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Exploring Life & Business with John Myers of Meriwether Companies and The Griffin Club

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Myers.

Hi John, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
After graduating from Colgate University in upstate NY, I moved to LA to pursue a career in the film business. Initially, I expected to become a big director but learned quickly that it was a long road. I transitioned into talent management where I really cut my teeth on many aspects of the film and tv business. The business started to shift heavily around the same time and for a variety of reasons, mostly mid 20’s wanderlust, I moved to Lake Tahoe to prepare to try out for the NFL and ski as much as possible. As the economy tanked in ’08, I found myself in a resort market with no foundational prospects and moved back to LA. I was lucky to land Youth Director role at a premier private club in the Palisades that quickly transitioned into a robust and important Athletic Director role for the club. After a few years of consistent success, I was asked to help build a new club in the heart of West LA, Griffin Club LA, for Meriwether Companies. The Griffin Club is an iconic members-only social and athletic club in L.A. with history dating back to 1926. We have built a successful club and I will now transition to President of programming and operations for Meriwether Companies and will oversee multiple properties as we continue to develop private clubs and resort communities.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Obviously, the last several months have been very challenging for our staff and our members. I’m proud of how the Griffin Club has evolved to accommodate our members while adhering to the ever-changing government protocols. We were able to quickly activate all of our outdoor spaces, and despite the pandemic, we were able to move forward with a big construction project. We recently unveiled a junior Olympic size adult-oriented swimming pool, new cabanas and jacuzzi. We have modified operations to accommodate new safety standards and we leveraged new technology on our club app to make it easier for members to navigate the club. Previously, everything was on a first-come, first-serve basis, but now members can use the club’s app to book time-allotted spaces for dining, exercise and using the cabanas and pools. Slots are even staggered to allow 30 minutes of cleaning time in between guest usage. Meals can also be ordered through the app for pick up even though sit-down dining remains closed.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I oversee programming and operations for Meriwether Companies and the Griffin Club. This encompasses membership marketing and sales, branding, construction management, team building, member relations and really all aspects of our property. Since Meriwether Companies took over the Griffin Club in 2015, we have invested around $20 million in major capital improvements. We have added an average net gain of approximately 70 new members per year and transformed the membership to a much more dynamic and active club. The average age of the membership was approximately 65 years old and now around 85% of the membership is under 60 with balanced mix of young families and older members. The club is spread over nearly four acres where members have access to two outdoor pools, eight tennis courts, workout facilities and two dining venues. Fitness enthusiasts enjoy state-of-the-art cardio and strength training facilities, complimentary group fitness classes and access to private trainers and pilates instructors. Tennis is in high demand and the courts feature brand new LED lights.

We also program very fun activities like live ball, cardio tennis, adult instructional and significant youth programming clinics. All guests have access to spacious locker rooms with steam room, sauna and quiet space. There is a private dining room, full-service restaurant with all-day menu and outdoor bar and grill serving fresh California cuisine including salads, sandwiches and sushi. The Club also offers kid-friendly activities including our after school program, summer camp, supervised classes for the young ones and a separate arcade and game room for teenagers. Robust, educational and entertaining programming and events are available throughout the year for members of all age groups and backgrounds like the drive-in movie at the end of the month. We pride ourselves on being progressive, inclusive and diverse, as well as welcoming to families, couples and singles of all ethnicities, professions and backgrounds.

How do you define success?
There are various definitions but for me, I think it is leading with integrity and empowering the people and staff around me to work hard and have fun doing so. If I’m able to leave a positive mark on the people who work on our properties, I think we all succeed.

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Griffin Club Los Angeles

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