Q & A with Gold’s Gym West Cobb General Manager: Marie Smith

by bstevens

Marie Smith Gold's Gym West Cobb

In 1994, Marie Smith made the decision to walk through the doors of a small, family owned health club in Marietta, GA. Little did she know that one decision would drastically change her life forever—for the better!

As General Manager for the Gold’s Gym of West Cobb, Marie has spent countless hours dedicating her energy to the Gold’s Gym members and staff. She has been an incredibly special part of the Gold’s Gym family for many years. However, Marie has decided that it is time for the next chapter of her life to begin and will be stepping down from her role as General Manager.

Marie, your smiling face and contagious energy will undoubtedly be missed. You have been a true treasure to so many lives during your years with Gold’s Gym.

Your Gold’s family loves you, we value you, and we can’t wait to see what wonderful adventures life has waiting for you!

*Get to know a little more about Marie by reading her responses to the Q&A below.

How did your journey with the Gold’s Gyms of West GA begin?

I joined Gold’s Gym Marietta when I moved here in 1994. I was honorably discharged from U.S. Army after serving in the Persian Gulf War.  After Graduating from Mercer University, I was approached by Shannon Spears and Skip Johnson. They were looking for a member service supervisor to work the front desk. First, I worked in childcare for a couple of weeks (because they had to let the front desk supervisor know he was being released). At the front desk, Dax Derringer invited me to attend some of the sales training. I was promoted to Membership Sales within the first year. I loved taking Spin classes so I went to training to become an instructor. I asked if we could have 5:30am classes. I was told that no one would come that early. I said if I give them a wake up call they will come. I went around the gym asking members would they come to a 5:30 am class if they received a wake up call. I had a list that started with 10 names that grew to 30 + wake up calls. We were also able to get a Power instructor to teach that early! We would all attend class. I was a single mom and I knew that the only time for myself was when my daughter was sleeping and before anything can get in the way of my hour of exercise. Those who came in the morning felt the same way. They were disciplined and loyal members who were happy to come in and not think about what they had to do at that time of the day. They were my 5:30 am Soldiers. I was promoted to Sales Manager after learning we would be building a gym on the East West Connector. I was sad, excited, emotional, and uncertain all at the same time. My sales manager Chad and I would no longer be working together (the reason for my sadness). I loved the family friendly culture we had at the Marietta GG and was determined to make sure we embodied the same spirit at the new location. My journey with West Cobb began somewhere around June 2004.

What is one of your favorite memories during your time as a GGWG team member?

I don’t have one favorite memory, but too many memories to mention that made me smile.  Winning the GG Oscar at the GG Vegas convention, meeting Dr Phil’s son as he filmed in our gym for the weight loss challenge, and seeing our members appear on the Oprah Winfrey show because they changed their lives by changing their bodies are some of the big moments. Other great memories are when I woke up late to teach class at 5:30am and running in the gym to hear the class started as if I was on the stage and kept going until I got there, or when that same morning class signed up to ride their first Tour de Cure 100k with me on a road bike. Memories of meeting families visiting members for the holidays and listening to them talk about how their lives have improved by being part of this community and how much they talk about us to them. With so many events happening in the world my favorites have to be when members and staff came together to help others (9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the floods in Cobb county, and more). My daughter coming to work with me and writing thank you cards to members on the table in my office and driving her to school in the GG wrapped Expedition. My best friend at work Dax Derringer who we tricked into being the only one wearing a Pimp Halloween costume to work on one the hottest day in the month of October ever and when we tricked him into thinking he had a guest who wanted to join and instead she was a belly dancer who began dancing at the gym in front of him. The whole gym was in on it. We hired her for his bachelor gift. Every weight loss challenge success party we ever had. Community events we participated in.  All of these memories along with many many more.

Do you have a “most embarrassing” moment that you can recall?

The “picture” (you have to ask Jonathan Foster former PT) and being video recorded not once, but twice by my staff during EDM’s after they placed a bug on my desk. I screamed so loud. I believe they have it on YouTube.

Do you have a particular member that affected you in a positive way through the years; someone that you know you’ll never forget?

There are more than one or two members who have affected me a positive way through the years. They trusted me with their stories and encouraged me to share with others. They were the reminders of my purpose at GGWC.

What will you miss the most about working at GG?

The Family of GGWC and those behind the scenes meant every day laughter.


“I am grateful I had the opportunity to go on a journey with some amazing people at GGWC. There are so many success and celebration stories to share. My personal success story is the GGWC Team past, present and future. I am proud of them. They put a smile on my face. I will continue my fitness with the BEST GYM in the WORLD. I will be happy to share those success and celebration stories with you as we workout, take a class, or run together. To the WC team give back what is given to you, live your passion, have fun and don’t forget to celebrate success! Remember there are no mistakes only lessons learned…learn the lesson and keep it moving!”

-Marie Smith



I am NCCPT certified Personal Trainer Betsy Stevens and I train out of Golds Gym on Chapel Hill Road and Hospital Drive in Douglasville, Ga.