AESHM Club Research Lab


AESHM Club research has a unique niche and tremendous opportunity as the club business deals with a wide range of management issues in members, human resources, facilities renovation and food and beverage operation. However, due to the limited access to information in clubs, little attention has paid to club research among hospitality and tourism schools.  


AESHM Club Research Lab aims to expand and enhance club research that creates relevant and rigorous new knowledge valued in the academic and club business. The lab will be the first inter‐disciplinary research hub devoted to the insight into club management and member behaviors and the future of club research.


AESHM Club Research Lab will specialize in cutting-edge theory and research on key questions facing the club, including the following areas, but not limited:

  • Membership
  • Consumer behaviors
  • Food & Beverage
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Economics
  • Sustainability
  • Real Estate
  • Human Resources
  • Lodging
  • Leadership/Governance
  • Management
  • Environmental Design

The lab will include research involving the collection and analysis of surveys, administrative and other non-survey data and consulting the clubs and club-related associations.


AESHM Club Research Lab will provide benefits to both the industry and education through research projects:

  • Offer innovative approaches to complex club research problems by identifying current needs, trends, and issues in the club industry in a timely manner.
  • Develop and strengthen the industry connection.
  • Provide faculty members with consulting opportunities.
  • Recruit talented graduate students for research projects.
  • Produce research outputs to both the industry and education.

Research Team

AESHM Club Research Lab will include diverse research groups: advisory board, faculty members, and research assistants. Highly talented and motivated faculty members and graduate students will bring new expertise and improve the club research.


SoJung Lee, PhD. Associate professor, Iowa State University – Member behaviors

Advisory Board Members:

  • Jim Butler, Ph.D. CEO of club Benchmarking
  • Henry Wallmeyer, President & CEO, National Club Association

Key Research Members:

  • Eunha Jeong, PhD. Associate Professor, Iowa State University –  Food & Beverage, Consumer behaviors
  • Chuck Meitner, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania – member behaviors, Food & Beverage
  • Jewoo Kim, PhD. Assistant Professor, Iowa State University – Finance, big data
  • Jaewha Lee, PhD. Assistant Professor, Iowa State University – Environmental Design
  • Daejin Kim, PhD. Assistant Professor, Iowa State University – Design & Wellbeing
  • Eunkyoung Park, PhD. – Sustainability

Research assistants:

  • Graduate students
    • Hang Jennifer Cui
    • Seung Jeon
  • Undergraduate students

Dr. SoJung Lee has extensively worked with the club industry as a club-focused researcher since 2013.  She has worked with other club-based associations, including NCA (National Club Association), CMAA (Club Management Association in America), McMahon, Golf Life Navigation, Club Benchmarking, and Club Insights on various research projects (e.g., members’ behaviors, club stakeholders’ value co-creation, clubs’ environmental responsible behaviors). Through her extensive experiences with the club industry and research, she has witnessed a critical need for and the importance of club research in the hospitality and tourism fields. By having supervised graduate students who focused on club management, she has found club research has unique, niche, and tremendous opportunities, especially for graduate studies while little attention has paid to the club research among hospitality and tourism schools. She has made efforts to enrich the depth of club stakeholders’ knowledge, advancing club research in various areas: marketing, membership, strategic management, finance, leadership, and human resources. She has published both academic and industry articles on members’ behaviors and clubs’ environmental responsible practices. She has received 3 research grants from Club foundations and National Club Association Foundation and given a professional presentation at CMAA, titled “Membership retention vs. attrition: The fundamental differences between satisfaction and loyalty.” 

Dr. EunHa (Lena) Jeong has expertise in marketing, consumer behavior, and psychology research in the food and beverage industry. Also, she has expertise in research design and methodology and currently, she teaches a quantitative research method/statistics course to graduate students at the university. She conducts research that addresses important issues and problems (i.e., health eating behavior, food/menu consumption behavior – organic food, local food, ugly food, upcycled food, and sustainable restaurant practices) in the food and beverage industry and to provide innovative solutions via rigorous research using high quality research design based on clear theoretical foundations.

Dr. Fredrick “Chuck” Meitner researches private club member behavior and focuses primarily on food and beverage areas as well as business analytics.  He has approximately 20 years’ experience in the private club industry and has been recognized for his culinary expertise and wine knowledge.  Additionally, he holds a Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics and an MBA and a PhD in Hospitality at Iowa State University.

Dr. Jewoo Kim has focused on valuation analysis of tourism and hospitality strategies (e.g., mergers & acquisitions, advertising & promotion, brand) and financial impact analysis of events (e.g., government policies, economic recession, epidemic diseases). His recent research focus is on social data analytics including aspect-level text mining and missing data technique. He has integrated these text analytics techniques into his valuation and financial impact analyses to explore dynamic changes in the market, employing various methods such as econometric, time series, panel data, mixed-level analysis.

Jae Hwa Lee, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Interior Design at Iowa State University, Ames, IA. She received her doctoral degree at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, College of Design, Construction and Planning with a concentration in Interior Design. Her research focuses on developing creative design processes and solutions that support human well-being. She applies diverse research methods to examine and interpret human sensory perception and behaviors in the built environment. Dr. Lee also elaborates design thinking to nurture creative confidence of individuals and teams across disciplines such as healthcare and engineering. Her scholarship has been well presented in journal publications: Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Healthcare Environments Research & Design Journal, and Journal of Interior Design. 

Daejin Kim, Ph.D., EDAC, CAPS, LEED Associate, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Interior Design at Iowa State University. He received his doctoral degree in Interior Design and a minor degree in Research & Evaluation Methodology (REM), focusing on quantitative methods from the University of Florida. His research focuses on healthcare and residential environment that fosters users’ health and well-being that has been published in journals such as Journal of Environmental Psychology, Journal of Housing for the Elderly, Health Environments Research and Design Journal, and Journal of Interior Design. His most current research includes developing a smart home housing for older adults and investigating user’s emotional experience in the built environment.  

Eunkyoung Park has a Ph.D. degree in Hospitality Management at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, USA. Her research focus on tourists’ and employers’ decision-making processes and behaviors (e.g., values, beliefs, attitudes, norms), marketing related to special interest tourism (e.g., wildlife-associated recreation, and agritourism), and its environmental, social, and economic impacts on destinations. She has published research on forecasting tourism demand, consumer behaviors in tourism, and destination sustainability.

Need More Information?

SoJung Lee

8a MacKay Hall
2302 Osborn Drive
Ames, IA 50011-1804