“Mercer Island’s premier athletic club,” and founder and owner Ginny Pietila, were honored as the 2017 Business of the Year on Jan. 11. The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce presented MI Athletic Club with the award at its January luncheon.
“Pietila and all of her staff work tirelessly to build a community within the walls of the club,” said Ralph Swanson, chamber board president. “MIAC brings people and businesses together through personal connection.”
Five other businesses were nominated for the award: the French-American School of Puget Sound, Mercer Island Martial Arts, New Seasons, Studio 904 and yogabliss.
MI Athletic Club, located in the 77 Central building, has been all about community from the beginning. After Pietila moved from Mercer Island’s old Club Emerald to open her new gym — a “dream for many years” — it quickly became home to the Mercer Island triathlon team, which is now in its 20th season.
Pietila and her staff have also collaborated with Mercer Island High School students through a cultivating workforce program, worked with New Seasons on healthy eating programming and contributed to Youth and Family Services. The gym has helped sponsor events like Art Uncorked, Steps and Reps and the Run Like a Girl 5K.
MI Athletic Club has reinvested $25,000 in cash and in-kind contributions each year since it opened in 2015.
“It’s more than a business or a gym,” according to the nomination form. “It’s a place that’s run by and employs people who focus on people, and who understand the value and importance that relationships play in creating a sustainable community asset that contribute to health and vitality in the populations they serve.”
Pietila said when she opened the gym that she wanted MI Athletic Club to be “a place for everyone,” from students to senior citizens to seasoned triathletes. She is focused not only on building community, but also giving her clients the individual attention they need to achieve their goals.
State-of-the-art equipment, including spin bikes, cardio pieces and a TRX suspension system, as well as a free weight area and locker rooms, are available to gym-goers. There is no additional charge for group classes. Extra services include massage treatments and personal training.
More information, including membership rates, is available at www.miathleticclub.com.