When Clubs Queensland’s new Chief Executive Officer Kelly Egan plants his boots under the desk on August 3 he will be walking into an industry battling to find a new normal in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns.

There is no escaping the fact that social distancing requirements, mandated and enforced by State and Federal Governments in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19, have had massive impacts on business revenues across many industries, with hospitality hit particularly hard.

High on Kelly’s to do list is seeking feedback from the members and potential members on any further services and support the team should be offering in the months and years ahead to help clubs re-build their businesses and membership base. “Complacency costs so we need to be proactive and communicative at every opportunity.”
Speaking to Club Insight Magazine this month, Kelly said he was looking forward to working with the Clubs Queensland team and wanted to thank Dan Nipperess for the work he had done since March 2020 when he stepped up to become Acting CEO.

Dan will return to his role as General Manager when Kelly starts.

Kelly, who comes to Clubs Queensland after being the inaugural CEO of the Rugby League Coaches Association, is acutely aware of the challenges ahead having been privy to the planning required to bring NRL games back online this season.

When it comes to his style of management, the former footballer and assistant coach at Canterbury Bulldogs, Manly Sea Eagles and the North Queensland Cowboys says it’s pretty straight forward.
“If you treat people like they make a difference, then they will..” Kelly said.

“This role is not about me being right, it’s about getting it right for the key people we represent. It’s about being relevant, visible and re-engaging”

For Kelly, the role offers the opportunity to return to many of the clubs he serviced a number of years ago as a Queensland Key Account Manager with gaming machine business Aristocrat.

It is also the chance to catch up with people he had worked with in the past who had continued to develop their careers in the club world and now hold key positions in the club industry.

Asked about the likely pace of business recovery in the club’s world, Kelly said it was uncertain.

“This role is not about me being right, it’s about getting it right for the key people we represent. It’s about being relevant, visible and re-engaging”

“I think it’s going to be on an individual basis. Different regions will react differently than others,” he said.

“We should be proactively identifying the next level of progress in these challenging times as a club based collective with partnerships and government that benefit the hospitality industry as a whole.”
Having seen, through his sporting background, the difference a strong community club is able to have on the communities it supports, Kelly said he is excited  to be working with a group of businesses whose core function was to support local communities to be the best they can be. Our 868 licensed community clubs build stronger Queensland communities and in turn, a stronger Queensland.

“The core business of not-for-profit community clubs is about giving back to the community, providing better facilities, supporting a positive culture of social license and propagating inclusiveness and diversity.

“Our community clubs are an important economic support for communities providing jobs and vital funding for  sports, charities and other non-profit entities. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic we employed circa 22,000 people and contributed around $750 million per annum to our communities.”

Additionally Kelly’s resume features a host of leadership roles, including General Manager Football at North Queensland Cowboys and the West Tigers and as a Director of Regional Campuses for TAFE Queensland.

If you would like to get in touch with Kelly the best contact is via email at kelly@clubsqld.com.au