Organization: The Chicago Club

Location: Chicago, IL

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About The Chicago Club:

For more than 145 years the Chicago Club has been Chicago’s premier business and social club. Since its founding in 1869, the Chicago Club has been the most prestigious club of the city and prides itself in its rich history and traditions. Over the last 145 years, the Chicago Club has continued to thrive as a venue for a limited circle of community leaders, most of whom live in the Chicago region. The Club’s members are individuals distinguished by their achievements and contributions that extend beyond corporate boundaries to civic and cultural organizations.

The Chicago Club prides itself in its rich history and traditions while adapting to the current needs of its membership. The culture and community of the Club stand apart as one of its critical attractions to its members. As part of a recent Long Range Facilities Planning process, the Club’s leadership has made strategic investments in facilities, including opening a new Rooftop Terrace that has made the Club one of the most desirable locations during Chicago’s summer months.


It is believed the Chicago Club had its inception in 1861 in Chicago’s first business club known as the Dearborn Club. In January of 1869, a group of prominent Chicagoans met at the Sherman House and passed a resolution appointing a committee authorized to select 100 citizens of Chicago who would become members of a club to be known as the Chicago Club.

The fourth and current home of the Club, in excellent condition with modern facilities, stands on the original site of the Art Institute of Chicago just off Michigan Avenue. Architects Granger and Bollenbacher designed and built the current structure in 1929 keeping harmony with neighboring buildings in terms of scale, materials and detail. It was during this construction that the gracious triple-arched entrance, the only remaining remnant of Burnham & Root’s distinguished Art Institute, was moved from its original location on Michigan Avenue to its current setting on Van Buren street.


The Club offers its members and their guests the finest and most personalized service within a community of other senior leaders. The atmosphere provides the ideal settings for dining, meetings, business and social entertaining. Luxuriously spacious overnight rooms offer beautiful views of Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain and Lake Michigan.

Earlier this year, the Club unveiled its scenic rooftop dining area as part of its long-term plan. The Rooftop Terrace provides members with one of the most sought-after outdoor entertaining venues in the city. The newly opened rooftop terrace and lounge designed by Gary Lee Partners provides an additional 3,000 square feet of space with stunning views of Chicago’s Grant Park, lakefront and Lake Michigan. Opened in June of 2014, the new space immediately energized the Club during the summer months. The terrace can host up to 200 people for cocktail parties and accommodates 90 people for dining. A zinc canopy covers 40 percent of the roof area, providing shade during the summer while heaters and a fireplace will keep members warm during cooler months. A weekly jazz trio provides entertainment for the bar and lounge areas.

In addition to the Rooftop Terrace, as part of the recent Long Range Facilities Planning process, the Club has a new fitness center, new women’s locker room, modernized elevators, new cooling tower and air handlers, ADA entrance and other compliance features, and other related capital improvements.

The Benefits of Membership to the Chicago Club include:

  • A community of the most senior business and civic leaders in the Chicago region;
  • The Club’s location offers easy access to Chicago’s business, financial and cultural districts;
  • Private Meeting Rooms range in size to accommodate small groups or over 200 for larger meetings, receptions or social events;
  • Excellent formal and casual dining facilities and a professional catering staff led by an award-winning Chef;
  • A recently opened Rooftop Terrace with stunning views of Chicago’s lakefront;
  • 34 Overnight Rooms including two Lake View Suites;
  • Three fully equipped office suites;
  • Complimentary parking for members when using the Club’s facilities;
  • Reciprocal Club privileges;
  • Programs and Special Events;
  • Concierge services;
  • Fitness Center; and
  • Spousal Membership.

Unique to the Chicago Club are its four active Inner Clubs, three originally founded in the 1920’s. These smaller associations permit member’s fellowship with other members having common interests. Currently, about one third of the Club’s members belong to one or more Inner Clubs.

Personal service is the essence of the philosophy of the Chicago Club. Second only to the strength of the membership has been the loyalty and dedication of the Club’s staff, who exemplify client service and have a deep impact on the culture of the Club. Nearly half of the full time employees have ten or more years of service. Since its inception, the Club has had only seven managers. General Manager Frank Stover will have served 24 years in this role upon his retirement in 2015.

Membership to the Club is by invitation and is limited. Privacy continues to be of utmost priority and is maintained not only by the membership but by the staff as well.

For more information on the Chicago Club please visit:

The Opportunity:

The General Manager serves as the Club’s chief executive, and, guided by the Club’s mission and values, has the central responsibility for providing leadership and running day-to-day operations for the Club.

The General Manager is responsible for the success of all aspects of the Club’s goals and activities and for achieving the highest member satisfaction. S/he devotes fulltime attention to operations, planning and staff performance and coordination.

The General Manager reports to the Board of Directors, specifically to the Chair of the Board. Specific duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Working with the Board of Directors and Setting Club Direction

  • Helps steward a community and culture that continues to make the Club a desirable asset to Chicago’s senior-most leaders;
  • Develops, articulates and implements policies and procedures, including measuring metrics around best practices;
  • Assists the Board of Directors in developing short and long-term objectives for the Club;
  • Innovates and strategically develops ways to engage current and future Club members with existing and future programs and events; and
  • Keeps abreast of legal and legislative actions and trends and helps the Board understand such issues and respond appropriately.


  • Sets the tone for relations between members and employees, based on unwavering client service, respect and community;
  • Establishes rules and regulations, work schedules, internal controls and performance appraisal system;
  • Coordinates the work of department heads and other staff;
  • Assures flow of information among departments and through proper staff channels;
  • Maintains official documents and ensures proper execution and monitoring of all contracts; and
  • Monitors adherence to all legal and regulatory requirements affecting the Club.

Financial Oversight

  • Establishes quality and cost standards for all departments;
  • Acts as plan administrator for the Club’s pension plan;
  • Recommends and/or sets salaries; and
  • Prepares with Treasurer annual operating and capital budgets.

Representing the Club

  • Represents the Club in activities;
  • Serves as the Club’s ambassador in national private club associations and networks; and
  • Keeps informed on private club trends and practices locally and nationwide.

Candidate Profile:

The next General Manager will be a dedicated leader committed to delivering excellent service and strengthening the Chicago Club community.  S/he will understand the rich history of the Chicago Club and work to uphold the traditions of the institution while adapting to the changing needs of its membership. By experience and temperament, the General Manager will reflect the style and culture of the Club’s members and embody the Club’s image and values.

The General Manager will exemplify client service and dignity and will have the ability to motivate, organize and lead others. S/he will have strong leadership skills and understand how to supervise and inspire a team that routinely exceeds the highest standards.

S/he will have excellent communication and presentation skills, both verbal and written, and an ability to communicate across functional areas.  A willingness to engage with Board members is essential and a strong track record of success in Board relations is desired.

The General Manager will have an undergraduate degree coupled with applicable management-level experience in a private club, hotel, resort or restaurant.

The ideal candidate will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Commitment to Service and Club Values: The General Manager will have an unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding customer service and continuing to deepen the ties between the members and the Club. S/he will have an understanding of the Chicago Club’s membership including a deep appreciation of Chicago’s business and civic communities. S/he will understand members’ expectations, have strong knowledge of social customs and etiquette, and be able to easily connect with Club members. The General Manager will work tirelessly to uphold and promote the Club’s standards among the staff, creating an ‘esprit de corps’ of client service. The General Manager will be proud of the quality of the Club and will represent the traditions and standards of the Club among the most Distinguished Clubs in the World.

Focus on the Future: The General Manager will work with the Board and other members to engage current and future Club members with existing and future programming and events, capitalizing on the Club’s recent renovations. While upholding the values of the Club, the General Manager will be a strategic thinker, working to cement the Club’s role as the focal point of the Chicago business community and building community among Club members. S/he will work with the Board and staff to explore alternative revenue streams, additional programming opportunities and increase marketing efforts. The General Manager will be open to examining best practices and testing new ideas, while upholding the traditions and culture of the Club.

Flawless Execution: The General Manager will be dedicated to flawless execution of the operations of the Club, while promoting the values of client service and community building. The General Manager will ensure quality treatment of all Club members and guests and ensure Club facilities are kept in excellent shape. S/he will have strong attention to detail and manage day-to-day operations seamlessly. The General Manager will be an approachable problem-solver and team player. S/he will retain and add to the talented Club staff that will work with him/her to continue to uphold the standards and values of the Club. S/he will be an approachable leader who builds a culture of pride and collaboration among the staff and the Club’s various constituents. S/he will run a financially sound organization and will be comfortable strengthening and modernizing Club operations and technologies.

Relationship Builder: The General Manager must be able to build and sustain excellent relationships at multiple levels internally and with the various constituencies including the Board of Directors and Club members. S/he will lead by example and will continually show his/her commitment to quality service. It is imperative that s/he is able to treat others with respect and stay true to the values of the Club. The ideal candidate is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

Compensation and Benefits:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.


Alison P. Ranney and Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit a compelling cover letter and resume using Koya’s online link: All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Chicago Club is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants. 

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained search and consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit