MEET THE HR INFLUENCERS:
FIT TO LEAD
By Lisa Gordon
As vice-president of people and culture at GoodLife
Fitness, Canada’s largest chain of health clubs, Alana
Free is clear about her mission.
“I’m responsible for the ‘get, keep and grow,’” said Free,
who has been with the fitness-focused organization for 21 years.
“In terms of the ‘get,’ we hire 200 to 400 people every month to
cover growth and changing roles; the ‘keep’ is the traditional HR
role of retention and engagement, organizational effectiveness,
project management and internal communication; and the ‘grow’
covers learning and development and succession planning.”
With more than 375 clubs coast to coast under two brands –
GoodLife and Fit4Less by GoodLife – Free oversees a team of 90
HR professionals who implement policies and strategies for over
HR Professional caught up to Free just before she donned her
running shoes for a whirlwind tour of several clubs with GoodLife
founder and CEO, David “Patch” Patchell-Evans.
When did you decide you wanted a career in human resources?
Alana Free: It did take a while to figure that out. I graduated from
the University of Guelph with a degree in international develop-ment
and geography. I wanted to be a high school teacher but took
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ MAY 2017 ❚ 35