Dallas — Mike Feinman has changed addresses in the health club industry but not his personal address. Last month, Gold's Gym International (GGI), Dallas, announced that Feinman would be its chief operating officer. Feinman resigned from 24 Hour Fitness, San Ramon, CA, on Jan. 28 after serving as 24 Hour's Dallas-based vice president.
“A big part of why I resigned was a wonderful opportunity with Gold's, and frankly, the opportunity also to stay in Dallas,” says Feinman. “We have two kids in high school, and it's always painful to pull kids out.”
Feinman will oversee national operations for GGI's 62 corporate-owned facilities and will report directly to David Schnabel, CEO of GGI. Feinman says he and Schnabel have known each other for years.
“I've really believed in the Gold's brand,” Feinman says. “To me, it's the Harley Davidson of the fitness industry, the Hard Rock Café of the restaurant industry. It's got an edge. It's got a personality. For me, it's an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Dave Reiseman, GGI spokesperson, says the company has not had someone in the position of chief operating officer for some time. Two vice presidents, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, will now report to Feinman, Reiseman says. Feinman will be in charge of all areas of GGI's corporate-owned club operations, including membership sales, corporate sales, customer care, personal training and group exercise.
“We've known Mike for several years now and are excited to have him on board,” Schnabel said in a company statement. “We've admired his accomplishments from afar and look forward to having his expertise in-house. Mike will bring great energy, knowledge and capability to our organization.”
At 24 Hour, Feinman oversaw some of the company's biggest initiatives including 24 Hour's celebrity-licensed clubs and new business ventures, such as the company's smaller-format facilities. Before becoming vice president, Feinman ran operations for the company's 70-club central Midwest division and won a 24 Hour award for top performance in the company two years in a row.
Prior to his time at 24 Hour, Feinman spent 18 years at Pepsico (now known as Yum Brands), owner of several fast food concepts. As a senior director, Feinman ran operations across 80 restaurant locations and led the Taco Bell training function for the 7,000 company, franchise and license locations. He also developed customer-feedback systems and a 30,000-restaurant operations evaluation system.
“There are some franchisors out there that spend their time just selling franchises, and I would never work for a company like that,” Feinman says. “I know that Keith Albright [GGI's senior vice president of franchising] here is very focused on making sure that our franchisees are successful and are provided lots of support. This job is focused primarily right now on company [-owned stores], but I expect there will be a good amount of interaction with our franchisees, and I'm very, very excited about that.”