Inside Stories

Inside Stories

Seven WAC members share their early Club experiences

By Mae Jacobson, WAC Associate Editor

As a new group of members joins the Club this spring—our most popular season for membership growth—we thought it would be a good time to catch up with some of last year’s membership class. We met with seven members to find out what they’ve learned and how the Club might have surprised them.

Stephanie Elliott

An avid gym-goer, Stephanie Elliott was drawn to the WAC by its state-of-the-art facilities and diverse fitness services. She joined in November 2015 and has been enjoying the Club ever since. From networking to volleyball, Stephanie takes advantage of all the WAC has to offer.

Why did you join the WAC?

The convenience of the location is really nice, and the Club has great facilities for someone who spends a lot of time working out. But an even bigger reason has to do with the people. There’s a community the WAC provides. Members share a connection that extends outside of the Club.

How do you use the Club?

I mainly come to work out. I’ve gotten used to seeing the same members and personal trainers on the 4th Floor, which is great because they keep you accountable by making sure you are getting a workout in even when you feel like you don’t want to. Playing on the WAC coed volleyball team has also been a highlight. It’s been fun to compete against other teams and help grow the program.

Is there anything about being a WAC member that surprised you?

I work in the legal space as a recruiter. I’m always surprised when I end up in a conversation with someone at the WAC and find out they are a lawyer or work at a law firm. The WAC has so many members. You’re always meeting someone new. I’ve used the Club for networking and business lunches, as well. It’s a great place to bring clients because it’s quiet and has a nice atmosphere.

Tony Hansen

Feeling like he was in a fitness rut at his previous health club, Tony Hansen decided it was time for a change. In seeking a comprehensive health club that was more than just a place to work out, he landed on the WAC. Tony joined in February of 2015 and has been a happy member ever since.

What have been the highlights of your first year of membership?

I love the dining options for Christmas, Easter, and Seahawks games. A couple of the trainers have provided me with excellent personal training. And Tamela Thomas has been a great fitness concierge, directing me to some of the Club’s many services. To top it all off, the barbershop is now my go-to for monthly haircuts. I also sense real camaraderie between members. The various places you can relax are great too.

Do you have a favorite place at the Club?

The Voogd Library is a hidden gem.

Beyond your fitness goals, how are you hoping to use the Club?

I think there’s a potential that being a member of the WAC can help enhance my professional development. The WAC attracts innovative and established professionals. We can all benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience.

Sophia LaValle

A Kirkland native and Washington State University graduate, Sophia LaValle moved to Seattle in 2008. She attended numerous WAC events as a guest before joining in 2015 after she started working downtown.

What do you like most about the Club?

The diversity of what it offers. Whether you’re looking for new classes, tickets to fun events in the city, a quick spot for lunch, or just a place to relax, you can find it at the WAC. I’ve also enjoyed events like Jubilee, and The Main Event was a fun and new experience for me—I had never been to an actual boxing match!

What has been the most surprising part of being a WAC member?

The people! It’s a really welcoming environment. I’ve been working out more frequently and find that my quality of life is only getting better being a part of the WAC. To me, the Club is more than just a gym. It’s part of my lifestyle.

How do you use the Club?

I love the exercise classes. Earl’s 5:45 am spin class is a highlight. I love getting in a good sweat with him in the morning. He is a wonderful motivator and instructor. The Spa has been great, as well. I’ve been in for a massage and a facial. Both were wonderful, and I would highly recommend it.

Andrew Le

A member since August of last year, Andy Le joined the WAC after moving downtown. He wanted a gym with a basketball court within walking distance of his condo. Andy found exactly what he was looking for—and more—at the WAC.

How would you describe your WAC experience so far?

Everyone has been more than welcoming. I’ve made friends with quite a few members, and the Club’s service is excellent. There’s a strong sense of community among the members.

Has anything about the Club surprised you?

When I initially joined, I planned on using the Club exclusively as a gym. Now I dine at the WAC and am involved in other Club activities. I even visit reciprocal clubs from time to time.

You also joined the WAC basketball league. How’s that going?

I’ve been playing recreational basketball off and on for the last 10 years. The WAC league is very accommodating toward a busy lifestyle. I immediately felt welcomed. After each game, we get together for drinks or just to chat and trade jokes. It’s a great way to get to know your teammates and other league members. I’ve built a great network of friends and potential business associates this way. Most of us have become friends outside the basketball league.

Mark Moore and Bert Johnson

After their old health clubs disappeared seemingly overnight, Mark Moore and Bert Johnson wanted a club they could count on for the long haul. Impressed with the WAC’s location and longevity, the couple joined in August 2014.

What has been your favorite part about being a WAC member?

Mark: The hospitality from the staff has been incredible. From the parking attendants to the fitness attendants, we have received a very personable level of service. We also like the reciprocal club offerings and recently visited the Outrigger Canoe Club in Hawaii.

How was that experience?

Mark: We were looking for somewhere to work out during a two-week vacation. Bert used the gym and I worked on the lanai. The staff was very hospitable and it was an ideal location for dinner, looking back over Waikiki.

Bert: The food was excellent and very reasonably priced, like here at the WAC.

Has your WAC membership benefited you in any ways you
didn’t expect?

Bert: I recently had knee surgery and I’m taking advantage of the Wellness Center for physical therapy. It’s extremely convenient. I’ve also been doing personal training during my recovery. The entire experience has been very professional and personable.

David Han

A member since February 2015, David Han first came to the WAC in search of a health club downtown. As a city dweller, David was attracted to the WAC’s convenient location. Since joining, he has explored the many services the Club provides.

How do you use the WAC?

I use the weight room and the swimming pool, and I recently joined the basketball league, which has been a great way for me to meet new people. You can also find me at Hagerty’s, where I’ll sometimes catch a game on TV.

What do you like most about the Club?

I enjoy that it’s never overcrowded, and the people I meet are always really friendly.

Any surprises thus far?

The social benefits were a pleasant surprise that I didn’t expect. I’ve been involved with a few activities, such as the 20s/30s mixers and basketball league, and I recently joined the Food & Beverage Committee. It’s a good group of people, and I look forward to exploring the social aspects more this year.

Meet Amanda Brynn, new Director Member Services

Director of Member Services, Amanda Brynn

Amanda Brynn, the WAC’s new Director Member Services, comes to us from the Seattle Yacht Club, where she worked as the Director of Membership for the past three years.

Amanda began working in membership at the Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, a job that combined her passion for golf and helping others. Her love for golf inspired Amanda to found the retail store Chicks Golf, Too, which she ran in Puyallup until 2010.

In her new position, Amanda looks forward to helping WAC members connect with each other and the Club. “I’ve always enjoyed working with people,” she says. “Helping people connect to a community they love is exciting
for me.”

When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys golfing, skiing, tennis, and live music. She has one son, 20-year-old Kyle, a junior at Eastern Washington University. A Pacific Northwest native, Amanda attended Bothell High School and graduated from the Lutheran Bible Institute of Seattle.

Please welcome Amanda to the WAC!

As published in the March/April 2016 issue of WAC Magazine.

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