Today we’d like to introduce you to Jack Conrad.
Hi Jack, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I started with Onelife Fitness in the Maryland/Washington DC area originally as a part-time front desk associate. I quickly ascended into a sales position, sales director, assistant general manager, and then general manager position. When I made the move to the general manager position, I started on the new growth side opening new clubs. After helping to open multiple new locations, I then moved to expand into a new market for Onelife Fitness. In our newest market, St. Louis, we opened a facility connected to Busch Stadium and in partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals. Most recently, I have relocated to the Kansas City area to assist in steadying the Midwest region as we work to expand in the market.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Is the road ever smooth!? I think everyone in a professional role faces their growing pains, I think these can be broken into interpersonal and external struggles. To address the interpersonal struggles, for me they are age-related. In being rather young for the roles, I have held and tasks I have been given (opening a new location, expanding into multiple new markets and states, etc.), there is always the battle for respect in the business and management side of things. As it relates to the external struggles, there are many. For my journey, I would say the largest external struggle would be the challenges we faced in our St. Louis expansion. We opened that club on January 26th, 2020 and not even two months later, we had to close doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, in the efforts to reopen the whole Midwest (Kansas City and St. Louis) the operational struggles we faced were immense in being looped into all executive orders with bars and restaurants. From all sides and, still to this day, we are dealing with balancing customer relations/service with executive order compliance which hasn’t been an easy task.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I have managed multiple Onelife Fitness locations, a premier health club brand that operates over 50 clubs across five states (MO, MD, DC, VA, and GA). I have assisted in the Midwestern expansion for the company, the western-most clubs operated. Whether it is improving an existing location or assisting in the building, planning, marketing, and opening of a new club, I specialize in constant and continual growth. This starts with the teams I am surrounded with and proud to be a part of. The key to all success begins with building and securing a strong team to fill all gaps and manage all processes. This is what could be said sets me apart from the others; the ability to assemble and maintain strong teams.
What I am most proud of? I would say what this company has grown to become is something to proud of and to be a part of that success is something I take great pride in.
Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I think right now, everyone sees the fitness industry switching to a virtual-first industry with Pelatons of the world and amount of On-Demand fitness apps for your phone it is easy to see that. However, the in-person health club experience is much more than a workout. The environment, for example, cannot be matched through virtual options. Further, the social aspect of fitness is VERY important and while there is a large focus with a lot of these competing apps to build a social network, they cannot match in-person interaction. Especially after a year of less in-person socializing than ever before, there will be a desire for that connection. So as it relates to big shifts, I would say there is an expectation for a shift that I/we just don’t see happening long term.
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