Town Hall Special Welcome
The November Town Hall is a formal opportunity to welcome Equity Members back and share updates past, present and future. This particular meeting also included a special welcome to both the Club’s new President, Alex Tonarelli and ORCA’s new President, Chip Iglesias.
Mr. Tonarelli started as President of Ocean Reef Club in August after a long tenure as Managing Director, with Loews Hotels. Also, Alex and his wife Sara and son Luca have been Social members of the Club for 12 years. As Mr. Manzo, Chairman of the Ocean Reef Club Board of Directors, shared, both of these experiences prepared him for taking on the role as Ocean Reef Club President. Mr. Iglesias, also from South Florida, started his career as a firefighter/paramedic, with a 33-year career in public service including CEO for the Village of Key Biscayne. He assumed the role of ORCA President on November 4, 2019.
Summer improvements to the Club, additions to programming and events were shared by Mr. Tonarelli. Prior to starting at Ocean Reef, he toured “comparable clubs” in Florida only to reveal what many know, “this is truly a unique and special place and there are not others like it anywhere.”
With just over 90 days as President, he shared his initial areas of focus that included getting to know all Associates through one-on-one meetings, departmental communications, round tables and attendance at many of the Associate orientations and events. Additionally, Mr. Tonarelli has met with many of the Club’s committees, community partners and been present at a host of fall Member events. He noted that this has given him great insight into the behind the scenes efforts of Members and Associates, as well as the passion for Ocean Reef Club that emanates from all in the community.
Chairman of the Finance Committee, Charlie Johnston, started and ended his presentation with “Your Club is in excellent financial condition,” emphasizing that Membership, Food & Beverage, and the Inn are the main revenue drivers. Mr. Johnston highlighted a record year, outstanding operating results, best in class services and amenities offered, all underscored by the fact that the Club has no debt.
Vice Chairman of Membership, Ray Larkin, demonstrated that usage, demand, financial results and Equity Member satisfaction continue to be incredibly strong. With 278 Members in waiting, the demand for Social membership continues with prospective Members waiting 12-18 months. Also with the strong desire for Social membership, is the fact that over the past five years, 49% of new Equity Members were first Social Members. Legacy membership continues to grow and as Mr. Larkin said, “a great sign for the future that our kids, grandkids and great grandkids want to be a part of this fantastic Club.”
Upcoming 2020 Census
Understanding membership demographics, current and future Member usage, and thoughts regarding key issues are the priorities of the Club’s 2020 census. First executed in 2010 and again in 2015, there will be a 2020 Census launched on January 8, 2020.
As an example of past actions resulting from the census, Mr. Tonarelli cited the opportunity realized in 2015 on the potential number of Legacy Members as learned through the census results. Modifying the programming in response to that knowledge resulted in major growth of this important Membership sector, from 750 to more than 1,300. Additionally, usage for amenities like a Card Room and a desire for more fitness amenities and programs resulted directly in the Card & Game Room and Fitness Pool. Learning that the golf courses had great value to golfers and non-golfers is one important reason for renovating and expanding the Clubhouse to become the centerpiece of the community.
Most critical to the Board’s and Management’s decisions on Capital project planning was that 87% of all Members responded that they would like the Club’s facilities and amenities to be kept in first-class condition.
All presenters urged Members to participate in the Census, so decisions can continue to be made that are important to Members and the future of the Club.
The most extensive portion of the Town Hall meeting was the presentation by Mr. Manzo regarding Capital Projects. Mr. Manzo first reviewed the Airport project that was completed this fall. He reported it was delivered on time and below budget. He thanked the lead donor families, who with other generous donors, contributed 80% of the total renovation cost. The lead donors were Mary and Scott Farmer, The Hubbard Family, Amy and George Joseph, Leslie and Jimmy Liautaud, Martha and Carl H. Lindner III, Frances and Craig Lindner, Barbara and William Parfet, Ronda Stryker and William Johnston, Fran and Ron Terwilliger and NetJets.
Next covered was the work started this past spring and continuing through this winter on the structural elements of the Ocean Room building. These improvements, when completed will add more than 20 years to the useful life of this key Club building.
There are three major projects scheduled for Spring 2020. Both the Associate Parking Garage (which will add 400 new parking spaces) and the Ocean Room/Lobby renovation that will be completed by December 2020. The Parking Garage is expected to eliminate Member parking issues throughout the Club. The Ocean Room Renovation is going to enhance the Member and guest experiences in both the restaurant and Reef Lounge while providing a more modern check-in and lobby area.
The Clubhouse major expansion is planned for December 2021 completion and will include new:
The last major project Mr. Manzo spoke about was a new lagoon and beach area on Buccaneer Island. The planning, costing and environmental implications are still uncertain, so this project will not begin until 2021.
Mr. Manzo emphasized several important concepts adopted by the Board:
1. Capital projects can only be started when the cash funding has been identified and funded by operations.
2. No major capital project assessments and no debt borrowing for major capital projects.
3. Capital projects should be undertaken to benefit the Membership as a whole, not a smaller sub-set of the Membership.
On display at the conclusion of the meeting were large renderings and floor plans from the various Capital Projects presented. Members had the opportunity to view them up close.
You are encouraged to view the presentation in its entirety or take another look at all of the renderings and detailed floor plans by visiting oceanreef.com/Town Hall.