Our Educators

John Fornaro, CEO

John G. Fornaro is President & CEO of The Association of Private Clubs and Directors and the Publisher & Owner of Boardroom magazine LLC, which publishes BoardRoom magazine, a bi-monthly publication founded 17 years ago and aimed at educating and informing boards of directors in the private club industry. He is also CEO of Distinguished Clubs, LLC, and CEO & President of Boardroom Institute LLC, where the latter provides online training and orientation programs for private club boards of directors with the objective to help clubs operate efficiently by optimizing the relationship between the volunteers and the paid executives through collaborative governance.

Bill Thomas, Executive VP

Bill Thomas brings more than 25 years of senior management experience to the Association of Private Club Directors and BoardRoom Institute. His corporate experience includes responsibility for revenues in excess of $100 million annually for a NYSE listed company. His entrepreneurial experience includes founding several successful companies including BioScientific, Inc., the leading supplier of organic products for agriculture and golf course care. Mr. Thomas continues to serve on various boards and is responsible for member education at the APCD. He holds a B.S. degree from Arizona State University and completed his graduate studies at UCLA.

Gordon Welch, President

Gordon Welch has over 20 years’ experience in Private Clubs and 12 years of experience as an Association Executive and registered lobbyist. His experience includes oversight of the Club Management Institute (CMI), creating and directing professional development and Business Management Institute programs, writing education grants, developing and implementing educational programs, co-author of many books and other publications and organized the World Conference on Club Management. Welch was also responsible for the certification programs and served as Board and Committee Member of The Club Foundation, CMAA’s charitable arm.

Tarun Kapoor, Hospitality

Tarun Kapoor is the CEO & Managing Director of Kapoor & Kapoor Hospitality. In 2006, Tarun retired as a Professor at the Collins School of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona. Tarun’s industry experience and business ownership have gained him much respect as an expert and enabled him to help over 50 AAHOA members form multi-unit management companies.Tarun is recognized internationally as a lecturer, provocateur and workshop facilitator who brings “real world” perspective to the challenges hospitality leaders are facing in reinventing their work places, managing in a strategic environment, and effectively leading service organizations.

Jerry McCoy, MCM

Jerry is the President of Clubwise, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, master planning, operational audits and governance issues. He is the author of The Director’s Guide for Understanding Club Governance, The Governance Checklist and The Board Resource Manual, all of which are publications of CMAA’s Premier Club Services®, the Strategic Management handbook for private clubs. Jerry received the Lifetime Achievement Award for BoardRoom Magazine in 2018. He can be reached at www.clubwiseconsulting.com or cmaamcm@msn.com

Gregg PattersonVP

Greg spent 34 years as the General Manager of The Beach before becoming a full time speaker and writer at his company “Tribal Magic!!!” Besides presenting at club seminars and international conferences, Gregg was an Adjunct Professor at Cal Poly University, Pomona for 14 years. Gregg also writes for BoardRoom magazine.In 2015, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian Pacific Hospitality Summit in 2015 and the 2015 Board Room magazine Award of Dedication “for his timeless, energetic and dedicated service to the private club industry.”

Rick Coyne

Mr. Coyne is CEO of Professional Club Marketing Association, an allied association to the CMAA, and co-founder of the Professional Club Marketing Association. He has worked with over 1000 private clubs and has been a guest speaker in over 900 workshops and seminars, nationally and internationally. For the past 25 years, he has been a repeat provider of workshops and seminars for CMAA, PGA, National Golf Course Owners Association, IHRSA, Canadian Society of Club Managers, and European Club Managers and has provided thousands of educational workshops for Board members throughout the United States.

J Rhett Evans

J. Rhett Evans is the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s CEO. GCSAA is spearheading the development of centralized best management practices, tools and templates to enhance environmental progress while improving facilities’ bottom lines. He served two terms as chairman of the board and is currently serving on the executive board of WAG as well as serving on the executive board for Golf 20/20. Evans represents the association and profession on the Golf Channel, Sirius XM Radio and other national media outlets.

John Embree

John Embree began as CEO/Executive Director of the United States Professional Tennis Association in October, 2012. 40 years prior to joining the USPTA, Embree held a variety of influential tennis industry roles. In 2010, he launched a tennis consulting practice to assist endemic brands, associations and new corporate entities in maximizing their impact in the tennis marketplace. In April, 2014, Embree was named to be on the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI and is currently the Membership Committee Chair while also serving on the Revenue and Development Committee for the ITHF. www.uspta.com

Kevin F. Reilly, J.D., CPA, CGMA

Recognized as a leading club tax expert in the U.S., Mr. Reilly served as Director of Club Services and is a past member of the Hospitality Task Force for PKF North America. Mr. Reilly is a regular columnist for industry publications, NCA and CMAA. He is also an editor of Clubs in Town and Country. He has appeared on C-SPAN, CNBC, and PBS to discuss tax issues. Mr. Reilly is a four-time recipient of the Excellence in Achievement Award for tax consulting presented by The BoardRoom magazine. Firm Website: https://www.pbmares.com/ Reilly Web Bio Link: https://www.pbmares.com/partners/kevin-f-reilly-j-d-cpa-cgma/

Dr. Jim Butler

Dr. Jim Butler is the CEO of Club Benchmarking. Before Club Benchmarking, Jim was the GM of Grey Oaks in Naples Florida for 17 years. Additionally, Jim is a Certified Club Manager with the CMAA and received his PhD in Hospitality from Iowa State University. Jim serves on the Board of the Hospitality program at FGCU in Ft. Myers, among many others and is the Allied Association chairman for the Florida CMAA. Jim’s current initiative is as a founding Board member of the Florida Golf Alliance. Jim can be reached at www.clubbenchmarking.com/ jbutler@clubbenchmarking.com

Ray Cronin

Ray has been leading high technology companies for more than 30 years and he specializes in building teams and navigating early startup phases. He's known in the club industry for his high-energy presentations and his thick Boston accent and he is a top-rated speaker for club manager, controller and board education. He and Russ co-author annual Finance & Operations and Compensation & Benefits industry reports. Ray is currently serving his third term 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.