI, MN, MO, WI
Ken Butler, Executive Director and CB Partner for clubs in the Mid-Atlantic Region, is an experienced private club professional and former restaurant owner. A recognized leader in the hospitality and private club industries, he is certified by the Club Management Association of America and a member of the Association's prestigious Honor Society.
During his club management career, Ken built a track record of success in design, development and implementation of dynamic capital improvement programs. He is an enthusiastic golfer, horseman and musician who resides in Maryland's Eastern Shore. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Widener University and a Master of Arts in Management and Leadership from the Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University in St Louis, MO.
Email: Ken Butler, CCM
Territory: MD, PA, DE, DC, NJ, NY-South, VA
As Director of Software Development, Denis is in charge of the company's technical direction and software development. He graduated from Boston College with a BS in Computer Science in 1995 and has more than 20 years experience in developing web applications, leading teams and using technology to resolve problems. Previous clients include FootJoy, Titleist and other Acushnet Golf companies. Denis enjoys spending time with his family and teaching and training in American Jiu Jitsu.
Email: Denis O'Connell
As a Senior Software Engineer, Nitish works on software development as well as Research & Development on emerging web technologies. Graduating with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from San Francisco State University, along with a Master’s in Information Technology from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Nitish has more than six years of experience in full stack development, software design, and problem-solving. Prior to joining the Club Benchmarking team, he worked in software design and development for OATI and AgStar. Originally from Kathmandu, Nepal, Nitish likes reading, discovering eccentric yet catchy indie music, and hiking.