In the dynamic and ever-evolving world of business, the role of a successful leader is indispensable. These individuals possess a rare blend of visionary thinking, strategic insight, and exceptional interpersonal skills, enabling them to navigate complex challenges and seize opportunities.Their ability to inspire and motivate teams, foster a culture of innovation, and drive sustainable growth sets them apart as true industry trailblazers.
Among these outstanding leaders, one name that shines brightly in the private club industry is Brett Morris, the esteemed General Manager and COO at The Club at Admirals Cove. Brett orchestrates the organization’s growth and shapes its success making ther club one of the most desired destinations in the country. .His commitment to leadership, emphasis on teamwork and relentless pursuit of excellence inspire and shape the future of Admirals Cove for both the members and his employees.
Servant Leader Fostering Team Growth
A dedicated servant leader Brett Morris encourages his employees to make decisions without the fear of failure. He prioritizes growth and development. He motivates his team to stay abreast of industry trends, to attend conferences and engage in new opportunities that will help them grow both personally and professionally. He allows them to be creative, to make mistakes, and to take ownership of their actions.
Communication is another tool that enhances his servant leadership ability. An active listener he genuinely values his employees perspectives, ideas, and concerns. He emphasizes open and honest dialogue so everyone feels heard. He promotes collaboration while seeking diverse viewpoints, to get every one to buy into the overall vision. Through this strategy Brett Morris sets the tone for the entire organization while prioritizing integrity, honesty, and transparency in all their interactions.
His belief is to hire the best and get out of their way. This freedom leads to improved employee satisfaction where staff are committed to doing their best.
Most importantly he leads by example. By demonstrating the behaviors he expects from his team, he shows humility, empathy and treats everyone with kindness.
Brett has a wealth of professional experience in the hospitality industry. He began his journey after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, from 1986 to 1988. Brett then served as the Executive Chef at the Millbrook Club in Greenwich, CT, from 1989 to 1995, overseeing comprehensive operations within the kitchen and restaurant area.
In 1995, Brett Morris became Executive Chef at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, NY, where he played a significant role in the club’s culinary growth. His vision and guidance elevated the club’s dining experience in a premier country club environment. Recognizing his leadership abilities, Brett was promoted to General Manager/COO of Wykagyl Country Club from 1997 to 2003. In this position, he excelled at delivering high-impact solutions and providing excellent customer service, creating enjoyable and memorable experiences for the club membership.
From 2003 to 2012, Brett Morris served as General Manager/COO at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, NY, where he continued to showcase his transformational leadership skills and commitment to service excellence. In 2012, he joined The Polo Club of Boca Raton in Boca Raton, FL, as the General Manager/COO. During his tenure, Brett Morris directed operations for this premier gated private residential resort community, overseeing amenities, services, and a guest-focused team.
Since 2020, Brett has led a top-performing staff, driving excellence in all aspects of this prestigious Top 10 private residential resort community in the United States. The Club at Admirals Cove offers luxurious living and unparalleled amenities, including two clubhouses and 900 residences spread over 1,000 acres in Palm Beach County. With a deep-water access location on the beautiful Gold Coast of South Florida, the community combines a luxurious lifestyle with unparalleled recreational opportunities.
Accomplishments in a Stellar Career
Throughout his professional journey, Brett Morris has achieved remarkable milestones and garnered recognition for his outstanding contributions to the hospitality industry. In 2022, the Club Managers Association of America honored him with the Club Executive of the Year award, a prestigious accolade highlighting his exceptional leadership. The award honors an individual whose acheivements best represent the qualities found in hard working, dedicated club management leaders.
The award also focuses on club management professionals who demonstrate mentoring, create a supportive club culture and sustain ongoing engagement with their local Club Managers Association of America chapter. Brett says it was quite humbling to be recognized among so many remarkable leaders in the industry. Reflecting on his personal career journey he is thankful to the mentors who guided him, the leaders who encouraged him and of course as he says, the recognition belongs to each and every member of my team who have a passion for our unwavering commitment to excellence.
Brett Morris firmly believes that hospitality is about creating genuine moments of connection that build lasting relationships. He believe in anticipating member needs and creating unforgettable memories. It’s one of the driving forces that stimulate his creativity and the curiosity of his peers who often invite him to share his secrets to success making him
s a sought-after l speaker. Often he shares his insights on food and beverage trends, member experiences and treating your club as a luxury brand. He has been invited to speak at prominent events such as the Club Managers Association of America World Conference, International conferences in both Canada and Asia as well as state-wide conferences. Additionally, Brett Morris regularly serves as a speaker at the Club Managers Association of America Business Management Institute, where he imparts valuable lessons on building a culture of excellence and executive presence.
Recognizing his commitment and contributions to the industry, Brett received the Jay DiPietro Award in 2019. This esteemed award is bestowed upon managers who have demonstrated exemplary service and actions deserving of recognition from their peers. Furthermore, Brett Morris was honored with the James H Brewer Excellence in Club Management Award, which celebrates outstanding skills in managing private clubs with 600 or more Full Privilege Members.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Brett understands that the club’s success depends on its dedicated team of over 600 employees. He promotes a work life balance, flexibility and a sense of belonging.
He operates with a strong ethical and values driven foundation with a focus on overall well being. He is employee centric, demonstrating care and concern for his team through his actions. He recognizes their talents and rewards them for their efforts. He pushes initiatives that support physical, mental and emotional health creating a culture of excellence. As part of that mission he stresses the importance of making a difference in their local community.
“Champions for Change” program, was an opportunity for Brett Morris and his staff to actively engage with local non-profit organizations, offering hands-on support. To Brett giving back creates a sense of purpose and fulfillment among employees while enhancing the clubs reputation and relationship with the community. Within the club they encourage employee engagement which shows their commitment to social responsibility.
Through the “Champions for Change” program they have helped underprivileged kids with new backpacks and school supplies, they have cleaned beaches and assisted indigent mothers with diapers and milk formula for newborn babies. Each time they embark on a new project the staff feels a deeper sense of belonging along with a sense of gratitude knowing that they made a difference in someones life. There are also intangible benefits such as attracting the best and brightest prospects who crave a sense of belonging at work more than just a paycheck.
Unparalleled Luxury and Experiences
The Club at Admirals Cove offers an exceptional array of amenities, making it a premier destination for an unparalleled lifestyle. With seven and a half miles of waterway granting access to the Atlantic Ocean, a state-of-the-art marina and yacht club boasting 72 deep water ocean access slips, and Provisions gourmet market, members can indulge in boating and waterfront living. The private boutique hotel provides 32 rooms and suites for a luxurious and comfortable stay.
Sports enthusiasts can use the ten har-tru tennis courts with hydro court technology, eight pickleball courts, and 45 holes of championship golf. The Golf Performance Center showcases cutting-edge technology, enabling members to enhance their game and experience virtual golf on any course worldwide. For relaxation and wellness, the newly designed and built 21,000 square ft. BlueWater Spa and Fitness Center offer a sanctuary of healing, pampering, and rejuvenation. Members can achieve total well-being with its Salt Suite, steam room, sauna, whirlpools, and relaxation areas.
Dining at Admirals Cove is a culinary delight, with ten restaurant venues delivering an exceptional gastronomic experience. From Marina Cafe Sushi & Grille to 27 West, an Italian Steakhouse featuring homemade pasta dishes and prime dry-aged meats, the diverse options cater to every palate. Themed cuisines and craft cocktails are featured at Next, while Latitude presents sustainably sourced coastal delights paired with robust wines.
The dedicated space of Hooked on Scoops satisfies dessert cravings with various frozen treats and vegan offerings. In addition to the world-class facilities, Admirals Cove places great importance on fostering community among its 1800 members and their families. Through various social and cultural events, the club provides opportunities for members to connect, engage, and create lasting memories.
Keys to Long-Standing Success
Admirals Cove’s enduring success can be attributed to a combination of factors, all centered around innovation, exceptional service, and a deep understanding of its members’ needs. The club’s ability to provide a comprehensive lifestyle community that caters to diverse interests, from golf and racquets to overall physical and mental wellness, has been key. With a commitment to meeting and exceeding member expectations, Admirals Cove has become an extension of its members’ homes, offering something for everyone.
The club’s dedicated team plays a crucial role in its success. Continuously striving to elevate member events and experiences, the staff consistently delivers the “wow factor” that turns moments into cherished memories. By staying abreast of trends and incorporating them into its offerings, Admirals Cove ensures that it remains relevant and continues to delight its members.
A prime example of this commitment is the annual Street Fair, which transforms a traditional kid’s carnival into a unique, all-ages event. With over 30 food stations, delectable desserts, live entertainment, street jugglers, and even a junkanoo band, the Street Fair attracts more than 2,000 people and has become a highly anticipated event for members.
Family and Balance
Each day, Brett Morris finds motivation in his beautiful wife, Casey, and their daughter, Zoey. Balancing work and family life is his priority, as he believes a successful family life contributes to his overall success. Casey’s support and shared pride in their daughter, who is on the verge of graduating from college, fuel his drive and determination.
Advice for Future Club Leaders
When asked about advice for future club leaders, Brett emphasizes the importance of continuous education and broadening one’s understanding of all departments within the club. He encourages aspiring leaders to surround themselves with the best and learn from their expertise while ensuring fair compensation for their team members. Great leaders understand the value of empathy and compassion.They show genuine care and concern for their teams, to understand their individual needs and aspirations, and to support them in achieving their goals
As Brett points out leading a team takes strong communication skills, emotional intelligence and a can do attitude. Brett Morris encourages tomorrow’s leaders to adopt a mindset of continuous learning. He advises them to seek out opportunities for personal and professional growth, whether through formal education, training programs, or through mentors. As he likes to say learning should be a lifelong journey, so you can evolve to the needs of your industry.
Lastly, never stop innovating. Embrace a mindset of continuous improvement and seek out new ways to enhance member experiences, by thinking creatively, challenging the status quo, and taking calculated risks to drive the club’s success.
“Throughout his professional journey, Brett Morris has achieved remarkable milestones and garnered recognition for his outstanding contributions to the hospitality industry.”