Q&A with Bryan Lennon, the general manager of Cooper Fitness Center.
1. What was your first job in the health club industry? My first job in the health club industry was as a personal trainer with Bally Total Fitness in Denver, Colorado. At that time my main goal was just to live in Colorado, but I quickly realized making an impact on people’s health and wellness was something I was meant to do.
2. How did you get your start at Cooper Fitness Center? After three years in Colorado, I moved back to Dallas and was fortunate to get a job as an exercise physiologist at Cooper Clinic, known worldwide for its comprehensive preventive exam. A few years later, I transitioned to Cooper Aerobics’ corporate wellness entity, leading the sales and development of our leadership training programs. And two years ago I had the opportunity to join the Cooper Fitness Center leadership team as assistant general manager and now general manager.
3. What’s the favorite aspect of your job and why? The opportunity to interact with our members and teammates every day — driving our mission to improve the quality and quantity of people’s lives is definitely the best part of my job.
4. What do members rave about at Cooper Fitness Center? Above all else, our members value our people — their expertise and exceptional customer service they provide — and the supportive community we have built to help members live happier, longer, more productive lives.
5. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome? In 2014 we completed a two-year, $7.5 million renovation. We remained open throughout the entire renovation, and through strategic planning and extensive communication with our members we effectively maintained the high-quality service our members expected. Surprising to us, we had a net gain in members over the two-year period.
6. What is the best piece of leadership advice you’ve ever been given? “Lead with integrity.”
7. What’s your favorite part of being in the fitness industry? A person’s health and fitness affects every aspect of their life — physically, mentally, their relationships with others, their professional performance and even the past-times they choose. So knowing the contributions I make at Cooper Fitness Center are helping people achieve good health and be the best they can be, is extremely rewarding.
8. If you weren’t in the position you’re in now, what job do you think you’d be doing? What did you want to do when you were a kid? If not working in the health and wellness industry, I would probably be working in the outdoor hospitality business and running a fishing resort.
9. What’s the best leadership book you’ve ever read and why? “The Anywhere Leader” by Mike Thompson. “Anywhere Leader” gives great advice on how to lead in today’s environment when change happens quickly and you can’t rely on doing things just because that is how you have always done them. Being able to adapt your strategy when necessary is crucial in today’s world.
10. What do you hope to accomplish in the next six months? We offer a year-round member wellness program based upon Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s “8 Steps to Get Cooperized.” It’s a benefit all members receive and we’ve seen steady growth in member engagement over the last two years. Currently, we’re working to expand the offerings digitally, adding even more value to the program and making it more accessible to our members.