As a leader in the design and operation of industry peer networks that bring CEOs together, over Will Phillips’ career he founded his own business, two professional societies, and played a central role in creating three successful consulting organizations.
He has led over 2,800 working sessions and corporate retreats with top managers in the fitness industry. He was also a frequent lecturer to national associations, industry conferences and exclusive executive groups such as The Executive Committee and the Young Presidents Organization. He’s authored over 400 Management Briefings on special topics for health club executives.
In 1989, Phillips founded Roundtables for Executives (REX), which operates peer roundtables, or mastermind groups, for business owners worldwide. In 2008, he partnered with longtime fitness industry professional Eddie Tock to develop new roundtables for the health and wellness industry. REX is now a global organization and includes over 275 members of the top health clubs and organizations (2700+ clubs/25 countries) in the fitness industry worldwide.
REX currently runs 13 mastermind groups of owners, executives and senior staff in the U.S. as well as 7 REX Roundtables in Europe and Australia.
At the age of 84, Phillips has decided to finally retire! Below are notes from Phillip’s colleagues, as they wish him well in retirement:
“I’ve always thought of Will as having my own personal Obi-Wan Kenobi. After 25 years of being involved with REX and Will, nothing has changed. He’s been a great mentor and friend and I expect that to stay the same in the future. I remember when he first spoke of making REX go worldwide, and I then watched him do it. He knew he’d need more people on his team and proceeded to find them to create it. And we all know what has happened over the years. REX has become a massive source of knowledge and inspiration for all of us. I know Will is a Thinker and a Great Thinker too, and though he’s retiring, his brain won’t! I look forward to many more years of friendship and new ideas coming from him. Will, I appreciate everything you have done for me and the hundreds of CEO’s and managers who have benefited from your vision. You’ve helped all of us to become better together than we could have ever been apart. You’ll be missed!” – Joe Cirulli, Gainesville Health and Fitness.
“Will has been my friend, mentor and provocateur. He welcomed me onto REX Roundtable 2 over 15 years ago. Will’s message has always been to improve your organization by knowing yourself, challenging yourself as a leader, continuously evolving as a ‘servant leader’ and taking a holistic view of your organization as a ‘living thing’ that needs to be nurtured. Because of Will, my life is better, my family’s life is better, and all of our employees’ lives are better. Great teachers have impact on far more people than they directly touch.” – Blair C. McHaney, CEO of MXM, Medallia’s Partner to the Fitness Industry, and owner of WORX Health Clubs.
“Will had an indelible and long-lasting influence on the fitness industry through his creation of executive roundtables focused on peer to peer learning. He was an evangelist regarding his belief in the power of a collaborative community, willing to share best practices for the common good and brought ‘big business’ experience to independent club owners.” – Brent Darden, the founder of Brent Darden Consulting, chair of REX Roundtables, former IHRSA Board of Directors Chairman, and owner of Telos Fitness in Dallas.
“I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to work so closely with Will for the past 12 years! He has been an amazing mentor to me as well as to many leaders in our fitness industry as well as to others in 34 other industries. Since 1989, Will’s high energy and enthusiasm always challenged the status quo thinking and made us all better for it. His willingness to share his skills, knowledge and expertise has helped developed many of our industries’ top leaders and most successful entrepreneurs, by teaching all of us that together can achieve so much more! He taught me that when you find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life forever. Thanks Will for changing all our lives for the better!” – Eddie Tock, CEO of REX Roundtables.
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