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Entries in Matha Tuthill (1)

Thursday
Feb122015

Hearthstone Health and Fitness: The Club of Tomorrow

It’s not unusual to find an article about a successful, innovative, life-changing, and award-winning club in CBI magazine—those superlatives describe many IHRSA- member facilities.

What is unusual is the story of a club that, by many industry barometers, was unlikely to achieve such remarkable status within just three years of opening its doors.

Inspired—and driven—by his own difficult journey to wellness, Dave Tuthill, a retired CPA with no background in club management, founded Hearthstone Health and Fitness, in Easton, Maryland, in 2012. What he lacked in industry credentials, however, was more than balanced by what he brought to the venture: a clear vision, born of compelling personal experience; a keen business sense; and an open mind. Tuthill’s wife and business partner, Martha, a former senior executive for a global management consulting and technology company—who’s also dealt with her own health and fitness issues—is the club’s vice president.

In 2011, weighing 280 pounds (down from a lifetime high of 330), Tuthill suffered from type 2 diabetes and Crohn’s disease, and was dependent on more than 15 medications, including insulin. When his blood glucose spiked dangerously, nearly ending his life, “I decided I didn’t feel bad enough to die,” he recalls. “I went to the gym, thinking, ‘I don’t care what it takes; I have to take charge of my own medical destiny.’”

Working with his personal physician and a hormone specialist, Tuthill embarked on a wellness program that combined fitness and nutrition, and lost 120 pounds. “It was an enlightening experience,” he says. No longer dependent on insulin or any other medications, he’s now unwavering in his determination to help others turn their lives around.

“I realized there are many people out there like me who want to be healthy and an active participant in their own health journey. That’s when I decided to ‘pay it forward’ to those who need to find their way to improved health and fitness—by being part of a supportive, integrated, and like- minded community.”

That leap of faith has not only paid off handsomely for Hearthstone’s members—it’s also proven to be a good business decision. Tuthill notes that his club moved into profits after just 16 months and is completely debt free; he describes the business as “comfortably profitable.” The current membership of 570 is just a fraction away from the goal of 600 the Tuthills have set for the 7,500-square-foot multipurpose facility.

Unencumbered by preconceived notions, and informed by instinct and personal experience, the Tuthills have created a dynamic, multifaceted operation that’s truly the sum of its parts.

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