American Family Fitness Wins Virginia APSE Large Employer of the Year Award

This press release was provided by American Family Fitness. The Club Industry editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content.

In October 2012, American Family Fitness was awarded the VA APSE large employer of the year award in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The award came after a nomination from an employment specialist who directs the program at American Family Fitness’ West End location. The award is designed to recognize employers “in the public and private sectors for outstanding achievements in advancing integrated employment opportunities for citizens with disabilities.”

APSE is the Association of People Supporting Employment first. According to their website, they provide “advocacy and education to customers of supported employment” and “improve and expand integrated employment opportunities, services and outcomes for persons experiencing disabilities.” Customers of supported employment include supported employment professionals, consumers, their family members and supported employers.

Sharon Williams, the Enclave Supervisor and Employment Specialist from Hanover County, supports a team of five enclave clients who work for American Family Fitness. Although the national average for enclave clients is two years with a specific employer, the five team members at American Family Fitness have been employed for over four and a half years. Williams said “One of the many reasons my clients love working at AFF is due to the kind way they are treated. Daily, they receive friendly welcomes and goodbyes from the reception staff and other co-workers.”

As part of the maintenance team, the enclave clients often receive much praise from members and staff.  American Family Fitness’ janitorial supervisor even compares the team to his regular staff and describes their work as “excellent, excellent.”

“Happy workers make loyal, industrious employees. American Family Fitness has done so much to make my enclave clients feel valued and appreciated,” says Williams. “The fact that each one has a positive attitude and enjoys coming to work and doing their best is a direct reflection of the thoughtful consideration of American Family Fitness’ management and staff.”

Jill Lakey, manager of American Family Fitness West End, considers working with the enclave clients “one of the most positive aspects of [her] job.” She received the award on behalf of American Family Fitness and boasts that these five employees “show up on time, they have a permanent smile on their faces as they work, never complain…and have the most incredible work ethic.” Each of the five enclave team members receives a free membership to the club as a part of their employment benefits.

About American Family Fitness

American Family Fitness is a locally owned and operated company out of Richmond, VA dedicated to improving the physical and mental well being of our community. With nine locations across central Virginia, American Family Fitness is committed to quality service in a warm, friendly environment. Serving 110,000 members and over 1,200 employees for 25 years, American Family Fitness offers state-of-the-art facilities and equipment and specialty services such as access to a full-time staff registered dietician, KidZone, café, personal training, a variety of group and aquatics classes and most facilities open 24 hours. For more information, visit

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