Club Managers Association of America

Students at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics have almost 30 unique student groups that they can choose to join. In each installment of this series, an executive member of one of these student groups will share their first-hand experience choosing, participating in and eventually leading their group.


Carter Vaughan, Class of 2022 hospitality business management major, is the treasurer of Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) at the Lerner College. Vaughan shared why she joined CMAA, what makes this group unique and more!


Lerner: When and why did you choose to join this student group?

Vaughan: I chose to join this amazing student group my freshmen year. The executive board at the time came to speak at my Intro to Hospitality class. I was immediately interested in the things the club was doing and wanted to learn more about the private club industry!

Lerner: What is the mission/goal of your student group?

Vaughan: The mission of our group is to bring a group of students with similar interests and expose them to all that the private club industry has to offer. Some of the ways that we do this are by holding different events throughout the year including planning a high-profile dinner for all club managers in the area, going on road rallies and club tours and attending conferences around the country, all while making a difference in the club industry. Whether students want to work in clubs, event planning, food and beverage or even things outside of the hospitality industry, CMAA is a great way to get involved and stay involved on campus while making incomparable connections within the industry.

Lerner: When and where does your student group meet and approximately how many members do you have?

Vaughan: Right now with COVID-19 we meet bi-weekly on Zoom and we have about 30 active members.


Lerner: What is your best memory from this student group?

Vaughan: My favorite memory from being in CMAA is definitely attending the student conference in the fall of 2019. That year the student conference was being held in Rochester, New York. While there we were able to tour a number of high-profile private clubs and network with club managers in the area. Not only that but we were able to explore New York City a bit which is something I’ve always wanted to do. It was a great experience and I made a lot of long-lasting connections.


Lerner: What is unique about your student group?

Vaughan: I think that our chapter of CMAA is unique for a number of reasons, the first being that we are focused on such a specific aspect of the hospitality industry. I also think the amount of networking opportunities that our students get with industry professionals really sets us apart. We have a number of alumni that are constantly reaching out to us with job and internship opportunities or just advice, so our students are exposed to the real world well before graduation.


Lerner: What has been your proudest moment leading your student group?

Vaughan: I think my proudest moment was helping redesign our meetings this past semester in order to adapt to the constraints that COVID-19 has caused. We completely transitioned our meetings to Zoom and began to incorporate a number of multimedia components, like podcasts, ted talks and books to engage our members and continue our professional development. I am proud to be on the executive board of a club whose members don’t shrink away in the face of hardship but still choose to continue to enthusiastically participate and to better themselves.


Lerner: What are your goals for the future of your student group?

Vaughan: I hope that in the future, our chapter will be able to continue to grow in size and make more connections with other student chapters around the country and private club professionals.


Lerner: How has your student group helped you grow?

Vaughan: I think that this group has taught me many skills including, networking with industry professionals, as well as the technical skills of how to plan a large-scale event, lead others and manage moving parts within an organization like budgets, calendars, etc. I am eternally grateful to the faculty and staff that support the club, our parent chapter PVCMAA, the rest of the executive board and the general members for pushing me to be my best and creating the welcoming environment that I fell in love with my freshman year.

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