Our Firm

Our Approach

The Atwood Group provides consulting services to health clubs and fitness centers that range from small studios to 100,000+ square foot multipurpose facilities.  Although most of our work is in the US and Canada, we work with clients around the world and translate our financial work into various national currencies.

Our consultants support owners and managers in addressing planning and operational issues and provide clients with the outside perspective and expertise they need to get results and succeed.  Our team has a powerful blend of interdisciplinary skills and decades of health and fitness club industry experience as operators and managers.  As a result, we are able to combine strategy with the real-world experience needed to generate meaningful and measurable business results.

Our approach to consulting is framed by our belief in collaboration.  We work in partnership with owners and managers to identify the areas in which improvements that will impact the bottom line can be made.  Once the project’s specific scope is clear, we determine which experts on our team will be the best fit for the client.

Our Team

John Atwood

John Atwood, Founder and Managing Partner of The Atwood Group,  brings over 25 years of experience working in the health and fitness club industry to our firm. John has held management positions in marketing, sales and general management and owned an upscale, medically-focused fitness center and multipurpose tennis and racquetball club. His medical fitness center, HealthFit, was featured in Boston Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, and other prominent national media for its innovative business practices and contributions to the fitness industry. Time Magazine called HealthFit “a pioneering fitness center” for its ground-breaking approach to working with sedentary populations. In 1999, John developed the IHRSA Financial Management Tool (FMT) to assist health club owners and managers in driving profits through strategic capturing and analysis of vital financial and programmatic information. John has served on the New England Health, Racquet, and Sports Club Association’s (NEHRSA) Board of Directors in the position of Vice President, has spoken at numerous club industry conventions and conferences where he was a top rated speaker, and was on the faculty of the IHRSA Institute. John has a B.A. from Miami University where we received a full scholarship as a member of the tennis team.

Bobby VerdunBobby Verdun, Senior Partner. Bobby brings extensive experience heading successful athletic clubs, teams, and businesses throughout New England and along the East Coast. He has invigorated organizations with his award winning programming, successful development drives, and cost-cutting initiatives. A former college basketball and tennis coach, Bobby was voted Boston Globe Coach of the Year and was twice voted New England Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year before “retiring” from coaching and venturing into the health club industry. In 2000, Bobby was named Associate Executive Director of the Weymouth and Canton Clubs. During his tenure, the Weymouth Club was voted “Best of Boston” and the Canton Club received three NOVA finalist awards for customer service, creative programming, and facility design. As Executive Director for the Pawtucket YMCA, Bobby oversaw the historic $10 million renovation of the 115 year old facility and guided a membership renaissance producing thousands of family participants and energizing surrounding communities to set usage records for the facility.  Bobby then went on to be the General Manager for the Tennis Center at College Park, arguably the top training academy in the country, that has produced numerous college champions and several current pros.  Bobby joined the firm in 2011.

Beth Wald, Senior Partner, has 25 years of management experience working in both the public and private sectors. Her array of experiences across sectors has provided her with a multifaceted set of skills and unique perspective. Beth has worked for more than a decade in the health and wellness industry as an owner and general manager. In addition to having expertise in general health club operations, program development, and management, she brings extensive organizational development expertise to her clients, has developed human resource infrastructures, and has an obsessive commitment to customer service and “hiring the best.” Beth has been a featured speaker at the International Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association’s (IHRSA) international conventions and was on the faculty of the IHRSA Institute. Beth received her undergraduate degree from Hamilton College and a Masters Degree from Columbia University.

Chris Evans, Consultant, is one of the top financial experts in the health and fitness industry. He has held senior level executive, controller, and director positions in industries as varied as health and wellness, casino/hotel operations, travel management and real estate. More specifically, from 1990 to 2001, he was the National and Regional Controller of Starmark/Wellbridge Company/Club Sports International, and for a two year period served as a Divisional Controller with The Monsanto Company, also serving on the board of SSM Health Care/Wellbridge, St. Louis, MO. From 1982 to 1990, Chris was the Regional Controller and Director of Management Information Systems for Sporting Clubs of America in Denver, CO and San Diego, CA. Most recently, Chris has been Vice President of Finance and Administration for Abacus Travel in Peabody, MA and has served concurrently as Finance Director for an affiliated real estate company in Lincoln, NH.

Brian Goodman, Consultant, specializes in the strategic positioning of start-ups including market research and segmentation, branding, financial modeling, marketing strategy, and feasibility analysis. Brian has over 15 years of diverse industry experience working in both the private and public sectors. He has performed financial analysis for large retailers such as Filenes and the May Company, worked in strategic marketing consulting with the Monitor Group, and spearheaded strategy for the City of Boston’s Office of Business Development. Brian founded First Steps Consulting, which is a boutique consultancy focused specifically on innovation and start-up strategy and has worked with a variety of start-ups and corporate innovations over the past 10 years. Brian earned his MBA in entrepreneurship from Babson College and holds a degree in Business Administration from UMASS Amherst. Additional studies have been completed at MIT, Harvard and the University of Manchester, England.

Brian Humes, Consultant, brings a unique blend of design and technical expertise to The Atwood Consulting Group. He has 15 years of experience designing, developing, and producing award-winning web sites for both large and small companies and has expertise in web presence strategy, site architecture, programming, and resource management. He held the position of Director of Interactive for Johnson Rauhoff, an award winning communications agency in Michigan and has served a wide cross-section of industries including fitness and healthcare. Before converting to the interactive world, Brian was an Art Director and Graphic Designer in the advertising industry, garnering several awards along the way. Brian holds a B.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University.

Rick Devereux, Consultant, is considered one of the premiere experts in the world on health club trends. Having worked at IHRSA for more than 20 years as its Chief Operating Officer, and before that, the Director of Sales and Marketing, he had a major impact on the growth of the health and fitness industry both nationally and internationally. Prior to working at IHRSA, Rick managed large multipurpose fitness facilities. Rick’s extensive knowledge and experience in the industry allows him to provide clients with a broad perspective as well as in-depth information on how to build or grow businesses related to fitness. Rick graduated from Harvard where he played on the tennis team.

Daniel Meus, A.I.A. Architect, has been an innovative designer of successful fitness facilities for three decades. He co-founded Graham/Meus Inc Architects in 1980, to provide exceptional planning, architecture and interior design services to clients throughout the United States and abroad. The firm’s portfolio consists of nearly 250 completed fitness projects that range in size from a 4800 SF specialty health club to an 85,000 state-of-the-art recreation center. Dan is dedicated to quality fitness center design. He is an associate member of IHRSA and speaks annually at the IHRSA conventions about the future of fitness center design. He is a board member of NEHRSA, the New England Chapter of IHRSA, and donates time and resources to its cause. Dan was recently named the New England Architectural Representative for the facilities division of the United State Swimming Organization.

Ed Phillips, M.D., Consultant, is the Medical Director for Outpatient Medical Services for the Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital Network in Boston, MA, and serves on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Phillips has been an advisor to IHRSA on a wide range of issues from exercise motivation factors to fitness related partnerships with health care providers and institutions. In his consulting role with Atwood Consulting Group, Dr. Phillips coaches clients on strategies for developing relationships with the medical community.

John Agoglia, Content Creation and Strategy Specialist, has been lucky enough to work in and around the fitness industry for close to two decades. He began his time in the fitness industry working as a personal trainer in New York City at clubs such as Equinox and the 92nd St. Y while attending Hunter College. He was lucky enough to get an internship with Miller Freeman working for Sporting Goods Business and Health & Fitness magazines. He quickly climbed the ranks and was named Editor-in-Chief of the specialty fitness retail industry magazine in less than two years. During his time at Health & Fitness Business.  John was part of several successful revenue-driving ancillary products and was a driving force in the Health & Fitness Business Conference & Expo. Following his time at Health & Fitness Business John transitioned back to the health club side of the fitness industry as the Editor-in-Chief of Club Industry magazine. After a successful run of on-staff magazines, John launched his own content business, WriteOne Content Solutions in 2004, working with clients such as iClubs.com, Athletic Business, G3 Communications, and more. John has also spent time over the last few years back in the fitness industry, working in leadership positions in fitness and general management. Most recently he was Regional Manager for Boston-based GymIt. John is also finishing up his Master’s Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Lasell College in Newton, MA.

Anastasia Smith, Director of Marketing, is a specialist in branding, marketing, design, and communications. She has a strong and varied background in both strategy and consulting. With over two decades of experience, Anastasia has helped countless companies achieve growth and success. Founder of award-winning branding firm Anastasia Design, in Boston, her clients ranged from local start-ups to international companies. Anastasia has crafted ads and trade shows that have appeared worldwide, and she has led multi-national, multi-faceted marketing campaigns. Having worked with quality consulting and cultural change firms for over a decade in a number of various capacities including client education, communications, and brand development, Anastasia is uniquely qualified to bring together the worlds of consulting and marketing. Some of the other market niches with which Anastasia is most familiar are Sports/Fitness, Travel & Leisure, Hotels, Medical, and Real Estate. In the fitness world, Anastasia handled the marketing design and promotion two regional triathlons, created the identity, web site, and collateral for a several Boston yoga centers, and was responsible for the branding and design roll-out of the new Boston Lobsters Team Tennis. In her capacity at Atwood Consulting, Anastasia will be available to our clients to help clubs with branding, logo and web design, strategy, marketing, social media, positioning public relations, and market research.

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