The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership.
What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?
The most fulfilling part [of being a leader] is three-fold:
- To connect with other industry leaders and learn from them.
- To inspire rising stars and other rising leaders to exert their leadership skills and give back to the industry.
- To inspire our staff to discover their greatness.
If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry?
I have two pieces of advice. They are:
- Don't be afraid to fail.
- Begin with the end in mind.
What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)?
I joined the ILC because it is one of the best ways that our industry can contribute to IHRSA's mission to protect the industry. It is best to be involved, contribute, and share one’s voice to avoid negative legislation as opposed to sitting on the sidelines and wondering what's happening.
What has been your most memorable experience as part of the ILC?
My most memorable experience was when we defeated the expansion of the sales tax in Maryland. We recruited bus loads of members and staff in addition to other clubs in our region and stormed the capital of Annapolis, Maryland. We starting chanting “Don’t tax health” and doing push-ups in front of the building where the hearings transpired, called “Lawyers Mall.”
Later when there was an opportunity to speak in front of the committee hearing on behalf of our industry, along with our lobbyist, I simply asked each legislator to do some seated shoulder rolls and explained that sitting is the “new smoking” and as a state we need to encourage citizens to move, not inhibit or create barriers by including health club memberships under the expansion of the sales tax.
Bottom line: We won!