Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Staff High Five: Ashley Smith

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • ASmithName: Ashley Smith
  • City, State: Indianapolis, IN
  • Years with NIFS: 13 years
  • Position: Coverage Supervisor and Account Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS:
    I completed my internship in 2008 in the Fitness Center at NIFS headquarters in Indianapolis, IN. Being a college grad I quickly needed to find a job and one that I had just spent 4 years earning a degree in would be nice!! Corporate Fitness made sense and sounded fun. I applied for a coverage position and spent time floating around the Indianapolis sites NIFS managed which was cool, I also got to meet a TON of really cool people.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: I think we all experience small and big wins while working with our members each day. It’s always great to see someone hit a goal, gain muscle, knock that PR out of the park or just make it through a tough workout! For me, the most impactful moments were spent creating relationships with members. When you listen to people you learn a lot about them and how to work with them in order to achieve things they didn’t know were possible.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: Our staff make it personal! They take the time to work with people 1-1 to customize workouts and plans to fit individual needs.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: We have a great NIFS group at each site, I enjoy getting to chat with everyone each month and seeing staff help each other grow. In addition, we are lucky enough to be asked a couple times a year to help with big onsite events like judging a Bocce Ball Tournament and Run a 5K with the CEO. It’s nice because we all can get together for these events!
  • What motivates you: Positivity and Albanese OR Haribo gummy candy… preferably bears, worms, things like this… but I don’t judge a gummy!
  • What is your favorite hobby: It’s always changing but currently, I enjoy gardening, house planting, decorating for Halloween, arts and crafts with the kids, front yard baseball, hanging out with family and hiking, well in general just chillin’ in nature! 😊

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ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing nifs staff

Staff High Five: Joy Higbee

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • JHigbeeName: Joy Higbee
  • City, State: Indianapolis, IN
  • Years with NIFS: 9 years
  • Position: Active Aging Program Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS: In college, I took Intro to Gerontology as an elective my sophomore year and decided I liked it enough to minor in Gerontology. Once I graduated, I found that I really loved the older adult population and decided to move to Florida to get my Master’s Degree in Gerontology. When I moved back to Indiana, I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do with degrees and passion for fitness and older adults, but I found NIFS after a few months of looking for work and I haven’t looked back!
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: When I was an on-site fitness manager I worked about 20 minutes from where I grew up. As a result, over time I found out there were some distant connections between my family and some of the residents. One such connection was discovered when a resident’s niece came in to visit. They stopped by to say hi and we were all surprised to discover that I already knew her because she is my mom’s best friend. Small world! The impactful moment came when this particular resident passed away and we attended his funeral. He had come to the fitness center daily because that had been his routine since he was young. He didn’t need much guidance from me, but we talked every time he came to work out. At his funeral, I learned about what a difference our fitness program had made to him and how happy it made him to come visit every day. There are lots of stories of how someone lost weight or was able to walk further or other physical changes as a result of group fitness or exercise prescriptions, but it’s the ones where the fitness program made someone smile that have the biggest impact on me.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: The collective amount of practical experience we have on our team is incredible. Between the managers, assistant managers, health fitness specialists, and coverage staff our Active Aging team has seen it all! Together, there are literally decades of experience within our team. It’s so great to have a group of educated, talented people that you can reach out to when you come up against an obstacle.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: In my current role, I love that I get to be creative when designing programs. It’s especially rewarding when feedback from the residents comes back around to me and I was able to help create something memorable, enjoyable, and educational for them.
  • What motivates you: I like making a difference in people’s lives. I think too many health professions are focused solely on extending quantity of life and not quality of life. Here, we get to do both, but I think that the improved quality of life is what impacts residents the most.
  • What is your favorite hobby: Probably backpacking and hiking with my family, but honestly anything outdoors is pretty appealing to me!

     

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    ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing nifs staff

Staff High Five: Karen Kloss

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • KKlossName: Karen Kloss
  • City, State: Hershey, PA
  • Years with NIFS: 3 years
  • Position: Health Fitness Specialist
  • What brought you to NIFS: I was looking for another part-time job and I was brought on as part-time fitness center coverage.  I was in Corporate Fitness awhile ago and always enjoyed it.  Then a few months later a full-time position opened up and I decided to apply for it.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: I can’t think of just one moment but there have a been a few members that never took group fitness classes and I was able to convince them to try the new Kickboxing class and ever since, it has been their favorite class.  Love seeing them learn the moves and get better each class. 
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: We are professional, knowledgeable, and we care about our work and the members.  We motivate and develop relationships with the members.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: My favorite thing at my site is instructing Group Fitness Classes.  The members here like the classes, they like to be pushed and they truly enjoy taking the classes.  And I can tell they appreciate me and the time I spend on preparing my classes.
  • What motivates you: At home, seeing my kids grow up and becoming better versions of themselves.  At work, the members motivate me.  I love socializing with the members, getting to know them, and just having fun with them.
  • What is your favorite hobby: Summertime – kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.  Winter - skiing.

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ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

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Staff High Five: Morgan Garrett

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • MGarrettName: Morgan Garrett
  • City, State: Scottsdale, AZ
  • Years with NIFS: 9 years
  • Position: Senior Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS: I was wanting a more consistent schedule and to work with a variety of clients.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member:  One of my clients let me know that what he looks forward to most now, is our sessions. He feels that they have improved his quality of life in the last few years and is so happy he started working out.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: The ability to adapt to situations and abilities of clients. To know what is going to work for each client and helping them to achieve their goals.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: The atmosphere, positivity of each member. I also enjoy the direct management relations at my community.
  • What motivates you: Making the fitness center fun and enjoyable for all levels of care.
  • What is your favorite hobby: I enjoy golfing, hiking and traveling. I also love cooking on the grill and having friends over.

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ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: senior fitness management nifs fitness management staffing nifs staff

Staff High Five: Jordan Watson

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • Name: Jordan WatsonJWatson
  • City, State: Harrisburg, PA
  • Years with NIFS: 3.5 years
  • Position: Fitness Center Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS: I was looking for professional growth within the fitness industry and NIFS provided an opportunity for growth with the flexibility and support for creativity. I felt that NIFS as an organization provides tremendous support for their staff to better serve the clients.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: There was one member who was a college-athlete. She used to run track, and her alma mater was putting together an alumni track and field event.  In a group fitness class, she mentioned that she was training for the event and was nervous to compete.  I offered to do an ExRx with her to focus her training and help her feel confident enough to compete.  I’m passionate about sports and I also ran used to run track so I was excited to help her on her quest.  The event was canceled just days before, which was disappointing, but the member made sure to come back to me and express her appreciation for my help.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: I think what separates a NIFS fitness pro is the educational resources. With passionate and certified fitness professionals, we are able to provide our clients with the education and tools they need to succeed now and in the future. Not just encourage lifestyle changes but educate on how to achieve positive change.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: My favorite thing about working at my client site is the level of care the client has for their employees’ health and wellness. They value our expertise and trust us to perform our duties, which makes it easier for us to have a positive impact on our members.  We coordinate with other departments on a variety of health and wellness related events. The client really shows that their employees’ health and wellness is a priority.
  • What motivates you: What motivates me is knowing I’m making a difference.  Not my success story, but hearing our member’s success stories and watching them make positive strides in their health.  Just knowing that what I am doing has an impact on someone else motivates me.
  • What is your favorite hobby: My favorite hobby is just being around my kids. Running with them, playing games.  The more active they are becoming, the happier I am.

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ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

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Staff High Five: Mike Hertzler

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • MHertzlerName: Mike Hertzler
  • City, State: Richmond, VA
  • Years with NIFS: 3 months
  • Position: Fitness and Vibrance Director
  • What brought you to NIFS: I was attracted to the opportunity with NIFS because of the resources, the team and evidence-based training. I also wanted to continue to enrich the lives of older adults, using my background, experience, and skillset.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member:  Nothing encourages me more than to see a resident or team member work through a tough life event and change their life. It is by far my favorite part of my career; is seeing their progress and quality of life changing as a result. More recently, I filled in for a program, and 4 of the participants in the class were new to the program. And I spoke with one of their spouses soon after the class finished, and she says, “That’s the happiest I’ve seen my husband in years!” Moments like that never get old to me!
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest:  NIFS requires the highest level of creativity, as well as comes with a large support system/network, program incentives, and resources right at your fingertips. It’s amazing! I enjoy the open dialogue with our team, balance of structure, and autonomy NIFS provides me. NIFS also requires a high level of education, experience, and specialized certifications while working with the older adult population.  
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: I truly enjoy working with older adults! I didn’t know exactly where my education and career would take me, but I’m sure glad it brought me here. There’s something special about working in a retirement community setting, and the relationships you form. I learn just as much from the residents, and I’ve made a lot of new friends along the way.
  • What motivates you:  By helping others, and doing things for other people. I’m also motivated to be the best friend, leader, husband, and father one day that I can be.  
  • What is your favorite hobby:  I love being outdoors, camping, hiking, boating, and exploring new areas. I think if it were possible, I would spend all day outside!

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ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing nifs staff

NIFS High Five: Rebecca Guetig

B.GuetigWe say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • Name: Rebecca Guetig
  • City, State: Indianapolis, IN
  • Years with NIFS: Part-time in college, including a summer internship 2010 – 2015, then full time from 2015 until now
  • Position: Wellness Coordinator at a Senior Living Community
  • What brought you to NIFS: I wanted to work in an environment that revolves around wellness
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: A newer resident moved from a different community, after some encouragement to come to programs, she finally started to and became pretty social after giving it a shot.  She said she hasn’t been this happy in a long time and thanked me for continuing to invite her come for classes and programs.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: NIFS requires a high level of creativity and customer service excellence and comes with a large network of resources.  I enjoy the balance of structure and autonomy NIFS provides me.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: I enjoy being with the senior demographic more than I ever would have imagined when I started my career in the health and fitness industry.  There’s something special about working in this setting; there’s an abundance of fulfillment.
  • What motivates you: I know what we teach our members makes a difference, we see it every day.
  • What is your favorite hobby: I love to turn on some Louis Armstrong and whip up something in the kitchen… no recipe and a glad of red wine.

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ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

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Staff High Five: Kaitlyn Pando

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • KPandoName: Kaitlyn Pando
  • City, State: Indianapolis, IN
  • Years with NIFS: 2.5 years
  • Position: Health Fitness Specialist
  • What brought you to NIFS: I went to school at Ball State, and I always heard of NIFS in our classes. I knew that if my professors were always mentioning NIFS that it must be a great place to work. I graduated knowing that I wanted to go into corporate wellness, so when I saw NIFS had a position in corporate fitness I had to apply.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: I received a personal fitness quest client who was not active. I started working with them to slowly add in a little bit of movement into their days. I worked with them beyond the 4 weeks because I knew that this could help change their life. Fast forward a few months and we ran a program that required them to try and workout 5 days a week for 6 weeks. This member ended up being one of the few that got almost every single day in for 6 weeks straight. I am so proud of this person. They went from not being active at all to getting some form of movement into their day every single day.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness professional from the rest: One thing that separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest is that NIFS puts an emphasis on having background knowledge in the fitness industry. We all come to this job with at least 4 years of schooling in this field. NIFS then encourages us to get certifications, attend workshops, and more. We are always learning as NIFS fitness professionals.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: The members are by far the best part of my job. We have so many great members here that keep work fun and exciting. I love getting to know all of them and help them achieve whatever goals they may be.
  • What motivates you: My group fitness class participants motivate me. I want my participants to leave every class knowing that they got a great workout in. This makes me continue to think outside of the box on how to make my workouts challenging, but fun so they keep coming back.
  • What is your favorite hobby: Camping with my husband and dog!

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Staff High Five: Tracy Yost

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • Name: Tracy YostTYost
  • City, State: Redding, CT
  • Years with NIFS: a little over 2 years. However, I started as a per diem sub so add in an additional 3-4 months of sub work.
  • Position: Fitness Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS: I was looking to work in fitness on a campus with an older population. After working a few shifts for the previous manager, I knew I liked working at my client site. Then I saw the Fitness Manager's role posted online. I immediately applied. As they say, the rest is history. I find tremendous satisfaction in working with an older population. I understand that it takes effort for them to get to fitness class/gym. I try to make sure that they feel it was worth the effort. I often find that the super seniors, as I call them, are so grateful for every workout, every balance challenge, every tip, etc. In some ways, I work for the daily reward of making a difference in people's lives. 
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: I like to do a loving kindness meditation practice in November. I find that it sets the stage for a better Thanksgiving Day. There was no established mindfulness practice here so I took a risk and introduced a morning meditation class. We had half a dozen participants (which is good for us). One particular day after 3 weeks or so of practicing loving kindness every weekday morning, the energy/the flow was particularly powerful in the room. My voice & pace just right, no outside noises, no late comers, etc. As I was reading the script, I could feel the charged emotion in the room and in my own body. I looked up and eyes were closed but tears were streaming down most faces. I believe it was a moment of true forgiveness combined with the power of group energy.  It's hard to describe but it was profound. In fact, those of us in the room still feel connected to each other. I was able to build on that connection during the year of Covid isolation. I added those residents to my weekly call list. 
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: The resources and the support. We are able to tap into a group of fitness professionals who understand the age population and the dynamic of a continuing care community. We share best practices and best programs. However, it's the next step that truly separates us: we are able to use what we have learned and tailor it to our individual site. Suggestions and answers are a phone call or email away. 
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: The people, it's always about the people & relationships for me. I love working on a campus and connecting residents to all the resources available on the campus. Right now, my absolute fave thing is providing scavenger hunts that allow residents to walk and explore every nook & cranny of the community.
  • What motivates you: Feeling part of...a team, a community, a family. Helping people. I like connecting to residents with conversations, learning about their lives before moving into the community. I also like feeling part of the team that ensures that residents are getting the assistance that they need. As the Fitness Manager, I see residents daily and thus see/hear/notice changes that I am able to share with the transition team. 
  • What is your favorite hobby: I love my 2 dogs. I love day hikes. On Sundays, my husband and I (with our dogs) are currently exploring The Charles Ives Trail in our area of Connecticut. It's an 18-mile trail (that we had never heard of) that travels through the nearby towns in our area. I love crochet but its's currently on hold. Instead, I am sewing intricate felt Christmas stockings for my family. It's been a long process.  I play a crazy mah jongg solitaire game with real tiles (not online). I read a lot of books. I actually listen to books- as I drive, as I sew, as I exercise. My daughters live in California.  I love visiting them and exploring with them. Lastly, I run races but not because I like running. I run races because somehow, I am able to convince friends to do one with me. It becomes more about the race weekend and the time spent together with friends than the actual race. Ironically a friend just reversed roles & convinced me to join her in a 50-mile race called Rock the Ridge. 

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ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing nifs staff

Staff High Five: Hannah Nordin

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • Name: Hannah NordinHNordin
  • City, State: Indianapolis, IN
  • Years with NIFS: 1.5 years
  • Position: Assistant Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS: I was working as a trainer at another gym, but I was eager to find a job that expanded my role. I felt like NIFS was a perfect fit because my role allows me to train individuals 1:1, create and teach fun group fitness classes, design and lead corporate programs, and more. I love using my knowledge and passion for fitness in creative ways with NIFS.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: I worked with a member who participated in the PFQ program. She used to be a collegiate athlete so had plenty of background knowledge about fitness. She hadn’t prioritized working out in a while and came to me for accountability. While she was working with me, she learned new combo moves, improved balance, improved stamina, and restored her passion for fitness. She even got her husband and her daughter involved in some of her workouts!
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: A NIFS fitness pro is dedicated to not only giving the members what they ask for, but going above and beyond. We care about the members as individuals and educate them so that they have the tools to succeed in their fitness journey. We provide creative ways to incorporate physical activity into our members’ daily lives and most importantly, we lead by example because we know how important is to not only talk about fitness but actively participate and prioritize it in our own lives.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: I LOVE that the client prioritizes their employees health. They work with us to push out programs and information to all employees, not just the fitness center members. We work with some of the other contractors in the nutrition and wellbeing field to offer employees the best health experience possible.
  • What motivates you: I am motivated to help and inspire members because I know how much physical activity has positively impacted my life. I have had so many members start on a path toward a goal and in the process, find out that they are gaining so much more than what they expected. I like to say that physical fitness is just one component of well-being, but that it can be one of the most powerful sources of health and happiness.
  • What is your favorite hobby: I love hiking, camping, and being outside as often as possible!

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ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing nifs staff