After selling his chiropractic practice two and a half years ago to open Will2Lose Weight Loss Fitness Club in Scarsdale, an 800-member training and health-coaching enterprise catering to obese clientele, Vito DiMatteo shifted from overseeing three employees to a full staff of 28 (and is set to open a second location in Thornwood this March). “I play every role,” DiMatteo says. “I will mop the floor or open the club at 5:30 in the morning. I see my employees doing the same, and it’s not that I’m asking them to, it’s just a reflection of the leadership.”
Head trainer Christopher Jackson concurs. “Where there is slack, he picks it up. He is never ‘boss,’ but Vito.” He is, according to Jackson, part counselor, too: “Training and teaching this population is emotionally exhausting. He listens and provides feedback that helps us refocus.” And that approachability extends beyond business. “If someone’s not feeling right, there’s a speed bump in the team,” DiMatteo explains. “So I always ask, ‘How’s everything? What’s going on in your life?’” He’s known to act on that knowledge in a kind (uncontrived) way, visiting, for instance, a former employee who was hospitalized post back surgery.
Besides off-hours gestures, the gym owner makes sure his work “family” feels valued with incentives—like vacations to Mexico. “An employee will go the extra mile for you if you’re willing to [do so] for them first,” he reasons. But it’s foremost DiMatteo’s “uncompromised vision” that’s inspired a fierce employee following, says Jackson. “Countless hours spent outside of what is reflected on my check are well worth it, because his business is about more than just monetary gain.”
Shedding some light on that vision, DiMatteo says, “It’s easily said, but there’s a lot that goes behind caring.”