Of the 29 Women of Influence 2019 award winners, three of them belong at Elite Sports Clubs! Read all about these powerful women and how their hard work in their respective fields allowed them to get where they are today. We’d like to recognize and congratulate them on this incredible achievement!
For Kay Yuspeh, owner and CEO of the five Elite Sports Clubs, staying healthy has been fairly easy ever since she started working in the fitness industry. Kay initially enjoyed playing tennis, and as Elite started to add programs, she became active in aerobics, weight training, spinning, and personal training. “It was a great way to bond with staff and members.”
As she started to form deeper bonds with members, each summer she would pick out an event to train for, and she began to compete in triathlons. Another Elite resource that Kay has taken advantage of is the nutrition program and the help of the Registered Dietitian.
Kay is proud to lead a professional life that services the community as much as Elite Sports Clubs. In terms of balancing family and work, it was a juggling act that Kay seemed to master. Every spring and winter break, Kay takes time to vacation with her family. “I don’t believe that the balancing act is ever 50/50. The trick is to have it balanced over a long period of time.”
Kay was incredibly honored to be recognized as a Woman of Influence award winner, along with such an impressive group of women. Over the course of the 40+ years that she has dedicated to her work, she has always emphasized giving back to the Milwaukee community and creating new spaces and programs for all to enjoy.
The Yuspeh family has quite literally grown up at the clubs. Kay recalls times when her daughter, who is the oldest child in the family, would finish in the playroom at 3:00 pm every day and come into her office to nap under her desk. Over 30 years ago, Kay started SCAMP so her three- and six-year-old kids could come to work with her in the summer. This summer, SCAMP has reached the largest enrollment numbers ever. Thanks to Elite, all of her kids have acquired skills such as swimming and tennis, and all currently lead a very active lifestyle.
Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck, the director of Corporate Philanthropy at Johnson Controls and winner of the Women of Influence Community Supporter award, is very familiar with the concept of work-life balance. In order to stay on top of her game, both at work and with her family, the three things that she does are run, pray, and drink Chardonnay. For Annemarie, running and praying are critical in order to maintain a healthy physical and spiritual life. “The Chardonnay—it’s not necessarily about the wine—but it represents taking time to relax and have fun with friends.” Annemarie understands the importance of self-care and a meaningful social life.
When Annemarie’s kids were young, she was a freelance writer, and had a flexible, part-time schedule at Johnson Controls. She was able to freelance write, which she credits for giving balance to her life. Now that her kids are older, she has taken on a full-time role. Annemarie is very thankful for the flexible leadership roles at Johnson Controls, which helped her pursue her career with a family. One of the most important keys to Annemarie’s success is the support of her husband and parents.
Annemarie was surprised and honored to receive the Women of Influence Community Supporter award because she had not known that she was nominated. “I am fortunate to be in a position at Johnson Controls that is so connected to amazing community organizations, in terms of volunteering and philanthropy.” From Annemarie’s vantage point, she knows that it’s the people who are in positions of direct service, such as teachers, youth workers, and social workers who have a profound influence on the poor and marginalized.
Annemarie and her family have been active members of Elite Sports Clubs for many years. Living just a few blocks away, her family is able to walk, run, or bike to the River Glen location. “It’s a great community resource because the kids always run into someone they know if they go there to play in the Quad, swim, or work out. I like that it’s a safe, healthy spot for them to go to be active.”
Aoy Tomita-Mitchell is a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, co-founder of TAI Diagnostics, and investigator at the Herma Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Everyone knows her husband, a top pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, but Aoy is a woman of a few accomplishments in her own right. She acknowledges that her success is much more than just her own doing.
Teamwork is what has helped her achieve so much professionally, while still taking time to stay healthy herself. Aoy has been fortunate enough to work at places that enable researchers like herself to come up with ideas that can give back to patients. Both of her places of employment provide an environment where researchers and clinicians can interact, and where ideas can expand to be applied across different disciplines. Throughout her career, Aoy has published 45 global research articles and graduated with her BS and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Aoy also credits much of her success to the support of her wonderful family and the community she lives and works in. She points to a number of supportive helpers she has in her life–her husband, children, family and great friends and neighbors. Aoy was honored to receive the Woman of Influence Innovation award and notes that she is extremely fortunate to be part of a great community of teams. “I help quantify what we do, but the ideas come from the clinicians and their patients.”
The Mitchell family have been members of Elite Sports Clubs for 13 years, starting when they first moved to Wisconsin. She holds Elite close to her heart as the club has been there for her family through many phases over the years.
2019 Elite Life Cover Story
Check out our live interview with Annemarie and Kay!
This article appeared in the 2019 Fall Edition of Elite Life Magazine