Our Team

Stephen Tharrett

Co-founder and Principal

Stephen has been a thought leader and employee/member advocate to the club industry for 30 years, having worked both domestically and internationally across nearly every segment, including health, fitness, golf and country clubs both public and private. He is known worldwide for his innovative human-centered approach to club operations, and has helped hundreds of clubs and manufacturers increase profits through member retention and brand loyalty.

From 2008 to 2010 Stephen served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Russian Fitness Group, a privately held health/fitness club company that was at the time the largest in Russia. He spent 20 years with ClubCorp, a billion dollar private club company based in Dallas, Texas, where he served in several roles ranging from director of athletics to senior vice president for athletics, golf and tennis, as well as serving on the company’s leadership cabinet and business planning committee.

Stephen is currently a contributor to Club Industry Magazine and Club Insider, and in the past, has also written for Fitness Management Magazine, Club Business International and Mercado Fitness. In addition to writing, he has also been a keynote and session speaker at club industry events including domestic based events such IHRSA, CMAA, Athletic Business and SIBEC, as well as foreign based events such as Fitness Brazil, Brazil; Mercado Fitness, Argentina; Russian Fitness Festival, Russia; Fitness Australia, Australia and Body Life in England.

In addition to co-founding ClubIntel and serving as one of the company’s two principal partners, Stephen is the owner and president of U.S. based Club Industry Consulting, a global consulting practice serving the club Industry since 2006, and is a former president of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, having served as president of the international association from 1996-1997.


Stephen has authored or co-authored seven management textbooks. Click here to purchase Steve’s books:

•Fitness Management, 3rd edition (soon to be published in Russian);
•The Ultimate Handbook of Member Retention: Why People Join, Leave and Stay with Health/Fitness Clubs;
•101 Programming Strategies for Engaging Members in Health/Fitness Clubs;
•101 Strategies for Improving Member Retention in Health/Fitness Clubs;
•The Health/Fitness Operator’s Guide to Recruiting and Retaining Great Employees;
•ACE’s Fitness and Business Forms Handbook;
•Legends of the Trade: A History of the Artisans, Influencers and Innovators of Fitness.

Stephen is also the co-editor of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions of ACSM’s Health and Fitness Facility Standards and Guidelines.

Mark Williamson

Co-founder and Principal

Mark has more than 20 year’s experience in market research, and consumer insights, including 17 years within the club and hospitality industry at ClubCorp USA, which comprises an elite collection of private golf, country, business, sports and alumni clubs. He also lead Consumer Insights teams for industry-leading restaurant brands such as Applebee’s, Chili’s, Maggiano’s, On The Border, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and Corner Bakery. Outside of the hospitality industry, Mark lead the consumer insights team at match.com and owns his own small research consulting business, Retention Measurement Solutions. He is a guest lecturer at national conferences and frequent panelist on a series of webinars.

Mark earned his bachelor’s of science degree in business management from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.