What a thrill today to give the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2007 to Alan Schwartz, chairman of TCA Holdings. Alan has been in the health club business for almost 40 years since opening the Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago in 1969 with his father, Kevie.
The room was full of well-wishers for Alan. I spotted several veterans of the industry there. Prior to the start of the presentation, Alan and his wife, Ronnie, made their way around the room chatting with old friends. It was great to see so many there. Also in attendance were many people from TCA, including Alan and Ronnie's son, Steven, who is now CEO of TCA.
Alan gave a great speech, which we hope to run on the podcast section of our Web site soon. In the meantime, if you'd like to read the profile of Alan from our September issue, click here.
Alan spoke for about 10 minutes about how the industry has changed in the 40 years that he's been involved. He commented about the increased professionalism of the business and the people in it. He also commented about how the financial industry takes the health club business more seriously now than in the past. He gave much of the credit for the health of his business to the people who work for TCA, including his son. He also gave a heart felt thanks to his wife for being a sounding board for him.
He did take issue with the award he was receiving being called a Lifetime Achievement Award. He preferred to think he was just entering the third set of his match (being an avid tennis fan, he likes to use tennis references). He says he has plenty more to contribute to the industry. After hearing him speak, I'm certain that he does, too. - Pam