When discussing life as a Forma Gym general manager, the first topic Reed Snook and Faro Tahery mention is the Forma Family.
That’s because, for both of them – Reed at Forma Walnut Creek and Faro at Forma San Jose – the built-in community of family-owned Forma Gym was the greatest draw and remains the greatest inspiration.
From Forma Athlete to GM
“I feel blessed to work in a positive environment where the goal is to help every single person that comes through the door enhance their life in some way,” says Reed. “From ownership, management, staff, and of course our membership base, Forma embraces a family atmosphere. Everyone here has become part of my extended family.”
Reed’s Forma Gym journey began more than seven years ago. At the time, while studying kinesiology and exercise science, Reed also served as captain of the offensive line for the DVC Vikings football team.
“Pretty soon, I was hired to do club and equipment maintenance,” says Reed. “That led to becoming the front desk lead and eventually becoming a membership consultant.”
And in 2020, just a few years after his promotion to Assistant General Manager and Membership Director, Reed was promoted to General Manager. As General Manager, he also still leads member relations and club growth.
“I enjoy creating and maintaining personal relationships with every member that I can,” Reed explains. “Whether I see them in the lobby, at the front desk or while I’m working out myself, it’s great when people approach me to say ‘hi’ or I can ask them about something specific in their lives.”
“I’m really passionate about creating a great atmosphere for every member and the whole staff,” says Reed. “Physically, mentally and emotionally, we want everyone to know we’re here to support them.”
Reed also appreciates the club’s partnerships with local businesses that share common goals and ideals.
“The culture is strong with Forma; we gravitate towards local companies that support their employees and customers the way we do,” Reed says. “It makes me really happy to work with the Walnut Creek community that I was raised in.”
From Firefighter to Forma GM
Faro Tahery, General Manager of Forma Gym San Jose, joined Forma after a career in people-facing industries, including time as a firefighter, a restaurant owner and an auto service station owner.
“As a firefighter, you’re servicing the community,” says Faro, who worked for a Southern California fire department before going into banking and, later, forming several successful customer service business. He says that, in all of these roles, the most important character trait is listening and responding to people’s needs.
“Plus, unlike an auto repair business or firefighting, at the gym, everyone comes in for happy reasons,” says Faro. “They confide in us, we build deeper connections every day and we get to be part of their lives, watching all the positive change they make.”
Faro most enjoys the positive, uplifting environment of Forma Gym. He prides himself on knowing at least 80% of the members on a first-name basis,
“I don’t have a management office,” says Faro. “My mentors instilled in me that the best way to be a good manager is to be out the floor. I make a point of greeting people, getting to know them and learning about their experience here.”
He even finds himself regularly attending sporting events and community events with members and staff.
“I love seeing the young kids who have already invested in their own fitness, who see the value in health,” says Faro. “They won’t have to be convinced at age 40 or 50 to start getting fit; they’re already seeing the value of coming to the gym, putting away their phones for at least an hour, hanging out and working out with their buddies.”
With their shared mindsets but different perspectives, the younger crowd and the more mature crowd mix nicely around the gym.
“This has a lot to do with our staff,” Faro adds. “They get to know everybody and they bring people together for things like our Outdoor Boot Camp. Everyone of all ages has respect for each other and encourages one another.”
Then there’s the Aqua Fit crowd within the Forma Family in San Jose.
“Our six-lane pool and can fit 50 to 55 people at a time for things like Aqua Zumba. They practically have a party in there!” he says, noting that the group even holds monthly potluck events at the club.
“We do other special events, including the Valentine’s event with decorations, a photo booth and candy,” he adds. The club also sponsors the South Bay Patriots semi-pro football team and participates in fundraisers for schools and sports teams.
For Faro, the greatest source of joy at Forma Gym is watching how a sense of community has developed organically.
“You can feel the respect and chemistry between people, which began with what we created in 2015.” he says. “The Forma Family makes everyone feel like brothers and sisters.”