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Club One Makes Move for Growth in Medical Fitness

Club One Makes Move for Growth in Medical Fitness

If anyone still doubted whether Club One was more than commercial fitness centers, the recent moves by the company may put that doubt to an end.

Bill McBride, who has been COO of Club One, San Francisco, for the past eight years, has now taken on the president’s title and responsibilities in addition to his COO responsibilities, according to the company. That move gives McBride more oversight of all the channels in which Club One operates rather than just the commercial clubs, he says.

Robin Klaus, who had been chairman of the company and took on the CEO title in July, will continue in those roles.

Club One, which owns and operates Club One clubs in Northern California and Frog’s Fitness clubs in Southern California, has been involved in managing corporate fitness, community centers and Jewish Community Centers for years. It also recently started managing a medical fitness center at St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno, NV. Although the company plans to continue growth in all those areas, the medical fitness area provides perhaps the greatest growth opportunity, McBride says.

Because of the health care changes, a greater emphasis on prevention and the fact that hospital-based fitness centers don’t typically serve the same population as commercial fitness centers, Club One has determined that medical fitness center management is a growing market for its expertise.

“This should be a growing segment because it comes from a quality of life issue rather than leisure,” McBride says.

He says that it is also an opportunity to serve markets that aren’t being served now.

“Each independent hospital is doing its own thing,” he says. “They do not have an expertise in fitness center management. It’s a perfect fit for us because we have experience in fitness center management.”

Club One is in the process of bidding and working on several other medical fitness centers, but McBride cannot offer any specifics. Between all the channels that the company serves, however, he did say that Club One expects to add about five accounts in 2011.

“That’s a moving target,” he says. “We have a lot more in the pipelines. We could end up with two or three or seven.”

He also says the commercial side of Club One’s business will grow this year, but he would not say by how much, as he does not have any deals to announce yet.

Now is a good time for growth in all of Club One’s channels, McBride says, as he is seeing movement toward the positive in the economy, membership numbers and attrition.

In addition to McBride’s promotion, the company announced two other leadership appointments. Bonnie Wheatley, who had been controller with Club One since 2000, has been promoted to vice president of finance. Maigread Eichten, formerly CEO of health and wellness product company The FRS Co., has joined Club One’s board of directors. She previously was vice president of global marketing for Verisign and has brand and marketing experience at the Pepsi Cola Co.

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