10 Questions with Melissa Christie, the director of member experience and integration at Newtown Athletic Club.
1. What drew you to the Newtown Athletic Club (NAC)? I originally joined the NAC as a member primarily for my family, because I wanted a place that had the convenience of fitness for the entire family. When I realized that the NAC was more than just fitness and was a lifestyle, I knew that I wanted to be a part of making lives better not only for my family, but for others as well.
2. Throughout your time at the NAC, what is one of the biggest changes or evolutions you’ve seen? One of the biggest evolutions that I have seen has been the integration of nutrition and wellness with fitness. Most people think they know all the right things about food, nutrition and exercise, but when you have a platform to incorporate this into the daily lives of the members, the outcomes are amazing.
3. What is one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Professionally, I’m proud that we have developed a staff and community of employees that is caring and dedicated to making sure that our members are engaged and fully integrated into every area of our club. This allows our staff to truly enjoy and believe in the services they are providing.
Personally, although fitness has been a part of my life for years, until recently, I had never run in any type of race — 3K, 5K, 10K, ect. One day I decided I was going to run a half marathon and I did. It made me realize that you can do anything that you put your mind to.
4. What gets you most excited to come to work every day? Every day I come to work I know I can have the opportunity to change or brighten someone’s day by giving a kind word, a compliment or simply even a smile.
5. What is one lesson you’ve learned that other health club professionals can learn from? You are never too old to learn from other’s experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, take notes and listen to the answers.
6. What is one key thing you think the NAC does great that other clubs could learn from? We make every effort every day to enhance our members’ experiences by listening to the voices and understanding their journey.
7. What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? I have had to realize that not every complaint received is negative. It’s often a gift because it gives you a chance to make corrections or improvements.
8. How did you overcome that challenge? Reading positive affirmations every day helps me to know that we make decisions that can influence someone’s day in a positive way.
9. If you weren’t at your current job, what occupation would you have? Growing up, I wanted to be a social worker, so in a way I am doing that by helping members to be successful with setting and achieving different goals in their lives.
10. Tell us one fun fact about yourself that others may not know. I am fluent in sign language.