While Justin Heurea never set out to work in management, the signs were always there.

From his early days playing sports he was always selected for leadership roles, and that carried on with coaching as he developed his love of exercise science and sports.

So it should not come as too much of a surprise that the Rotorua man has just been named 2014 Manager of the Year at the Anytime Fitness annual conference, while the Rotorua club picked up the Club of the Year title.

For Mr Heurea, the award came as "a bit of a surprise".


"Sometimes you are blessed with opportunities to do what you love to make a living."

Mr Heurea said that was where he was at with his job now.

He started with the gym almost two years ago, transferring from Hamilton where he was working in a management role in Harvey Norman to take up the job which combined his management skills and his degree in sports and exercise science, which was where his passion was.

"Growing up being involved in sports I was always put in leadership positions, I don't know whether I put myself out there or was just chosen."

Mr Heurea said picking up the awards was confirmation that they were heading in the right direction.

He said it was a good chance to compare how they were going with other clubs.

He believed the cleanliness of the facility, the lack of member complaints and the awesome spirit among members were key factors in the gym's success.

Mr Heurea said he'd been allowed a great deal of autonomy in operating the club, with the benefit of knowing the owners were only a phone call away if he needed advice or support.


"They have put their trust in me. They are mentors to me."

Mr Heurea said his biggest piece of advice to those going down the management path was to listen. "Listen to people, inspire people to be successful."

While there were mistakes he'd learned from, Mr Heurea said he always focused on listening to customers and going out of his way to provide the best customer service.

Mr Heurea said while there were challenges in terms of running a business, he often thought about how lucky he was to be in his "dream job".

While the two awards were a great boost to the club, Mr Heurea said they weren't going to stop now.

He said they hoped to expand further in the Bay of Plenty and replicate the "awesome environment" they'd developed.