Chief Executive Officer, Asia Pacific Leisure Group Limited
"Our first job in Life is to find our job for Life” is a quote that Werner Jayson advises others quite often because he found his job for life at an early age. Born in Germany, Werner Jayson immigrated to the United States in 1963, at the age of 12. He always had passion for cooking, traveling, and making other people happy. “ No matter what my title is, I am a born server and my goal is always to serve others and to improve the quality of Life for other people”. With this passion and love for serving people he returned to Germany at the age of 15 to start his Chef apprenticeship in Munich. In 1972, at age 21, he became Executive Chef for one of New York’s exclusive private Catering houses.
His passion for excellence and delivering a 5 star product drove him to seek higher education in his field and moving into an Industry that would demand excellence and personal service. After graduating with honors from Florida International University (FIU), in Miami, with a Bachelors Degree in International Hotel Management, Werner Jayson found the Club business to be that Industry in which he could best utilize his skill for cooking, his creativity and his passion for delivering excellence to a high end, exclusive private market. He started his Club career in 1978 as a General Manager for the prestigious Dallas based Club Company, “Club Corporation of America”, today known as Club Corp and the world’s largest operator of private exclusive, Golf, Country, City and City Athletic Clubs.
By 1984 he was promoted to Regional Food and Beverage Manager, having 16 Golf Clubs and 8 exclusive fine dining City Clubs in his region. In 1986 he opened Club Corp’s Flagship fine dining Club in Washington D.C. with President Ronald Reagan and other distinguished American political and business leaders as Members.
The following year, Werner Jayson, was appointed CEO for the new European Club division named Club Corporation Europe (CCE) and reported directly to Mr. Robert Dedman, Founder of Club Corp and often called the “Father of the modern Club Industry”. In charge of developing the Club business in Europe, he pioneered today’s Club concepts and cultures in Germany and opened the first private exclusive Club at the Frankfurt Airport in 1988.
Noticing the growth and opportunities of the Golf Club business in Asia in the early 90’s, he directed his attention to that part of the world and from 1993 until the end of 1996 became the Managing Director of CCA International Ltd. based in Hong Kong.
CCA International Ltd., during his leadership, experienced its largest growth period, expanding from 11 Clubs to 26 Clubs, which operated in 14 Asian countries, thus nearly doubling the companies net profits.
Werner Jayson specialized in teaching Club operations and developing new marketing strategies for selling memberships. He was soon recognized for achieving more membership sales in Asia then any one else (over US$100million per year) and this propelled CCA International to becoming the leading International 5 star Club operator in Asia.
In 1999, he returned to the United States where he consulted on various private exclusive Golf Clubs along the East Coast. In 2001, Vail Resorts in Colorado asked him to start the company's first Golf division, as the new Director of Golf Resort Development. He went on to oversee the development of the now famous and prestigious 36 hole Red Sky Golf Club in Vail, Colorado designed by Tom Fazio and Gregg Norman.
Always having his heart in Asia, Werner Jayson moved back to China in 2006, and joined the Kingold Group in Guangzhou, as Executive Vice President, in charge of their many corporate divisions and as the owner’s representative to the “Friends of the United Nations”. He oversaw the creation and opening of Kingold’s first exclusive private 20,000 sq. meter town Club, the “Asia Pacific International Club” of Guangzhou in 2007.
At the same time the owner of Kingold gave him his 350-hectare site in Conghua and asked him to develop this land as a Golf and Spa Resort. Working with architects from IMG and WATG, he conceptualized, directed and supervised the development of the 27 hole Colin Montgomery tournament Golf course, a 90 suite room Hotel and Conference Center, including 48 exclusive Hotel Villas, plus a 4800 sq. meter Presidential Villa for the President of China and a new first of its kind, Spa complex; all to open in late 2010.
Today, as CEO of the Asia Pacific Leisure Group Ltd, Werner Jayson is considered by his peers and associates from around the world as one of the leading experts in developing, marketing and operating exclusive, International private Clubs. He is a popular guest speaker at Golf and Club Conferences around the world. His work in the Industry has been recognized by Golf legends such as Tom Fazio, Bernhard Langer, Jack Nicklaus, Graham Marsh and Gregg Norman with whom he has worked with over the years. Having accomplished all that in his over 30 year career, Werner Jayson has never lost his passion for eating, cooking and having fun in the kitchen and is often found in today’s Club kitchens working with the Chef on new dining concepts and new dishes with the aim to always improve the quality of the Members dining experience.
Dr. Aylwin Tai, CCM
Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific Leisure Group Limited
Dr. Aylwin Tai, a native of Hong Kong, received his Doctor of Business Administration Degree from University of South Australia in 2004. He also attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1979 with a B.S. Degree in Hotel Management. The previous year, he received his B. A. in social Science and M. A. in Psychology from Wichita State University. In 1984 he was appointed General Manager of Chung Shan Hot Spring Golf Club, the first golf club to be developed in Mainland China. He is now Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific Leisure Group Limited and Managing Director of Richtone Worldwide Limited, with over 25 years dedicated to the development of golf in China, particularly in club and event management, project consultant, travel and education. Dr. Tai is also the founder of China Tour and China Open (1995), National Golf Club General Managers’ Conference (2000) and Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) BMI China Education Program (2007). He serves as senior adviser to Shenzhen Golf Association, China Golf Magazine, Hong Kong Golf Media Association and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
In 1996 Dr. Tai started a junior golf program at his turf farm, providing local children with free equipment and access to practice. From there, he developed junior summer camps and tournaments, bringing in professionals from the United States and Europe to provide coaching programs. In 1996, he laid the ground-work for China Golf Association to join Asia Pacific Confederation and developed close relationships with officials at the R&A and with other key figures in world golf. From 1998 to 2010, he lectured at Shenzhen University, Shanghai Tongi University and Sun Yat Sen University on Golf and Event Management. He is also a certified USGA Course Rater and introduced China’s National Handicap System, a computerized system designed to standardize golf handicapping throughout the country. In 2010, Dr. Tai also passed through his CMAA Certify Club Manager Examination in San Diego, USA and has the honor to be the first CCM in China.
In his capacity of Managing Director of Richtone Worldwide Limited, Dr. Tai was the first to introduce professional golf events to China by launching the Volvo China Tour and Volvo China Open in 1995. The Volvo China Open is one of the major professional golf events in the world. Much of Dr. Tai’s recent work has concentrated on the development of education programs and partnership with CMAA& Sun Yat Sen University to provide advance training to Chinese Club Managers working toward Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation.
Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific Leisure Group Limited
Michael Saye has had a successful career in Club Management and continues to thrive on the challenges and rewards of the Private Club Industry. His international experience includes overseeing Clubs in the United States, Asia and Australia. The many Clubs he has been involved with are all prominent high end properties with discerning Members. Through the years he has been used as a 'trouble-shooter' for ClubCorp, has positioned Clubs to assist developers in selling real estate and has been a source of comfort and confidence for owners. In recent years, Mr. Saye has provided leadership for arguably the largest Golf and Country Club in the US, The Clubs of Kingwood, which boasted 6.5 golf courses and the Stirling Club in Las Vegas, one of the most luxurious Town Clubs in the US, catering to many celebrity members.
Mr. Saye’s primary role in APLG is to work directly with the Senior Managers and offer support through proven Club management systems which will ensure the success of the Club. These programs will assist with driving revenue; controlling expenses through budgeting and review systems; favorable Member satisfaction enhanced by the Membership Communication Program and excellent Member service through the Employee ‘Star Service’ Program. Mr. Saye has also developed a General Manager ‘Critical Success Factors’ module that assists the GM with longevity, stability and overall effectiveness.
Membership sales have been a major component in the positive financial results that Mr. Saye has produced. Revitalizing the Membership effort in the Heritage Club in Bangkok was achieved by creating ‘Clubs within the Club’ and focusing on personalised target marketing versus mass marketing. When transitioning Lakelands in the Gold Coast, Australia from a semi-private Club to a private Club, the secret was to hold many smaller ‘town hall’ meetings and get the buy-in from the core Membership group. In Sydney, the catalyst that ramped up opening sales was the ability to attract many popular celebrities and gain testimonials, host a nationally recognized golf tournament and create a number of events for children as this Club was situated in a residential community. At all Clubs, the secret has been identifying and training the best possible candidates for the Membership Director position and having attractive Member Referral Programs.
As a Certified Community Association Manager, Mr. Saye realizes the importance of integrating a Club into the entire residential community. The initial goal of most community Clubs is to assist with real estate sales. The ability of the Club to provide a desirable lifestyle product greatly enhances the return on investment for owners. In order to stand out in today’s competition, the Club’s services must be varied and unique. Mr. Saye’s Club projects in Sydney and Las Vegas both assisted in facilitating fully sold communities prior to projections.