Operations: Time to Give Thanks

mentorRecently at Gainesville Health and Fitness (GHFC), we celebrated our 35th year in the community. During the celebration we had the opportunity for Joe Cirulli, the owner and founder of the club, to speak to our members and guests and tell his story of how he became the person he is today. It’s amazing to hear where he came from and how he literally built his business out of his car, to the empire it is today.

He mentions in his story how he was grateful for the experiences he’s had — from interactions with members to learning from his mentors. With Thanksgiving just a day away, I wanted to take this time to state how grateful I am for all the opportunities I have been given, and point out a few people I look up to each day in this business.

I started at Gainesville Health and Fitness almost eight years ago as a floor instructor. I remember I applied to the club just really needing a part-time job. However, each day, I remember being coached and motivated to do more by my supervisors.

At the time, I didn’t think I would be creating a career out of the club, until I was promoted to become a supervisor and went through supervisor training with the operations manager of our club, Shawn Stewart. Shawn has taught me everything I could ever know about the industry, from managing my staff to creating a budget for a large business. I can’t think of one instance where I have ever asked him a question he has not known the answer to, and as much as I know I can get on his nerves at times, he has never expressed disinterest or trust in me as a person. I consider the time spent with him as a mentor more valuable than any other institutional training could provide.

When I was promoted to become the manager for one of our three branches, I began to learn and get coaching from Joe as well. Joe is like an encyclopedia of knowledge and it never ceases to amaze me how he constantly is seeking to improve and how he has been able to instill that in me, and the rest of our company. I am grateful for all that he has done for the community and myself. Each day I am inspired to improve in anything I do.

I know for a fact that GHFC has changed the lives of hundreds of people and I am glad to be a part of its team. I want to thank our management team, department heads, supervisors and all of our motivated staff at GHFC, as I look forward to each day at work and am inspired by our team to constantly improve.


Adrian Antigua is the operations manager for Gainesville Health and Fitness in Tioga, Fla. Formerly a desk manager, Antigua is heavily involved in customer service and staff training. For questions on operations, e-mail Antigua at AdrianA@ghfc.com.

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