IMAGE COURTESY OF FAMILY FITNESS
Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the June issue, the conversation features Kay Aplin, the CEO of Family Fitness.
1. What led you to founding Family Fitness?
In 1990, I moved home to South Texas permanently after my career in dance and began a family. The closest job in dance for me at that time was in Houston, an hour away. I decided to create my own career in fitness and began building Family Fitness.
2. What are you most proud of concerning Family Fitness?
Our solid reputation as a leading corporate fitness provider with a large campus and an amazing team of professionals set us apart. We have been awarded “Best Fitness Facility” in our area for many years running.
3. What’s your favorite part of being in the fitness industry?
Every day we help our members to achieve their lifestyle goals and watch them having fun doing it. I also love my experience interacting with other fitness professionals at conventions and seminars, where we are able to get together and share our experiences.
4. What’s your favorite leadership book and why?
We have always been a spirit-based organization and I allow the Bible to guide my decisions on leadership and compassionate decisions.
5. What is the best piece of leadership advice you’ve ever been given?
In the University of Houston Graduate School of Management, I learned an amazingly simple concept. “Great managers lead employees to do what has to be done and inspire them to want to do it.”
6. If you weren’t in the position you’re in now, what job do you think you’d be doing?
I would have become an attorney. After my first degree in pre-law, I had two choices upon graduation: law school or a master’s in management arts. Of course, I chose the latter.
7. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
In the early 90s, being a successful female entrepreneur in the South — a predominately male business environment — was an uphill battle. Sometimes I would wear a suit and tie in order to level the playing field and give me courage.
8. And how did you overcome that challenge?
I have always been a tenacious, empowered female. I get inspired by being told I can’t do something.
9. If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Never underestimate the value of a pervasive customer service culture from your team members. This will always set your club apart from those who do not.
10. What’s a fitness trend you’re keeping an eye on right now?
HIIT has caught my eye this past year and I am interested in both the long-term program benefits and the safety of the techniques currently being taught.