MEET THE

CRONK GROUP

We’ve had the pleasure of working with and helping…
Here is a brief sample of our current and former clients:
  • Asia Pacific Golf Group
  • Big Sky Golf Club
  • Canadian Professional Golfers Association
  • Canadian Society of Club Managers
  • Club Manager's Association of America
  • Capilano Golf & Country Club
  • Cordova Bay Golf Club
  • Country Side Golf Course
  • Eaglequest Golf Canada
  • Eagle Ranch Golf Resort*
  • El Dorado Resort & Marina
  • European Golf Course Owners Association
  • Glen Eagles Golf Club (The Links at)
  • Golf Links Prince Edward Island
  • Heather Glen Golf Club
  • Hollyburn Country Club
  • International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Kedron Dells Golf Club
  • Kelowna Yacht Club
  • Marine Drive Golf Club
  • Mississaugua Golf & Country Club
  • National Allied Golf Association
  • National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada
  • National Golf Course Owners Association (United States)
  • Newmark Group
  • North American Association of Club Athletic Directors
  • PGA of America
  • Pine Lake Golf Club
  • Play Golf Calgary
  • Predator Ridge Resort
  • Prince Edward Island Golf Industry
  • Prince George Golf & Country Club
  • Richmond Country Club
  • Rogers Group Financial
  • Royal Mayfair Golf Club*
  • Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
  • Sagebrush
  • Seymour Golf Club
  • Shanandoah Country Club
  • Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club
  • Wascana Golf & Country Club
  • Wesbild
  • World Golf Foundation - Golf 2020

*CG Associates

Leverage the Power of Team Cronk

SKILLED. UNIQUE. ALIGNED.

Meet James

How does great customer service happen?

Answering this question has been a lifelong quest for James Cronk.

For James, the search started in the 1980’s with Earl’s Restaurants. From his first shifts as a server, to far too many late nights as a floor manager, and eventually to a role as General Manager, James worked to answer that question on a daily basis. Actively involved with the launch of three successful locations as well as participating in the assessment and implementation of the many successful HR and customer service programs, James has been an enthusiastic participant in key systems that have made Earl’s Restaurants a leader in the North American restaurant industry.

THE TOOLBOX!

It was there that James learned his first valuable lesson in customer service… great guest experiences don’t happen because of a smiling face (although it will always help), they happen because the business has developed a fantastic training process. By having a full TOOLBOX of procedures, checklists and documentation, ANY service business can create a customer experience that is seamless, professional and most importantly, consistent!

In the 1990’s James left the restaurant business to pursue another lifelong passion, the golf business. Progressing from the back-shop to Assistant Golf Professional, and finally to General Manager positions, James was exposed to all the working facets of both private and public clubs.

Eventually, as Vice President of Resort Activities & Marketing with Wesbild, James led the senior management teams of two-award winning golf and resort facilities: Westwood Plateau in Coquitlam, BC and Predator Ridge in the Okanagan Valley, BC.  His direct responsibilities included managing million-dollar clubhouse renovations, hosting the 2008 TELUS World Skins game, and creating and implementing loyalty and amenity programs for residential homeowners.  Through effective marketing and programming, these efforts not only increased real estate values, they also created desirable golf communities where people wanted to live.

THE PEOPLE!

James learned his second valuable lesson in how to deliver great service during his thirteen years at Wesbild, with his responsibility for over 500 employees…it’s all about the PEOPLE. You need to have the right ones, fire the wrong ones, and make sure that everyone on the team is on the same plane, in their assigned seat, and that EVERYONE (especially the pilot) knows where the aircraft is headed!

In the early 2000’s James was elected to the National Board of the PGA of Canada and was instrumental in helping to address significant procedural and financial concerns within the organization. It was a difficult process, and it’s only now, years later that positive change has become evident.  That type of long range, strategic thinking is the hallmark of his working method for each project he takes on.

His skills were recognized by the National Allied Golf Association and James was hired to be their first Executive Director.  Responsible for the drafting and implementation of the PLAY GOLF Strategic Plan, James provided an industry-led, national initiative to grow the game of golf in Canada.  As Managing Director of PLAY GOLF, James reported to the seven national golf associations and met with thousands of stakeholders across Canada and around the world to learn best practices for growing the game. One of the most significant accomplishments of this initiative was the coordination of the first ever, Canadian Golf Industry Research Summit. The meeting of these leaders, facilitated by James, ultimately led to the completion of the first ever Economic Impact Study of Golf in Canada (2009). This in turn, is now the benchmark used by the industry in their lobbying efforts with government, tourism and environmental agencies.

As a volunteer in the community, James also seeks out organizations in need of positive change. In 2005 one of Vancouver’s iconic outdoor theatre companies was in financial distress.  Theatre Under the Stars, or TUTS as it’s affectionately known, was where James spent many summers as a teenager. With his now adult perspective and experience, he returned from 2006 to 2013, as Board President and then eventually as a Producer.  In those roles he and many others helped re-imagine and re-launch TUTS to become a healthy and viable non-profit theatre company.  That success is still evident today as over 30,000 visitors enjoy outdoor shows every summer in beautiful Stanley Park.

THE STRATEGY!

Creating positive change in any organization is a series of steps. Learning this was the third lesson that James learned about delivering exceptional customer service…. You need a STRATEGY.  It doesn’t matter how great your people are or how good your training is, if you don’t have a strategy that clearly defines where you are, where you want to go and how you will get there, then your corporate jet will likely fly around in circles and you will wonder, right before you crash, why you couldn’t achieve your desired results.

Even with a solid strategy, great people and a full toolbox, James has come to realize that delivering exceptional guest experiences also comes from something that you can’t make, or hire or buy. It stems from something much deeper and much more difficult to describe. To have people follow you, to have them excited about being in the business of service, of people, of entertainment, you need passion.  More importantly, you need to ignite that passion in your team.

What was the seed of James’s passion? At age 17 he was cast in his first professional theatre production, during which he popped out of a freezer to perform a song.  For the next decade he performed both on stage, and for television and radio, garnering a handful of best actor awards, and once singing backup for Paul Anka!  It was while performing, that James discovered what he was passionate about, being on stage. Now, standing in front of audiences, he delivers compelling, interesting, and often entertaining performances to help others improve the experiences of their customers, the engagement of their staff and the profitability of their business.

THE BRAND!

Over the years working with so many talented individuals, he has come to recognize the fourth and most important lesson in delivering memorable guest experiences… that successful people, and successful businesses, have passion for what they do.  Their passion drives their BRAND, their why! Their BRAND clearly defines who they are, why they are and what they are.

And so, formed The Cronk Group!

More than a decade ago James decided to take all the lessons that he has learned working for great organizations and great mentors to launch The Cronk Group. He thrives on getting involved with businesses and organizations that require transition.  Whether taking them from good to great or from bankrupt to survival, he loves working with people who want to become POWERED ON!

As a speaker, James travels the world sharing his ideas and experiences in an engaging and humorous way. As a consultant and coach, James provides unique and customized solutions for individual challenges, as no business or problem is ever exactly the same. As a management company, James and his team are ‘Turnaround Specialists’, and they are able and willing to do the heavy lifting that is often required to fix a broken business, while doing so in a respectful and collaborative way!

Looking for success for your business? Engage James and his team and you too can achieve improved customer service, happier employees and better financial results by identifying why you are (BRAND), where you are going (STRATEGY), with who (PEOPLE), and lastly, how will you get there (TOOLBOX).   Get Powered On!

Eric-Thorsteinson-Close-Up

Eric Thorsteinson

Eric has had the pleasure of managing four of the top 100 Golf Courses and Resorts in Canada.  Eric has a passion for creating memorable experiences for his guests and staff alike.

A graduate of the Golf Management program at Lethbridge Community College, Eric holds the distinction of being the first member of PGA Canada, with the internationally recognized Certified Club Manager designation given by the Club Managers Association of America.  Key strengths and core competencies include; Club Governance, Food & Beverage Management, Accounting & Financial Management, Human & Professional Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Golf & Sport Management, External & Governmental Influences, Facilities Management, and Interpersonal Skills.  He was presented the PGA of Canada Merchandiser of the Year Award.

As a past Board Member of the PGA of Alberta, past President of the Southern Interior Branch of the Canadian Society of Club Managers and past National Board Member of the CSCM, he brings a unique and broad body of experiences to Cronk Group.

Partners

Sometimes we all can use expert advice from our peers.   To help best serve our clients we provide access to a collection of dedicated and talented individuals and companies who are experts in their fields.

For our clients there are no mandatory requirements, minimums or referral fees.  Our partners are there if you need them. They provide outstanding service and pricing to Cronk Group clients, and they are fully dedicated to helping you and your team become as powerful, and as profitable, as possible!

Our partners excel in many areas, including;

  • Creative (Development, Design, Photography)
  • Revenue (Lead Generation, Sales, Merchandising)
  • Real Estate (Sales, Development, Community Planning, Golf Course Sales)
  • Financial (Audits, Accounting Support)
  • Wordsmith (Business Writing, Proof Reading and Editing)
  • In addition, our expansive network means that if we don’t have what you need, we can find it.

To find out how James and his team of experts can Power On you, your team and your business… Call us today!

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The Cronk Group Guarantee

We guarantee you’ll be 100% satisfied with our services or your money back. We apply this satisfaction guarantee to our services just as we encourage our clients to apply it to theirs. In the service industry this is called a no-brainer!

Talk to us to find out how we can help you become a leader in your market.

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