Brent in FieldWho Is Brent?

Brent is a native of Texas and lives in Plano, a northern suburb of Dallas. He attended Baylor University where he played football and earned his Master’s Degree in Exercise Science. His wife of over 33 years, Melanie, also graduated from Baylor as Valedictorian with a degree in Accounting.

Brent’s passion for health and fitness began through sports conditioning and has continued as the focus of his professional career. After his first job in the industry at a small fitness only club, as a front desk attendant and fitness floor instructor, he began his career in earnest at the First Baptist Church of Waco Life / Recreation Center.

Following a return to the Dallas area, he gained first-hand experience working with; a regional multi-club group, a large independent athletic facility, and a niche group exercise studio. Entering the corporate wellness arena, he served as the Wellness Director for Texas Instruments and Northern Telecom, two of the most comprehensive employee wellness programs in the country.  While at Texas Instruments, Brent created the “Commitment In Action” (CIA) initiative, which was recognized by the National Employee Recreation & Services Association, as the annual “Best Employee Wellness Incentive Program”.

In the nineties, Brent was recruited to serve as Vice President of the renowned Cooper Aerobic Enterprises, working with Dr. Kenneth Cooper.

During his tenure there, he provided leadership for the Fitness Center and In-Residence Wellness Program, as well as overseeing the opening of the Cooper Spa, and establishment of the Cooper Consulting Division. Under this umbrella, Brent provided extensive consulting services in the areas of preventive medicine, wellness programming, management, facility design, and operations.  Clients included numerous Fortune 500 companies such as Perot Systems, the Salvation Army, Quaker State, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fujitsu, Pizza Hut and others. While on the Cooper campus, he was recognized by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), as “General manager of the Year” for his role leading the Fitness Center & Spa. Under his direction, net operating profits for the fitness center improved by 89.3 percent and a six month waiting list for membership was implemented.

In 2003, Brent and a business partner took over the failed N. Dallas Athletic Club and opened the luxurious / cutting edge Telos Fitness Center. After completing a “Texas Sized Turnaround” as one article labeled it, Telos was named one of the few independently owned organizations included in the “Top 100 US Health Clubs” according to Club Industry Magazine. Telos was also recognized as N. Dallas “Business of the Year”, awarded the “Greater Dallas Business Ethics Award”, and received a litany of industry accolades. He resigned as Co-Owner / GM of Telos on December of 2013, ten years after opening, to pursue his growing international consulting and speaking business.

From 2010 through 2015, Brent served on the IHRSA Board of Directors, as Nominations Committee Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Chairperson of the Board, and Ex-Officio. IHRSA, is the trade association serving the global health club and fitness industry. This includes over 10,000 Club Members in 76 countries and over 680 Associate Members (industry suppliers). The mission of IHRSA is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful. During his service on the Board, IHRSA’s net assets increased by over 429 percent.

Currently, Brent offers a variety of services through his consulting practice and delivers keynote presentations around the world on leadership, employee engagement, customer experience, winning habits, brand framework, and other topics. In addition, he Chairs several Executive REX Roundtables for leading health club Owners / Operators around the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Interesting Facts:

  • *Competed in Discovery Channels’ International Eco-Challenge British Columbia
  • Middle name is Justice
  • Repurposes architectural relics into furnishings

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”

By: James Michener

Brent and Melanie celebrate 30 years

Brent and Melanie celebrate 30 years










linkedin: /brentdarden