Newsletter

November, 2013

Dear Members,

The Board of Directors of Fairfield Golf and Country Club conducted the Annual Member Meeting Wednesday November 6. There were approximately 45 members and eight directors in attendance as well as Adam Pohren, Larry Padget and staff. This was a good turn out and the membership was involved with many questions of the board and much input. In addition to having e-mailed the full 2013 financials to the membership, printed hand-outs of the statement as well as 2014 Membership Applications; Credit Card Charge Authorization Form; Minutes of the 2012 Annual Meeting and an Agenda of the 2013 Annual Meeting were available.

Golf Course Superintendant Larry Padget provided an update, citing once again weather induced challenges in the maintenance of the course. Dry conditions required much course irrigation which in turn created many sprinkler head, pump and line issues. He thanked members in assisting in the removal of dead trees, planting young trees and reminded us that there were several dead trees yet to take down.

Club Manager and Chef Adam Pohren introduced our newly appointed ‘Front-of-House’
Chris Harl to the membership. Adam congratulated his assistant Chef Chris Batterson in completing his successful internship with a highly reputable restaurant in Chicago over the summer as well as his appointment as a teacher of Culinary Arts at Indian Hills. Both men will be key in the functioning of the club going forward. Adam stated that a number of holiday parties had been booked, that a new menu will soon be introduced and that he was developing several event ideas to be held in January and February. Adam noted higher sales but narrower margins. Among his goals are to increase margins by lowering costs

House Committee Chairperson Steve Juskeywcz noted success in eliminating the minimum food assessment as a part of realizing the Board’s goal of encouraging people to come to the club because they want to rather than because the feel they have to. He added that a part of reaching the goal is to create a dining experience in addition to those available in the 19th hole and the lounge, and thanked Larry and Linda Pettit for their help and ideas with renovations taking place in the restrooms and the 19th hole. Steve also spoke to Constant Contact, our new emailing and social contact system and to the upcoming launch of a new website.

In reporting Membership Committee business I stated that the Board remains committed to expanding membership and noted that recruiting has been successful, as we have 211 current members reflecting a net increase of 5% in 2013. Our goal for 2014 is to increase membership by 10%. The committee believes that we can continue to leverage our pool, culinary services and golf course experience. I noted that we maintain 30 categories of membership to attract members while in the year 2000 I believe there were 3. The 2014 membership drive is in progress and special attention will be made in recruiting from personal and members of larger concerns. The Board recommended a dues increase in only 5 categories primarily to bring these membership dues in parity with those of ‘legacy’ members. This action required a vote with a motion and second from the floor and a unanimous vote in favor.

Facilities Committee Chairperson Dan Sullivan spoke to the development of a ‘vision’ of what the membership wants the club to be with the result of the vision providing a facility that will attract new members and excite current members. He reported the development and upcoming distribution of a member survey that would allow membership to express their vision to the Board. In his comments Dan spoke to the idea of an “upscale casual” dining experience at the club as well as the need of a space in which the club can host meetings, receptions and banquets. Dan also noted a number of improvements made to the club this year including the construction of material bins, improved pool bathrooms, repaired freezer in the kitchen, added patio furniture and a grill, and many other changes and upgrades at $1,000 or less. We are presently remodeling the men’s restroom at the 19th hole, updating the women’s restroom at the 19th hole and carpeting the 19th hole.

Social Committee Chairperson Jennifer Osby reported a busy and socially successful year with many plans for upcoming events including the holiday Ugly Sweater Celebrity Bartender, consideration of both a Christmas and New Year event as well as the plan of for the President’s Ball, now intended in February and The Food and Wine Dinner to be held in May. Jennifer thanked the very motivated members of the social committee and extend the appreciation of us all.

Pool Committee Chairperson Jan Fontana extended our thanks to Heidi Bowman, Bruce Andre, and Julie Fritz for all their help through the season and to Susie Steinbeck for keeping the pool open after school started. Jan reported a good season with July especially busy, and cited the shortage of qualified life guards. Repairs have been made in the bathrooms and to the sidewalk, but Jan mentioned the need for cement around the pool; the bottom of the pool and bathroom floors need to be painted; more tables and chairs; and a power washer.

Finance Committee Chairperson and Club Treasurer Bob Greco reported that the club has adopted Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP). He stated the need for this change was primarily to capitalize and depreciate buildings and equipment in order to conform to the principals, and as this system of accounting will more accurately reflect the Club’s financial position, properly match costs and benefits of assets to the appropriate current and future fiscal years and better enable the club to evaluate and project appropriate levels of Capital Assessment. He noted that the rate of Cap. Ass. should be very close to the rate at which the assets of the Club are being used, or the replenishment of depreciation. Bob provided a very in-depth report which included an 11 page written financial report. High lights include:
Cash flow was improved by reducing accounts receivable;
Food minimums were eliminated and food and beverage revenue increased;
Membership base was broadened;
Debt was reduced by $24,000, with a pace of complete payment in 7 years.
In 2013 operations, Bob reported:
· Kitchen and Bar sales were higher with higher margins;
· General Income down $3,500;
· Total Other Income down $13,000;
· Total Operating Income only declined $7,800;
· Operating Expenses Increased $30,000;
· Net general income was down $26,000 net of depreciation;
· The 2014 goal is to increase membership and revenue to gain the $26,000.
Bob reported that although budgeted 2013 Sales were optimistic and Kitchen and Bar Costs were higher than projected, General Income was in line with projections. During 2013, we increased capital assessments and reduced dues thereby moving $9,000 of dues income to capital assessment income with no sales tax. Expenses were in line and Non-operating Revenue was positively affected by higher Capital Assessments. We did not achieve our aggressively projected donations for 2013. The 2014 budget projects a slightly lower gross margin; lower kitchen and bar costs for a net kitchen and bar break-even result. We project higher general income from Membership Drive and Cart Shed revenue; reduced general expenses, in part due to the anticipated sewer project; and higher Capital Assessment & Donation revenues projected to be $92,000. Again, the report was extensive and both Bob and I will try to answer any questions you may have in this regard. A motion and second came from the floor and a unanimous vote in favor of approval the 2014 Budget as reported and recommended by the Board was recorded.

As a part of the Finance Committee report and at the recommendation of the Board of Directors, the club has re-introduced a member charge feature to all members. This feature will enable you to have member charging privileges for all purchases provided you maintain a credit card on file with the club. Your credit card information will be stored securely offsite and will not be available to club staff. The credit card application is available by emailing your request for the application to countryclubadmin@lisco.com. Also note that your November statement will reflect the 2014 approved rates including any increase or change. In addition, if you have elected to pay your dues and capital assessment other than on an annual basis (one-time payment) you will need to provide the club with a credit card to maintain this option. Again, the credit card application is available by emailing your request for the application to us at
countryclubadmin@lisco.com.

I spoke briefly to the issue of the proposed Fairfield sanitary Sewer Project which will include construction of a larger sewer line crossing the club property from ‘D’ Street to Park Street and directly effecting property and infrastructure on golf holes #1, #2, #3, #4, #8 and #9 with holes #6 and #7 potentially affected by construction traffic. The projected schedule for the work is fall 2015 to spring of 2016, with the residual issue of course recovery thereafter. I have appointed a committee of members having as their specialty course maintenance, an understanding of the legal and ‘mechanical’ aspects of eminent domain, easements, leases, construction, negotiations and finance. There is little else to report at this time as we have not yet begun conversations with the City.

Nominating Committee Chairperson Jennifer Osby reported a slate of nominees including Cory Larson, Lucas Helling and Tai Ward. A motion and second from the floor was unanimously approved to close nominations and to elect the three candidates. We welcome these members to the Board of Directors for a three year term with their installation January, 2014.

Speaking for the ‘LLC’, Larry Bentler thanked the Board of Directors for their service and provided a parting gift to Jan Fontana, Nikki Hunt Vivacqua and Nathan Perkins as they conclude their three year term.

I know this is a good deal of information. If you have questions please contact myself of the Committee Chairperson that can best help you.

Yours in service,
Jim Horras, President for the Board of Directors
Fairfield Golf and Country Club

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