Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the February issue, we sat down with Merikay Marzoni, the director of marketing and public relations at Fitness Formula Clubs Corporate.
1. How did you get started in the fitness industry?
Growing up, I swam competitively and was a lifeguard for many years, but my true career in fitness began with Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC) in early 2010. An art director I had worked with previously recruited me to join the company. In 2012, our family moved out of Chicago due to my husband’s work, which took me away from the industry for five years. We returned to the Midwest in the fall of 2017, and by early 2018, I was back at FFC.
2. What’s been a key to your organization’s success? What are you most proud of?
Integrity. When I look back on all the work we’ve done, the one common thread through it all is all our strategic initiatives hold integrity at their core. I am most proud of our Earn Your Enrollment Fee Back program, which allows new members who pay an enrollment fee to “earn it back” in the form of promotional dollars to spend at the club. This program resonates with prospects, members and staff, and allows FFC as a company to “walk the walk” when it comes to rewarding people for using the club.
3. What has been one of the biggest accomplishments of your career?
I think rising to the challenge of digital transformation is the biggest accomplishment of my recent career. Since I’ve returned to FFC, we’ve been harnessing the opportunities and challenges of not only our marketing-tech stack, but our overall IT stack, to launch a new website, an overhauled online join process, a new mobile app and our virtual fitness product, FFC On Demand.
4. What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career? And how did you overcome it?
Honestly, figuring out work-life balance. I am a full-time mom of two with a full-time career. There were periods where I wasn’t physically active at all. There were periods where I worked late every night. There were periods where I failed miserably at both. As I’ve grown older, I have learned to hire better, delegate more, forgive myself more and understand most things on my to-do list can wait until tomorrow.
5. What is one lesson you have learned other fitness professionals can learn from?
Positively positivity. Fitness professionals are some of the most positive people in the world. You feel better about yourself after encountering them. After a coaching, training or group fitness class, you feel like you can take over the world. At least I do.
6. Tell us one fact about yourself others may not know.
I grew up playing music, was in the band, was a drum major and minored in music in college. I play both the piano — not very well — and the flute — better than I play the piano — to this day.
To learn more about Merikay Marzoni, connect with her on LinkedIn.