Leading a Health Revolution: Executive Profile – Laurie Caton, VP of Account Management
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
Laurie discovered her passion for a health and fitness career while attending college at Penn State. While she had initially declared her major in Chemistry, she quickly realized there wasn’t any ‘chemistry’ between her long-term career interests and that field of study. By her sophomore year, Laurie determined Exercise Science was the right direction for her. She went on to thrive in that major, and graduated from Penn State with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science.
We asked Laurie 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 Account Management.
Every Team Leader I have worked with or supervised over the years has taught me something valuable. I recall a few very difficult situations that really pushed me as a supervisor. Through those situations, I gained confidence in my abilities and broadened my commitment to accountability. For those few difficult situations, there have been an abundance of uplifting situations. Specifically, watching other Team Leaders grow and evolve early on in my career helped me realize the fulfillment I get when my coaching others. When you move from servicing members to servicing employees, it can feel like there is a void. I quickly learned that the gratification that I felt when helping members attain their health and fitness goals was replaced by helping Team Leaders develop and reach their professional goals.
What is your #1 motivator? What are you most passionate about in the work that you do?
My #1 motivator is people – our members, our clients or our Team Leaders! My fulfillment and motivation comes by seeing members reach their health and fitness goals, achieving customer loyalty with our clients, or observing Team Leaders grow and develop. It’s all about the people and relationships for me!
Describe the key steps you took in the path to your career success that made the greatest impact?
I believe that gathering feedback, truly listening to understand it, and learning from it has been key for me. I am self-reflective and work to recognize and improve on the areas that may have held me back at times, or stunted my growth. Learning valuable lessons from every supervisor I have had over the years, has also been key for my success. Each one has been different with various perspective and insight, they have all taught me something that has helped me improve as a professional.
How does your role as VP of Account Management support Team Leader growth and our business growth?
My role significantly supports Team Leader and business growth, as in many ways, it is my main priority. This is especially true with the growth our company has seen in the past year, increasing our demand for Team Leaders ready to take on that next challenge in client relations, facility start-up, or program management. Growing Team Leaders to take advantage of the opportunities before them is a large part of what I do and something that I really enjoy. My role in supporting business growth includes guiding the Account Management Team as they work with their clients to evolve our existing contracts with expanded services, as well as supporting business development in customizing and proposing management solutions to fit a prospective clients’ needs.
How does your role most impact our client’s success?
My role most impacts our clients’ success by ensuring Corporate Fitness Works is their trusted partner who makes their job easier. Working with us/me gives them the confidence that we are on top of all aspects of operations, programming and the creation of member loyalty. In addition, they know that we are one step ahead and always anticipating their needs as well as the needs of their employees and members.
Share a career highlight.
I served on the Board of Directors for MACMA (Mid-Atlantic Club Management Association) for 9 years, where I acted as Vice President, President and Ex-Officio. During my involvement, our the MACMA annual conference has grown in the number of exhibitors and sponsors, conference attendees, and speakers. The industry networking is a rewarding and invaluable benefit of being a part of MACMA.
If you could share one “value added tip” as VP of Account Management, what would it be?
Be real. We are in the people industry, and as emphasized through the wisdom of Teddy Roosevelt, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Please share an interesting fact that you would want our Team and our clients to know about you.
While many of the people I work with know that I have twin boys at home, very few know that my brother also has a set of twins. It’s a bit of an anomaly and makes our family get togethers chaotic, yet always fun and full of laughs. If you can imagine, we celebrated this Christmas this year with four 6-year old’s! I had the most amazing childhood growing up on the water of the Chesapeake Bay crabbing, fishing, boating, water skiing, tubing, swimming, and getting stung by jellyfish! I strive to share these happy memories and character building experiences with my boys as they grow, aside from the jellyfish part of course.
Pictured is Laurie with fellow members of the MACMA Board (left), being ‘real’ with Team Leaders at an 80’s workout themed event (middle), and a captured moment of Laurie’s fun family chaos (right).