Leading a Health Revolution: Executive Profile John Ruyak, Chief Operating Officer

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

John Ruyak brings a very unique skill set to the Corporate Fitness Works team. He began his career journey with intentions of becoming an architect. After exploring an education in architecture and hand drafting, he quickly realized it was not going to be the right fit for his active personality and began to explore other options in Corporate Health. Fortunately for John and for our company, he found a way to marry both his love of fitness and architecture and created his own path to success leading our Facility Design business unit. In addition to our co-founders, Sheila and Brenda, John has been with Corporate Fitness Works since the early years and has been instrumental in making Corporate Fitness Works the industry leader it is today.

We asked John to share a few things about his 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 COO.

I think being a true Blue, someone that is analytical and grounded in fact, has helped me to successfully lead our company’s operations. Having the educational background and discipline of an architect and through my professional experience from intern to COO at Corporate Fitness Works, I have learned the importance of being able to multi task and handle several projects, timelines, requirements from our clients and Team Leaders simultaneously. Being flexible and able to look at several options before deciding on a solution, is the key to finding the right balance in leadership.

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

To me, it’s about the successful completion of a project. Seeing the end goal and big picture behind a project, knowing the timeline, putting together all the points and processes, overcoming obstacles, refining the end results, and handing over the finished project is exhilarating. I feel a sense of accomplishment and I’m ready to move on to the next.

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

Never losing site of my passion for architecture and design, even during my early operation days. I shared this knowledge of design to improve our client sites, to maximize space, utilization and financial resources, adding value to the fitness management services we were providing. Embracing CAD and the technology of drawing with greater speed and precision has also been a game changer for me professionally and helped to diversify our business revenue by providing facility design consulting services.

How does your role as COO support Team Leader growth and our business growth?

I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience, providing opportunities for our team leaders to explore new career paths in fitness facility design. Facility Design Services has helped to not only diversify our revenue stream but also grow the business in ways we could not have imagined.

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

I bring over 28 years of experience, in bothoperations and Facility Design Services, along with a continued passion for impacting an individual’s, or company’s health and wellbeing. For me, the combination of experience and passion is the key to successful outcomes and it’s what our clients expect from Corporate Fitness Works.

Share a career highlight.

Being a positive role model, a proud contributor, and team player with CFW for over 28 years. There are not a lot of people that can say they started with a company as an intern and successfully become a COO. Corporate Fitness Works has always been committed to creating opportunities for our industry professionals and finding innovative ways to grow our business, and I’m an example of that commitment. Looking back, I’d do it all over again!

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

It is not just enough to hear what someone is saying, but to actively listen. Sometimes people are sharing, sometimes just to vent, other times it’s a call to action, either way, the appropriate reaction to “listening” is the key to good communications and leadership.

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

I am a huge hometown sports fan. I love to cheer on Penn State (WE ARE!) and the Teams from Pittsburgh – The Pirates, The Steelers, and the back to back cup winning Penguins! I also love to barbecue on the grill. BBQ and watching my favorite teams play, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Pictured above is John during his early years with CFW as Intern promoted to Health Fitness Specialist and receiving one of his first Year’s of Service awards from CEO/Founder, Sheila Drohan.