Leaderboard member: Lindsay G. Merrithew
Job title: President and CEO, STOTT PILATES
Home course: St. George’s G&CC, Toronto, Ont.
GolfStyle: I see you attended the Juilliard School for the
Performing Arts in New York City.
Lindsay G. Merrithew Juilliard was a pretty intense
experience. There are four major disciplines offered at the
school, music by far being the largest. There’s also an opera
department, dance and a theatre arts program. I was in the
latter. One of the most amazing things about going there is
that you’re with a very talented and diverse group of people
immersed in one of the most culturally rich cities of the
world. I had previously lived in Halifax, where I attended
Dalhousie University, studying commerce. Theatre arts?
Commerce? Strange bedfellows, but I feel these two disciplines
greatly complemented my business/entrepreneurial
endeavours. Creativity is such an essential ingredient to successful
businesses, and my experience at Juilliard and subsequent
work in the theatre has proved to be really beneficial.
GS: You’re a member of Ontario's Innovators Alliance and a
two-time nominee as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of year.
How did you come to work for yourself?
LGM: To be perfectly honest, it happened somewhat
by accident. I had been pursuing an acting career and the
opportunity simply presented itself. Mind you, both my
grandfathers were entrepreneurs.
GS: What advice do you offer to those wanting to start their
LGM: My advice is to recognize the importance of building a
team very early in the process—to surround themselves with
great people. There are very few successful solo acts.
GS: Tell me a bit about the Stott Pilates story.
LGM: We started our business over 20 years ago, long before
the Pilates method of exercise gained its widespread
appeal. At that time there were few manufactures of equipment
or comprehensively styled teacher training centres.
My wife and business partner, Moira, and
I were of the view that there was
a sound business model that
and an adaptable business
model to health
club owners and fitness
who wanted to build
a successful Pilatesbased
After realizing the benefits
of the original Pilates
method and working with
various physical therapists
pro-fessionals, we dissected and reconnected it into a comprehensive,
systematic approach to the original teachings.
GS: What's the key to continued success?
LGM: I'd say it's the importance we’ve placed on building
and maintaining relationships with the people who license
our Pilates method, purchase our equipment and replicate
our business model. Today, we have over fifty-five licensed
training centres in twenty-three countries worldwide, and
three corporately owned centres—one in Toronto, Denver
and New York City. The company has trained more than
25,000 instructors around the world and is highly regarded
within the fitness community. Athletes of all levels are realizing
the benefits of “alternative” methods of exercise to
increase power, align the body and work the core.
GS: Given its benefits regarding stamina, stress relief, focus
and core stability, Pilates must be ideal for golfers.
LGM: Golf demands a delicate balance of mental and
physical skill. Pilates enables you to focus on both through
mind-body awareness by gaining insight into the connection
between the physical and psychological components
of athletic performance. Tiger Woods, David Duval, Rocco
Mediate, Sean O’Hair, Lee Jansen—they all incorporate
Pilates into their training regimen.
GS: How did you get introduced to golf?
LGM: My father was an avid golfer. I used to caddie for him
at our club in Woodstock, N.B., back when going to the range
was defined a little differently. I would stand out in a field
and shag golf balls as my father bombed them out at me. I
caddied at my local course and played golf throughout my
teenage years, but it has only been in the last ten years that I
have returned to the game more regularly.
GS: What’s your best golf memory?
LGM: One of my most memorable rounds of golf was playing
the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, with Moira. It
was certainly not the most ideal weather conditions the day
we played—wet, wild, very windy and bone-chillingly cold
too—but it’s not often you have the opportunity to play the
Royal and Ancient course in St. Andrews!
I also had the privilege of playing Old Head in the southwest
corner of Ireland. I was there with my son Michael and
two dear friends from Europe. The views were stunning! It’s
on a 220-acre peninsula that juts out more than two miles
into the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by jagged sea cliffs
rising more than 300 feet from the water’s edge. We played
on a bright sunny day, but were warned that if the fog rolled
in, we would have to literally be led off the course individually
by our caddies or risk plunging headlong off an unseen
precipice. It’s probably the most unforgettable course I’ve
ever played or seen.