Leading a Health Revolution: Leadership Profile – Tony Alt, Senior Director of Management Information Systems (MIS)

Tony (second from left) with CFW Team at the 2017 WBENC National Business Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Tony supported a physical activity challenge app that CFW implemented during the conference as the wellness sponsor.  

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

After earning his Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Parks Administration from Kansas State University, Tony had his sights set on being a recreation facility director for a university. Instinctually drawn to this field, Tony seems to have a natural athletic ability to compete in just about every sport there is. From yard games, like cornhole and bocce ball, to teambuilding ‘minute to win-in’ exercises, everyone wants Tony on their team! While recreation was his initial focus, it wasn’t until Tony started his career at Corporate Fitness Works in 2004 when he realized that corporate fitness management was his niche. At the time he was serving as recreation coordinator for one of our fitness center management clients in the Kansas City area. Quickly promoted to site management and then regional management positions, Tony hit his stride and hasn’t slowed down since. Now in a Senior Director role with oversight of our Management Information Systems (MIS), Tony is our go-to technology wizard with ninja-like skills that integrate all types of innovative solutions to elevate our team, our member experience, and overall service to clients.

We asked Tony to share a few things about his successful career with Corporate Fitness Works. And this is what he 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 Senior Director of MIS.

All of us are in the business of customer service.  Whether that customer is the client, a member, or a fellow teammate needing support, being able to interpret their expectations and then explain and implement a solution that meets their needs is a skill set I use every day. In college, I was responsible for running a city-wide T-ball league. This is where I learned the most about serving customers. Meeting coaches expectations for the league and responding to parent questions and concerns were lessons that I still use in my work today.

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

My motivation is driven by supporting our Team Leaders. I am passionate about aligning our networking tools and technology platforms that enable our onsite Team Leaders to connect with each other and engage with members on a most efficient and innovative level. This support ultimately enhances our service delivery to make a significant impact on our client’s employees and residents.

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

I think there were two key steps in my success with Corporate Fitness Works. First, I quickly volunteered to educate myself and take on the technology role for our company when a senior leader left the organization and created a gap in their absence. The second key step for me was during our merger/purchase process of L&T Health and Fitness. Anthony Scaglione (CIO) and I both were receptive to each other’s processes and views and were both very transparent in how our organization needed to improve/change technology. Those discussions and changes has helped our organization a lot and hopefully displayed value in my role.

How does your role as Senior Director of MIS support Team Leader growth and our business growth?

My hope and intentions through my role, is to support the continued growth and sustainability of our business. We are seeing a growing trend in fitness management and wellness RFP’s, where clients are seeking innovative and cost-effective solutions that involve IT or data security. By displaying that we are prepared for these critical service needs, and can virtually demonstrate our capabilities in this realm, we position ourselves as a leader in our field to support new client growth and current client sustainability.

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

In my role I research, integrate and recommend the technology our members will interact with. In many instances, when joining one of our fitness centers, the online enrollment is their first experience with Corporate Fitness Works. In any line of business, making a positive first impression is key to building a lasting relationship. I think of that each day when I am evaluating solutions or recommending them for our clients and members.

Share a career highlight.

Earlier in my career, part of my role was supporting one of Corporate Fitness Works largest, and longest standing fitness management contracts. In 2012, that contract went out to bid. I had always thought of Corporate Fitness Works as a “team”, but in this almost yearlong bid process I really learned just what that meant. Myself, Elisa Denning, John Ruyak and many others worked tirelessly to put together and present what became our winning bid. Getting the “you win” call from the client was one of the most gratifying moments I’ve received in my professional career.  Not just because we won, but because I knew none of us were in this alone and that we can all lean on others for help when we need to.

If you could share one “value added tip” as Senior Director of MIS, what would it be?

If we are to lead the health revolution, I believe that we need to be leaders in example as well. Take an hour each day to unplug. Make it the best hour of your day, stay safe, turn up your music, high five some people and blow off some steam. Relax, have fun, work out. Our life is not just to weather the storm, but to dance in the rain.

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

I received my Master of Science in Sport Management from Slippery Rock University, the same institution from which our CEO and Co-Founder, Sheila Drohan received her education and has served as board member and benefactor for enhancing their exercise science program. I likely used facilities and benefited from program enhancements that Sheila helped provide for, and I didn’t even realize it until many years later.

 

Pictured above is Tony living his ‘value added tip’ – reminding us all to sit back, relax and enjoy as he receives the inaugural ‘Fun Award’ from President & Co-Founder, Brenda Loube (left), and then posing with teammates at a photo-fun booth during a previous IHRSA conference and trade show (right).

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