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It all starts at our front desk. In 1984 when the gym was 2,000 sq ft and women were wearing thong leotards and doing step classes on milk crates, members and friends were transformed into employees.
  • Jourdan Brown
Buddies at the desk
The Center of It All: Cor and Cathy at the desk, the Welcoming Committee Circa 1992.

It takes a village to run a business and in our humble opinion, we have a pretty special village. What makes our village so special is not the day to day business operations but the people that fill our village. It all starts at our front desk. In 1984 when the gym was 2,000 sq ft and women were wearing thong leotards and doing step classes on milk crates, members and friends were transformed into employees. The gym was built from the ground up on a foundation of friendship which was and continues to be a cornerstone of our business.

There is a magical sort of energy that surrounds FI. When you walk in you can feel it. There’s a reason that people call it their “bubble,” “sanctuary” or their “home away from home.” Fitness Incentive is an extended family and each of our employees and our members are part of that family. And dang, we’re a pretty fun family! So fun that it’s hard to call working at Fitness Incentive “work” at all. Of course, that’s not always true but the majority of the days feel like coming to hang out with a group of awesome people. We work with our friends and we interact with our members who are also friends. Our days are filled with laughter, great conversation, exercise, and helping people on their fitness journeys. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Mary Kurtz

“Where would I be?  What would I be doing with my 80 million retirement years?

I work at the front desk at a gym.  Sounds pretty generic, pretty basic.  No…I “work” at Fitness Incentive.  FI is Family, Friends, Fun, Fitness.  Super high energy starting with non-stop Cor to FI staff and members!  I get to greet our members, talking, laughing, sharing experiences with them.

38 awesome years of teaching, 11 1/2 years of amazing FI fun!  I have often said I went from doing something I love to doing something I love.  I suppose I should mention I’ve acquired a few gym boyfriends over the years.  At the top of the list is Mike the cop who arranges his workout schedule around my desk schedule.

Spending time surrounded by such positive energy is a blessing.  FI is so much more than physical fitness.  The friendship, laughter, encouragement are all part of what keeps us motivated to lead happy, healthy, youthful lives.”

Laurie Gilfedder

Thirty-five years ago I walked through the doors of the Grove Street location and began my life long relationship with FI.   It’s hard to define the day I actually started working at FI.  It sort of happened gradually and took on a life of its own.  By the time the gym had moved to Main Street, I was an FI regular and it was my home away from home.  In those days it was pretty much either Corinne or Cathy working the “front” desk, answering phones, teaching the classes, cleaning the gym as well as taking care of their two little girls.  It wasn’t unusual for me to “help out.”  So I would be simultaneously taking a class as well as pitching in however I could.  The phone would ring and I would leave the class and hop the knee wall to answer it or to help someone coming through the front door.   I loved helping, whether it was opening the latest delivery of merchandise, teaching classes, handling the desk or even watching the girls!  One of my favorite memories is sitting in a corner of the Main Street gym,  spreading a blanket and having a picnic and story time with Jourdie and Kelsey when they were just toddlers.  Look at them now!

 At some point I transitioned from “helping” to “working” and I guess it was official,  Many years have gone by and my role is always evolving.  I’ve worn many hats and I’ve always loved the changes and the challenges.  But the funny thing is it has never felt like a job.  It is something I love to do, it’s a place I love to come to,  it’s people I love to see…it’s part of me… of who I am.

It has been such a significant part of my life and I am so grateful for my FI family and how it has enriched my soul. 

Whoever said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” was absolutely right!  I’m still “helping !”

Jessica Phillips

“Being a new employee in a new working environment is always nerve-racking at first. I began working at Fitness Incentive back in September and I have never experienced such a welcoming environment. Every day the staff and members make FI such a happy and enjoyable place to be. Not only has FI become a new job for me but it has become a new place to feel at home.”

Cathy Peacock

“About 34 years ago, back when the fitness guru of the day was Jane Fonda, I was lucky enough to find the aerobic studio on Grove Place called Fitness Incentive and Cor quickly became MY fitness guru! The atmosphere she had created was warm, welcoming, fun and inclusive and in a short time of being a member, I was so happy to become part of her team! Just a handful of people at the time, who knew we would grow to over 100 employees! But being part of the desk staff is something special and has given me the unique experience of getting to know and becoming friendly with SO very many members through all of these years. From the early days of being young and single to sharing the excitement of engagements and weddings. Then babies, who would soon become friends themselves in the nursery. We’ve watched each other’s children grow and would eventually share stories and photos of children’s weddings and even grandchildren! We’ve been there for each other through the difficult times as well. The members and employees of FI come together as such a powerful support system whenever one of them is in need. All of this is what I love the most about my job and why I look forward to coming to work EVERY day! It has been an honor and a pleasure to meet and get to know so many wonderful people through my position at the front desk of FI!!!”

Janet Lang

“I started working at the Fitness Incentive front desk in 1995.  I had known Cor since the early 1980s when we began exercising together (pre-Fitness Incentive, married life, and kids).  She called me one Wednesday morning and asked me if I could help out and just come into the gym (then located on Main Street) and answer the phone for a few hours.  That was the start of a 24-year career at Fitness Incentive.  The front desk is like one big happy family.  We all truly love what we do, we support one another and our main focus is on the FI members.   We all work hard to give our members the best experience possible.  Working at the front has given me the opportunity to work with the best co-workers and meet and form lasting relationships with many if FI’s members.”

Irreplaceable: Janet, Cathy, and Laurie

Bridget Verdillo

This past February has marked my 5 year anniversary working at Fitness Incentive. It is funny that it has only been five years because many members and coworkers think it has been way longer.  I had no idea five years ago that taking the position as a Front Desk Attendant would mean much more than just checking people into the gym or just another second job. Over these five years, I have gained numerous friendships from our members, my coworkers have become my second family and I have become a small part of what helps make our front desk remarkably distinguishable in comparison to other facilities. I could write pages of stories, as to why I love working the front desk, but what really stands out the most to me are the small quick conversations I get to have with all the members. Those conversations just show that in even this crazy fast paced world (and those quick class changes) a smile and a quick “Hello, how is everything today” has created numerous friendships and a work environment I do not think I will ever be able to find anywhere else.”

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About the Author


Jourdan Brown

Jourdan Brown is a Certified Primal Health Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, Cycling Instructor, and Personal Trainer. She also manages the Front Desk and the Cycling programs at Fitness Incentive.

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