2023 Lifetime Excellence Award
Thomas Bertani, CCM, CCE, ECM
The Racquet Club
Tom Bertani’s distinguished hospitality career started at age 13, when he began to work at Sala’s Café, a restaurant owned by his mother’s cousins on “The Hill,” St. Louis, Mo.’s well-known district and dining destination. As he progressed through high school and college, he continued to work as a waiter at several other restaurants on The Hill and elsewhere in the St. Louis area.
Tom earned an Associate Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Forest Park Community College in 1977 and two years later, started his career in the club business as Dining Room Manager for The Racquet Club of St. Louis, an historic athletic club that was founded in 1906. He stayed at The Racquet Club for the next 43 years, earning promotions to Club House Manager in 1983 and then to General Manager in 1986. From 1989-1998, he also held a dual position as General Manager of The Racquet Club Ladue, a suburban tennis, swimming and dining club. He retired from The Racquet Club in October 2022.
Tom continued his education throughout his time at The Racquet Club, earning an undergraduate degree from Maryville University in 1990 and an MBA from Fontbonne College in 1992. He also attended Cornell University’s BMI IV and BMI V programs and was involved with the Club Management Association of America, both locally and nationally. He served the CMAA’s St. Louis Chapter as President, Vice President and Secretary and on several committees. He is a Past President of the CMAA Wine Society and earned his Certified Club Manager certification in 1990 and his Certified Club Executive certification in 2008. He was named an Honor Society Member of CMAA in 1995.