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Over the years Genesis Fitness for Women in Seekonk, Massachusetts, has built a tight-knit community of loving and caring members and staff. According to Kerry McElroy, the owner of the club, no one represents that community more than group fitness manager Bridget Monteiro.
“She lives and breathes teaching and caring,” said McElroy. “For the past 10 years she has been the pulse of the club leading every team that we have from instructors to sales to personal and small group training. She is an inspiration to all who come in contact with her and someone that has single-handedly helped us grow the club.”
Here, Monteiro shares how she excels in her role.
Title: Group Fitness Manager
Club: Genesis Fitness For Women
Years of Service: 10
CS: What is the favorite aspect of your job? What do you love most?
BM: Putting together a class that motivates, energizes and makes my participants leave with a smile on their faces wanting to come back.
CS: What’s kept you at Genesis Fitness For Women all this time?
BM: The mission of the club of encouraging women to be the very best they possibly can be at any age in their lives.
CS: What was your “aha” moment that made you realize you loved this job?
BM: I think when I turned 50 and I asked if anyone was interested in doing something special with me (like a duathlon). I thought I might get two or three people to share my experience, and I ended up attracting 34 women (none of whom had done a duathlon before). It was incredible. I knew that we really had something special at the club.
CS: How does Genesis Fitness For Women make you feel valued as an employee?
BM: By allowing me my creative process in developing and growing the group fitness program. Allowing me to bring in outside experts in the field of fitness like Spinning Masters Josh Taylor and Linda Freeman.
CS: Where do you get your work ethic? How do you keep a positive attitude?
BM: I think it’s just innate for me in all ways that I deal with people. I am a Speech Pathologist by degree and have worked in that field for 35 years. I just retired.
CS: What practices or techniques do you use to make strong connections with members?
BM: Well I’m just a people person by nature and I find that I’ve always geared my classes around my participants’ needs. I talk and engage with all of our members in and out of classes. I think that’s tremendously important. Members tell me all the time when they come back from vacations or traveling that there is no place like Genesis. It’s a place where everyone knows their name and cares about their workout experience.
CS: What’s the most challenging aspect of your job, and how do you strive to overcome that challenge?
BM: Creating classes on a weekly and monthly basis that challenge and keep our members engaged can be challenging. Being a small club, we also have a small budget and must keep a tight reign on class offerings. With that being said, we like to employ as many instructors as we can, but sometimes it’s a tough balancing act to keep classes on the schedule if numbers become low. We’ve been lucky that so many of our instructor base is so willing to continuously get new certifications and that has helped us keep our group fitness schedule fresh.
CS: What best practice tips can you share that would be beneficial to professionals in a similar role at other clubs?
BM: Weekly communication with the instructor team is essential. Everyone must be on the same page. Whether it’s to say, “Hello, how is everyone?” or keeping them abreast of club info, it’s imperative. Short or long in length it doesn’t matter, but communication must be consistent. Also emailing my class list (in Spinning) also keeps members engaged and knowing what is coming. Sharing a bit of yourself with members is important too, because it’s more than about just pedaling a bike or lifting weights — it’s about making them feel that they are worth it, making them feel they are important (both staff and members).
CS: What’s one of the best ideas you’ve ever had that improved the member or customer experience?
BM: Emailing my class lists on a weekly basis to keep them engaged and motivated. It’s how we built our Spin program.
CS: What’s the best gift from a member you’ve ever received?
CS: I asked members/friends to accompany me to the National OCD Walk in Boston as a fundraiser to support the foundation (my son Ben has OCD). And 15 to 20 ladies made a caravan up to Boston and walked the 5K with me and my family. That meant the world to me, and in my eyes was completely priceless.
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