Member Spotlight, Jim and Grace Long – April 2018
You may have met members Jim and Grace Long in a Yoga or foam-rolling class or playing pickle ball in the gym where they’re regulars and they’ve become pretty good at it! But they’ve been coming to the club much longer than pickle ball has been around here. When they joined in 1983, Grace was mostly in the pool swimming laps and Jim exercising in the weight room or on the tennis courts.
The happy couple met at the University of Illinois; Jim was getting his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Grace was one of only 5 women in her graduating class of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Grace also holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Pathology and later went on to receive her MBA from Webster. She recently retired from Purina, but still works part time at Heritage Veterinary Hospital (see business spotlight below.) She is from Bloomington, Illinois, and Jim from Oakley Kansas, but McDonnell Douglas was what brought them to St. Louis which is where they call home. Jim is now retired from FlightSafety International after spending many years developing their flight simulators.
This summer will mark their 49th wedding anniversary and they have 3 grown married children and 4 grandchildren to help them celebrate. Other than her favorite hobby of playing pickle ball, in her free time, Grace also enjoys watercolor painting and playing the piano at Incarnate Word. And Jim is studying up on his pickle ball skills on YouTube! Come join them for one of our open pickle ball days and say hello!
Member Spotlight, Diane Gibbs – March 2018
After a couple of nudges from a coworker, Diane reluctantly tried out the CAC as a guest in January 2017; not sure what she was expecting, she was pleasantly surprised. She thought she had walked into the “grande dame” of athletic clubs. Diane described her first impression as, “an older, yet well-maintained beautiful club with a very dignified presence.” Diane joined within the week. After a couple of visits she talked herself into trying a SPIN and TREKKING class, and that’s where she ran into Personal Trainers/Instructors, Benita Perkins and Jerry Morrison. In her own words, “These two may be small in stature but what they carry in character and personality is nothing short of amazing. They are both fun, supportive and sincerely make you want to be your best. My confidence level has tripled since joining the CAC, and I will be participating in “Pedal the Cause” as a member of the CAC Team for my 2nd year this September. I can honestly say without a doubt I would have never tried anything like that prior to CAC.”
When Diane is not working at Heffernan Insurance Brokers, you will typically find her volunteering or participating in events for their non-profit clients. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes and the community. Diane has found that volunteering and helping others can help reduce stress, combat depression and keep her mentally stimulated. She also found a sense of purpose from a most humbling weekend in Houston helping out after the floods. Diane spends a lot of time working with Operation Food Search who feeds over 200,000 people in the St. Louis area each month, one-third of which are children and volunteers with the Pujols Family Foundation whose mission is to promote awareness, provide hope and meet tangible needs for children and families who live with Down syndrome. Next up for Diane is the Lung Cancer Connection’s annual “RUN.WALK.BREATHE” and the “Walk To End Lupus Now – Saint Louis” which you can learn more about below.
Member Spotlight, Emily & Owen Hasson & Family – January 2018
The Hasson family have been CAC members since 2015, and over the past year we’ve been seeing a lot less of Owen…145 pounds less that is! All of Owen’s numbers were high – blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and diabetes runs in his family. It was no surprise to him when the doctor advised him he had to make some changes. He started by attending a healthy lifestyle class, purchased a Garmin fitness tracker and downloaded the ‘My Fitness Pal’ app. While using portion control and watching his carbs, Owen began exercising by walking around the block, which exhausted him at first but that didn’t stop him.
Emily suggested they get back into playing tennis which they hadn’t done since high school, and once they started playing again they wondered why they hadn’t done it sooner! Owen could also see the positive impact exercising had on Emily and how much she enjoyed the club. So he began taking a few fitness classes such as Benita’s Trekking and Kristina’s Tabata, and found how motivating they are. He kept walking, and together the family completed their first 5k together in April 2016 (see pic). Although he finished close to the end, he didn’t give up. After that time, Owen gradually increased his speed and distance, and on August 26, he ran his first half marathon! It’s since become a family affair – they’ve completed two 5Ks together with their children, Max (15) and Samantha (11).
Owen’s numbers are now in line, he’s off all the meds and no longer has sleep apnea. His energy level has increased and he says he feels better than ever, with one exception – he was diagnosed with Parsonage Turner Syndrome, a rare peripheral nerve disorder causing pain and weakness in his shoulder. While this has been temporarily preventing him from playing tennis, he has kept his spirits up and staying active on the fitness side of the club. His advice is: “To begin, begin.” And above all else, never give up.
As for the rest of the family, Emily has completed 2 half marathons and a Tough Mudder, and she enjoys taking the fitness classes & playing tennis at the Club. Max plays tennis and Samantha is looking forward to her 3rd year swimming on the CAC swim team. If you see them at the club, give them a high five!
Arina Lanis & Family – December 2017
A graphic designer, photographer & marketing strategist, Arina spent her first seven years in Kiev, Ukraine, before moving to the US with her parents. Since she’s been in St. Louis, she’s implemented branding & marketing campaigns for some of the area’s most prominent businesses and even published her own magazine. In KC, she was a regular on TV’s, Better Kansas City, where she inspired viewers with tips & ideas on entertaining & party recipes. Now, she’s writing a book about entertaining, real parties for real people; stay tuned for more details!
The need to be closer to her parents arose, so Arina set up a second home in St. Louis and has been commuting back & forth with her sons for the past few months. “There’s no question that dividing time & managing family between two cities is difficult, but the CAC has been a beacon of light for me & my family,” Arina adds, “Both boys (ages 10 and 14) are regulars at the club and love tennis & swimming.” And although Arina says she NEVER considered herself a morning person who exercised in the morning, she has now become addicted (her words exactly) to the morning line-up of classes taught by CAC instructors Diane, Renee, Heather, Benita, Kristina, and Chris. “No matter how stressful my day looks or how many items I have to check off my ‘to do’ list, I know each class will fuel me for the day’s challenges!” Arina adds, “Working out at the CAC has truly become one of the best parts of my day!”
But Arina and her boys aren’t the only ones in her family who’ve been seeing positive results. Arina signed up her 80-year-old mother, Lucy, for the Mind in Motion class taught by personal trainers, Brent & Jerry. Although Lucy had a lot of anxiety leaving the comforts of her home to exercise at the club, she quickly realized the friendly & supportive atmosphere was just what she needed. Arina added, “It has been such a great experience and I saw improvements in my mom’s mood & outlook since the very first class. Plus, she just loves Brent and Jerry!”
The Ulett Family – November 2017
When you hear John Ulett’s voice at the Club, you may think there’s a Cardinal game on the radio. That’s because John “U-Man” is one of the most recognized voices in St. Louis – he’s been broadcasting at KSHE Radio for 41 years, 33 of which as the Public Address Announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals!
John, Ruth and their 3 beautiful daughters have been enjoying the club since 2003 when they joined the CAC for their girls to be on Swim Team. Olivia, their oldest, was part of the CAC Sharks Swim Team from 2003-2009 serving her last year as assistant coach; now she is a Physician Assistant at MO BAP and recently became engaged to Jordan Stretch (congrats, Olivia!) Abby, a senior at Mizzou studying Business & Fashion, was part of the Swim Team from 2003-2014 and is quite a volleyball player! When she is home from college, she and their youngest, Sophie, will either be in Heather’s Spinning Class or working out in the weight room to stay in shape. Now a senior at Marquette High School, Sophie is quite an athlete – a part of the Swim Team from 2003 to 2016, high school volleyball player and club/high school soccer teams. Sophie is also headed for Mizzou next fall! (Go Tigers!)
Ruth adds that working out, relaxing at the poolside cabanas and playing pickleball are some of the family’s favorite things to do at the Club. And John & Ruth have picked right up on pickleball – taking Silver in a Mixed Doubles Pickleball Tournament in October! When you see them at the club, give them a shout out or a high five! They plan on playing more pickleball in the future and have been enjoying the new outdoor pickleball court, too – they have definitely caught the pickleball fever!
Dave Bates – October 2017
After getting his biometric screening in May 2016 for his company’s health insurance, Dave reviewed his results with his doctor who expressed grave concern. His numbers were terrible, and at the time, he really didn’t work out. His diet was horrible and he was eating all the wrong foods – it was no wonder he had such a low energy level. Dave knew he had to make some significant changes. The thought of not living to see his 3 year old son grow up and missing time spent together with his wife was too much to bear.
At 285 pounds, Dave had to both improve his eating habits and start a fitness routine. With the support of his family, he drastically changed his diet to include smaller portions with more proteins such as chicken, fish and yogurt. He started walking on the treadmill to get in shape, and little by little, he progressed to jogging and then on to running. As his endurance gradually increased, so did his confidence. To continue challenging himself, he started running long distances outside. With his energy level improving, he was able to work out longer and run further while gaining muscle mass in the process. The pounds started to shed, and fast forward to today, he’s lost 90 pounds and feeling better at 195 pounds than he has in years. So much so, he decided to run his first half marathon on October 1!
Dave shared his before and after pics to encourage others that it’s never too late to start. If you need help, just ask one of the CAC trainers or fitness instructors to point you in the right direction. They truly care about the members’ health & well-being and will go the extra mile to get you there.
The Carter Family – September 2017
This month marks the 20 year anniversary the Carters have been members of the CAC. David and Sandy joined originally to play tennis then found they enjoyed the fitness side of the club equally as well. David, a financial analyst, plays on Paul’s men’s Saturday Doubles, enjoys working out and taking fitness classes. Sandy plays on Paul’s Ladies Interclub team and participates in a fitness class almost daily. Originally from Milwaukee, they had no family here when they moved; but since they’ve been at the club, they have made so many close friendships with fellow members they now consider them as their extended family.
Their kids, Christian and Abby, grew up at the club – from tot drop to tennis – advancing through the various tennis programs and then on to playing at Chaminade and St. Joe. Christian also took up rugby and lacrosse; now he’s coaching rugby at CBC. Today, he is pursuing his Doctorate in Chiropractic at Logan which he will complete in December, and Christian also holds a master’s degree in nutrition. He realized not only did he need to eat well to stay healthy but exercising regularly was just as important. Christian works out in the weight room daily and does the evening trekking & cycling classes for his cardio. Abby, who also enjoys the evening fitness classes, recently completed her Master’s in Clinical Psychology and is now working at Agility (see this month’s business spotlight for more details.)
One thing is for sure, there’s no shortage of laughter and fun when the Carters are around! They recall some of their fondest memories at the Club’s social events – from the St. Patty’s Day Tennis Mixer to the “HalloWine” Party. They are some of the club’s biggest fans and they’re looking forward to this year’s wine tasting event on October 13 – this time with a 70’s theme – and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us then!
Bruce McKay – August 2017
An active tennis and racquetball player, CAC Member, Bruce McKay, has been working out and playing court sports at the club since 2013. Maintaining a fit & healthy lifestyle has always been a priority for him, and he enjoys the camaraderie he has made with fellow club members.
He had been doing everything right – exercising & eating well – but following a routine physical last October, Bruce’s doctor found his PSA levels had risen from less than 1 to over 5 in less than a year. The diagnosis: Stage 1 prostate cancer.
After seeing a Urologist, Bruce underwent a biopsy which found two small areas of cancer on his prostate. His options were “watchful waiting” as these cancers are slow developing; or have it removed. Radiation was not recommended as he was considered too young (at 62) and it presents other collateral risks later in life.
Bruce opted for surgery which was completed laparoscopically in June at Mercy Hospital. Because the procedure was minimally invasive, he was up & walking two days later and resumed working two weeks later. And he was thrilled to be able to return to his normal fitness routine at the club in mid-July! He is convinced that his preparation & workout routine had a huge bearing on his rapid recovery. He did a lot of abdominal stretches & light-weight routines before the surgery which helped the muscles recover more quickly. That in turn minimized typical post-surgery complications such as incontinence.
Bruce joined Pedal for the Cause because it is widely recognized and combines two of his passions – fitness and beating cancer. He reached out to the CAC to form a Pedal for the Cause team because he considers us all as extended family. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t drop into the club at some point and has found everyone here friendly & accommodating and he knows most on a first name basis. (See below for more details on becoming part of the Pedal for the Cause team.)
Bruce has learned several lessons through his experience that he wants to share:
- Have that annual check-up. He felt great prior to his physical and never would have known anything was wrong without the PSA test
- Share the experience with others. There is a lot to know about the different treatment options and some of it can be confusing. The more you ask, the more you learn. And his type of cancer is very treatable with a high survival rate (99%), when detected early.
- Diet and fitness make a difference. Our diets are a major contributing factor to various types of cancer. Find out what is right for you.
An Executive Coach & Leadership Consultant, Bruce moved from Toronto to St. Louis in 2004 and became an American citizen in 2012. He is married with five children, all of whom are grown and living away – two in Florida, two in Canada and one in California, and he has three wonderful grandchildren, so he plans on doing a lot of travel in the future.
Debra Sartori – July 2017
CAC member Debra Sartori grew up in Durban, South Africa, and moved to St. Louis in 1993 while working for an international software development company. After a career in software development, she decided to pursue her first love, real estate, and she is now one of the top real estate agents in the St. Louis area representing Keller Williams.
When she is not working out at the Club or assisting clients, Debra is actively involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Team in Training raising money for cancer research. Most recently, Debra and her team completed a 100 mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe, America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, raising $104,000 and the naming rights for a research grant! The overall event raised over $3.25M which will help to find a cure for Leukemia, Lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and Myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients and families. Debra’s passion towards this cause started about 7 years ago when she signed up to do both a half marathon & a triathlon (the same year no less!) One of her friends had passed away from Leukemia and had children the same age as hers; she couldn’t imagine how hard that must have been for them to lose their mother at such a young age. Debra has also been inspired by the survivors who participate in the events. She was excited that this was her third event with TNT which was recognized as the Triple Crown.
For more information on Team in Training, contact: Rich Sloan at 314.578.6595, email@example.com. And, if you’re looking for an expert in real estate, contact Debra at 636-346-5367 or e-mail debra@DebraSartori.com.
The Tudtud Family – June 2017
Sometimes our children are the reason we are drawn into new places. Just ask Chris & Kelly Tudtud, who relocated from the Northern Suburbs of Chicago into Chesterfield 18 months ago. They attended an expo on kids’ camps hoping to find a place for their children to enjoy over the summer since they both work full-time.
Chris and Kelly chose the All Star Kids Camp at Chesterfield Athletic Club (CAC) for Seth, their 7 year old son, because it offered a variety of activities and sports for him to enjoy, and most importantly CAC offers a before & after child care that accommodated their work schedules. Seth spent several weeks of his summer vacation at the camp. He made new friends, he was exposed to many sports and group activities. Most notably Seth really enjoyed playing tennis – so much that he decided to continue in the fall after the camp was over.
With Chris and Kelly spending more time at CAC for Seth’s tennis lessons, they saw other great programs for the entire family to enjoy – like swimming for Mercy (their 5 year old daughter).
To experience all CAC had to offer, they became a platinum full club family and started working out with personal trainer, Jerry Morrison, who has been great at keeping them on point. An avid runner in the past, Kelly felt it was a good time to get back into it and found that Benita’s trekking classes have been just the inspiration she needed to regain her stamina.
What Chris and Kelly say they love most about the club is the family atmosphere and how there is truly something for everyone and added, “We are so blessed with CAC’s Amazing Staff!” They also like CAC’s community outreach programs like the DASA (Disabled Athletic Sports Association) and the Rock Steady program which helps people with Parkinson’s.
The Tudtud family is excited about spending their summer at CAC.
Carla Grumpke – April 2017
CAC Member, Carla Grumke, thrives on staying busy and loves meeting new people while she balances a hectic schedule being a performer, artist, avid tennis player and mom. Over the last decade at the CAC, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Carla both on the courts and on the stage.
Carla’s true passion is singing and she is the female vocalist of the Everyday People Band whom she’s been performing with for over five years playing at various CAC pool parties as well as summer concerts and private events. Everyday People is a 7-8 piece variety band with a brass section who can perform a wide selection of current pop hits as well as classic old time rock n’ roll favorites. For more details and to book an event with The Everyday People Band, visit their website at: https://everydaypeoplestl.com/. When she’s not performing or playing tennis, Carla works full time as a hair stylist at Tony Russo’s Hair Designs in Ellisville. She is always happy to meet new clients, and can be reached for appointments by text or calling 314-435-1873.
Susan Finn – March 2017
Working their way through college at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor in the 80s turned out to be much more rewarding than either of them imagined – it was a match made in heaven for Greg & Sue Finn. The two lovebirds moved to St. Louis in 1988 for Greg to attend Wash U Med School, and Sue was a clinical research nurse at WUMS.
Greg was born to be a pediatrician, and kids always gravitated towards him. His vision was to build a practice that could accommodate a variety of patients & families with an emphasis on the best medical practices in a compassionate, kid-friendly environment to help patients be their healthiest. In 1997, after child #3 came along, Sue became a stay-at-home mom while Greg built his practice, Bluefish Pediatrics. Today, Bluefish Pediatrics consists of 4 doctors, two female MDs and two male MDs, all who have been chosen as “St Louis Best Doctors” and listed in St. Magazine for the past 10 years!
In his free time, Greg enjoys woodworking, hiking, running, gardening, cycling and learning to play tennis at the Club. Sue enjoys the CAC fitness classes, reading, cycling, gardening, hiking, traveling and any kind of creative endeavor! And, they both love spending family time with their 3 children (+1 fiance’)!
Jim Baldanza – February 2017
February’s Spotlight member is none other than Jim Baldanza, aka ‘CAC Racquetball Guru’. Jim has been playing racquetball since 1978 when he played his first game in a New Jersey Club where they were preparing for the worst snow storm in over a decade. With already 4 inches on the ground & more coming down, their plan was to play until they were tired, then ride out the storm in the bar next door. They were about an hour away from part B of the plan when they heard a knock on the door – “You guys ever played this game before?” asked a guy wearing a NY Yankee hat. With their mouths still wide open they managed a “no sir Mr. Berra”! Jim would like to credit Yogi for teaching him how to play the game, but that would be stretching it a bit since he never did play Yogi on the courts.
Jim’s love of racquetball grew, and he’s been playing at the CAC since 1986. He enjoys teaching beginners about the sport and even offers a racquetball summer camp for kids. Jim’s also the ‘go to guy’ when it comes to coordinating round robins, mixed league play and welcoming new members. So if you’re looking to learn a new court sport, he’ll get you going in the right direction! Call Jim at 314.422.8804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Cynthia Fleck – January 2017
January’s Member & Business Spotlight, Dr. Cynthia Fleck, has a long list of accolades, including being the reining Mrs. Missouri 2016 and 5th Runner-Up at Mrs. USA as well as Mrs. Chesterfield 2016. A Southeast Missouri State BS, Fontbonne University MBA, University of Texas, Houston Medical School and University of Monterrey PhD alumna, Cynthia is an advanced practice nurse & business owner of a medical/surgical/biotech/education/expert witness consulting firm and serves on the Board of Directors of the American College of Clinical Wound Specialists, is Assistant Chief Editor of their peer-reviewed journal, and is Scientific Co-Chair of the Desert Foot Medical/Surgical Conference. She recently kicked off a national campaign to increase the awareness of the importance of diabetic foot exams called, “Show Me Your Sole.” An activist for the American Diabetes Association, and the Save a Leg, Save a Life Foundation, Cynthia’s passion is to provide advanced skin care and prevention of wounds for those living with diabetes, and with her extensive knowledge of diabetic foot care, she is often sought out to lecture and publish globally. She has published close to 400 peer-reviewed articles, research, scholarly chapters and edited one book. “Diabetic foot care issues plague more than 11 percent of Missourians, along with many of my patients,” Cynthia added, “I am delighted to represent the great State of Missouri & City of Chesterfield while raising awareness for diabetic foot care & amputation prevention.” Mayor of Chesterfield, Bob Nation proclaimed 16 May “Cynthia Fleck Day” in the City of Chesterfield to honor the resident.
Cynthia enjoys working out almost every day at the CAC with her husband, Randall Barker, another local business owner and CEO of In10T, providing independent guidance to tackle the digitalization of agriculture with data science driven solutions to meet business and customer needs. They are both dedicated to fitness and wellness for life. For more information, contact Dr. Cynthia Fleck at Cynthia Fleck & Associates, LLC (314) 518-3846 or at email@example.com