Saco Sport & Fitness
Maine's Most Comfortable Club
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What motivates you? What inspires you? For most in the wonderful health and fitness club industry, it is to help others become better. That is such a simple phrase, but there are infinite ways in which to do so. The formula then becomes a combination of experience and market realities. Will you go low-price, boutique, high-end? Will you focus all effort into one location, or is the goal to spread your concepts and philosophies across multiple locations? When all is said and done, will it work? I've asked a lot of questions in this paragraph, but the most important one is this: Why?
This month's cover story is about a true leader in our industry, Scott Gillespie, Owner of Saco Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine. His story, and that of Saco Sport & Fitness, is somewhat of legend. After spending years working up the ranks at Healthtrax International to become a Senior Director and turnaround specialist, he was assigned to what was then known as New England Health and Racquet (now, Saco Sport & Fitness). In a culmination of circumstances, he became a co-owner of the club in 1993 (later, the sole owner). In 1994, the club burned down, changing the lives of many in a matter of minutes, especially Scott and Beth Gillespie. Through sheer will and determination, Scott, with the love, support and assistance of his wife, Beth, began the journey of rebuilding. A year, a month and a day later, against all conceivable odds, the club reopened.
That was 1995, but it wasn't until a 3-month long leadership team thought exercise years later that uncovered the ultimate reason for this true battle, in every sense of the word, to be won. At the risk of sounding cliché, Saco Sport & Fitness was Scott's "why," and everything required to will it back into existence were the building blocks to bring a metaphysical construct back into actual, physical existence. It is vague and can be answered on many different levels, but what is your why? To understand Scott's, I invite you to read on and experience the story of Scott and Beth Gillespie's Saco & Sport Fitness.
An Interview With Scott Gillespie, Owner of Saco Sport & Fitness
Club Insider (C.I.) - Scott, let's begin with some background information: Where were you born, and where did you grow up? Where did you go to school, and what did you study? Did you play any sports?
Scott Gillespie (SG) - I grew up in Storrs, Connecticut on the campus of the University of Connecticut where both my parents were faculty. My father was the head of the music department, a conductor and a phenomenal musician. My mother was the Dean of the School of Allied Health. So, I had two pretty powerful leadership role models to follow.
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