My time at Woodside, Kansas City’s premier luxury health club, was just supposed to be while I figured out my first career move after graduating from TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. My plan was to take a summer job at the Club and be long gone after a few months. Well, nearly 19 years and several positions later, I am now the General Manager of Woodside. I am responsible for all aspects of our day-to-day operations as well as executing our strategic direction and driving our company business objectives. Of course, I am also responsible for mentoring our employees, achieving financial performance, and maximizing member satisfaction.
Little did I know that when I took that summer job, it was my first career move. I worked as a front desk team member and opened the Club every morning. On the surface, it appeared that I was just greeting our members, washing and folding towels, cleaning equipment, and assisting our members with their concerns/needs. But on a deeper level, I was studying every offering and amenity of the Club, developing an even stronger work ethic, building relationships with other employees in the Club, and networking with our members. Looking back now, I believe I was subconsciously preparing myself to be a part of Woodside for many years to come. However, it wasn’t going to magically happen. I knew I would have to have the courage to step up and ask how I could become more involved with the business. So I did. Soon after, I started working in the Membership department, then we needed an Office Manager from there I was promoted to the Assistant General Manager and then eventually, to the General Manager position nearly six years ago.
I am often asked how I’ve stayed at Woodside for so long. It’s a special and meaningful community to me – my family joined the Club in 1987 when I was 7 years old. I spent my summers swimming with friends and playing junior tennis competitively. From an early age, by watching the habits of my parents, I learned the importance of movement and exercise. And as an eventual three-sport athlete, fitness became both my routine and my passion. How lucky am I to have found a career that integrates both my passions for fitness & health and business. My job is also multi-dimensional – every day is different. There are always new challenges, and I’ve learned to thrive in the chaos of change and transition.
My advice for young professionals, particularly women? It’s okay if you deviate from your best-laid plans. It’s okay if you don’t know which career path to choose. Follow your passions. Let your intuition guide you. Pay attention to details. Work hard. Learn how to connect with people, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.