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Why this web site?

The answer is simple. I have been very blessed personally and professionally. I quit a public service job with the Columbia Association at age 38 to start with my wife Elaine a racquetball club in a small Maryland town. Somehow it all worked. In over twenty years the Bel Air Athletic Club, which opened in 1980, grew from 25,000 sq. ft. to 120,000 and became an industry model for family oriented health clubs.

Along the way I had invaluable help from industry icons, including Dale Dibble, Cedardale’s founder, Alan Schwartz, founder of Tennis Corporation of America, John McCarthy, the legendary long time Executive Director of The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), Will Phillips, who led my industry roundtable, and many many others. They gave of their time and expected nothing in return. The health club industry has brought me many friends and exceptional opportunities, the most important of which is finding a career to be passionate about.

Like all entrepreneurs I have made lots of mistakes along the way but have learned a few things that I regard as core to any successful business — having a clear articulated set of values; a commitment to growing people and your “business culture”; and having folk in positions where day in and day out they are able to employ their natural talents and strengths. One of my intents via this web site is to share a few things I’ve learned in the health club industry and serving on non-profits Boards that might be helpful to others working to improve their businesses or non-profit organizations. Visit the Experiences & Interests section for this website.

Additionally, Cal Ripken, Jr., who is a friend, gave me permission to share with you a fifteen minute business interview I did with him for a presentation to the 2007 IHRSA Management Institute. Cal is someone who understands what it takes to be successful on the field and off. He is exceptionally wise and analytical. If you manage others, I believe you will find his remarks relevant and interesting — especially the sections on the importance of trust and self-awareness. For more information about Cal’s work after retirement from baseball, please visit the Ripken Baseball and Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation web sites. I serve on the Board of the latter which since its inception in 2001 as a small local foundation serving disadvantage youth has become an impactful national foundation. In 2019 it operated in 46 states; via 546 partners, and had constructed 88 Youth Development Parks.

If you have comments or questions re my web site you can reach me via its Contact section.

Roger