Friday, April 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Michelle Clark promotes a healthy lifestyle

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In Shape Vice President of Marketing Michelle Clark dips her toe in the Shingle Springs facility’s pool. She said her company creates a great environemnt for its female employees. Courtesy photo

Working for a company named In-Shape might make a lot of women self-conscious, but not Michelle Clark.

“Ten years in the fitness industry has taught me that everyone defines being ‘in shape’ a little differently,” Clark said. “Our company mission is to help members have fun and live an ‘In-Shape Lifestyle,’ not to push a bodybuilding image or otherwise make folks feel pressure.”

In-Shape may not be about hard bodies, but the Stockton-based company has definitely seen its share of growth in recent years. A Shingle Springs location joined the In-Shape network of 70 clubs in October 2012, expanding its coverage area into El Dorado County where Clark believes opportunities abound.

“We’re investing over $1million into our Shingle Springs location to make it the best healthy living destination in the area hands-down,” she explained. “We want it to shine as the best family friendly fitness and activity center in our company.”

Clark joined the rapidly expanding health club chain in 2008 after relocating to northern California from Dallas, Texas. A native of Los Angeles, she missed the laid-back California culture and closeness with family and friends. “I was engaged to be married and chose to move back to California. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

As In-Shape’s vice president of Marketing, Clark oversees company promotions, advertising, events, public relations, member communications, website and digital marketing, as well as overall brand identity. Her team supports all 70 locations statewide, and their efforts have helped the health club chain more than double in size in the last five years.

“I’m enormously proud to work for a company that is so pro-woman,” she said. “Not only do we employ women in all areas of our clubs and corporate office, we create environments for women to feel good and focus on themselves.”

In-Shape clubs typically include kids clubs that provide affordable coverage while parents get some time to themselves. The Shingle Springs location also has pools, basketball, racquet sports and other activities that help families spend time together.  “We’re part of making people’s lives better, and I love that I get to focus on that every day at work,” Clark said.

Clark’s schedule is a juggling act typical of a wife and working mom, so she often tries to combine work and personal; she can be seen swimming with her 4-year-old son at In-Shape most Sundays, and she often asks her husband’s advice on work projects to keep him involved in that part of her life. “Everyone is always trying to get fit, stay fit, lose weight, or look better,” she said, “so it’s a business everyone can relate to. My husband loves troubleshooting my work challenges!”

As the company spokesperson, she is always on call for media interviews or coordination of club visits. And her team is never surprised by late night e-mails with thoughts for the next day. “I respect people’s personal time as I do my own, and I almost never call or text my team about work after hours,” she said. “However, I never hesitate to send an e-mail for the next morning.  Business is 24/7 these days, and we can always do more for our members and our clubs.  The ideas never stop.”

Special to the Democrat

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