(Note: This story appears in the July 2022 issue of ED Magazine)
*Story by Angelina Spencer-Crisp
ACE President Jason Mohney presents the Annual “ACE State of the Union,” detailing the organizations recent accomplishments and noting future endeavors.
“Our association is meeting the needs of its members better than ever,” says Jason Mohney, ACE National President. “The strides we’ve made and the programs we’ve built (telehealth, safety, legislative, legal, de-escalation, supply chain, group purchasing, insurance, POS, cybersecurity, COAST, music licensing) positions ACE as the premiere trade association for adult club executives.”
Mohney highlights some examples: “ACE has successfully negotiated significant savings of more than 30% for our members on annual music licensing fees for both ASCAP and BMI. We upgraded our software systems for a better member experience on the website, and now have a supply and logistics vendor through Go BEST!, a cost-saving platform and all-in-one resource for the hospitality and nightlife industry. We paired with a renowned telehealth company and continue to foster vendor relationships to help our membership save and make money. It’s a great time to serve as president of this association thanks to the foundation laid out by our board and its executive director.
“Another success this year is the implementation of the ACE National De-Escalation Program,” adds Mohney. “I credit Micheal Ocello for bringing up the subject and taking the reigns on this. De-Escalation, telehealth, and the resurrection of our COAST Program are exceptional models of social responsibility. We’ve trained more than 20,000 industry workers through our programs — and this causes people outside the industry to take notice and invite us to the table on various policy and program discussions that may impact our clubs.”
For example, mass shootings are very unfortunate incidents and sometimes shootings happen around clubs, but not necessarily in them. When ABC News wanted to do a feature on “strip club shootings,” a reporter called ACE for more information.
“When Angelina showed them overall shooting statistics, that within clubs it’s rather low compared to other areas, and that we actively participate in keeping those statistics low with de-escalation training, they focused on the larger and more important issue, which isn’t adult clubs,” Mohney says. “In Dallas, a judge also found that the police statistics used to justify limited hours of operation for adult clubs were faulty. This is a result of ACE members working constructively alongside attorneys and experts to push for credible data.”
Consequently, ACE National’s legislative analysis shows something new: The least amount of bills introduced aimed against the industry since the association began tracking.
“We typically see an average of 200 pieces of legislation against our industry per year. This number has significantly dropped. Is it due to some variable like the economy or COVID?” Mohney asks. “Maybe, but I also feel that our national association has become infinitely better at building relationships, networking, and getting a seat at policy tables.”
“In Dallas, a judge also found that the police statistics used to justify limited hours of operation for adult clubs were faulty. This is a result of ACE members working constructively alongside attorneys and experts to push for credible data.” — Jason Mohney
Consequently, Mohney says that member participation is at an all-time high with a record 27 board members serving with ACE.
“Angelina has a lot of egos and ideas to manage but does a great job and helps ACE bring innovative vendors and discount programs to our fold,” Mohney says.
ACE National board members are typically iconic industry leaders who choose to share their challenges and successes at national meetings. “Communication in this industry is key,” Mohney says. “We can certainly be successful competitors throughout our careers, but at the end of the day what happens to a small club might impact all of us — we need to remain civil, innovative, and share information.”
Another area of interest ACE is exploring is ‘sustainable clubs,’ which set the standard in safety for other hospitality industries to follow. Our health and safety advisors, Dr. Tim Davis and Mike Hopmeier of Unconventional Concepts, Inc. led the adult industry through a COVID-19 pandemic and helped with writing industry re-opening guidelines. Now they’re looking at club structure, ventilation, and noise levels to help clubs get ahead or remain at the forefront of entertainment safety.
ACE National members should be proud of our recent significant achievements in problem solving and industry enhancement: ASCAP & BMI discounts, COAST, De-Escalation Training, PURE Risk Advisors, Fiji Water, Platinum Solutions, Bar Man Control, Cabe & Cato ATM Solutions, Legislative Tracking & Analysis, Policy Advising, Go BEST!, and involved club operators who believe in our mission, which is proving extraordinarily beneficial.
Cooperation and networking among our ACE National members are vital factors of our success today. More than ever before, our continued well-being depends on ACE National’s leadership. Effective diplomacy is also essential in preventing conflict, building relationships, and in meeting continued growth. ACE’s collective works illustrate this major success in effective strategic planning.
Join the next ACE National board meeting at the Gentlemen’s Club EXPO on Sunday, August 14, from 4-6 pm at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. For more information on ACE, visit acenational.org. or email ACE Executive Director Angelina Spencer-Crisp (email@example.com). Angelina Spencer-Crisp, MPS is the CEO of Crisp Concepts Inc. a Washington, D.C.-based consulting company which manages the ACE National account.