“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; Not only plan, but also believe. “ Anatole France
My first career was Phys Ed teacher, from kindergarten to junior college. For 8 years in the in the Montreal area, I enjoyed coaching and teaching immensely.
However, I became increasingly frustrated with the cutbacks in structured PE time (gym time) for kids. Professionally, this was troubling. Personally it led to a lot of financial instability for a young professional trying to build a family life.
Having worked my way through university in the fitness clubs in the 1980’s, I gravitated back to the fitness business when the school system did not share my passion on the importance of fitness and active living.
That led me, in 1995, to commercial fitness equipment supply and business 101!
After a formal education at McGill University getting my B.Ed., and Master’s degree, I was ready for the street education of commission sales – or so I thought!!
Knowing only 1 way to go, I used one of my summers off school to dive in full force into the business of connecting equipment to organizations that offered fitness. I learned quickly that my skills of teaching could be applied here, and focused on understanding the needs of fitness organizations and how I could fill them with equipment and support.
Long story short, the learning curve was steep, but traction started to occur and progress made. I had found a new career and left teaching school later that summer of 1995. I actually, I never left teaching, however, my classroom changed!
Note: for all you parents out there, it only occurred to me really as a parent that that confidence my parents instilled in me allowed me to make such changes. I am very lucky indeed to have been raised in such an environment. A valuable lesson on the importance of instilling self-esteem into our kids!
Fast forward to the present
Since that time, I have had the good fortune of working across Canada with thousands of organizations in building their fitness projects.
I have learned a ton, met a number of great people and had some great success stories in assisting others increase their fitness offering to the community they serve.
In May 2010, I joined STAK Fitness Int’l Inc. as a partner, and have been working to develop the most progressive and success oriented fitness supply and education organization in Canada.
In 2014, our success was documented in Fitness Business Canada.
In 2015, our work got the attention of Johnson Health Tech (JHT), one of the largest suppliers of fitness equipment in the world, headquartered in Taiwan. JHT approached us with the request of considering selling our business to them, coming on board and running their 24th subsidiary, in Canada.
After significant soul searching and thought, my 2 partners and I decided to accept their offer. The driving force to our acceptance being consistent to my beginnings in 1995, doing what needed to be done to be of better service to those that offered fitness.
We very quickly realized that we had very similar philosophies with the leadership of JHT. JHT had the resources that would help us grow quicker, and it changed our business model significantly.
After almost 6 years of building and running a medium size business, we made the leap to being a part of a very big worldwide organization. We were no longer a distributor, or middle man providing equipment and services, we now worked with the manufacturer directly to be of better service to the Canadian market. (Not just any manufacturer, but one of the largest in the world with a proven track record of growth and success since 1975).
This humble teacher from Lasalle/Lachine, Quebec now had built up a business, worked closely with thousands of customers and people across North America, gone through the process of selling a business and now was now onto a new adventure, a global one!
Steep learning curve indeed!
Needless to say, a lot of lessons have been learned along the way, and not just professionally. Managing a professional life, family life, and one’s personal health can be very challenging as we know.
One thing I learned early on, is that more you help people with their business, the more in demand you will become. With that came requests for increased responsibility, projects of larger and larger size, management of people, travel, administration,logistics, supplier relations, and technical support, while developing and managing all these skills required for growth.
In 2019, this website has been refreshed to offer help in areas that might be of service to you – not just as an organization but also personally with your own health, and that of your children. My Athleticover40 programs and customized youth athletes performance coaching bring together all my experience and passions to help others gain the benefits from a healthy and active lifestyle
It is ironic that in the business of fitness, it is very easy to lose track of one’s own health and wellness. Thankfully, I have never lost my passion for feeling and moving well.
I have had to adapt my lifestyle and activities to suit a body that is aging, a busy schedule of family and professional obligations, while accommodating multiple priorities including travel, and demands of throwing thousands of baseballs for batting practice as a coach.
The AthleticOver40 programs are designed for the busy person, who wants to keep moving and feeling good as we age. Self Care is often overlooked in our busy culture, these recipes are designed to cut through the clutter of information with simple tools so we can keep our energy strong once over 40 and 50 and beyond.
The future in fitness leadership will provide a lot of opportunity for those who are passionate about offering fitness services and embrace strategies, solutions and programs to support them.
Look forward to connecting,