Membership All-Star: Arif Gursel

Spreading the WAC word.

For this Membership All-Star, the WAC provides decompression downtown.

By Madelyn Reese

As a busy entrepreneur, Arif Gursel appreciates the comfortable atmosphere he finds at the WAC. “The Club gives me a much-needed break,” he says. “It’s also a great environment to host business meetings.”

That mix of relaxation and business is one of the many reasons Arif shares the benefits of WAC membership with friends and colleagues, some of whom first hear about the WAC from Arif’s social media updates inside the Club.

Arif is one of 20 WAC Membership All-Stars. To make the group, members had to sponsor at least three new WAC members during the 2014–2015 fiscal year. Arif’s father was a member of the New York Athletic Club, and Arif grew up exposed to first-rate athletics and a bustling social scene.

—Learn more about WAC Membership and how to refer new members.—

“I’m addicted to a regimen that includes the steam room, sauna, and sports,” Arif says. “The WAC offers top-notch facilities.”

Arif arrived in Seattle in 2000 to work for Microsoft and left the company in 2013. He now runs his own company, VIBEHEAVY, focused on technology development and digital marketing in the media and entertainment space. He also runs a nonprofit called PACE.

“Our work at PACE is focused on empowering communities through entrepreneurial efforts and S.T.E.M. [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] activism,” Arif says. The group runs a business incubator focused on creating social impact and supporting local initiatives.

The path to entrepreneurship came naturally to Arif. Born in Chicago, raised in Brooklyn, he attended the prestigious Brooklyn Technical High School and went on to graduate with a computer science degree from Tuskegee University. From there, he earned an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Arif sponsored three new WAC members during the 2014–2015 WAC fiscal year.

When it comes right down to it, Arif says: “The WAC is a great place for anyone who conducts business in the heart of downtown Seattle.”

—As published in the September/October 2015 issue of WAC Magazine.

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