We speak to members of the GCMA board of directors about their backgrounds, motivations for joining the board, and expertise in golf club management. This week: Sandy Lodge's Judy Barker. Quick career background I started working life in 1983 at the Nationwide Building Society in Harlow, Essex but also worked for a time at the Nationwide in Worcester when I moved further north; stayed with them for a number of years before working for the Agricultural Training Board. Had my daughter in 1996 and then started working for Bishops Stortford Golf Club in 1999 one day a week, which soon became full time work and in 2005 I was promoted to secretary/manager until leaving in November 2021. I took on the general manager position at Sandy Lodge in April 2022. Why did you join the GCMA in the first place? I joined the association because I wanted to be able to meet and learn from other like minded golf club managers, and I soon found out that it is the best networking body to belong to. I know that the pandemic brought the country to a standstill but, as far as networking goes, it actually meant that WhatsApp groups appeared, and have continued, so the networking has got even better since Covid. What motivated you to apply to join the board? I wanted to be sure that the members' interests were always at the forefront of what the association stood for. I had previously served on the National Committee for five years, so I was aware of the commitment required. What skills do you think you contribute? I think having nearly 20 years in golf club management brings a wealth of knowledge and skills which can be applied to a lot of areas as a director on the board. I challenge in discussion and look at things from both points of view. I am quite analytical so will always read papers well in advance and ask questions. I still have my junior school report from 1972 and a lot of the points raised then are still with me now – ‘no difficulty whatsoever with number work’ ‘she is enthusiastic and very confident which has helped her enormously’ ‘she mixes well’ ‘is all too ready to pass on her newfound knowledge’ – these are my life skills I bring to my working life. What do you hope to achieve during your term? To see the association grow in membership numbers and to create long-lasting partnerships which will benefit the members. What is your vision for the association? That the brand continues to grow so that we are recognised, alongside other major bodies in the golfing industry, as the association which provides excellent golf club managers to golf clubs. What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career? How to grow a thick skin and have broad shoulders! What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? To treat people in life the way you would wish to be treated....
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