Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club (GATC) in Denver, Colorado, is an expansive 153,000-square-foot facility featuring 130 group fitness classes a week, tennis courts, an outdoor aquatics complex and state-of-the-art fitness equipment.
But for some members, these amenities are just a bonus. According to Paula Neubert, the president and general manager of GATC, the real reason they’re a member is thanks to Will Duncan. “Members have told me he is the only reason they are members of the club,” she said.
Neubert explained Duncan is a front-line all star for a variety of reasons, including the fact he has a gift for remembering names. He knows every member by name, in addition to the names of their significant other, grandkids and pets.
“He works weekdays, opens the club at 4:30 a.m., works until 1:00 p.m. and then heads to his second job,” said Neubert. “Members will make comments that the locker room is not the same on weekends when he isn’t around.”
Over the years, members have bought him two cars and sent him to the World Series.
“He is from St. Louis,” recalled Neubert. “The second to last time they were in the World Series, I got a call from a member letting me know that they wanted to send Will to the World Series, but wanted to make sure I would give him the time off. Of course I said yes, and the next day we opened at 5:00 a.m. By 6:00 a.m. they had collected enough for World Series tickets, two flights, hotel and food while he was away. I received calls the remainder of the day from members who were mad that they didn’t get to participate.”
At the end of the day, Duncan is a great example of a front-line all star and the impact that can be had by one person within a club. “As you can see, Will is a special man and delivers service in ways most people would never even consider,” said Neubert.
Here, Duncan answers questions on his favorite aspects of working at GATC.
Full Name: Will Duncan
Years of Service at Club: 18 (19 in November)
CS: What is the favorite aspect of your job, and what’s kept you at GATC all this time?
WD: My favorite aspect is interacting with the members and staff. Knowing all the members on a personal level is what’s kept me here. Getting to know them, their families and so on.
CS: What was your “aha” moment that made you realize you loved this job?
WD: When I walked through the doors. It’s not about the job, it’s about the members. It’s a blessing to work at GATC. They treat me with the utmost respect.
CS: Where do you get your work ethic? How do you keep a positive attitude?
WD: I get my work ethic from my mom. She told us things could be worse, so make the best out of each day. Act like it’s your last. I could have been out there on the street somewhere. I get to come to work, which is a blessing.
CS: What practices or techniques do you use to make strong connections with members?
WD: I just put the names with the faces and introduce myself to everyone. Once I introduce myself and get their name, I just don’t forget. I try to get other staff members to learn members names because it will help them do their job better.
CS: What best practice tips can you share that would be beneficial to professionals in a similar role at other clubs?
WD: Treat everyone like you want them to treat you; with the utmost respect and you will have no problems.
CS: What’s your funniest member story?
WD: Falling in the whirlpool when I got my new glasses. I was cleaning the whirlpool and I accidentally slipped and fell in. I tried to get out fast so no one would see me and fell back in. A member had to help me out.
Know a Front-Line All Star at your gym? Nominate them to be featured here.