By LCNews staff
PINEVILLE, La. (LCNews) – Louisiana College has become the sole owner of the Louisiana Athletic Club’s two locations in Pineville and Alexandria.
According to a memo from CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital CEO Chris Karam, the organization made the decision this month to withdraw its ownership of the athletic clubs due to the financial challenges caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. They also re-evaluated their focus on what the organization could best provide the community.
“Customer service has been central to the mission of the LAC, and that will remain of utmost importance,” said Louisiana College President Rick Brewer. “LC and CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini have similar missions, which makes for a great partnership. We look forward to the opportunity to provide health and fitness services to our community.”
With the change in ownership comes a new manager, Ronnie Schwartz.
Schwartz, who has been a personal trainer in the area for 24 years, has served on the staff at LAC since May 2005, including the last 13 years as fitness manager.
A member of Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria, Schwartz serves as worship assistant and has worked with the youth for many years.
“We have added another proven servant-leader in Ronnie Schwartz as manager for the Louisiana Athletic Club,” Brewer said. “With full ownership of the LAC it is important for Louisiana College to have a Christ-centered leader who is a person of integrity and a mentor to many in Cenla. Transformational leaders are significantly important to help LC and the Louisiana Athletic Club flourish. The addition of Ronnie continues this forward motion for both organizations.”
Brewer said he is excited about the opportunity this brings the college and LC is committed to continuing to provide the high quality of service in a family-friendly atmosphere that the public is accustomed to at LAC.
“The college has proven to be an excellent partner with CHRISTUS for many years, and we are confident they will maintain the same value and service our members are accustomed to while ensuring a supportive environment for all,” Karam wrote. “As such, we do not anticipate any interruption to member services during the transition. We are happy that all staff members will remain with the clubs in the same capacity as they are now.”
LAC has received the distinction of “Best Fitness Club” in CENLA numerous times.
“LAC is in a very strong position,” said Scott Cochran, executive director of health and wellness for CHRISTUS Health, Louisiana and Southeast Texas. “Our priorities have shifted and we are looking at growth opportunities and ways to improve our current amenities. In my nine years with Louisiana Athletic Club, Louisiana College has been a great partner. We want to thank the community for its support during these difficult times, and we look forward to continued growth and many more great years ahead of us.”