In 2023, DC-founded fitness chain [solidcore] announced it would be relocating its headquarters from the District to Rosslyn at 1735 N. Lynn St. Eleven years since its start, the company now has over 100 studio locations across 25 states, with expansion efforts continuing.
Rosslyn is proud to welcome this innovative and growing company, which is leading the way with its focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fitness industry and beyond.
As we recognize and celebrate Black History Month, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) sat down with [solidcore] CEO Bryan Myers (pictured above), who has held the position since 2021, to learn more about Bryan, the company’s DEI initiatives, and plans for the future.
Rosslyn BID: In your interview with Essence last year, you mentioned the lack of diversity in the fitness industry. Have you seen any changes since then?
Bryan Myers: Yes, but change is incremental and takes time. It's amazing to see more and more people from different communities show up in our studio – fitness levels, shapes and sizes, color and ethnic background, sexuality, etc. But, change is also a flywheel – so with each day, the rate of change speeds up, and we're proud to be a small part of the evolution that is taking place in our industry.
To make strides in making the fitness industry a more diverse and inclusive experience for all, we need to continue to have open conversations about the current state of fitness, including where we want to go and how we plan on getting there. My goal is for [solidcore] to be a leading voice in this conversation in the coming years.
RBID: Prior to becoming CEO, you led the company’s DEI task force. How do you continue to pull that work through in your current role?
BM: [I] have a strong team under me who knows and understands that DEI is a priority. They understand that it’s the utmost priority and part of our company values to ensure we are giving those in marginalized communities opportunities and a platform to show who they are and their stories. This is truly a cross-functional effort [that] manifests itself in everything from building strong, diverse slates of candidates for open roles, to building inclusive marketing materials and messages, to our selection and expectations of our vendors and suppliers.
RBID: How do you support diversity and equity initiatives outside the company?
BM: I'm really proud to support multiple organizations that positively contribute to DEI. One that is close to my heart is the Ridley Scholars Foundation. I’m an alumnus of the University of Virginia and the Ridley Scholars Foundation is one of the premier Black scholarship organizations in the nation. As a former longtime Board member and continued financial supporter of the foundation, I help contribute to Black educational excellence and visibility.
I also support a DMV-based non-profit organization called Rainbow Families that helps close the equity gap for LGBTQ+ individuals who are interested in growing their families. In a less formal capacity, I serve as a mentor to several young leaders of color and young queer leaders who are making their mark in the business world.
RBID: You’ve been very successful in your career – do you have any advice for members of minority communities who are looking to reach leadership roles in their respective companies?
BM: It's easy to view our identity as the thing that holds us back. My entire trajectory and approach changed when I started viewing those ‘things’ as my superpowers – the things that make me uniquely qualified, that position me to excel in what I'm after – and I began to lean into those superpowers to propel me forward.
RBID: Especially following the pandemic, we’ve seen that mental wellness is just as important as physical wellness. How do DEI efforts support the mental wellness of employees and communities?
BM: Mental health and physical wellness are inextricably linked. It's hard for anyone to successfully operate and contribute in a meaningful way in an environment where they don't feel seen, heard, understood, recognized, and appreciated for their unique voice and perspective that they bring to the table. DEI efforts help support individuals to show up as their best selves because they feel confident and represented in the rooms they walk into.