Merry Christmas! Our gift to you: free expert consulting!

Welcome to the December Edition of the SoapBox!

Dear Soapbox Readers, What a year 2015 has been! With the December Soapbox, we conclude our last 2015 issue. With the help of IHRSA industry icons, Bill McBride, Brent Darden, Bryan O’Rourke and Sal Pellegrino, our Soapbox newsletter has grown beyond our expectations and has brought valuable information to our ever expanding readership. We have truly been blessed in so many ways.

As we look forward to the December holidays, the season for giving and “giving thanks”….We are going to do something that has never been done before, at least I’m not aware of. We are going to give back to our readers. We are going to offer our readers a complimentary “one on one” consultation session (30 minute session) with Bill, Brent, Bryan and Sal. If you have a desire to talk with Sal about industry trends, we will arrange a free session with him. If you are interested in a discussion in retaining members or any other topic with Brent, we can make it happen. How about social media questions and concerns, Bryan can provide “one on one” expertise and finally, Bill McBride is able to work with you on strategy, sales & marketing or organizational structure. You can choose one, two, three or all four members to discuss your club’s questions or concerns. All provided to you at no charge. We are not talking about a webinar, we are talking about each of the individuals mentioned above talking directly to you, your management staff or administrative staff, its up to you who you include in the “one on one” 30 minute conference call.

I mentioned to several club managers our “Season To Give Back” program and was always asked, “whats the catch?” The beauty of the above offer is, there is no catch! Each of the content contributors have a heart to give back to our readers and help each of you to be a stronger presence in your community and lets not forget, more profitable…Its that simple.

If you are interested in participating in our “Season To Give Back” program, contact John here and we will take care of the rest. Its that easy. We also invite you to share this special offer with other club owners and managers. This offer is good through January 2016. We want everyone to succeed, and can’t think of a better way to facilitate this goal than with the help of Bill McBride, Brent Darden, Bryan O’Rourke and Sal Pellegrino.

Its our hope the “Season To Give Back” program will bring you some holiday cheer and we welcome your participation, your questions, comments and suggestions. May you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

– John Mickelson

Email John here for a free consulting offer good through January 2016.


Bill McBride profileBill McBride, President & Chief Executive Officer, Active Wellness, Active Sports Clubs & BMC3

Bill is a health club industry veteran with over 25 years of experience leading and managing all aspects of commercial health clubs, medical fitness centers, residential, community, multi-tenant and corporate fitness sites.  He co-founded Active Sports Clubs and Active Wellness, LLC and owns a health club consultancy – BMC3. Bill has served as Chairman of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Board of Directors, President of the Mid-Atlantic Club Management Association (MACMA) and served on the Industry Advisory Board for the American Council of Exercise (ACE).  He is actively engaged as an author on industry education, serves on several Advisory Boards and speaks regularly on industry topics throughout the world.

Bryan O'Rourke ProfileBryan O’Rourke, Business, TechnoIogy & Wellness Leader. Speaker, Consultant & CEO

Bryan O’Rourke is an experienced CEO, strategist, deal maker and adviser who helps organizations and professionals realize their full potential and solve their biggest challenges. With a track record of building teams and growing global brands, his network of associates and partners have served organizations large and small. As the current President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, he is working to create interoperability standards in the fitness space. He is considered a leading expert on technology, consumer and business trends and his views have been published in periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Inc. Magazine, CBI and many others.

Brent Dardin ProfileBrent Darden, Principal at Brent Darden Consulting, Chairman of the Board for IHRSA, and Chairman of REX Executive Roundtables

The club industry has labeled Brent Darden a “Texas Talent” and “Industry Treasure” – “part preacher, part teacher, and part reacher”. For over three decades, the former IHRSA Board of Directors Chairman has amassed a wealth of knowledge about the industry and continues to share his experiences around the world through speaking and consulting. His messages have reached audiences across nine continents and been translated into seven different languages. In addition to his consulting practice, Brent also Chairs several industry REX Roundtables. Website:

Sal Pelligrino ProfileSal Pelligrino, Senior Vice President of Client Management at ABC Financial Services

Sal Pellegrino is an experienced presenter at many industry events, Gold’s Gym Convention, Club Industry, IHRSA, World Gym convention, Medical Fitness Association and the JCC Association. Sal is a wealth of industry knowledge and has a keen eye for creative industry trends. His experience ranges from owning two fitness centers for seven years and thirty years of vendor experience with a number of large fitness equipment and service companies (StairMaster, Precor, Star Trac and Les Mills). During these many years of experience he focused on large national and regional chains where he observed many new trends, creative programs and facility design elements. He lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife and daughter and is known to play a pretty good guitar. Recently, Sal has accepted a position with ABC Financial as the SVP of Client Management.


Fitlife Update: Winter Retreat!

Feb 21-22, 2016 at the Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, WA featuring roundtable discussions with Dr. Gerry Faust. Two days only $99!!

Call 888.591.9077 using Reservation Code: Fitlife

CCD Update: Spring Symposium & Trade Show!

April 19-21, 2016 at theRenaissance by Marriott Palm Springs Hotelfeaturing keynote speakers, networking activities, and education. Two days only $189for members and $239 for non-members when you register by Feb. 25.

Contact Lin Conrad at 510-243-1532 or via email for more information.

Celebrating the Memory of a Lost CCD Friend

Our house is still without Hannah.  My long time Springer Spaniel sidekick and companion has gone to the other side.  We traveled all over California together, me with my work, her with her ball.  When not traveling we spent hours together in the CCD office.  She never let me spend too much time in the chair.  Her subtle shove of a ball in my direction would remind me it was time to take a break.  She was the best hiking dog; never leaving my side to wander off in the bushes or chase a coyote.  She understood her commitment and tried her best to uphold them.  I sit now in my office chair and wait for that ball to roll over into my feet…Our house is still without Hannah.

St. Mary’s Fitness Center Personal Trainer a Guinness World Record Holder!

Saint Mary’s Fitness Center hosted a fundraiser for the The SPCA of Northern Nevada and had the support of the local community as Reno resident Mark Zarubi (a Saint Mary’s Fitness Center Personal Trainer) broke the 12 and 24 hour Guinness World Record on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. You can see their promotional video here:

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