Two Past Q Inc. Presidents share thoughts about choosing a new General Manager
By Larry Meeker and Leon Rieke, Past Presidents, Quivira, Inc.
The most important decision our Board will make this year is the choice of a new general manager. It is not an easy decision given the scope of the job. Few, if any, candidates will have experience in all the areas they will be charged with managing. Hence, the challenge will lie in prioritizing the skills where the Board opts for experience and trusting the candidate can learn the other skills.
As we often like to say, “Quivira is a unique community.” Part of that stems from it being both a gated community and a country club. Some of us like to think of it as a community with country club amenities. Even compared to other communities/cities, Quivira is unusual with its far higher than average level of volunteerism and associated clubs/organizations. Thus, it is not surprising that residents play a strong role in community matters. Just try to find another city in the metro area that achieves even half our voter turnout in government elections!
At the same time, we are a country club with valued off-lake members who contribute not only to our sense of community, but also to our financial well-being. Were it not for being a gated community where homeowners are required to be country club members, we would be two separate and distinct entities, a city and a country club. Instead, we have a combination home owner’s association and country club we call Quivira, Inc.
Not to be overlooked in all this is our City, which was formed so Quivira could retain its unique identity. Its primary services include enforcing building codes, maintaining roads outside Quivira, Inc. boundaries and providing police protection for residents. Although the job of Quivira, Inc. General Manager does not encompass any city responsibilities, it is essential for this person to be knowledgeable of city governance issues so residents can get the most from the Quivira, Inc./City of Lake Quivira relationship.
Since Quivira, Inc. first opted for a general manager position in the late 1980s, our general managers have come to the job with either city experience or country club experience and then set about learning the other part of the job. City managers bring strength in budgeting, money management and people skills. Their experience with roads, parks, policing and municipal amenities provides a sound basis for coordinating activities with our city, managing many of our assets and learning new jobs like golf course and clubhouse management.
In contrast to city managers, whose job it is to serve geographically defined residents and nourish community, country club managers run a business in a competitive world. Their job is to sign up and serve a membership from a much broader region without regard to political boundaries. Hence, their success is defined by membership numbers and how one competes with other clubs.
The Quivira, Inc. General Manager job clearly requires many skills and, most important, the ability to understand the tradeoffs between community and amenities that keep us in that sweet spot of being “unique.” It’s that sweet spot that gets residents to support a basket of amenities, many of which they may never use or, at best, see themselves using at a later stage in life. It’s that vision of living in a lifestyle community that compels them to put community over their own personal interests.
Our experience with these matters as past Presidents of Quivira, Inc. suggests it will be better to start with an individual with city management experience—preferably with a master’s in public administration—and let them learn the country club side of our operations, rather than vice versa. They are more likely to understand our “unique” situation at the outset and put our amenities in a community context going forward. Furthermore, we have excellent staff who manage the clubhouse and golf course, our primary country club amenities.
Regardless of who is hired, we all owe it to the new General Manager to help them understand the attributes of our community that keep new generations of residents seeing us as “unique.”
Fifty-year resident offers kudos for Quivira trails and trailblazers
My family and I have really been enjoying walking the Quivira Trails. What a great amenity for the Lake. We can get out and enjoy the natural beauty of our community. I have been living at the Lake for fifty years, and I believe that the trails are one of the most enjoyable and pleasant features that has been developed.
I want to express my sincere appreciation to the members who obviously put in a lot of hours of hard work designing and clearing the trails.
I can’t help but compare these great additions, which cost us nothing, to adding expensive structures which will cost the membership a significant amount of money and will detract from the natural beauty of the property. The trails were by far the best addition.
Golfer waxes poetic over Blue Flag privileges
Due to some interim health issues I have qualified to use a golf cart blue flag to allow me to be on the fairways instead of being restrained to the golf cart paths. I have enjoyed saving the steps to allow me to continue to play. In fact, I have enjoyed the Blue Flag privilege so much that I am enclosing this “Ode to the Blue Flag.”
Ode to the Blue Golf Course Flag
Oh how I love my blue flag!
On the golf course it’s a reason to brag;
I can drive with freedom, no concern for direction!
Simply drive to the ball!
Second shot over,”let’s move on Rover,”
No steps to be taken at all!
When we get to the green
I can get closer it seems!
Having the privilege of Old Blue
We can usually play through!
Old Blue and I make up a twosome,
We can usually play through some,
No one seems to care.
Looking forward to the season
Which seems overdue,
I’ll appreciate it with joy,
As long as I have Old Blue!