Hayes Green Beach AL!VE in Charlotte is being honored by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce for its economic investment. HGB AL!VE is a destination experience-based health park. It offers a wide array of services, and there are free, fee-based and membership opportunities. The people who utilize AL!VE come from more than 140 different zip codes.
There are no membership fees or dues to visit building. Anyone can come in and take advantage of the indoor walking path (EXPLORE), the rock-climbing wall (ASCEND), and do open basketball and recreational activities in the multipurpose gym (SOAR). These activities are free.
AL!VE offers over 8,000 classes and programs a year, from fitness to support to educational lectures to demonstration teaching classes, conference center for meetings and events, physical, occupational and speech therapy services, a women’s health center, mammography, health screenings and services.
AL!VE’s executive director Patrick Sustrich says AL!VE is very much a regional project that has had a broad impact. Its mission is to improve the overall health and vitality of the region — not just physical, but also the socioeconomic health.
Number of employees:
We have 65 employees. The way our staff are hired here — they don’t do an interview. They actually audition to have the privilege of working here. They are given questions in advance and have to put together a creative skit or presentation to address the questions.
We want to attract people to work here that also are interested in transforming people’s lives and guiding and assisting them through education and memorable experiences.
What makes HGB AL!VE special?
We’ve eliminated barriers that have prevented people from taking care of their health. Cost has been an issue. We’ve eliminated that.
And access to child care. For example, when a single woman comes in to get a mammogram, we provide free child care for those individuals and for those receiving clinical care. We’ve eliminated a lot of obstacles and barriers that have prevented them from taking care of themselves.
We are not just selling programs and services, but are truly selling memorable experiences.
The biggest thing that just happened was the opening of a franchise restaurant, The Big Salad, within AL!VE. It’s exciting to see the impact AL!VE has had.
It’s also a place where friends are and people come for the social aspect as well as the physical or health aspects.
What plans are in the future for HGB AL!VE?
An expansion of our fitness and wellness area. This fall we will be doing a small expansion project on the facility. When that project is done will have over 66,000 square feet of finished space. Membership in that particular area (fitness and wellness) has grown from 400 five years ago to more than 2,000 members. Membership offers unlimited access to the fitness center, as well as a tremendous amount of fitness programs, unlimited access to locker rooms, towels, dry sauna, discounts on spa services, and Med Spa. Members receive discounts on all of those services. Non-members have access to these services also, but there are charges per use.
What is the best thing about leading a business in Greater Lansing?
The ability to drive into work every day and really ask yourself and your team, what do we want to do today? We are restless as an organization. We are constantly looking to improve and to change. With that comes a tremendous amount of creativity, programs, new services. We’ll never sit at our desks and say, ‘there we did it.’ We realize there is so much work to be done. It is tremendously exciting to be part of an organization that is restless and not be content with where we’re at. We are constantly striving to improve.
Written By: Vickki Dozier, LSJ Reporter