[CHICAGO] – Digital wellness company Spark by Gabby (now Spark This Day) is proud to welcome Jenna Zaffino as its first Chief Operating Officer. A Movement Expert and certified Health Coach, Jenna brings a wealth of experience in instructor education, entrepreneurial success, small business coaching and inspirational leadership to the Spark Team. Jenna begins her endeavors at Spark This Day with product development and strategic planning to accelerate the startup’s growth.
With two decades in the fitness industry, Jenna understands that movement is more than just exercise, and she was attracted to Spark This Day's mission of addressing the issue of burnout intervention and stress management in ways that would ultimately effect social change. She joined Spark by Gabby as an instructor in August 2021, sharing her movement teaching talents with an organization that shared her purpose.
“Through my teaching experience with Spark, I witnessed in real-time how fitness has every possibility to become more than a system of exercise and can be a vehicle for social change. The Spark Community Members’ stories of applying stress-relief techniques that they learned in class to their real-time moments of stress confirmed to me that Spark’s human-first focus was actually creating change, and that this was the place I wanted to be a part of.” explains Jenna Zaffino, Chief Operating Officer of Spark This Day. “I related to the stories of burnout, and loved helping each Spark Community Member understand the signals of stress and develop tools to help them advocate for their health and well-being.”
Jenna’s experiences of burnout throughout her professional career inform her focus on building resilience. As a fitness instructor in a leadership position at one of Chicago’s largest health clubs, she worked 19-hour days that robbed her energy. She then opened her own fitness studio, tripling its size in five years; in her effort to create a great experience for clients and instructors, she neglected her own well-being needs. After giving birth to her son, she downsized her studio and eventually sold it to hone in on a more sustainable balance of living and working. She became a certified health coach and targeted her work to the areas that created the most impact for her clients.
In her new role as Chief Operating Officer, Jenna will bring to bear her fitness instruction, health coaching, and burnout experiences in creating new products, content, and strategic plans for Spark This Day, which was named a 2021 Startup of the Year semifinalist. “Jenna has a tremendous amount to offer in addition to being an instructor – I could tell from our first interview that she was a partner with whom I could dream big and who could help me achieve that vision,” states Gabby Lubin, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Spark. “Our company is meant for bigger things, and Jenna is the co-creator I need to get there.”
Jenna will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer effective April 1, 2022. Her role is instrumental in the launch of Spark This Day’s new platform, slated for June 2022.