Ashley Foley, personal training manager at Snap Fitness in DeWitt, Iowa, has stood out among her coworkers and clients alike with her ability to create personal connections with everyone around her.
“Ashley is the face of our club,” said Derrick Krouse, a membership advisor at Snap Fitness. “She gets to know everyone’s name, their goals, and their home life.”
Despite only being at Snap for two years, Ashley has gone above and beyond improving her clients’ experiences.
“She cares about each and every member as if they were part of her family,” said Krouse. “If a regular doesn’t come in on their normal day, she follows up to make sure everything is okay.”
In addition to a genuine interest in her clients’ overall well-being, Foley regularly invests in making herself a better trainer.
“She is always taking classes, watching webinars, and doing anything she can to better herself and her position,” said Krouse. “She is more than just an employee — she puts together blood drives, free fitness events, and helps out in the community.”
Find out more about Ashley, the face of Snap Fitness DeWitt:
Full Name: Ashley Foley
Title: Personal Training Manager
Club: Snap Fitness DeWitt
Years of Service at Snap Fitness: 2
What is the favorite aspect of your job? What do you love most?
AF: I love getting to know the members. Not just know them in the club, but their family life, their goals, what drives them day to day.
What’s kept you at Snap Fitness all this time?
AF: I feel like I’m part of a family. Members tell me how much they appreciate what I do for them, but when it comes down to it, I appreciate them more. I don’t feel like I am going to work every day, I feel like I’m visiting my family.
What was your “aha” moment that made you realize you loved this job?
AF: When a person comes into my office, closes the door and tells me things they have never told anyone else. They break down crying because they need help. They are trusting me to get them on the right path toward their goals. If someone is putting that much trust in me, I cannot let them down.
How does Snap Fitness make you feel valued as an employee?
AF: I feel valued as an employee because I’m not just punching a time clock. They don’t make me choose my job or my family. If I need a day off to take my baby to the doctor, it is no problem. If I have a new idea to bring in for members, they encourage me to go for it. They are supportive in all aspects of my life, not just what benefits them.
Where do you get your work ethic? How do you keep a positive attitude?
AF: My work ethic came from my mother. Seeing her struggle with four kids, she always did what she needed to do to support us and give us everything we needed. It’s easy for me to keep a positive attitude. Every day I list the things I’m grateful for. Some days the list is longer than others, but I still always have things on my list.
What practices or techniques do you use to make strong connections with members?
AF: Every day I greet them by name and ask them how their day was. It takes time for some to open up to new people so the trick is to be consistent. Even if you are with a member or training a client, still acknowledge them when you see them. A quick “hello” does wonders.
Do you have any tricks you use for remembering members’ names, or significant aspects of their lives?
AF: If someone is new and you just can’t remember their name. Be honest. “I’m so sorry I can’t remember your name, what is it?” People will appreciate you taking the time with them even if it takes a couple times to remember.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job, and how do you strive to overcome that challenge?
AF: The most challenging aspect for me would be trying to help correct form on an exercise when they have been doing it wrong since they learned it. I try to overcome it by telling them proper way, then by showing how it could impact their muscles and entire workout for that matter.
What best practice tips can you share that would be beneficial to professionals in a similar role at other clubs?
AF: My best tips would be to get to know your members, be their friend not just the person that works at their gym. Go out of your way to help someone everyday even if it is just holding the door for someone coming in.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made, and what did you learn from it?
AF: Stretching myself too thin, never saying no. I learned that you can only go so long before you burn yourself out. You have to make time for yourself. As much as you want to help anyone and everyone don’t take everything on yourself. Ask for help if you need it, delegate tasks if you can.
What’s one of the best ideas you’ve ever had that improved the member or customer experience?
AF: Starting a free Active Ager’s class for members 55-plus. Our class started with three people every two weeks and has now grown to 18 to 20 people twice a week. The class provides much needed training for seniors that wouldn’t otherwise receive anything. The class lasts 25 minutes then a social afterwards with coffee and breakfast foods. The members really appreciate the class.
What’s your funniest member story?
AF: Not so much funniest but best story. A member had his 70 something birthday the day before the class. All the staff and members in the class signed a card for him. At the end of class we presented him with the card while we all sang him “Happy Birthday” He was so grateful and held back a few tears. A lot of older adults don’t celebrate their birthday so we make it extra special for our members.
What’s the best gift from a member you’ve ever received?
AF: Everyone knows that when I sit at my desk or I’m on the phone I doodle on a piece of paper. A member gave me a 115 pack of Sharpie markers. It came with every color and size you could possibly think of.