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Ryan Doerr, 2022 Gary Player Educator of the Year Award

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Erica Martin

Ryan Doerr, 2022 Gary Player Educator of the Year Award

Ryan Doerr has spent his entire career in the hospitality industry with over twenty-five years in clubs. His passion for developing and educating others to help them grow and succeed has always been an area where he has excelled. He has consulted with over 548 clubs, authored manuals, books and whitepapers, hosted various presentations, and led countless workshops and educational programs, all with the goal of empowering managers and leaders to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. He truly makes a difference in the lives of everyone he connects with.

When I asked Ryan to reflect on his journey to this moment, he shared that throughout his life he has always been passionate about serving others. This passion led him to pursue hospitality, starting his career in restaurants and resorts, and then club management. Ryan took his corporate hospitality knowledge and experience into private clubs and was able to produce systems, processes, training programs, and achieve excellence in service and financial health. Ryan advanced quickly through the ranks, becoming a general manager before the age of 30. He worked tirelessly to make his clubs successful, focusing on developing the people around him, and becoming highly sought after and recruited for the results he was producing at his clubs.

Even with his quick success, Ryan had always felt that there was more he could do. He saw the challenges other club managers and leaders faced, and he knew that he could help them overcome those challenges with the right knowledge and tools. After several years of being recruited across the country and several side consulting projects, Ryan decided to get certified as a business coach and founded Strategic Club Solutions. The goal of the company is to make a difference, provide a fresh approach to private club consulting and begin developing and delivering proven solutions, educational resources and programs to boards and managers in the private club and community industry.

People began to notice Ryan’s expertise and success as he strengthened his reputation as a leader in the industry. As his profile grew, Ryan began to develop more educational resources and programs. Through it all, Ryan remained committed to his mission of educating and empowering club managers and leaders. He witnessed the impact of his work as people began to implement the lessons he and his team at SCS were teaching and real results were being seen in their clubs and communities. Laura Leszczynski soon became his partner in crime and together, began taking the operational expertise and acumen that Ryan had, combined with her thirty years of experience in marketing, branding and neuroscience to really shake things up. Together, they continue to develop fresh new content and perspective to managers and boards, really separating the quality and context of their approach. While they were always humbled by the positive feedback received, Ryan and Laura never lost sight of the fact that there was still more work to be done. In January of 2023, Ryan and Laura published their first book, Clubology: The Science and Strategy of Being in the People Business. They hit the Amazon Bestseller list on their first day!

Ryan and his team continue to provide immense value and positive disruption in the private club and community space. The expectations of members at private clubs has changed dramatically over the last five years and will continue to change as the age, experience and overall expectations continue to evolve. Ryan, Laura and the SCS team engage in dozens of speaking engagements, webinars, master classes, team workshops, board retreats and executive coaching throughout the industry. I know we will continue to see exciting and transformative changes from Ryan and his team of trailblazers and thought leaders over the next decade as ​​SCS is leading the way with education and professional development.

This award is well-deserved for a wonderful leader in the club industry, Ryan Doerr. Ryan gives all the credit to the support of his family and team members, particularly his wife Heidi and his co-author Laura Leszczynski who is equally deserving of this recognition. If you haven’t met or worked with Ryan and the SCS team, you are missing out. As a friend, colleague, and client, I am proud to have worked with Ryan on many occasions and am proud to call him a great friend.

~ Jim Cardamone, CCM, CCE, GM/COO, Glen Oak Country Club, Glen Ellyn, IL