About the Front Desk Inspirational Sign

Posted by Rochester Athletic Club on October 31, 2019

If you are a member of the club you more than likely have noticed the inspirational sign posted at the Front Desk as you exit out of the gate.

This sign stand has been on display on the desk for as long as anyone can remember and it has been constantly updated by our staff throughout the years. We thought it would be interesting and fun to learn a little more about the sign and the staff who work to keep it fresh and updated every week.

Although the sign is small in size, it can accomplish some pretty neat things for the club and its members. Its main purpose is that it provides a positive idea that can give someone a little energy or brighten someone’s mood as they head out of the club and into the rest of their day. We love it when people enjoy the club and this sign is just one more small way to work toward that goal.

Checking out what is on the sign has become a regular part of weekly club life for some members. Many look forward to reading new ones and it sometimes can act as a treat as they make it to the top of the stairs after a good workout. When the quote really connects with a member it is not unusual for someone to make a comment to desk staff or to even pull out their cell phone and take a picture of the sign in order to remember it later.

Although not everyone may love the current sign (and might even rib the staff about it if they don’t) we like the interaction that it creates. It serves as an icebreaker that gives us a chance to learn more about the personalities of our members. Small comments can lead to conversations and these make members and staff feel more connected.

On the flip side, the sign can also reach those who may not want extra interaction with staff. Members come into the club with different types of personalities and may face a variety of challenges in their daily life. On a given day, someone may just want to workout, relax and recover. Hopefully, they can also get a small positive boost of support if they happen to read the sign.

The people who put the signs together are some of the leaders of our desks. They share the work of finding the ideas and approving the signs. Here is a little information about the key players:


Jeffre Vaughn (Operations Director)

According to Jeffre, there are a lot of different types of signs to choose from. Sometimes they are thought provoking, sometimes they are purely inspirational, and sometimes they are humorous. When she has her say, they are often about food. Here is a recent one:

  • “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’” – Winnie the Pooh

Another favorite is the very first one she posted (and a quote she has always personally loved):

  • “You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Alice in Wonderland

And finally, here is one more that shows off her obsession with food:

  • “Less negativity - more tacos”

Chantal LaFee (Activities Desk Lead)

If you have met Chantal you likely already know how much positive energy she brings to any situation. She applies the same energy to finding the best quotes. Chantal has saved over 300 quotes on her phone from Pinterest and also has about a 1000 marked in Pinterest online. So, we won’t be running out of content for the signs anytime soon!

Chantal likes inspirational quotes that help people feel like they are not the only ones facing issues … and that also make her laugh. A sample of Chantal’s favorites both happen to deal with seasons. The first is:

  • “Thanks Fall, my muffin top has turned into a pumpkin roll.”

And the second is one of her “greatest hits” that received a lot of comments at the desk:

  • “Spring is almost here. I’m so excited I wet my plants.”

Owen Witte (Front Desk Lead)

After recently accepting his position, Owen has just started to share the responsibility of picking quotes and has only put up a handful so far. As a person who runs marathons and does triathlons, he tends to be attracted more towards inspirational ones that help feed motivation. He has started doing some research trying to find some good funny ones as well, but to this point has not convinced the others that they are “worthy”.

A sample of Owen’s selections are:

  • "No human is limited" – Eliud Kipchoge (After breaking 2 hours in the marathon)


  • "Don't put the parachute on if you don't want to jump out of the airplane." - Freddie Kitchens (Former head coach of the Cleveland Browns) 

Other sign “factoids” in case you didn’t know:

  • Although the above people are the main ones responsible for the making the signs, some of the content is sometimes suggested by other desk staff, and even on occasion by members who have a good idea that the team agrees would be great to share. So, if you believe you have inspirational or fun content for the sign say hello to Jeffre, Chantal or Owen. Who knows, your idea might be selected!
  • The signs are normally updated on Fridays, but if they have received a lot of response to a particular sign they sometimes change it out extra during the week to keep things fresh.
  • There are two sides to the sign and each has a different quote. If the front side doesn’t connect with you, look around to the other side when you get out the gate. Sometimes it’s a “twofer” of motivation or humor.
  • Even at a slower pace of averaging just one sign per week, our staff would have posted over 500 inspirational signs in the last 10 years.

Inspiration can come in many forms - some serious, some not so serious. Sometimes support comes from just keeping it real, keeping it fun, and letting you know you are not alone in how you feel facing the reality and challenges of life. We hope to be part of that support and we leave you with one final thought:

“To be inspired is great, to inspire is incredible!” – Napoleon Hill

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