Leading a Health Revolution: Executive Profile – Christine Hart, Vice President of Finance

Pictured above is Christine [second from left] at one of her favorite scenic spots to Inspire Balance in Maui, HI.

As we approach a major milestone, our company’s 30th Anniversary, we wanted to celebrate the people that have led us to where we are today. By sharing their stories, their inspirations and lessons learned, we hope to inspire others to pursue their goals and aspirations, so together we can lead a health revolution that moves the world!

The A-ha Moment

Prior to joining us in the health and fitness industry, Christine spent 20 years working in the ice cream industry. When we asked what drove her to the field of health and well-being, she explained that after two-decades of working in ice cream, a career in wellness and fitness seemed like a natural progression. While that does seem logical, Christine admits it’s not the real reason. When considering a career change, she honestly never thought specifically about health and fitness. What Christine was really searching for was a work culture that she could be happy in. She was seeking a team focused culture; Where every individual is valued and rewarded for contributions. Where leadership empowers their team, encourages and practices healthy work-life balance, and engages with integrity. Thankfully, she found Corporate Fitness Works. Christine also discovered, like the ice cream industry, when you tell someone that you work in wellness and fitness, it often brings a smile to their face.

We asked Christine to share a few things about her successful career with Corporate Fitness Works. And this is what she had to say…

Tell us about a time in your studies or in your career that helped you prepare for the challenges you face in your role as VP of Finance.

I always worked while I was going to school. This was the case during my undergraduate and graduate school years. The combined responsibility helped me learn how to manage my time and be flexible if a deadline changed unexpectedly. Today, I try to stay organized and schedule time to meet my deadlines, allow for the unexpected, and still make time for myself and family outside of work.

What is your #1 motivator? What are you most passionate about in the work that you do?

My #1 motivator is to make a difference for our clients and our team at Corporate Fitness Works. Whether I spend my day working on a company project or helping a Senior Account Manager or other Team Leader support a client’s need, if I have made a difference, a positive impact on that person’s day, I’m satisfied.

Describe the key steps you took in the path to your career success that made the greatest impact?

A couple years into my professional career, I was offered an opportunity to work for General Electric’s internal audit staff. I had no desire to work as an auditor, but it gave me the opportunity to learn about many different businesses. Not only did I have the chance to spend time learning about manufacturing businesses, I also spent time auditing several of GE’s financial services businesses. The experience was second to none. Ultimately, it did reinforce my belief that auditing wasn’t a good career path for me. On the upside, the experience made me aware of the many different roles I could play in an organization with my finance education and experience.

How does your role as VP of Finance support Team Leader growth and our business growth?

In my role as Vice President of Finance, as with every management role I’ve ever held, I am deeply committed to empowering my team members. I believe it is important to give someone the ability and trust to do the job they were hired to do, as this creates the environment for them to flourish as individuals and to openly contribute to companywide success. I make myself available to support my team and answer questions, however the ultimate goal is for the entire team to feel empowered to do their jobs independently and support our teams and clients as well.

How does your role most impact our client’s success?

As I work closely with Corporate Fitness Works CEO, Sheila Drohan, and the Senior Account Managers, my role is to ensure that we develop the best team to meet our clients’ needs; both from a service and financial perspective. We do our best to support our clients in times of change while still providing them the service they expect.

Share a career highlight.

I think one of the biggest highlights of my career was being named a Hall of Fame member for Edy’s Ice Cream. A part of my job was to challenge audits from companies that felt we owed them money after a promotion ran in a grocery store.  There was one grocer conglomerate that was notorious for deducting huge sums of money and made it next to impossible to dispute. I travelled to their corporate headquarters and met with the Frozen Foods buyer. We struck up a friendship based on a mutual acquaintance and he agreed that he wouldn’t allow his team to deduct from Edy’s without giving me the chance to validate the audit ahead of time. As a result, we were reimbursed over $300K for one audit alone and stopped all future audits from this one grocery chain. Receiving this award from Edy’s was an amazing symbol of their appreciation. On an even more personal level, the best reward for me was the positive relationship that the buyer and I maintained for many years to come. Anytime I had an issue that wasn’t easily solved through normal channels, I would reach out to him. If he couldn’t help me, he always put me in touch with someone that could. In turn, he could always count on me for help if he needed it.

If you could share one “value added tip” as VP of Finance, what would it be?

My tip would be “love what you do and where you do it”. Make sure that you enter a relationship with the company you work for, don’t just work at a job. In return for committing your energy and enthusiasm to your role, and identifying with the company’s culture and philosophy, you should expect the company to value and respect your heart and soul as well as your mind and body. I firmly believe everyone at Corporate Fitness Works has this opportunity.

Please share an interesting fact that you would want our Team and our clients to know about you.

In between working at Edy’s and joining the team at Corporate Fitness Works, I lived on Maui. I travel back as often as I can. It’s the ultimate Inspire Balance location!

Pictured above is Christine (front row far left) with her CFW Family in St. Petersburg, FL.

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