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Justin Drummond: The Bottom Line

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Justin Drummond

Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the August issue, we sat down with Justin Drummond, the COO for PF Growth Partners

1. How did you get started in the fitness industry?

I started my career in the fitness industry in 2010 as the general manager of our company’s Planet Fitness location in Catonsville, Maryland. This was the perfect marriage for me as a recently “retired” collegiate athlete with a MBA in business management and bachelor’s in business marketing.

2. What’s been a key to your organization’s success? What are you most proud of?

The key to our success is our culture. We live by what we call the House of Values. It is the framework, foundation and overall structure to everything we do. In addition, a key concept is SAWUBONA — an African Zulu greeting that means, “I see you.” We need to “see,” acknowledge and recognize everyone who plays a role within our company, even our members. 

I am most proud of the many lives I have been able to touch through Planet Fitness. From members I met on Day One who were once on a number of medications and now are on none due to their hard work and consistency, to sitting on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore, being on the advisory board for The Women’s Entrepreneur Leadership Lab, and a member of the operations committee for the PF Independent Franchisee Council — all of these moments and positions have given me the opportunity to impact people and communities.

3. What has been one of the biggest accomplishments of your career?

I would say I have two. One being the regional manager to facilitate the opening of the 1,000th Planet Fitness location in Washington, D.C. with help from my team at PF Growth Partners. Second is my ascension to my current position as chief operating officer for PF Growth Partners. 

4. What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career? And how did you overcome it?

The pandemic has been the biggest challenge for many reasons. It was a tough period not just for me and our company, but for the fitness industry as a whole. How did we overcome it? We pride ourselves on our culture, innovation and adaptability. We invested in our team and kept all salaried employees for the entirety of the closures. We increased our training on cleaning practices, advocated to be an essential business, adapted to virtual fitness and analyzed our business model to become more lean yet effective.

5. What is one lesson you have learned that other fitness professionals can learn from?

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Staff buy into the person, company, leader and culture before they buy into what you are asking of them. Our business decisions are based off our culture and it has served us well. 

6. Tell us one fact about yourself others may not know.

I am an art enthusiast. I love plays, spoken word, music, paintings, etc. I even played the drums and trumpet as a youth. 

To learn more about Justin Drummond, connect with him on Linkedin.

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Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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