by Buck Institute
January 24, 2020 . Profile
Get to Know the New Chair of our Board of Trustees – In Conversation with Jill Kinney
Jill Kinney likes to live well and move fast. After building one of the most successful fitness club businesses in the world, she was looking for another way of having an impact on health and wellness. She’s found it as the Buck’s new Board of Trustees Chair. Jill took the reins from Bill Poland on January 1, and she can’t wait to get to work!
How did you develop your interest in health and wellness?
After college I met a cardiologist who had a vision to create a wellness center. Keep in mind this was at a time when most folks thought about health pretty much only when they were sick, so he was a pretty progressive thinker. Ultimately he hired me to be his business manager and that’s how I first figured out how to combine my interests in business and wellness.
You came a long way from business manager to entrepreneur?
I’ve been very fortunate. After my business manager stint at the wellness center, I joined the Bay Club as COO. It was a terrific place to really get a grounding in the business but eventually I wanted to do my own thing. I started my own company doing consulting and business development for health clubs and then finally decided to open my own and that’s how Club One was born. I briefly left Club One but bought it back and it’s now called Active Wellness.
It seems in some ways your enthusiasm for the Buck is a natural progression of your work?
Yes! I’ve been in the business of helping people move their personal health to the next level through commercial health clubs, community centers and healthcare organizations. It’s been my business and my passion to help people lead a healthier life. When you look at the Buck’s focus on the science of aging and contributors to chronic disease and how we can impact it, that’s my wheelhouse – all about helping people live better longer. The Buck sits right at the Intersection where science, fitness and wellness, and healthcare are connecting. It’s the first time there is a real nexus of the three. It’s incredibly exciting.
What are your goals for the Buck?
We hope to expand our reach well beyond Marin County – to expand our connections with donors and our visibility. We are proud that Marin is our home but our work is going to touch the world. As a Board, our job is to help Eric and his executive team execute on the Buck’s strategic objectives. We’re thrilled about the strategic direction we are going.
You are succeeding Bill Poland as Chair. Those are some big shoes to fill.
The Buck is in its current exciting moment in large part because of Bill. He has worked tirelessly to expand the awareness of the Buck, to enable us to bring in top talent, to open the door to showing the world what the Buck is. The good news is he’s not going anywhere. We’re not going to let him go.
Science is showing that while chronological aging is inevitable, biological aging is malleable. There's a part of it that you can fight, and we are getting closer and closer to winning that fight.
Eric Verdin, MD, Buck Institute President and CEO