Hapana Executive Profile: Gem Elliott

Hapana Executive Gem Elliot

For all the preparation that goes into launching a health club, or new location of a boutique studio concept, success or failure eventually falls at the hands of sales and marketing. Gem Elliott knows success firsthand.

The devil is often in the details – in how the prospect’s needs are unpacked, in how their goals are assessed. How they become a long-term member of the club is dependent upon a well-thought-out, detailed engagement strategy. Few in this industry are more qualified or have a better track record for doing so than Gem Elliot, our Global Director of Client Solutions.

Gem Elliot is a native of Istanbul, Turkey, where he was raised until the age of 11 when he moved to the U.S. Gem would go on to earn a mathematics and physics degree before getting into the club industry from the ground up. After simply purchasing a gym membership and getting to know the club owner, Gem was soon hired as a fitness manager.

Gem got his start working at the club level at Gold’s Gym International in the Washington DC Metro area. It was there where Gem was promoted from being a successful fitness manager to a regional fitness manager based on his ability to flip non-performing PT departments into high-performing ones. What was his secret to success?

“I worked on getting my teams to focus on getting prospective clients’ buy-in on how the program was going to help them change their life, instead of just trying to sell a package of training services. But, even with that approach, you still need many systems in place for execution.”

– Gem Elliott

Gem would eventually take his proven playbook to STAYFIT24 – where he was able to increase personal training revenue by 40% over a 12-month period, and then on to Grit Fitness, where he increased PT revenue by a whopping 3,600% year over year. 

In all his experience, Gem is a firm believer in selling personal training first as a means to grow a member base, as opposed to selling people primarily on membership only. 

“When a client first comes in, we should be talking about how they want to feel and how they want to look, then build a growth map for them from there. This puts the member on a path to long-term success.”

– Gem Elliott



Gem would eventually make his way to Visual Fitness Planner, before being introduced to Hapana Founder and CEO Jarron Aizen. “I was extremely impressed with Jarron’s vision for what could be possible in the fitness industry. Having worked in a number of different technology tools, I was acutely aware of the limitations of a multi-solution approach to creating an engaging member experience. Being a part of the team here at Hapana which is capable of supplying a single platform to deliver exactly what a club wants, is an amazing feeling.

Gem’s experience as a fitness manager shows when you meet him in person, as does his 20-year hobby of bodybuilding. Outside of the gym, Gem can be found racing motorcycles, where he applies the same meticulous, detailed approach to his personal trainer sales systems as he does to a machine that travels in excess of 180 miles per hour.

When Gem is at home, he’s spending time with his wife, their two 7-pound dogs, and reading about astrophysics and the limitations of the galaxy. Gem’s curiosity for the limitations of the universe truly knows no bounds.

Curious to see how your business would look with the power of Hapana? Request a demo today.

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