April 5, 2016

Below is a speech written by Jack Hastey. He interned with Mary Good at Curves in Canton. He wrote the speech because he was entering into a competition but was unable to make it due to the snow. The Faculty Advisor, Kathy Deasey, forwarded the speech to the NHBC president to share with all of you.

1953.  The technological revolution of color television was changing how Americans looked at the world.   News was no longer black and white.   2015.  I experienced a philosophical revolution when I interned at a local business.  Business was no longer black and white.  I witnessed an unrivaled level of commitment and drive from my supervisor.  She was aggressive in the subtlest of ways, relentless yet respective, cunning yet kind.  Her finesse with customers enthralled me, and demanded my further attention.  Her goals were not selfish, she was no wolf of wall street-in fact she didn’t even pay herself.  She simply wanted to return to the community that had given her so much.  Mary Goodall was a role model to me.  I doubt many of you are familiar with her franchise, Curves, because to be blunt, its demographic is old woman.  It’s a female gym franchise that hit its peak in the sixties, Mary fights tooth and nail to break even every month.   Nonetheless, The story of Curves and its leader Mary is one everyone can learn from.

One day she and I were working on paperwork regarding my internship, and a customer walked in.  She was adamant on canceling her membership because she simply wasn’t getting her money’s worth.  Patiently, Mary listened to her grievances and said she understood the struggle of maintaining a work out routine in an already packed life.  Then she introduced a program Curves had called Silver Sneakers.  I’m afraid I don’t remember what the program entailed but it appealed to this dissatisfied customer vastly more than her old plan.  This was my epiphany, my color television if you will.  Business isn’t just crunching numbers and filing taxes.  It’s working with people to make things happen.  Mary read that customer like an open book, and convinced her to stay.  But it was a mutually beneficial arrangement, not just trying to squeeze every last dollar out of this woman.  That’s true leadership to me-achieving your goals and helping people along the way.  

In the beginning of my internship I worked with an employee because Mary was busy; but this employee was hardly earning her keep.  She would frequent the Mcdonalds across the street; leaving the gym closed for twenty to thirty minutes at a time, or even worse bring her large number one back to Curves and eat fast food in front of people trying to lose weight.  I was shocked at how such negligence was tolerated and told Mary about this when I finally met her.  Aghast, Mary fired this employee the very next day.  Such a display of power garnered my absolute undivided attention.  I was always under the impression that the action of the firing someone was composed of paperwork and severance costs, not this Trump esque “you’re fired!”.  It was refreshing in a sense, to see so much emotion in what could be such a dull setting.  Not all jobs are punch in punch out.  I was dedicated to Curves-even emotionally invested-and I only interned there for fifteen hours.  

My “dedication” pales in comparison to Mary’s however.  She always called Curves a labor of love, because it helped her lose eighty pounds.  She wanted to give that accomplishment to others.  She’s on a first name basis with all her clients, and often exercises with them.  Fostering such a tight knit community is no easy feat, but I didn’t even mention where she started.  She bought the franchise from her friend for a dollar, as it was bankrupt.  After she and some devout members poured days of strenuous labor and revamping into the store, Curves was reborn as a cornerstone for self improvement.  

I didn’t learn anything about taxes or bookkeeping from my internship.  Instead I discovered the driving force behind it all: people.  It’s the connections you have and the friendships you make that determine your success, not sticking to the script and hoping for the best.

Jack Hastey


For More Testimonials Click on the attached PDF