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A Stitch in Time?

I'm not a big fan of clichés. But, as I work everyday giving 110 percent to earn money and save for a rainy day — because as you know a penny saved is a penny earned — I realize that there are few clichés that are actually worth their salt or their weight in gold, whichever has the highest return theses days.

One that is especially true for the fitness industry is that the only constant is change.

It seems that as soon as you get into a flow, something happens to change your course just a little and that goes for a one-club operation to the chain that sits atop the Club Industry Top 100 (see page 22 for the mystery name).

The change can be something as small as a schedule switch, which, as you know, can throw the membership into a frenzy. Just imagine your top indoor-cycling instructor just needing to have Saturday mornings back to him or herself.

It can be a hot new product [really, they do exist!] that all the members need because they just saw their favorite actress on one in the pages of Vogue. What they don't know is that the manufacturer won't be shipping them for 60 days [not to mention the costs]. Sometimes what they don't know can hurt you.

Maybe it is a new group exercise trend that is sweeping the coasts and making waves. Too bad you just invested in a new room for the last big thing. It's not easy keeping up with the Joneses.

It can also be something as big as a staff change. Finding and keeping employees is a problem for the fitness industry. Good help is hard to find.

Well, we at Club Industry are experiencing the latter. This issue signals a change in Club Industry's editorial team. Lynnette Shelley, who has served as the magazine's Associate/Features editor, is leaving us following this issue. Let's hope the grass is truly greener for her.

While this change is a tough one for the magazine (Lynnette has served us well!), it also serves as an opportunity for us to try something new and improve upon the product — as with many changes, hope springs eternal.

Club Industry has been able to find two quality editors to help pick up the slack and, we are sure, further improve the magazine. A win-win situation for us, the readers, and Lynnette.

First, we welcome Dawn Hightower as Managing Editor. While Dawn's name is familiar to those of you who take a look at the magazine's masthead and have seen her as the Community Builders editor for the last few months, we are excited to have her onboard full-time. At the end of the day she brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm with her.

Pam Kufahl has also been added to the staff with this issue. Pam is an experienced editor and writer who is excited about her change from another Primedia Business Magazines and Media title, Utility Business, to take a crack at our industry as our new Senior Editor. It'll be a whole new ball of wax for her.

Will the change be smooth? Probably not. Realistically, how many times have you endured an instructor, trainer, salesperson or front desk person leave and not hit a bump in the road?

But what it does is open the company — be it a health club, a magazine or any other business — to the opportunity for a fresh set of ideas, a new perspective and a shot of enthusiasm. So change may be a real blessing in disguise.

So while change can bring about some fears, remember there is nothing to fear but fear itself.


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