Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club appoints David Brightling as General Manager

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong was founded in 1943 during World War II, and is housed in a beautiful heritage building which lies at the heart of Hong Kong’s main political, business and financial hub. The FCC is one of Hong Kong’s most popular meeting place for members of the international media and like-minded associate members, a venue for informed discussion and debate, and a social club unlike any other in Hong Kong.

Since the FCC was granted the lease on the premises it occupies today, it has faithfully and enthusiastically fulfilled its duty to upkeep the treasured building, a 19th-century icehouse. At the same time, it has created a unique atmosphere for members and guests from around the world, fusing tradition with modernity. The Club is now the premier meeting place for media representatives covering breaking news in China and around the region and is constantly adapting to the many changes and challenges that are reshaping the industry amid the digital revolution. In addition, the club serves a vital civic duty in Hong Kong society, supporting the work of journalists and speaking out in defence of press freedom in the city.

The FCC approached Society to handle this sensitive appointment for them due to our track record working with private members clubs. We conducted a global search to identify individuals with a strong entrepreneurial drive, outstanding communication skills, good planning and organizational skills and visible leadership, to enable them to direct the business strategy. Within the Club, they needed to have the skills to enhance the offering to members, relations with staff, internal stakeholders, surrounding communities, and liaise with the press. 

David Brightling has been appointed the new General Manager of the FCC in Hong Kong. David has recently concluded his two-year tenure with The Tanglin Club in Singapore to return to Hong Kong, bringing extensive knowledge and experience of working in Asia and in his native Canada. Having managed some notable organisations, David’s expertise is in staff management, food and beverage operations, property administration, membership relationships and development as well as having a personal interest in politics.

Lee Williamson, the President of the FCC commented:

"From creating a best-in-class candidate pack to eventually helping us secure our first-choice candidate, Society delivered an exceptional level of service throughout. Their expertise, professionalism, diligence and discretion were evident throughout the process, as they led a global search to find a candidate able to meet the unique demands of The Foreign Correspondents' Club, Hong Kong. Society's emphasis on DEI and its depth of knowledge of the hospitality sector were just two of a roster of qualities that gave us confidence in the organisation's ability to be a trusted partner in our search for the right candidate to help steward the next chapter of our 80-year-old institution."

David had this to say about the FCC, Society and living in Hong Kong:

The FCC is a true gem that needs a little polishing, not major change.  I look forward to working with the dedicated volunteers and staff to build on the strengths of the Club to enhance its reputation as a home away from home for its diverse, international membership and as a preferred venue to entertain business associates, family and friends. It promises to be an interesting and enjoyable assignment.

From the first contact with Society to my first day on the job, they handled my candidacy with professionalism, confidentiality, encouragement and support. One thing that stood out was their understanding of the Club's culture - so important but often overlooked in club general manager searches - and the unique challenges facing the FCC at this time.  

The Hong Kong people are resilient, and the city has reinvented itself many times. It will continue to do so. I am happy and proud to be back and to make my future here. Never bet against Hong Kong!

Society wishes David all the very best in his new role.

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