Think Tank of Experts

The GGFA Think Tank Panel of Experts is a group of professionals that support the GGFA through education.  Each of them have expertise in various areas of business, and are particularly knowledgeable in gym operations.  Through the association’s resources, they present in educational webinars and write articles and blogs that published and available to GGFA Members. 


Sara Kooperman HeadshotGroup Fitness / Fitness Education
Sara Kooperman, CEO – SCW Fitness

Sara is part of the Gold’s Gym Think Tank, a favorite Club Industry, ABC and IHRSA presenter, as well as the Illinois State Business Woman of the Year. As CEO of SCW Fitness Education and WATERinMOTION® and producer of 8 MANIA Fitness Conferences, Sara is also a licensed attorney, a Fitness Editor for Oxygen Magazine, a former adjunct faculty member for the Kenneth Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research, ACSM, and NASM. Sara co-founded WATERinMOTION, a pre-choreographed one-of-a-kind Aqua Fitness Program and is the proud recipient of AEA’s Global Award for her Contribution to the Aquatic Industry. Sara was most recently inducted into the prestigious National Fitness Hall of Fame.

Rick Mayo Headshot

Personal Training Structure, Sales and Service
Rick Mayo, CEO – North Point Fitness & Alloy Personal Training Solutions

Rick Mayo is the founder and CEO of North Point Fitness (est. 1992) and Alloy Personal Training Solutions. As the owner of North Point Fitness, Rick and his team conduct over 50,000 personal training sessions a year. In 2010, Rick created Alloy, a consulting and licensing company as a platform for the North Point business/personal training systems. Alloy has consulted with over 500 clubs and has licensees worldwide in markets as far away as Tasmania and Poland.  Rick is a featured speaker at conferences domestically and internationally, speaking on how to best sell and service personal training.  He presented over 25 times just last year as a keynote in Australia and a subject matter expert in personal training. He has written numerous articles on the business of fitness for trade journals and contributes regularly to national publications such as Men’s Health. Rick sits on the board for the GA State exercise science department as well as the Atlanta School of Fitness. Rick is also an NSCA certified personal trainer and has also recently been elected to the Industry Board of Advisors for the American Council on Exercise.


Blair McHaney HeadshotCustomer Experience Management
Blair McHaney, President – Clubworks

Blair spent 2.5 years as VP of Strategic Initiatives for Medallia, Inc., the global leader in Operational Customer Experience Management (OCEM) technology and is certified in OCEM through the Medallia Institute.  He has served as an educator for the Medallia Institute and is currently President of Club Works Inc., specializing in Medallia’s OCEM system for the fitness industry and a subject matter expert on operationalizing CEM.  He is President of Confluence Fitness Partners, Inc. operating two Gyms in the Wenatchee Valley for over 30 years, a former President of the Gold’s Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA), and former Director Emeritus for the GGFA.  Blair has been recognized for his contribution to the Gold’s Gym brand and has been presented with several awards.

Bryan O'Rourke Headshot

Social Media / Technology
Bryan O’Rourke, President – Fitness Industry Technology Council

Bryan O’Rourke is an accomplished CEO, strategic adviser, entrepreneur, investor and professional speaker.  His expertise in technology, strategy, development, marketing, management and finance has led to a track record of results in fitness and wellness, food and beverage, international trade, technology and franchising. Bryan has led organizations and projects in Asia, the EU, and the Americas. He has transformed organizations and brought stakeholders together in a variety of roles.  He is an acknowledged thought leader in fitness, wellness and technology , his articles have been published in a variety of established periodicals and he has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and New York times, among other leading newspapers. Bryan O’Rourke has been a featured speaker and presenter at numerous industry conferences. He serves as a member of the American Council on Exercise/s Industry Advisory Panel and was named by IHRSA as one of 13 to watch in 2013 because of his predictions and insights into this exciting and transformative period in our industry.  Bryan recently became a member of the Board of Directors for IHRSA.

Jim Thomas HeadshotGym Turnarounds / Sales Training / Team Building
Jim Thomas, President – Fitnesss Management & Consulting

Jim Thomas is the well-known founder and president of Fitness Management USA, Inc., a management consulting and turnaround firm specializing in the fitness and health club industry.  With over 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Jim lectures and delivers seminars and workshops across the country on the practical skills required to successfully build teamwork and market fitness programs and products.  Since forming Fitness Management, he has been turning health clubs around at an amazing rate and garnering a reputation as a producer of change…a sharp-eyed troubleshooter, a brilliant sales trainer, and a motivator.   A dynamic, articulate motivator, Jim exudes confidence without artifice and accomplishes wonders without the bruised feelings that can so often accompany change.