I asked a few of the gym insiders to tell us a little more about who they are and what they do at Fitness Incentive. Weren’t you a little bit curious? I was. Here are three Fitness Incentive luminaries, in their own words.
Pay No Attention to the Person Behind the Curtain…
It takes more than a roomful of Spin bikes, circuit training equipment, and great teachers to run a gym. I asked a few of the gym insiders in the marketing department, spa management, the cleaning crew and a favorite behind the counter at the Skylite Café to tell us a little more about who they are and what they do at Fitness Incentive. Weren’t you a little bit curious? I was. Here are three Fitness Incentive luminaries, in their own words.
Marketing – Paul Smith
I sit on the Marketing Committee and prepare promotional and communication products for the both the gym and the spa. I have been a member of the staff since 2006, but my association with Fitness Incentive goes back considerably further in its history, in fact, all the way back to the beginning. I remember when Cor and Ken were brainstorming ideas on what to name their new business back in the planning stages over 30 years ago. (I confess that when I heard “Fitness Incentive” I didn’t think much of it. WRONG!) Over the years, I have watched the business grow and develop at point-blank range due to my close, enduring friendships with Cor, Ken, and Jourdie. Before I joined the staff, I’d occasionally contribute articles to this publication and have also lent a hand on a few of the construction projects that have occurred over the years.
I came to the gym after having worked as the Managing Editor and Art Director at a regional golf magazine, so writing magazine and advertising copy, taking and editing photos, creating ad campaigns, and other publishing tasks were already very familiar. I was well prepared to function in my current capacity when Cor and Ken approached me.
As for achievements, I’m proud to have contributed to F.I. I’d have to say that writing for the newsletter has been gratifying. It’s a creative outlet that has allowed me to engage with members and hear their stories and testimonials from a close perspective. I’ve always enjoyed photography, especially photo editing, and I get plenty of chances to ‘flex my muscles’ as a photo editor at F.I.
Then there is Oakdale. Many readers may not be aware, but once upon a time, there was a second Fitness Incentive location in 1986. Ken and I spent our nights and weekends commuting out to Oakdale over the course of many weeks, building the interior of that space literally from the ground up. That achievement stands out in my mind, mostly because it’s the last time I did any significant physical labor — I’ve been a callous-free desk jockey ever since. (Note: the Oakdale location closed in 1988 after a short, ill-fated run.)
Away from the gym, I enjoy reading, writing, spending time with friends, and, being a devoted, some might say addicted, jogger, dodging raindrops, motorists, and the odd dog.
My association with Fitness Incentive has always felt more like a privilege than an obligation. To be connected with such wonderful people and this marvelous institution for so long has meant a great deal to me. When I came into graphic design and desktop publishing, we weren’t far removed from the paste-up days; the industry had only recently begun the transition to digital. Here we are now, in a digital world, and Fitness Incentive (and I) will continue to adapt as the technology does.
Keeping the Gym Clean -Diane Tinnirello
I have done the maintenance/cleaning for Fitness Incentive for about 20 years, starting at Fitness Incentive’s second location on Main Street, Babylon. I began in this position and am not looking to graduate to another. My sister Linda, who works in the nursery, notified me that Cor was looking for an employee to join her cleaning staff. Hence the beginning of our long-term relationship.
I am most proud of maintaining one of the cleanest gyms on Long Island. I am reminded that I have accomplished my goal when I am thanked daily by members for keeping the gym clean and hearing that this is one of the important reasons they attend Fitness Incentive. My position at Fitness Incentive will not evolve into anything but being a better version of myself and improving daily to make Ken, Cor, the employees, and the members happy.
When I’m off work I like to have “me-time.” I enjoy getting my nails done, being outdoors bike riding, gardening, walking, breaking out into random dance parties and watching movies with my husband. And of course cleaning my own house! I’m always moving.
Managing Incentives Spa – Heidi Manzo
I have had MANY, MANY jobs at FI and Incentives Spa. I started in 2005 as a part-time personal trainer. I had decided to take the opportunity to explore a career change after working in Corporate Human Resources for 15 years, got my Personal Training Certification and applied to FI. I worked as a PT for several years but soon realized that I missed what I guess is my true calling – as a manager, administrator, etc. I spoke to Ken and Cor and filled them in a bit on my background regarding my formal education and work experience, and I let them know that if they ever thought they might have a job or projects that would require someone with my skills, I would be happy to consider it. This took me down a path where I found myself presented with many opportunities at FI and slowly deepened my work relationship with Ken and Cor. Some of my titles over the years have included: Manager of the Personal Training Department, Billing and Purchasing Manager, HR Manager and Employee Liaison, Operations Trainer and more. In 2011, the ownership and management of Incentives Organic Spa and Salon transitioned from Dr. Donna Brown to Ken and Cor. This resulted in an opportunity for me that I couldn’t pass up – to manage all the day-to-day operations of this business. I am forever grateful for EVERY opportunity afforded to me along this 12-year journey at FI!
I feel especially proud of the growth of Incentives Spa over the past six years. Our staff has grown (and are AMAZING), our customer base has grown, our customer satisfaction has grown, our square footage has grown, and our service and product offerings have grown. Though I don’t own the business, I take my responsibilities as if I did and I guess I would like to think that effort has contributed to the success that we are experiencing.
When I am not working, I like to stay active with workouts at FI as well as running, walking or hiking with my husband Andrew and playing in a women’s soccer league. Andrew and I also focus a good deal of our free time on our children – either visiting with Jillian (who lives and teaches in NJ), going to Brian’s concerts and musical events at Columbia (graduating this month!) and running Brett (High School Junior) to his activities. We love going to concerts, favorites include Billy Joel and Match Box 20, and traveling out of state to see family in Minnesota, Texas, and Alaska when we can. I am pretty involved in my church serving on the Church Council and volunteering at other functions, and that takes up quite a bit of time as well. And finally, if there are a few minutes left in the day, I always enjoy a good book!
Coffee and a Smile – Roseann Frasson
I was hired six years ago for the early morning shift at the Skylite Café. To serve, with love, coffee, tea, muffins, hi-fi bars, etc. and prepare delicious protein shakes, all with grace and a smile. I started with two shifts and will be leaving in May 2017 working four to five shifts per week.
I believe what I brought to the cafe was a gracious, friendly attitude while serving each member and hopefully being part of a positive start to their busy day. I respect the fact that my customer base is on their way to work, whether by car or train. Efficiency and speed were things I personally challenged myself to improve to help my customers along their way. I got to know what they liked and did my utmost to have their orders ready before they arrived at the cafe. This was my way of sharing kindness.
A bit about my beloved co-workers who I adore and have very much enjoyed spoiling with my love. The cafe team is simply amazing. Cindy, Seamus, Barbara and I are the core. And the kids we watched grow up right before our eyes are Kevin, Cheryl, and Laurianna. Newer to the team are Nicola, Katherine, and Emily. They’re all great kids with amazing work ethics.
One of my favorite things to do while working was to wear my aprons from my extensive collection. FUN FUN FUN for all occasions. I’ve received aprons as gifts from customers/members and my co-workers. What a blessing! I will miss sharing the wearing of my aprons behind the counter as they always brought a smile to many faces.
Family life is truly my joy. I have been married for 30 years to my beloved Andrew. We have three daughters and one perfect grandson, Dustin Myles.
One of my great passions is to serve in ministry at Living Faith Christian Church. I also enjoy helping others organize and clean. I recently decided to put a name to it and am in the process of developing a side business – Rosie’s OCD – Organizing Clutter Delightfully!
About the Author
Christine Jelley is a longtime FI member who can say, without hesitation, that Roseann poured the best decaf in the business.