GM's Message

General Manager's Message

Mar 1, 2017

 

If you’ve read Scott’s message in magazine, you’ll know that he and his wife, Sondra, are heading back home to the US. While this is a wonderful professional opportunity for him (not to mention he’ll be closer to his children Corbin and Corrine), it also means The Club community loses a truly exceptional and dedicated leader.

There have been many articles written about the ‘power of volunteerism’, and Scott has been a shining example of each and every one of those outcomes. Never harboring a personal agenda, he has, in his role as President, consistently been driven by his values chief to The Club – Safety, Respect and Integrity. His contributions have been outstanding on many levels, the most evident of which, was his passion for The Redevelopment Project and his drive to future-proof The Club and transform it into an efficient and effective clubhouse for current and future generations of Members and staff alike.

 

Internally, his connection to the staff community has been second to none. Be it attending staff weddings and funerals, Annual Dinner & Dance events, or staff gatherings to assure the team of job security throughout the Redevelopment, Scott has demonstrated on numerous occasions his commitment to the employees, and in the process forged many robust bonds over the years. Even after his children left Singapore years ago, he (and Sondra) continued to be motivated by the well-being of his fellow Members, staff and their families.

 

 

Throughout his tenure and work at The Club, Scott has been the epitome of humility, often citing that he has learnt a tremendous amount from other Committee Members, the Management and Club Members. Like all good leaders, he leaves the community in excellent shape. The current Executive and General Committees’ commitment to the present and future of The Club is remarkable and unwavering. If you consider that there were over 50 various committee meetings in 2016 relating to the Redevelopment alone, the team of volunteers we have is outstanding.

On behalf of The Club, I want to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for everything that Scott has done for us and for his amazing dedication. On a personal level, his support has been inspirational and limitless. Whether you believe it or not, The Club business is unrelenting and extremely challenging. Scott has always remained calm, forward-thinking and hardworking with an amazing ability to keep perspective. He will be sadly missed. We wish him and his family continued good health and success.

One of the initiatives that Scott was very supportive of was the addition of more ‘bench strength’ to The Club’s Senior Management team. Over the last 15 years, the team has often consisted of 9 Senior Managers, including co-AGMs. Currently, we have 7 on this team and 1 AGM. With all the additional work around the Redevelopment and preparations required for the re-launching of all outlets, it was agreed that an international recruitment effort should be undertaken by a Search Committee. After a rigorous process spanning months, I’m excited to share that The Club will be welcoming on board Mr. Vijayakumar (Vijay) Raj into The Club family as Co-Assistant General Manager.

 

 

Vijay brings with him immense experience from within the Luxury Hotels and Private City Clubs sector. With an M.S. degree in Hospitality Administration from Johnson & Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island and an advanced certification in Revenue Management, Marketing & Foodservice Management from Cornell University, New York, Vijay is a dynamic professional with 20 plus years’ experience in the hospitality industry and expertise in high-volume,
large-scale operations.

Prior to this, he was with The University Club of Washington, DC since 2008 as Assistant General Manager. The University Club is one of the nation’s truly historic membership organizations, whose members constitute an impressive Who’s Who of leaders sharing a sense of family and bonded by their intellectual, athletic and cultural pursuits; not unlike Members of The American Club.

In his spare time Vijay loves travelling, watching sports and volunteering in community outreach programs. We’re thrilled to have him on the team and look forward to his active role in shaping the future of our Club. Please join me in giving him a very warm American Club welcome when you get a chance to see him.
 


 

General Manager's Message

Jan 1, 2017

 

I hope you enjoyed a relaxing holiday season and a bit of a break from work and school to recharge and unwind. This new year, we’ve got a myriad of programs and events planned to keep you and your family engaged as we look forward to continued progress on The Club’s redevelopment.

 

One significant focus of the redevelopment project for management has been looking at ways to future proof The Club. We are putting much effort into exploring solutions that can enable our team members to work smarter, and not harder. As many of you know, labor market challenges continue to prevail in Singapore, and it is especially difficult to find eligible candidates in the hospitality field. With this condition projected to be the reality for the foreseeable future and with Singapore’s shift towards the automation of services, we are looking at ways for The Club to leverage and maximize government funding opportunities to tackle this issue.

 

I’d like to share some of the opportunities we are considering for government funding. None of these initiatives have been confirmed, as we are still in the exploration stage of the process, but they highlight a few of the exciting possibilities as we look forward to our new clubhouse.

 

The first of these includes the implementation of a wine vending machine at our new gourmet shop that will not only allow us to store wines at the perfect temperature, but will also enable selfservice wine and liquor purchases to create a more convenient buying experience while facilitating a quicker checkout process. Similar technologies we are exploring are the intelligent wine dispenser system, that allows for longer storage of wines, gives our sommeliers unparalleled control over our wine list with the option to offer more by-the-glass purchases, and allows Members to conduct self-service wine-tastings; as well as a touch-screen table top that can serve both as a functional counter top as well as an interactive wine browsing platform.

 

 

 

Our uniform distribution and laundry system is still labor intensive. The implementation of RFID technology on items such as our staff uniforms, linen and towels can significantly benefit our management of inventory tracking, stock taking, distribution and loss prevention of these assets. There is also huge potential for RFID technology to be scaled up and applied to many other areas of club operations as we reap the advantages of a fully automated, real-time data capture and analysis system.

 

On the IT front, The Club is exploring the use of an online table management system that will allow Members to make reservations for restaurants and Club events 24 hours a day, enable us to effectively manage our table inventory and guest information; as well as a customized mobile application that will open up a whole new world of opportunities in the way we engage, transact, communicate with and serve our Members.

 

While these represent just a small percentage of the many items on our ‘wish list’, The Club has also already embarked on the process of employing some of these newer technologies to great benefit. Back in the kitchens, the installation of four new Auto Filtration deep fryer machines in the past several months has translated to a 50% reduction in man-hours for used oil disposal and 77% less time for the cleaning of oil tanks, or a total savings of 652 man-hours per year by the Kitchen & Stewarding

team. The shelf life of oil has now also been extended 3-fold, while the team enjoys a safer process and are better optimized as they can focus on other tasks.

 

I hope the above gives you some idea of the continual steps we are taking to change, innovate and improve with advances in technology. We will continue to explore these new ideas (and implement them where feasible) as we move forward with the redevelopment project – updates will be shared as we gather more information and make decisions.

 

Wishing you a prosperous Year of the Rooster!

 


 

General Manager's Message

Nov 1, 2016

 

A big, warm thank you to the many of you who took part in our Pre-development Benchmark Survey this summer. As you may recall, we sent this survey out in early June and invited all main Members and their spouses to fill it out and return it to us over several weeks. We are happy to say we had 493 Members reply.


It was important to us to send out the survey at that time, so that we could accurately capture Member sentiment about The Club’s service, ambience, and range of services just prior to the start of the redevelopment. As stated in the survey when it was distributed, this was a benchmark survey, which means the exact same survey will be issued again after a settling period as phases of the redevelopment are completed. This gives The Club an accurate “apples-to-apples” comparison by outlet to measure Members’ satisfaction with the newly developed Club. Basically, it lets us know if the plans that were developed and executed based on Member feedback are an improvement over the facilities that we currently enjoy and if the service has improved with the changes.


The survey comprised three simple questions for each outlet at The Club. It asked Members to rate their satisfaction with service, ambience, and range of services in each outlet on a scale of one (least satisfied) to seven (most satisfied) - each number had a written prompt to explain it so that responses would be consistent across respondents. Although there was a space for additional comments, Members were not contacted for follow up as the survey was anonymous.

 

The Results
Club Services (Concierge, sên, Essentials, Library, and Business Center) had the highest weighted averages out of all our departments with scores of 5.92 for Service, 5.34 for Ambience, and 5.63 for Range of Services. Within that department, Concierge had the highest scores with 6.3, 5.72, and 6.02 respectively. These Concierge results are consistent with 2015’s Annual Member Survey, in which Concierge also scored the best marks at The Club.

 

The new Library and Business Center were launched in September and have generally been met with enthusiasm and positive comments. We are pleased that so many Members are using these facilities, many for the first time, and we look forward to Members and staff alike getting used to the new environment. We will be issuing a follow-up Benchmark Survey for these outlets, as well as the Children’s Library, in Q2 of 2017, so that we can compare the initial benchmark survey with these results.

 

As a department, Fitness and Leisure had the most room for growth. Collectively their weighted averages were: 4.87 for Service, 4.62 for Ambience, and 4.79 for Range of Services. Under the new leadership of Randy, our Fitness and Leisure Director, we are working on finessing the plans and the layouts of the new facilities as part of the redevelopment and focusing on delivering great service, both off-site at the Bukit Merah facility and at The Club. As part of the redevelopment plans, Members can look forward to a small, dedicated Tennis office near the courts, improved gym locker rooms, and a 25-meter swimming pool as well as two smaller pools for children.


When we look at our Food and Beverage offerings, the Union Bar and Thyme café did very well with the bar scoring 5.6 for Service, 5.82 for Ambience, and 4.88 for Food. Similarly, Thyme café scored 5.77, 5.72, and 5.34. Our team will be working on our banquet offerings, as well as continuing to focus on service in the Eagle’s Nest, which scored 4.85. Notable in our Youth department is the 5.58 score for Service in the Kid’s Library, as well as the Range of Services in the Kid’s Library (5.32) and The Zone (5.22).

 

We are excited for the changes and improvements in facilities and ambience that we will all benefit from when the redevelopment is complete. In the interim, The Club will continue to focus on its service initiatives. You can refer to the link here to see the full listing of the Benchmark Survey results. They will also be posted on the Redevelopment board at The Club near Thyme café, so that you can view them at your leisure. Over the coming months, I'll be detailing actions that management has taken and/or will be undertaking to address areas that require improvement.

 

Thanks again for your participation. We always appreciate hearing your feedback. Wishing you all a festive holiday season and a joyous New Year!

 


 

General Manager's Message

July 1, 2016

 

Our thriving community is about to experience the most significant change since the late 80’s when the Claymore Building was added to the total Clubhouse offering. With work already begun shifting services out of the Scotts Road building, shutting down the Pool and Poolside restaurant, and redeploying staff throughout the operation, a significant amount of communications would already be evident; thank you for taking the time to keep yourself and your families informed of all these operational shifts.

 

While the recent transformation process has become apparent, I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight the fact that operationally, there have been significant advancements and new business trends in place for many years. Although these changes have been periodically shared with the membership, it seems appropriate to revisit a few of these key factors with the objective of underlining the fact that our club business is very different today than what it was just 10 years ago; in fact, you could benchmark these developments against an even shorter period of time.

 

Membership continues to be the lifeblood of our business, and joining fees as well as monthly dues contribute significantly to The Club’s reserves and cash flow. However, many are now aware (and have personally experienced) that the “Expat Package” is on a steady decline, and the communities and facilities offered by condominiums and schools are becoming strong alternatives. Other clubs are providing enticing cost-efficient membership options. In FY05-06 we had 463 new memberships compared to just 364 at the end of FY14-15. Though it may not seem like a significant difference, this shortfall translates to a gap of millions of dollars in joining fees, monthly dues and Member spending each month.

 

As just mentioned, the market now provides substantial alternatives, but has also become increasingly competitive – in every facet of our business. When I first arrived in Singapore in 1999, I can remember a single gym brand dominating Orchard Road. Now, there are a multitude of fitness and wellness organizations with studios and gyms island-wide catering to every segment of the market. The food and beverage industry has grown incredibly vibrant, as have children’s summer camps and birthday party venues, health and beauty service options – the list goes on. With our discerning membership and time-pressured lifestyles, it’s natural for Members to want to explore new offerings. In April 2016 our Club’s usage rate was 81.6%, compared to 84.8% in April 2006. The slight decrease may appear insignificant, and though overall the usage rate is a very high figure compared to other private social clubs, the decline still represents a considerable loss, thousands in fact, of transactions in The Club each month.

 

Our number one Gross Operating Profit (GOP) contributor 10 years ago was the Jackpot Room, netting over $800K. 10 years later, at present day, this outlet has fallen out of our top 10 contributors, with last year’s contribution being a mere $40K. Our decision to close this service was a very heavy-hearted one as it represents a significant part of The Club’s history, but the decline in usage and revenue is significant – and so is the lost opportunity of this valuable space. Today our top GOP outlet is sên Spa. Again, the spa service was not in our top 5 earners 10 years ago, and wine, retail and dry cleaning have continued to grow to support operations and cover the gap left by the decline in Jackpot profits.

 

In FY05-06 we had over 360 full-time staff delivering an income (excluding Jackpot and Membership) of $17.2M. At the end of the last fiscal year we had reduced staff count almost 20% to just over 300, delivering a total income of $24.1M. There has been a concentrated effort over the years to adopt efficiency measures, to enable our staff to be more productive, against a backdrop of declining Foreign Worker ratios and a tightening of the hospitality workforce due to the growth spurt in hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues. Of course, the competitive employment market has driven up payroll costs considerably. Annual payroll has grown by almost $5M in 10 years. The levies for ‘Work’ and ‘S’ passes for foreign staff have grown to $656K per annum compared to $280K back in FY05-06. Other related expenses such as insurance premiums, dental charges and employee CPF contributions, to name a few, have seen periodic to steady increases.

 

Singapore is now the leader in terms of being the “most expensive city in the world”. While payroll has been keeping in line with inflation, the costs of many of the products used in our extensive menus have aggressively increased too. Even though we do 6-monthly tenders for our fresh food items, the upward price adjustments to some produce is amazing. As an example, Red Snapper cost The Club $18/kg a mere 2 years ago. Today, the same item costs $23/kg, a 22.3% increase. In the same time period, garlic we procure has seen a whopping 102.4% price jump from $3/kg to $6.07/kg. This steady hike has affected almost every food item we source in the past years.

 

As much as some Members feel that our prices are expensive compared to other alternatives, I keep referencing our Classic American Burger at the Eagle’s Nest as a great example of the strong value upheld at The Club. Priced at $14.95 (inclusive of the 7% goods and services tax, and with no 10% service charge), based on market comparison and in consideration of the quality of the product, it represents excellent value. This price has been unchanged for the last 5 years.

 

The breakeven mandate for The Club (+/- $500K) has remained intact throughout this time. You can see that while cost pressures have been immense, prices have little elasticity. Adding to this pressure is the fact that over 30% of our membership, who qualify as niche group members, enjoy privileges and discounts at The Club monthly, shrinking an already tight profit margin.

 

In recent times, I’ve frequently had discussions with long-term Members who reminisce about The Club in the good old days and wish it still offered the same or similar experiences they enjoyed back then. I simply remind them that Singapore has seen massive changes and improvements in a very short period of time, and The Club is no exception. Although there is a real commitment to retain the strength and character of this community, the challenges are increasing. The need for innovation, coupled with that of staying relevant in our Members’ lives, will continue to drive our business model in the years to come. It’s all about looking forward...

 

 


 

General Manager's Message

May 1, 2016

 

I am pleased to share that The Club has recently been awarded the Business Excellence Service Class certification. This nationally-recognized certification, which took months of preparation to attain, is awarded by Spring Singapore to organizations that have adopted and developed customer-centric approaches to service standards. Friendly, approachable service has always been a hallmark of The Club. This certification provides a framework for us to continue to improve because we know that continuously enhancing our service is important to you, our Members, and is a source of pride for our team. In addition, The Club was also awarded the TAFEP Exemplary Employer Award and the special mention award for Outstanding Inclusive Workplace Culture, which recognize our inclusive employment strategies and policies. These awards are testaments to the community we have created together. You can read more about these achievements in the News section of our website.

 

 

Please be sure to mark your calendar and join us on Saturday, May 28, for our Journey Around the World party. Each area of The Club will have a unique theme, from the “Departure Lounge” in the lobby through to all the exciting “destinations” around The Club. This is our official Pool Closing party, so you won’t want to miss it. Although the pool and Scotts Road building facilities will be open through July for Members to enjoy, we are holding the party before school gets out, so that everyone has a chance to attend and have a last hurrah at Poolside. This is the first time in many years that the pool is being included in our Club-wide party, so be sure to join us for what promises to be a fun and memorable evening.


I’d like to thank all of you who have taken part in our redevelopment focus groups. Your feedback and input is important during this process to ensure that we end up with a club that we both enjoy and are proud of. Our staff have also been taking part in focus groups, to gather their thoughts on how to make the spaces more enjoyable for you, as well as enhance their working environments to make their service more efficient. Because many of our staff work with you on a daily basis, they have a unique perspective on what you enjoy and what is not working or could be enhanced. Together with Member feedback, this gives us a well-rounded picture of how facilities need to be improved or changed.


On July 11 this year we will be holding our Staff Fun Day celebration at The Club. On this day, The Club will be closed to Members to allow the staff to enjoy The Club facilities. Our team is our most important asset, and this is a way for us to honor them and thank them for a job well done throughout the year. This is also a valuable way for staff to see and understand The Club from a Member’s point of view. On behalf of our entire team, I’d like to say thank you for allowing us to close The Club for this special day.

 

 

If you have any questions about any of the above, please feel free to call me directly at 6739-4376 or send me an email at generalmanager@amclub.org.sg.

 


 

General Manager's Message

December 15, 2015

 

As I write this message, I’m proud to announce that The Club’s staff attrition rate in the first 5 months of this fiscal year is at its lowest level since our records began, at just 3.7% (or 0.71% per month). This is an extraordinary position to be in – particularly against a backdrop of the potential uncertainty that may arise from the Redevelopment Project, as well as in view of ongoing labor market challenges.


Over the past 12 months I’ve shared many of the initiatives that The Club has undertaken to show our team that we genuinely live by the mantra “We listen. We Care, You Matter”. In this issue, I wanted to walk you through our Staff Engagement Survey – which is one of the ways we measure the success of all the work we do to create staff engagement – and how this forum provides valuable insights as we continue to improve on (and surpass) this commitment to our staff.


Background & Objective:
The Club first established and began administering an Employee Satisfaction Survey back in 2009. In 2012, we decided to appoint an independent consulting firm to manage this project to ensure full confidentiality of feedback and for market benchmarking purposes. Aon Hewitt (a leader in Human Capital Management) as awarded the project after a tender exercise and conducted our first Staff Engagement Survey in 2012. The second survey took place in late 2013 and our most recent survey was conducted from August 24 to September 10, 2015.

 

The objective of this study is to measure The Club’s employee engagement level and to identify specific areas of concern that might need to be addressed. It also serves as feedback to Management on what has worked / is working, and what aspects need to be focused on to improve employee engagement and make The Club a great place to work for.


The model that Aon Hewitt utilizes is a comprehensive survey that assesses 21 key areas, including Staff Benefits, Level of Education, etc. The methodology ultimately considers employees to be “engaged” when they display the following 3 engagement behaviours:


• Say – speak positively about the organization to co-workers, potential employees and customers
• Stay – displays a desire to be a member of the organization
• Strive – put in effort to contribute to business objectives and its overall success

 

Results for 2015:
Participation is the first primary indicator and in the 2015 survey, The Club’s response rate was 98% of full time staff, which, according to Aon Hewitt, is a world-class result. Secondly, and very proudly, The Club’s Overall Engagement Score went up by 10% from the last survey to 77%, putting us in the top quartile of all companies surveyed in Singapore. To give this score context, the average score in Singapore is 56%; the average score for Singapore companies in the ‘Hotels, Restaurant & Leisure’ category is 74%; and Aon Hewitt’s select few ‘Best Employers’ average around 80%.

 

 

Some other key highlights of this survey include:
• Engagement increased across all departments, with the highest improvements in the Senior Managers / People Development categories
• Compared to the last survey, the top areas of improvement were: Organization Reputation (+16%), Manager (+11%), Career Opportunities (+11%), Trust in Action (+10%) an d Benefits (+10%)
• The Club ranks higher than the Singapore Market in all drivers
• As shown in the following chart, the top 5 areas of satisfaction out of the 21 drivers are: 1. Safety, 2. Benefits, 3. Pay, 4. Organization Reputation and 5. Customers

 

 

To ensure transparency of these results and findings, Aon Hewitt’s key representatives have presented a more detailed version of the aforementioned to all of The Club’s staff. Leadership team members then get links to confidential and anonymous reports for their individual Busines s Units to identify areas of improvement.

 

Next Steps:
Aon Hewitt has recommended several focus areas as part of The Club’s strategy to further improve its overall engagement score:
• Introduce a formal recognition program to acknowledge efforts of deserving staff
• Encourage employees to own their career development plans and work closely with Management to identify and strive for growth
• Middle Managers to adopt a more open mind for suggestions made by line staff and foster an innovative and balanced work culture
• Implement specific action plans at department / outlet level for those with key issues

 

On a final note, and in still keeping with the theme of our Staff Engagement, my sincere thanks to all Members who contributed to the Staff Holiday Fund. It would appear that over 85% of Members have opted to be part of the initiative that allows The Club to provide a sum of money to each staff around Chinese New Year. This is truly our Members’ and our way of saying thanks to all staff for their efforts throughout the year. Please note that the Senior Managers opt not to not receive these payments and instead place their contributions back into the pool of money to be distributed. I sincerely thank them for this gesture.

 

I look forward to seeing you in The Club, and wish you a happy and healthy 2016!

 


 

General Manager's Message - Back of House Tour for Members

May 10, 2015

 

Dear Members,

As The Club’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EOGM) draws closer, I’d like to gently remind and encourage those who have yet to come for a ‘back of house’ tour to sign up for one of the three remaining sessions below. To date, we have conducted seven tours and so far have received immense feedback from Members, with many citing the experience as 'eye-opening'.
 
As highlighted on previous occasions, the objective over the remaining weeks leading up to the EOGM is to provide Members with as much information about The Club’s proposed redevelopment as possible, enabling an informed decision to be made. The tour will provide invaluable insights as to how some operational and structural inefficiencies, currently inherent within The Club, ultimately affects your experience here, and how the redevelopment will significantly rectify these issues. The goal, simply put, is to make this a better Club for you and future generations.
  
Each tour will take no longer than 1 hour. To book a place, simply call Concierge at 6737-3411 or email concierge@amclub.org.sg. Each tour is limited to 10 participants and we encourage those attending to wear stable footwear (no heels) for safety reasons.
 
If you are unable to make it to any of the three remaining sessions, please indicate your interest to Concierge and we will schedule additional sessions where possible.
 

BACK OF HOUSE TOURS

DATE

TIME

MEETING PLACE

Sunday, May 10

11:30 a.m.

Lobby

Tuesday, May 19

6:30 p.m.

Lobby

Saturday, May 23

11:30 a.m.

Lobby

   
You can find out more information on the Proposed Redevelopment by visiting the Strategic Planning area on our website: http://www.amclub.org.sg/proposed_redevelopment.html

I look forward to seeing you at the tour.

Warmest wishes,
Martin

 


 

President's & General Manager's Message - Proposed Clubhouse Redevelopment

Extracted from the May/June 2015 Magazine

April 21, 2015

 

Dear Members,

As we head towards the summer we are also heading towards what could be the most significant (and definitely the most exciting) phase of The American Club’s history in the last 30 years. On June 3, after what has been a detailed, long and eventful journey, eligible Members will get to cast their vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting on the proposed redevelopment project. Given that the last major redevelopment took place 26 years ago and that we’re currently operating with a 60 year old building we believe that this is the right time to renew and improve The Club for ourselves and for the next generation.

It is worth reflecting briefly on the journey that got us to this point. First it’s important to note that redevelopment’s been actively discussed by the General Committee (GC) in some form or fashion for over a decade now.  Most recently, in 2013 to be specific, the GC hired external consultants to evaluate The Club’s structure, efficiency and long term needs. Since that time, the GC, Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) and various other Member Committees have reviewed detailed studies on the Club’s physical condition and possible redevelopment alternatives. After reviewing numerous options the SPC and GC selected what they believe is the most viable and beneficial plan for the long term. The Finance Committee (FC) then, supported by the Investment Sub Committee (ISC), Management and Ernst & Young, completed a financial model on the recommended plan, ultimately deciding to endorse it given their belief that The Club can afford the proposed project costs and the anticipated operational losses during the period of the project.

So let’s cover the financials in some more detail. The redevelopment project cost (replacement of the Scotts Road building and pool, upgrading of the Claymore Hill building and Sports Complex) is S$65 million. We believe that the redevelopment project will have an adverse impact on new memberships sold during construction which could, in turn, impact entrance fee income and dues income. Additionally, spending by Members may be reduced across all outlets during redevelopment, assuming that new and existing Members use The Club less during construction. We estimate operating losses ranging from $19 million to $44 million based on the modeling of various conservative scenarios for membership levels and project completion timelines, with the best case scenario reflecting an operating loss of $29 million. To further protect The Club’s financial well-being, the FC have factored these contingencies into their recommendation: The Club will put in place a financing facility of about $15 million before the start of the project and this will be kept in place till the end of the project and can be used if needed. Additionally, The Club will also maintain at least $20 million in the form of cash and investment securities, as reserves, to assure continued liquidity throughout the project. Once again, the FC endorsed the proposal and believes that the project can be supported by The Club’s finances. To view highlights of the Finance Committee's review of the financial affordability of the proposed redevelopment project, please click here. To view other information, please visit the redevelopment section of our website here.
Over the last few months The Club’s management team and Committee Members have made every effort to ensure that Members are as informed as much as possible about the proposal. Many of you participated in the Member Information Sessions we held in April, the Back of House Tours we’ve been running for the last couple of months and have read and digested the information we’ve posted up on the website, on the notice boards in the lobby area, and in other areas of The Club. We hope this information and these forums have given you a clear understanding of what the redevelopment project is about; assuring a modern and comfortable Club that will meet Member needs for the next thirty years. And we hope it has also given you some food for thought on what The Club could look like, post redevelopment. Again, one of the key objectives of the plan is to remove large spatial inefficiencies and thereby increase and improve Member facilities while fixing major components that need to be repaired irrespective of any redevelopment, like the pool.

Simply put, if The American Club’s going to remain a welcoming ‘home away from home’ for Members and their families in Singapore and continue to provide the professional facilities and services as it offers for many, many years, then it’s going to need to recreate itself from time to time. This is the first phase of that journey. The next phase will be the detailed design which you, as Members, will be asked to participate in as we create the next look and feel of The Club; one that respects what we have (especially The Club’s “feel”) and provisions for the future. We will run numerous Member Workshop Sessions during the design phase giving everyone the opportunity to share their ideas and provide feedback on many key elements of The Club (Kids, F&B, Fitness, etc).

First things first though... participate via a vote if you’re eligible, and otherwise please let your views be heard. If you have any further questions regarding the proposed redevelopment project, do get in touch with either of us. You can email us at president@amclub.org.sg and generalmanager@amclub.org.sg.

Scott & Martin

 


 

General Manager's Message - The American Club Mourns the Passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew

March 23, 2015
 

The American Club Members and Staff join the people of Singapore in mourning the passing of an iconic leader. The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Mr Lee has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. Mr Lee served his country with deep commitment and worked for the well being of the people of Singapore and South East Asia for many years. A distinguished leader and an outstanding statesman, Mr Lee was ahead of his times in a rapidly globalizing world. His visionary approach on local and foreign policy stands as a model for strengthening global relations. Undoubtedly, the people of Singapore and the region have lost a wise and erudite leader.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr Lee’s family and friends. We wish them strength and fortitude in this time of great loss.

The American Club

 


 

General Manager's Message - Back of House Tour for Members

March 17, 2015

 

Dear Members,


Many of you would have seen the email from our President earlier this month announcing our Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EOGM) on June 3 and a vote on whether we should proceed with our proposed redevelopment project. If you have missed that communication, please click here to read Scott’s message.

Our objective over the next few months is to provide Members with as much information about the proposed redevelopment as possible, enabling an informed decision to be made. This is why we are taking the unprecedented move of extending an invitation to all of you to get an insight into one of the deciding factors for re-igniting the redevelopment project discussion – an old and inefficient ‘back of house’ facility.
  
We will be running ‘back of house’ tours from now until May 23 at following dates and times. Each tour will take no longer than 1 hour. To book a place, simply call Concierge at 6737-3411 or email concierge@amclub.org.sg. Places are limited to 10 people on each tour and please wear stable footwear and no heels for safety reasons.

 

BACK OF HOUSE TOURS

DATE

TIME

MEETING PLACE

Sunday, March 22

11:30 a.m.

Lobby

Tuesday, March 31

12:30 p.m.

Lobby

Saturday, April 4

11:30 a.m.

Lobby

Tuesday, April 14

12:30 p.m.

Lobby

Sunday, April 19

11:30 a.m.

Lobby

Tuesday, April 28

6:30 p.m.

Lobby

Tuesday, May 5

12:30 p.m.

Lobby

Sunday, May 10

11:30 a.m.

Lobby

Tuesday, May 19

6:30 p.m.

Lobby

Saturday, May 23

11:30 a.m.

Lobby

   

Each tour of the back of house operations will provide insights into a fascinating world that Members rarely see. We’ve been running tours for Committee Members over the last few months and the feedback has been compelling with many citing the experience as ‘eye opening’. It will provide you with a firsthand visual account of our aging infrastructure and how the inadequacies of design and space continue to afflict the team members on a day to day basis. You will begin to understand why this old building is increasingly becoming unfit for purpose, and the subsequent inefficiencies make it a struggle every day for our staff to provide the high levels of service Members expect and deserve.         
        

You can find out more information on the proposed Redevelopment by visiting the Strategic Planning area on our website: http://www.amclub.org.sg/strategic_planning.html

I look forward to seeing you on tour.

Warmest wishes,
Martin

Please note – If the demand for tours is high, then I will simply add more dates and time to this schedule.

 


 

General Manager's Message - Amah Pass with Signing Privileges

December 18, 2014

 

Dear Members,
 
Since January 2013, many families have enjoyed the added convenience of the Amah Pass with signing privileges, especially our growing population of dual income families. The General Committee has already approved the incorporation of this policy into the Club Bylaws but we wanted to inform you of some upcoming changes.   
 
Fee and Billing Cycle
The fee for the Amah Pass with signing privileges is $50 a year with the new billing cycle being from July 1 to June 30 to align with The Club’s fiscal year. For new pass applications after January 1, 2015, pro-rations will be handled in the following manner.
 
Applications received between January 1 and March 31:  50% of the annual fee or $25
Applications received between April 1 and June 30:  25% of the annual fee or $12.50

All existing accounts with this Amah Pass will be billed $25 in the January statement. This is for the period January 1 to June 30, 2015. In July 2015, $50 will be billed for the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Thereafter, the billing will be done annually in July.

Please click here to view the frequently asked questions.
 
For further enquiries or pass applications, please head to the Concierge Desk. If you have questions concerning this matter, please don’t hesitate to write me an email at generalmanager@amclub.org.sg.
 
Have a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in 2015.

Martin

 


 

General Manager's Message - Annual Staff Holiday Fund

December 2, 2014

 

Dear Members,

By now you have received a letter on the Annual Staff Holiday Fund with your October statement. Thank you so much to those who have already contributed, we are sincerely grateful for your generosity. For those of you who have yet to respond, you have until December 15, 2014 to do so.

In line with the custom of giving a red packet (ang pow) during Chinese New Year, Members can make a contribution to The Club’s Staff Holiday Fund as a gesture of appreciation to the team in lieu of tips or gifts that are not permitted by the Bylaws. Your contributions are then distributed to 400 dedicated staff, including many who work in supportive roles in the heart-of-the-house areas. I would like to highlight that the Senior Managers continue to opt out of receiving an ang pow, preferring to share their portion with the team at large.

The standard contribution, by way of your December 2014 monthly statement, is $150 per membership and it is an opt-out system. Some of our Members have told us that they give consideration to how much they spend on their dining and service experiences over the course of a year and then contribute as though they would have been tipping at those individual points of contact. We are indeed very grateful for your generosity.

If you’d like to contribute an amount other than the standard deduction of $150, please indicate your contribution on this form and return the completed form in person, by post, or by fax to 6737–2963. Alternatively, you may contact the following staff by phone or email before December 15, 2014.
 

Jeselene Figuroa   Vanessa Law
jeselenef@amclub.org.sg   vanessal@amclub.org.sg
6739-4490   6739-4390


If you have any questions regarding the Annual Staff Holiday Fund, please drop me a note at generalmanager@amclub.org.sg.

Happy Holidays!

Martin
General Manager

 


 

General Manager's Message - Annual Staff Holiday Fund

November 4, 2014

 

Dear Members,

Here at The Club, we pride ourselves on the great service we deliver year round. Integral to this trait are the many great men and women who work tirelessly both frontline and behind the scenes. Retaining these dedicated staff has become one of The Club’s priorities in the face of a highly competitive job market.

Many Members have indicated their keenness to show their appreciation for these staff and the perfect platform is just around the corner. Every year, just before the Chinese Lunar New Year, Members are invited to show their appreciation by way of The Annual Staff Holiday Fund. This mirrors the Chinese tradition of giving an ‘ang pow’ or red packet to someone with a token amount of money inside.

All proceeds from your kind gesture will be distributed to 400 dedicated full-time and part-time staff at The Club in time for the Chinese Lunar New Year on Thursday, February 19, 2015. This year, the standard deduction will be increased from $140 to $150. This is the first time in four years that we are raising the amount. The standard contribution of $150 will be reflected in your December 2014 monthly statement if you choose not to opt out of making this contribution. I would also like to highlight that the Senior Managers continue to opt out of receiving an ang pow, preferring to share their portion with the team at large.

Each year, we are heartened by and truly grateful for the fact that many Members give above and beyond the recommended amount. Some of these Members have shared that they give consideration to how much they spend on Club dining and services over the course of a year and then contribute as though they would have been tipping at those individual points of contact, since The Club has a no–tipping policy. To these Members, we would like to say a sincere thank you for recognizing the contributions of our staff in their daily efforts to elevate the membership experience.

If you’d like to contribute an amount other than the standard deduction of $150, please indicate your contribution on this form and return the completed form in person, to the letter box at the Front Desk, by post, or by fax to 6737–2963. Alternatively, you may contact the following staff by phone or email before December 15, 2014.
 

Jeselene Figuroa

 

Vanessa Law

jeselenef@amclub.org.sg

 

vanessal@amclub.org.sg

6739-4490

 

6739-4390


If you have any questions regarding the Annual Staff Holiday Fund, please drop me a note at generalmanager@amclub.org.sg.

In advance of your generosity, I sincerely thank you.

Happy Holidays!

Martin
General Manager

 


 

General Manager's Message - Annual General Meeting on November 12, 2014

October 3, 2014

 

Dear Members,

The Club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for Wednesday, November 12. The AGM is the forum where Members make pertinent decisions about the future of The Club. As we head towards this date, you will receive several key notices and the Preliminary Notice has already been sent and includes the 2013 AGM minutes and Annual Report.

If you are eligible to vote but unable to attend the AGM, we urge you to provide us with your preferred email address. We will use this email address to send you a secured link to the online voting platform. This email address will also be used for authentication purposes as only one vote submission will be possible for each eligible email address. This is to comply with guidelines mandated by The Club auditors.

To update your email address, you may do so via The Club website or please feel free to email justinc@amclub.org.sg or paulettel@amclub.org.sg. If you are already registered, please log into your account, then click on the 'Profile Update' button to the right of the website (please refer to the image below). You will be brought to the website intranet portal where you access your E-statement, Tennis Court and Spa bookings and your Profile Update page. Click on the 'Profile Update' link to the left of the website. You may then enter your latest contact details including residential address, home and mobile telephone numbers and finally your preferred email address.

 

 

If you have not registered for your account, please click here to do so. Please make sure you have enter all 7 characters (excluding hyphens) of your Membership ID including the trailing sequential numbers such as '00' for primary Members and '01' for spouses. For your date of birth, please make sure you have keyed in your details in a DD.MM.YYYY format (with full stops in between).

More information on how to vote electronically will be included in the official notice of the General Meeting that you will receive at the end of October. Besides the Election of Officers, Constitutional changes or proposed Resolutions may also require your vote.

For more information on the guidelines to the AGM, you may refer to The Club’s Constitution found on our Club’s website: www.amclub.org.sg/membership/constitution. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 6739-4376 or email generalmanager@amclub.org.sg.

Please also note that at the adjournment of official part of the AGM, the President, Mr Scott Weber, would like to invite Members to stay to receive an update on the possible redevelopment project and to provide an opportunity for Members to ask any questions that they may have.
 
Warmest regards,
Martin

 


 

General Manager's Message - A Security Update

September 10, 2014

 

Dear Members,
 
It is very sad that we continue to see acts of terrorism and civil unrest in many parts of the world. It’s particular disturbing what is happening in Iraq and Syria and the growing influence of the ISIS militia.
 
Based on recent events, and the fact that The Club takes the safety of Members and staff very seriously, I thought it was timely to reassure Members of our strong security focus especially on the eve of the anniversary of September 11, 2001.
 
We recently met with the US Embassy Security Advisors and it was highlighted that there is no specific threat reported or advisories relating to the events in the Middle East or the 13th anniversary of the attacks of September 11. Of course, they reaffirmed that the date is significant for all Americans and a heightened awareness would be prudent for employees and Members at The Club. We have also spoken to our friends at the Singapore Police Force and they will enhance uniformed patrols during this period as well as deploy the Special Operation Troopers on September 11 in the vicinity of our premise. Once again, this is just precautionary. The Club has also taken several extra steps to tighten its internal security procedures.
 
The US flag in the Lobby will be at half-staff tomorrow for Patriot Day as an act of remembrance.
 
Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call me directly at 6739-4376.

Sincerely,
 
Martin

 


 

General Manager's Message - Catch the World Cup Matches at Union Bar

July 3, 2014

 

Dear Members,


The Club is pleased to inform you that we will be extending the operating hours at the Union Bar to screen the remaining matches running up to FIFA World Cup final. Unfortunately, we won't be able to screen every match due to staffing constraints but will show the following matches scheduled for either midnight, 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. We hope you will join us and enjoy the atmosphere with your family and friends to catch the live action.

World Cup (Quarter Finals)
Saturday, July 5 - 12:00 a.m. - France vs Germany
Saturday, July 5 - 4:00 a.m. - Brazil vs Columbia
Sunday, July 6 - 12:00 a.m. - Argentina vs Belgium
Sunday, July 6 - 4:00 a.m. - Netherlands vs Costa Rica

Notes:
- Walk-in only, no reservations required.
- No extension of food service after 9:45 p.m. and no alcohol service after 12:30 a.m.

World Cup (Semi Final)
Wednesday, July 9 - 4:00 a.m. - Semi Final
Thursday, July 10 - 4:00 a.m. - Semi Final

World Cup (Final)
Monday, July 14 - 3:00 a.m. - Final

Notes:
- Entry fees of $15 for Members and $20 for guests include a Continental Breakfast Buffet.
- Union Bar will continue to be open after 12 midnight for alcohol service for the Semi Final and Final games on July 9, 10 & 14.
- Reservations via Concierge is required; please call 6737-3411 or email concierge@amclub.org.sg.
- A minimum reservation of 25 persons is required.

Warmest wishes,
Martin

 


 

General Manager's Message - Data Protection at The American Club

July 2, 2014

 

Dear Members,

You may recall a letter that was sent to you earlier this year in February concerning the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA) which has been introduced in phases. The provisions relating to the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry came into effect on January 2 of this year and the provisions relating to the main data protection has come into force today, July 2, 2014. I want to take a moment to share with you what The American Club (TAC) has been doing to meet compliance and how it affects you.

The Do Not Call Registry is meant to focus on telemarketing calls/SMS/FAX messages of a commercial nature sent to consumers. The Club does not use telephone/SMS/FAX to market products and services to our Members and has no intention of doing so in the foreseeable future. As far as the DNC is concerned, The Club has been compliant and remains so. SMS service reminders such as library book due dates, spa and gym appointments are not considered marketing messages and The Club can still continue to send you service reminders via SMS.

As for provisions on Data Protection, The Club has for many years introduced many measures and policies to safeguard personal data in our care. As a mature organization, The Club seeks to not only meet the minimum requirements but to exceed them. Given the importance of safeguarding data assets, Senior Manager, Eric So (Director of Marketing & Communications) was immediately appointed as the Data Protection Officer (DPO) in August of 2013 to lead a review and audit of current practices on data collection, use and disclosure.

Acknowledging that Data Protection shouldn’t just be the purview of a single department or office, the DPO promptly convened a Data Protection Committee (DPC) comprising of managers and representatives from all departments collecting and handling personal data including the Membership Office, Finance, Information Technology and the People Developer (PD / HR).

Since the committee was convened last year, all members of the committee including the DPO have attended multiple workshops and briefings facilitated by the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC).

The following milestones have been achieved to date:
1. Appointment of a Data Protection Officer
2. Appointment of a Data Protection Committee
3. Mapping of Club’s Personal Data Inventory
4. Assessment of current practices
5. Identification of gaps
5. Implementation of Data Protection Processes (20 policy papers developed covering Membership, Finance, PD/HR, IT)
 
To meet the definition of compliance, all organizations have to fulfill the nine (9) obligations as prescribed by the PDPC and these can be found here. We have summarized the nine obligations and incorporated them into The Club’s Data Protection Policy.

The American Club Data Policy

Consent, Purpose and Notification
TAC will not collect any personal data about you (e.g. your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, education background, prior work experience), unless you voluntarily choose to provide us with it, respectively, provide your consent, or unless otherwise permitted by applicable laws and regulations for the protection of your personal data. In the context of The Club, your personal data is initially captured via the Membership Application Form when you first applied to join The Club. Information such as email address is used primarily to send you information about The Club including messages from the President, General Manager and other e-Newsletters that may be of interest to you.
 
Your residential address is used primarily to send you publications such as The Club’s bi-monthly magazine, Annual Report, Annual General Meeting notices and possibly other notices that may be of importance to you concerning The Club such as Strategic Planning Committee updates. The Club does not share your information with any external parties and if there’s ever such a need, The Club will notify and inform Members before doing so. If The Club decides to collect your personal information beyond what has already been captured via the Membership Application Form, The Club will always seek to inform Members on the purpose and how it will be used.

Security Obligation
The Club will make every effort to protect your personal data against accidental or unlawful destruction, loss or alteration and against unauthorized disclosure or access; TAC uses both technical (encryption) and organizational security measures (policies and procedures) to safeguard your personal data.

Access, Accuracy and Correction Obligation
It is The Club’s intention to maintain a database that is accurate. To this end, you may access and correct any inaccuracies in your personal data within our records. If you wish to correct such personal data, please send a written request to the Data Protection Office via dataprotection@amclub.org.sg including proof of your identity (e.g. a copy of your driving license or passport), specify the personal data which is incorrect and what it should be replaced with. If you wish to view your entire Member folder including Membership Application Form and all other supporting documents that you have provided during the application process, you may also write to dataprotection@amclub.org.sg. A $50 administrative fee will be charged to your Member account and it will take 14 days to process your request.

Retention Limitation Obligation
Upon your resignation from The Club, TAC will retain your personal data captured from the Membership Application Form and other documents that you have provided for a period of 6 years (Limitation Act of Singapore). If you choose to apply for absentee status, The Club will retain your data until you tell us otherwise or upon resignation. TAC does not and will not provide applicants with copies of the original application form or other documents collected.

Transfer Limitation Obligation
TAC does not and will not transfer personal data of Members to another country.

Last but not least, The Club will continue to review its practices in accordance with the latest advisory guidelines from the PDPC. To date, the PDPC has had several public consultations with several sectors such as education, healthcare, social service, telecommunications and real estate. There is no information yet on when the PDPC intends to consult with the hospitality sector. Again, The Club will keep Members apprised of new developments concerning the protection of Personal Data specific to our sector. If you have further questions concerning The Club’s Data Protection Policy, please write to dataprotection@amclub.org.sg and our Data Protection Officer will attend to your queries.

Below are links to some frequently asked questions. Please review them to better understand how the Personal Data Protection Act affects you as an individual within and beyond The Club. If you are a business owner, please refer to the FAQs for organizations. It will help you and your organization better understand the requirements as prescribed by the PDPC.

Warmest regards,
Martin
 
Data Protection Frequently Asked Questions – Click here
9 Obligations for Organizations – Click here
Personal Data Protection Act – Click here
Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) Website – Click here

 

 

General Manager's Message

Nov 1, 2016