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PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS
THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE UNION CLUB
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2023



Dear Gentlemen,

After a very demanding period-of-time during the past three years, I am pleased to report that the Union Club is operating at an exceptionally high level.

It has literally taken thousands of hours of work by many talented and dedicated people to get us to where we are today. Just a few years ago the Club had financial issues, and the existential risk to the Club from Covid was unknown. The combination of weak financials, and a shutdown due to Covid was challenging. It was in this period that we developed and executed a plan to re-underwrite every aspect of our Club services and operations and move them to new levels in our overall management, financial modeling, reporting, software systems, and many other functions.

This period is largely now behind us. However, we must continue these courses of action, and build our working capital, and always be prepared for an emergency. I believe the Union Club is too important to all of us and future generations to operate at the margins operationally or financially.

I am not going to delve too much into the past. I want rather to focus on the present and the future of the Club. My comments will be focused on our activities and programming, our financials, and our future.

On activities and programming I can say with confidence that very few, if any clubs in this country have the vast array of activities and events that we have at the levels that we have positioned them. Our day-to-day activities such as Backgammon, Billiards and Cards are where they have always been traditionally. Each continues to excel. Recently the Backgammon Committee hosted the top backgammon player in the world for an evening tutorial. Tournaments for all three of these activities are full, and we have many “off-site” venues that have blossomed for our members. Our junior squash program is the envy of New York City, and it is very good for our Club as it increases usage during our off-hours, and it attracts many great families to the Club. The member squash program is also in high gear with a new Annual Weekend Doubles Tournament that includes a Saturday evening black tie dinner which was attended by over 130 people in its first year.

Our Library Committee continues to bring in top authors for evening events. Our Music Committee, renamed the Constantin Boden Music Society, is staging many exciting evenings. The highlight this past year was having a group from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra play at the Club., The Younger Members Committee is offering a full program of dinners and activities. and the Art Committee continues to care for our collections and sponsor talks.

Our Food & Wine Committee has moved our wine program and dining experiences to new levels. We have had many wine events and dinners with some of the best producers in the world such as Baron Phillipe Rothschild of Mouton Rothschild who hosted a dinner and wine tasting. In fact, we have so many superb opportunities for great wine producers to visit the Club that it is challenging to schedule them without having one every other week.

Our Reciprocal Committee has been active. Their mandate is that we want to be associated with other clubs that are similar to us in character and are unique. Last year we established relationships with two of the finest clubs in Europe, the Real Club and the Nuevo Club. This was done with the help of one of our members, Ambassador Buchan. We are also engaged with the remarkable Corviglia Club in St. Moritz for their Annual ski races and festivities, and we have a large group headed to Lyford Cay for a lovely, relaxing week.

We have many other exciting opportunities. Our new Field Committee has been busy organizing a number of shooting outings which have been fully subscribed and of the highest caliber (no -pun intended). Our Golf Committee has had many outstanding outings as well, and in 2023 they are taking the Golf Program to a new, engaging level. Our Entertainment Committee organized several superb events including the Roaring 20’s Parties, our Annual Ball and our year round holiday dinners, and New Year’s Day Celebration. This year’s Annual Ball is on March 3rd, and the Ball will be a “throw-back” to the Grand Balls of the past. I hope you can attend.

I recently spoke with a gentleman in his early 80’s who came to a private event at the Club. He belongs to many of the finest clubs in this country. His father was a member of the Club, and he was impressed with the range of our programming set out on the bulletin board in the Lobby, and he said that he could not think of a more wonderful place to have dinner, and enjoy concerts, talks and other events. He said his other clubs may have an event a month, and otherwise, it is just dinner. I suspect that he will become a new member this year.

The Club as always is frequently the site of private events sponsored by our members. This past year these included a group of patrons and performers from the Salzburg Opera , and others from other arts, medicine, science, publishing, and the military. The attraction of the Union Club is that we have a stunning and welcoming facility, offer the best in service, and provide for superb dining experiences. These events introduce our Club to a unique set of people.

This past year was the most financially successful in the Club’s history since WWII. We lost money 17 out of 20 years before 2021. Our positive financial results during the past three years are based on the work that I referenced at the beginning of this talk, and the many hours of focus and work. The skills and dedication of Frank Arisman, Sumner Anderson and others has enabled us to move to a far better operating level and financial competence.

I am also pleased to report that we have not had to draw on our Line of Credit for several years, and we have re-financed our mortgage on better terms. We have invested substantial capital in improvements throughout the Club House, and we are targeting a strong working capital balance. These improvements in our finances were one of my primary goals when I became President, and it is vital to the Club that we continue this discipline.

My goal is to that we have $30mm in the Endowment by our 200th Anniversary in 2036. This should be achievable if all of us to support this goal by leaving something to the Club. I certainly will be doing so as the Club has been an important part of my life. A strong, well-managed Endowment is the foundation of the Club’s long-term future.

As it relates to the future, my personal mandate as President since taking this position has been for the Club to strive to be the “best-in-class ” in what we do, and the services we offer in every aspect of the members’ experience. This takes time, and the dedication of our members and the Committees and groups that I cited earlier are very important in this regard. We have outstanding members, and we will always only admit people that meet our standards. On that note, I am often asked what is the criteria for membership? I say that is a simple question, “ Is this person a gentleman ? ”.

It has been my pleasure to serve as President during the past three years. This has been one of my greatest pleasures. I have one more year to serve, and my mandate will be to continue down the paths of fiscal responsibility and membership enjoyment. The Union Club is a bastion of civility and camaraderie. Things that can never be purchased and that are very rare.


Regards,



J. Richard Tutino, Jr.






 

Guest 2 Column Content

Dress Code

Dress Code

Male guests are required to wear Jackets and ties at all times except on floors 5, 5M, and 6.

Female guests are required to wear clothing meeting similar standards: suits, dresses and skirts or tailored pants with dress shirts, blouses or sweaters.

Denim, shorts, capris, sneakers, flip flops and other such casual sportswear are not considered appropriate attire.

White clothing and collared shirts are required on the squash courts. Squash guests not otherwise properly attired must enter through the 69th Street service entrance. If the gate is locked, they may enter the front door, proceed immediately to the basement, and take the service elevator to the locker rooms on the 5th floor (men) or 5M (ladies).

House Rules

House Rules

The use or display of cell phones or other hand-held PDAs is strictly forbidden in all common areas of the Club. Guests who wish to use these devices inside the Club may do so within the telephone booths located throughout the building.

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Parking

On-street parking near the Union Club is extremely limited. The following is a list of local 24-hour garages.

Almar Parking

69th Street between Park and Madison

(212) 744-4750

Kingdom Parking

69th Street between Second and Third

(212) 744-2277

Imperial Parking

68th Street between Third and Second

(212) 439-1770

Imperial Parking

70th Street between Third and Second

(212) 879-5434

Westminster Parking

67th Street between Third and Lexington

(212) 628-0620

Champion Parking

67th Street between Second and Third

(212) 861-4160

Driving Instructions

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From Long Island:

Follow signs to the Midtown Tunnel.When exiting the tunnel, get in the far right lane and continue straight along 37th Street. Turn right at Third Avenue and left at 69th Street.

From Westchester Country:

Follow signs to the Triborough (RFK) Bridge. After crossing the bridge, take the FDR Drive South to the 71st Street Exit. Take a left onto York Avenue and a right at 69th Street.

From Northern New Jersey:

Follow signs to the Lincoln Tunnel. When exiting the tunnel, continue straight onto Dyer Avenue. Make a right turn on 42nd Street and continue on to Third Avenue. Make a left turn on Third Avenue and a left turn on 69th Street.