Education: Wayne State University, Detroit, bachelor’s degree in corporate finance
First job: I worked my way up in the Powerhouse Gym in Farmington Hills. I began as a receptionist when I was 15 years old, then I moved into sales and later, management. From there, I learned the back end of the Powerhouse business. I was managing the facility by the time I was 18 years old.
What is your greatest business challenge?
To try to grow the Powerhouse Gym brand while maintaining the grassroots environment and remembering how we began. Now that fitness is more mainstream, we have to cater to members who look for options like day care or physical therapy. Our owners offer those services, but we still have to make sure that we maintain what we are all about providing results-oriented services to a conditioned market.
What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
To not force something that is not meant to be. If you force a deal or business relationship, it usually will not work. You can make a few good deals in the time it takes to clean up one bad mess.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
I admire those who have the odds stacked against them, who are not supposed to make it but they do because of work ethic. I admire my father and uncle because they started with nothing, and they made something of themselves. They didn’t have the opportunity to be formally educated. They learned everything on their own. They had only the money they worked for and saved. They outworked everyone else to get where they are today.