Hall of Fame Alumni
Fernwood Fitness Centres
About Me - My Biography
Diana Williams is Founder and Chairman of the Board of Fernwood Fitness. Diana established the business in 1989 which today turns over more than $75 million and employs 2,000 people. Diana has built the business to be the largest of its kind in Australia, with a membership of 80,000 women and an 89 per cent unprompted recall of its name.
Over the next two years Diana will oversee the organisation’s venture into New Zealand and South Africa. Fernwood regularly appears in BRW’s top 10 fastest growing private companies.
Diana Williams opened her first Health and Fitness Centre for Women in Bendigo in 1989. Little did she know then that her concept would become one of Australia’s fastest growing franchises. While working out in her local gym, Diana spent a lot of time talking to fellow members. It was these conversations that helped her develop the concept for the first “Fernwood Female Fitness Centre”. After successfully running the centre in Bendigo for four years, the first franchise centre was opened in Ballarat in 1993.
Since then, Fernwood Female Fitness Centres have grown rapidly. Today it operates a total of 25 gymnasiums (13 of these being franchises). Such rapid growth could lead, potentially, to the dilution of a vision. However, under Diana’s leadership Fernwood has continued to develop and redevelop each level of service to the client. Her early visions of oil burners and fresh flowers have created an atmosphere where women can feel comfortable in an environment designed specifically for their needs. Programs such as yoga, weights, personal training and others are created to encourage women to focus on their health and fitness and Diana continues to develop products and programs which offer women a holistic approach to well being, in an environment in which they can feel comfortable.
The strength of Fernwood is not only the gym itself. Over the past few years Diana has also concentrated on developing a good management team to support the growth of the business. This team of people are, under her guidance, developing procedures and processes which strengthen Fernwood’s position in the fitness industry and also enhance her vision for the future of Fernwood. Diana’s commitment to providing exceptional service to clients, her positive approach and knowledge of the industry will allow her to continually reinvent Fernwood Fitness Centres to be the best for Australian women everywhere.
Strategies for Success
- Having a complete belief in myself and an unrelenting passion for what I am working towards.
- Having a full commitment to my mission statement: “To improve the quality of life for all women by providing a superior service in a friendly caring environment”.
- Having a superior team of dedicated personnel who share in my passion.
- Knowing that I alone am accountable for my own success or failure.
- To welcome every seemingly impossibility, as challenges to overcome.