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« Showing Our Gratitude | Main | Guides to Business Greatness »

Editor's Welcome

“We all have our list of individuals that we’re indebted to—people who’ve helped us, taught us, challenged us, and given us a chance ... (and) we need to inspire, motivate, and mentor the industry’s next generation of leaders.”

Bill McBride, the president and COO of Club One, Inc., and the chairperson of IHRSA’s board of directors, must have had Thanksgiving in mind when he penned this month’s installment of his “First Set” column.

McBride “gave thanks,” as it were, for all of those individuals who have informed and enriched his own experiences and career in the fitness industry—even his “short list” is long—and chal- lenged his readers to do likewise for those new to the business.

The veterans and the novices; those who have laid the foundation, and those who are now using it as their point of departure, embarking on exciting new adventures—this installment of CBI offers prime examples of each.

On the one hand, we have Ed Mullaney, 82, and his wife, Karen, the co-owners of the Doylestown Tennis Club (DTC), in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year. Mullaney and his former partner, Duane Murner—both of whom knew little about tennis and less about tennis facilities—launched DTC on the basis of infinite

optimism and just $5,000 in personal loans. Today, all of these years later, the Mullaneys have a vibrant, thriving business and 1,800 satis-

fied members.
They’ve created this long-running success

story by remaining true to their vision, their commitment to tennis, and their unflinching dedication to customer service. “Tenacious would be a good word to describe us,” says

Mullaney. “We’re exemplars of just hanging in there—even when you have to hang on by your thumbs in order to get something done.” Then, at the other end of the spectrum, we have Charlice Noble- Jones, 36, the winner of a Snap Fitness franchise in Hawkinsville, Georgia, that opened on New Year’s Day 2012. Once a manager at Deutsche Bank in New York City, she survived the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and the tragic

death, four years ago, of her husband, Wardell.
The birth of her son, Preston, led her to become a fourth-grade

teacher in Albany, Georgia, and then, last year, she entered and won an essay competition sponsored by Snap Fitness, prevailing over 2,000 other contestants. Today, in addition to teaching, she’s the proud owner of a new club. “We have what I think is one of the nicest businesses in Hawkinsville,” she enthuses. “We signed up over 400 members in the first month, and our membership now stands at 742.”

McBride was right. We have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving Day—because we have one another. 

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