European Club Education Foundation (ECEF):  Empowering Club Managers Through Education Funding

Established in 2011, the European Club Education Foundation (ECEF) has been at the forefront of providing vital financial support for the professional development of current and future club managers and management personnel.

 Initially spearheaded by Col. John Hunt as Chair, Nigel Cartwright as Chief Executive Officer, and Toro’s Andy Brown representing corporate partners, the Foundation’s mission was clear:  to raise funds to provide financial support for the professional development of current, and future club managers and management personnel through education, training and research initiatives across Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa.  

Over the next 13 years the Foundation’ Board has met three times a year to award bursaries to deserving aspiring Club managers from the golf, sports and city clubs across Europe.

Marc Newey took over as Chair from John Hunt in 2018 and widened the breadth of bursaries offered from three to six a year and more recently up to fourteen a year after partnering with the R and A to offer opportunities for Women in Golf Club Management and Ethnically Diverse Managers in Golf.

Board of Directors

The Foundation’s Board of Directors comprises individuals from within the CMAE membership and now invites two representatives from the CMAE Corporate Partners.

At the helm is Chief Executive Marc Newey CCM, CCE (Roehampton Club in London), alongside Directors Alberto Iglesias CCM (Font del Llop GC). Gabrielle Boase CMDip (Dachet Water Sailing Club), Mary Lou Watkins CMDip (Luffness New Golf Club) and from our corporate partners Jonathan Coates, Jonas.

Funding Initiatives

Central to its operations, the Foundation receives crucial support from CMAE’s Corporate Partners, with 5% of their fee reinvested into education bursaries.  Additionally, fundraising events held during the European Conference further bolster the Foundation’s financial resources, with opportunities for members to contribute through hosting events at their respective clubs.

Available Bursaries

The Foundation offers a range of bursaries aimed at fostering professional growth within the club management community:

  • Joe Perdue Bursary:  Honouring the memory of esteemed hospitality educator Joe Perdue CCM, CHE, this annual bursary grants individuals the opportunity to attend the CMAA’s World Conference and MDP Strategy and Leadership, with recipients expected to provide valuable insights for future CMAE Networker publications.
  • Young Manager Bursary: Sponsored by Past CMAE President Marc Newey CCM, CCE, this bursary supports aspiring managers aged 30 and under to enrol in the Management Development Programme starting with MDP 1.
  • European Conference Bursary:  Offered biennially this bursary enables MDP participants to attend the CMAE European Conference, thanks to the generous support of Kerry London
  • Women in Golf Club Management Bursary:  In collaboration with the R&A, this annual bursary empowers female managers to participate in MDP 1, aligning with efforts to enhance gender diversity within golf club management.
  • Ethnically Diverse Managers in Golf:  Also supported by the R&A. this initiative aims to increase ethnic diversity within the golf industry, recognising the importance of role models in promoting inclusivity and professional opportunities. Recipients attend MDP 1.

In conclusion, the European Club Education Foundation offers invaluable opportunities for professional development and growth within the club management community.  Through strategic partnerships, dedicated funding, and a shared commitment to excellence, the Foundation continues to empower managers with financial support across Europe, the Middle East and North America.

ECEF has awarded £300,000 in bursaries benefitting over 100 people which is a record to be proud of and a mission that will continue to be achieved with everyone’s help year on year.

“Wow, what an absolutely fantastic email to receive. I am so honoured to receive the Joe Perdue Bursary to attend CMAA World Conference and continue my path towards achieving CCM status. The CMAE education pathway has been extremely beneficial to me in developing into the manager and leader I want to be. I hope my educational development with CMAE, and subsequent achievements, reflect well on Joe’s legacy.

The opportunity to further expand both my knowledge and my network at World Conference is an opportunity I didn’t think I would get. I am incredibly grateful to the ECEF Board and I will make the most of this most precious gift, in memory of Joe Perdue. Thank You.” Pete Brunning, Joe Perdue World Conference Bursary

“We have had a fantastic 5 days. The energizing and motivating presentations not only made me understand the importance of working on myself to help my colleagues achieve personal success and happiness, and thereby create a better world, but also gave me concrete tools to achieve these goals. I found the practical exercises with my peers particularly useful, which gave me an understanding and insight into the key drivers of strategy and leadership.

I would like to thank Torbjörn Johansson and his team for their dedication and effort, as well as the support of CMAE and ECEF. I am proud to be a member of CMAE’s Family.” Tamas Revesz, Joe Perdue Bursary

 “As a proud recipient of this esteemed Bursary, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to R&A and CMAE for recognizing Ethnically Diverse Managers in the industry through programs in club management. Your continued support of ethnically diverse individuals in the industry is truly making a difference and has made a significant impact in my life. Throughout the program, I was able to connect with seasoned experts, mentors, and like-minded delegates. These connections and interactions have expanded my horizons. The program exposed me to various club management concepts and practical tools that have equipped me to tackle challenges more effectively. I must highlight that the learning environment created by the facilitators and fellow attendees was conducive. The Knowledge and insights I gained will undoubtedly help me in my personal and professional development.”. Rebecca Nnachor, recipient of the Ethnically Diverse Managers in Golf Bursary

 “I was very surprised when received the letter that I won the Women in Golf Club Management Bursary 2023. I feel proud of my accomplishment and I will use this opportunity to further grow personally and professionally as a golf manager to give back to my club and golf community in Latvia.” Irena Vitola, Women in Golf Club Management Bursary recipient

Jonas Club Software

To offer educational opportunities for all is the key driver for the ECEF.  It is important to have CMAE partners involved in this objective and I had no hesitation to sign up when asked to work alongside the ECEF board.  I have seen firsthand the engagement, commitment and bursary allocation diversify and grow considerably over the years.  It has been great to be involved to support deserving applicants and it’s crucial that CMAE partners help facilitate the ECEF to continue and positively engage in this impactful work.    Jonathan Coates, Jonas