The Bottom Line: Lisa Gorsline
Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the July issue, the conversation features Lisa Gorsline, the president and general manager of Corpus Christi Athletic Club.
1. How did you get started in the fitness industry?
I started over 40 years ago as a group exercise instructor and personal trainer.
2. What’s been a key to your organization’s success?
We pride ourselves on creating a fun and positive member experience. We survey our members through MXM/Medallia, and we truly listen to what our members are telling us. We base all our ideas, programs, investments and club improvements on the feedback from our members. As managers and operators, we sometimes think we know what the members want and need, but do we really? Until we ask them and truly listen to what they’re saying, we may not be on the same page.
3. What has been one of the biggest accomplishments of your career?
We implemented a new member-coach program that provides a relationship and connection between the new member and club offerings. This uses terms and words the new member can relate to. We feel this program has improved member retention. The coach meets with the new member and finds out what they like, don’t like, what their goals are, why are they here, what motivates them, etc. The coach becomes the go-to contact for new members.
4. What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career? And how did you overcome it?
As many of you are experiencing, it’s the pandemic. There is not a manual, book or college degree that could prepare us for COVID-19. We’ve had to figure it out as we go, be flexible and know it’s a moving target. What we do today we may not do tomorrow. Three things have allowed us to overcome up to this point: consistent training with our staff, communicating well with members and staff, and preparing the club by walking in our members’ shoes.
5. What is one lesson you have learned that other fitness professionals can learn from?
Never become complacent. Always look for something to learn or improve upon. As a leader, you must find a way to nourish your mind, body and soul. We must take care of ourselves because our job is taking care of our members and employees.
6. Tell us one fact about yourself others may not know.
I used to be a baton twirler. I went to competitions all around the world and loved it. I qualified in 1979 — now I’m telling my age — for World and I placed second in my division. I learned so much about how to be a good sport in the competitive world.