Maica Peterson is a co-founder of Chuze Fitness.
1. How did you get your start in the industry? Chuze was started in 2008 by my father Ray, my godfather Charles, brother Nick, god brother Cory and husband Kris. At that time I was teaching special education at an elementary school and was supporting the business where I could. Kris and I needed the income from my teaching then, but when the guys decided to try adding Kid’s Clubs at Chuze, Charles asked me to take on figuring out that piece.
2. What is your favorite part about your job currently? These days I’m mostly in marketing and social media. I love that the world of social is blowing up and changing constantly. I look at social dual-sided: One is the creative (the content that you push out to try to reach more people), and the other is the customer service side (responding to messages, comments, questions, reviews, visitor posts, etc.). Our team takes social engagement seriously.
3. Why do you think Chuze Fitness excels as a health club? We excel because of our people, hands down. Cory and Nick have established an extensive hiring process (recruit/select) to increase the probability that we are onboarding people that will fit our culture. Additionally, they have created a culture that is second to none, frequently implementing Chuze culture seminars. That said, what we do well is develop amazing people and stick to the basics — cleanliness and friendliness — in our operations.
4. What’s your vision for Chuze Fitness’ future? We will move forward growing our Chuze family/brand by opening four to six clubs per year dispersed among the U.S. southwest region for the foreseeable future. While doing this, we will maintain our sky-high customer service and cleanliness standards, which differentiates us as the best in the industry.
5. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? To genuinely appreciate each stage of life and live in the moment. So many people are looking for the next best thing that they miss what is right in front of them now. In business we have to always keep moving forward, but in home life I really try to be present.
6. What did you want to be when you were growing up? I was diagnosed with dyslexia at 7-years-old, so I wanted to be a Special Education teacher — I wanted to help the kids who were like me. I wanted to show them that they are smart — processing disorders are no indication of intelligence levels — and that if I could do it, then so could they. I did that, but now I wouldn’t give up my current role.
7. What’s your favorite business or self-improvement book? “Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Beautiful Messy Life” by Glennon Doyle Melton. I like her perspective, humor and openness about life and family. She is a warrior woman and so am I.
8. What has been your biggest learning lesson? I think it’s important for even the strongest leaders to know when to follow. Know when to actively listen to the contributions of others. I think active listeners are the best communicators and ultimately achieve the best results.
9. Who’s your biggest inspiration? My dad. He had a rough upbringing, but he is the most loving father and husband (my parents have been married for over 40 years). In business, he almost has a 6th sense for generating success. His innate wiring to see the big picture, coupled with his extremely high standards and insane work ethic, basically make him a ninja. My husband and children also inspire me every single day.
10. What’s one interesting thing you could share? Since I live in Southern California now, most people don’t know that I am a pretty good snow skier. Nick and Cory were on a ski racing team together too, so I got pretty good attempting to keep up with them. Spend one day on the mountain with any of my family and your legs will be Jell-O.