Tripoli and University Club members approve merger

Combination expected to occur in December

Tripoli Country Club in Brown Deer plans to merge with The University Club of Milwaukee.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

The members of the University Club of Milwaukee and the Tripoli Country Club on Tuesday night approved the private clubs’ plan to merge. The name of the new entity is still under discussion.

Tripoli Country Club in Brown Deer plans to merge with The University Club of Milwaukee.
Tripoli Country Club in Brown Deer.

Tripoli, located in Brown Deer, and University Club, in downtown Milwaukee, announced the planned combination in May. Both clubs’ boards had approved it then.

In order for the merger to move forward, two-thirds of the members of each club had to vote in favor. With the approval, the combination is expected to be completed in December.

Dan Aiello, president of the Tripoli board of governors, will serve as board president of the combined club. There will be a nine-member board, with six members appointed by Tripoli and three members appointed by the University Club. The board makeup reflects the size of operations for the existing clubs.

Graham Leibowitz has been named general manager of the combined club, and Vicki Schroeder will continue to manage its downtown operations at the University Club.

“In addition to preserving the rich history and traditions of both clubs, we aspire to elevate our members’ experiences through expanded high-quality services, amenities and locations available for both social, personal and professional usage. Together, we will offer the highest-quality experience and amenities available in the region to our combined 800 members, who are colleagues, neighbors and friends committed to both personal and professional excellence,” Aiello said.

Milwaukee business and civic leaders discuss city development at a November Greater Milwaukee Committee meeting at the University Club.
Milwaukee business and civic leaders discuss city development at a November Greater Milwaukee Committee meeting at the University Club.

“When the merger is complete, we will be the only club in the Milwaukee area to offer a full continuum of services for every member of the family,” said Julie Tolan, president of the University Club board of directors. “Not only are we expanding the existing range of services and amenities for our current and future members, but we are creating a distinct value proposition for generations to come.”

The Tripoli Country Club was founded in 1921. It is located at 7401 N. 43rd St. in Brown Deer, off of Good Hope Road, and has about 350 members. It offers a top-rated golf course, swimming, tennis, paddle tennis and winter activities, as well as dining and meeting and event spaces. TCC has about 150 employees, 25 of whom are full-time.

The University Club was founded in 1898 and is located at 924 E. Wells St. downtown and near the lakefront. It has about 450 members, said Julie Tolan, president of the University Club board of directors. The University Club offers casual and fine dining, meeting and event facilities, enrichment and educational programming and other city amenities. University Club has 34 full-time and 24 part-time employees.

Private clubs across the country struggled through the Great Recession as consumers cut discretionary spending, and a few closed. Those that have found success have invested millions of dollars in renovations and mergers, many aimed at including families and accommodating more casual dress. Read more about the evolution of Milwaukee’s private clubs, including Tripoli and University Club, in a recent BizTimes Milwaukee cover story.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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