CMAE welcomes Debora Drago into the CCM family

The CMAE is delighted to announce that Debora Drago, Deputy General Manager at Roehampton Club has gained the internationally renowned Certified Club Manager (CCM) certification.  

The CCM designation has been the hallmark of professionalism in club management since 1965 and is the cornerstone of CMAE’s education programme. It is recognised globally as a valuable and widely respected mark of a manager’s commitment to professional development and the club industry.

Well done on achieving the CCM, Debora Drago. You have been in the club industry for a long while – what made you decide that you wanted to become a Certified Club Manager?

Since I first joined CMAE, I was fascinated by its networking courses and education path which the Association provides.  After attending my first MDP, it became very clear to me what I wanted to do with my career and professional development. Therefore when I found out about the CCM and the education journey involved, it was obvious to me! For someone like me who is always hungry to learn new things, and apply them in the field, to achieve the globally-recognised CCM was extremely valuable.

Moving from Italy up to England where you have made your career, was that always a part of your plan? Or how did you end up in London?

No, not originally. I moved to UK to learn the language as I could not speak a word of English when I first arrived in the country. Nevertheless, plans changed along the way and I relocated to London just when I was about to leave the country; I was missing my family, heritage and traditions but a good friend of mine (who knew how driven and ambitious I have always been) suggested to experience London and its work opportunities before going back to Italy, and here I am… after almost a decade I must say “he was right”.

There are very few women up until now that have made it to CCM, was that something you thought about – and how can we together support and grow this number?

Very few indeed. This is another reason why I longed for it.

I’m extremely honoured to be the 4th woman in Europe to gain the CCM qualification, and I hope this is just the beginning of it. There are many strong women in the industry, and it could be good if the number could rise, and soon, reach the same level of the other gender.

I would love to be more involved and guide others through this process, which can be quite challenging at times. Having gained the CCM, now, gives me the opportunity to be able to share my experience and mentor future potential CCMs. I am so looking forward to contributing and making this happen. 

Finally, what will happen next? What is your plans from now?

The education path is not finished yet, there is always something new to learn.

CCM has just opened a bigger window and gave me the drive to keep striving for what I love and believe. I am passionate about my job, and I am determined to contribute as much as I could to make this industry even more thriving. I, already, have other goals set for my personal and professional development; therefore I will keep advancing my skills and knowledge of the industry with the aim to be appointed CEO of a well-known Club.

The short-term plan is to enjoy the CMAA conference in Vegas and celebrate with my peers, in the meantime I will keep contributing to my current club’s success and will see what opportunities will come up next.

Commenting on Debora’s success was CMAE CEO Torbjorn Johansson “I have personally had the pleasure and opportunity to follow Debora in her career in the last couple of years. I am very happy to see her succeed in becoming a CCM and I knew that from the moment she told me that she would. We are fortunate to have Debora as a role model in the years to come”