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Tom Graf and Brian Evans at The Williams Club
Founded over 60 years ago by Harry Helmsley and other well-known execs, the NRC is experiencing a new breath of life, with its highest membership ever and camaraderie-focused initiatives for its owner-centric base. We sat down with NRC president Tom Graf of NorthMarq Capital and governor Brian Evans of Flagship PDG at The Williams Club, NRC’s home since ’96, to find out more.
The association’s motto is “Friendships you can build on,” so it’s focusing on events where members can build valuable relationships. These take time, they tell us, so it’s not a place where you can drop your business card, leave, and expect immediate gratification. It’s holding 36 events this year—a rarity for most associations—including its bi-weekly luncheons (above), and monthly “Business Builder” breakfast and cocktail events.
NRC Governors
Some of NRC’s governors at a recent luncheon. It’s also introduced new events to its traditional calendar, including a vodka night, steak-and-ale night, cigar event, and golf outing. (Do you get the feeling their event planner is the fun guy at parties?) Luncheons will soon start earlier so members have even more time to relax and talk. The formula seems to be working: Tom and Brian tell us membership has increased, while some other clubs have lost members. We’re reminded of the Yogi quote: that club's so popular “that no one goes there anymore"; however, they ensure us it won’t get too big for its britches. The plan is to remain a place where members can exchange ideas and information while not getting lost in the crowd.
Adam Marsh and Tom Graf dressed up sombreros and shawls
Photo: John S. Whinston
Governor Adam Marsh of Empire Capital Partners (left, hamming it up with Tom in a promo shot for NRC’s recent Mexican cocktail event) tells us that it also has new tech initiatives; it’s one of the first local associations to use Twitter, informing the world of news and events, as well as what members are doing. It also has a LinkedIn group with 30 members, some who are NRC'ers and others who aren’t, which will be used to exchange ideas, post announcements, and share links.