New Nihonbashi Tokyo American Club Coming Soon!

Special thanks to all the TAC members who have been working on the new satellite branch in Nihonbashi. It’s great for Mitsui and great for TAC members to have this new facility. Nihonbashi will gain it’s own new members, but core members from Azabudai will be able to seamlessly use both clubs.

Ginger Griggs, Jim Fink, Sam Rogan, and all the TAC staff that have made the effort to set up the new site… We love you!

They’ve done extra work as the opening was extended from 2020 to sometime before 1 April 2021 is the goal.

The New Tokyo American Club Opens

The New American club opened today.  2010 was a year where members really got a chance to say what they thought.  There was a sense of transparency that prevailed and the common feeling was- no more baloney.  Whether you are a board of governor, a committee member or a general member, you need to be candid, clear, and honest.

We learned a lot about the positives and negatives of the club operation.  We will prepare a summary of what we learned for everyone to review on this site.

In the meantime, the new Tokyo American Club is open. Maybe you walked through, used the gym, the pool, or ate at the restaurant.  What do think of the new TAC?  Leave comments on below and we’ll make sure that the items of common interest will be addressed.

-MABT (Making A Better TAC)

PLEASE leave your comments on the new Tokyo American Club facility below.

Election Results

Well, we hoped our suggestions helped you with the elections.  We will post the results here on the MABT site as soon as they are announced.

Coming soon..

People Love The Tokyo American Club!

Great to see everyone coming to the website.  We’re looking for more constructive comments!

Yesterday we had 142 visitors visit  Not the top day, but a good showing.

Please give ideas on

1) How to better govern the club and keep our board engaged with members requests

2) Have a meaningful committee system or maybe throw that out all together and do something new

3) Better service our membership

If you have a good idea, post it as a comment below here and we’ll make the comment into a post so others can see it.

We’re also working on adding some survey features to the website.  All the work being done by a number of your fellow members.  What’s the cost to the club?  NOTHING!

We are investing in having not only a great building, but a great club which isn’t the building, it’s the people!

An Inside Job? TAC Members Speak Out

Dear TAC Member,
There is a new movie called “Inside Job” that is a must see  It details the root causes of the global financial crisis; the heist by Wall Street with the compliance of government.
An analogy can be seen at TAC where over the past 25 years, members have seen a devaluation of their memberships as management and the BOG orchestrated a reversal of roles whereby members now serve the interests of management. This has resulted in the top 10 executive staff`s (staggering) average compensation p.a. at Y28 million ( $350 thousand) and the average full time staff salary over Y8 million ($100+thousand). Over staffing and not outsourcing have added to the debacle.
New TAC is the final countdown as to whether the greed, bad decisions, the  heisting (TAC-jack) will survive. A complacent/transient membership has provided the culture for these excesses. The enemy does lie within. It is an Inside Job. It is us.
TAC`s budget for 2011 shows little change in payroll — Y1.8 bn.($22+million) that is 77% of operating revenue ( industry norm between 40% to 50%). At TAC in 1983 it was 52%.
TAC`s F&B Cost of Goods (COGs) is budgeted at 27% next year, an unscrupulous mark-up of just under 4 times cost ( marketplace norm about 33% to 35%). TAC in 1983 was 41% a 2.5 times mark-up. And sales were higher in 1983 than the 2011 budget and with 2600 members versus a plan of 3600. 1983 per member sales Y488 thousand; 2011 plan about Y280,000, a 41% decline without adjusting for inflationary price increases. Over the past 15 years TAC has experienced plummeting F&B sales per member. Perhaps the COGs data tell why.
TAC is a simple business to run. A captive membership pays entrance fees and dues accounting for 60% of its revenue. In 1983 it was 45% when it delivered value to members. Entrance fees are not part of operating revenue and are meant to be reserved for renovation and rebuilding. In the past 25 years these amounted to over Y200 oku ($250 million) most of which went to payroll. Voila.
A recent announcement by TAC is to charge members a 3% service charge from January if they pay by cash or credit card. No charge for bank debit. TAC should have a credit card(s) rate of about 1% (maybe less) but has one of about 3% due to lack of common business sense. This is another shining example of how members are not getting value for their money by a management focused on its own perks to the detriment of  members who are its employers. Members should reject any service charge.
The Y11bn. ($130+ million) 4% interest loan is a dead weight around the neck of TAC. After paying the 25 year loan to term there is still a principal of almost Y9bn. (over $100 million) to pay. The 1% amortization makes it almost an interest only loan. Extremely imprudent and potentially fatal. Members should demand that all of the entrance fees be used to accelerate the principal repayment which would be 4% annual amortization, not the 1% planned. This would force payroll cuts and encourage outsourcing.
The “Inside Job” movie shows Wall Street hasn`t changed that much. What about TAC? Will the Inside Job, TAC-jack, muddle through and carry on regardless? Or will the invisable hand of the marketplace win in 2011 and render it the equivalent of the Tokyo Banana Republic Club? A hint — to date your BOG battling average is just about zero.
Members voted down the dues levy in June and are outraged by the executive salaries, F&B prices, and the enormous (coup de TAC) loan. In a show of defiance, your tax and spend BOG renewed the GMs contract in September and passed a 2011 budget with no significant cuts. The financial accounts show that the Club has negative equity. You should Vote against the 2011 Budget and the BOG that approved it. God save the member.
Signed: Greg Carley (TAC President 1994-1998) Geoffrey Walker, Paulo Maques

The TAC Voters’ Packets Have Arrived

The Voter packets have arrived from the Tokyo American Club.  You should have them in your mailbox when you get home this evening we hear.

Back at you shortly with our recommendations for who we think would be the best board members.  There are some 3,000 members and there are nearly 100 of us going through this to get backgrounds on the candidates from former coworkers, suppliers, other board members, classmates, and all sorts of others.  We’re looking at the candidates who-

1) Are more keen to work in the interest of the club membership

2) Good communicators with transparency to the decision-making process

3) Have a good reputation in the community, business, and around the TAC.

Back at you shortly!

Thanks for your patience as MABT is a team of volunteers with a passion to build a better Tokyo American Club like you!

New TAC Service Fee For Paying Cash?

Member Comment-

I have just received notification of the 3% “handling charge” for monthly bills paid in cash and other means other than direct debit, effective 1/11.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have never been charged a handling fee for paying by cash. On the contrary, cash is free, credit cards sometimes x% plus.
I wonder if this is related to the President’s pre-TH meeting email to members telling us basically that there was nothing to worry about, all was well and good, and we could all relax because our Board had found ingenious ways to solve all financial problems?
What else is coming down the pike to squeeze us by the proverbials? 100 yen for butter we have already had, next perhaps a cover charge in Traders?
I wonder why this decision was not raised by those responsible for it at the meeting last week. This secretive, dictatorial approach is repeated time and again by the so-called leaders of the Club.
I recommend that this topic – both the surcharge itself and the manner in which it has been introduced – be on the list of questions for candidates at the upcoming TH meeting with BOG candidates (as promised by the President last week).

Quoted from P.Cove

A Performance Review Of The General Manager

If you ask around the club, you will find varying reviewing on varying things.  One subject area seems to get the same review from everyone.  We at the  MABT members receive the same reports regarding the Tokyo American Club general manager.   We’re really wondering what is going on.

This is a very important job as the GM role is entrusted with the staff and resources of the club.  Our money.

We would like to recommend that the Board of Governors review the performance of the GM in managing the resources, rapport with the membership, and financial performance of the club.  If the GM performance is good, then the pay should be good.  If the performance is… well you get the idea.

All the members of the Making A Better TAC (MABT) team were surprised at the renewal of the current GM’s contract by the board of governors.  Of course, you could argue that we need to have consistency in management as we go into our new facility.  Did anyone see what they membership thought about the GM?

We put the question out to you.  We are not here to trash anyone, or to blindly say “they’re doing a great job”.  What is your experience as a TAC member.

Overall are you happy with the GM and his performance over the last few years?  What are some good things the GM has done?  What are some things that concern you?  Please feel free to comment below.  The more feedback we have the better.

Encourage your BOG member to do real reviews of this GM role as it is detrimental to the health of the Tokyo American Club.

Around The TAC- TAC General Manager Contract Renewed

One of the MABT has confirmed that the contract for the General Manager has just been renewed.  This was done by the Board of Governors.  He continues to draw his high salary that has been the subject of much frustration among the membership despite the economic difficulties of the TAC.

Further, the Food & Beverage manager has tendered his resignation and will be leaving the Tokyo American Club in coming weeks.  The Assistant General Manager is now looking after F&B.