WAC Magazine

JUNE | JULY 2015

Issue link: http://www.wacmagazine.com/i/519795

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J ames Shaker moved from Washington, D.C., to Seattle in 1983. Back then he was a fresh face at Ryan Swanson law firm and brand new to the city. The WAC presented the perfect place to meet new people and network. It soon grew into much more. "After a few years, I got married and had children," James recalls now. "The Club was a great place for swimming lessons, and activities in the winter months." Three decades later, James' dedication to the WAC is still going strong. He continues to use the fitness facilities regularly and enjoys lunch and dinner at Torchy's, especially before evening events downtown. "The camaraderie I have with personal and professional friends I have met over the years is one of my favorite things about the WAC," James says. James continues to practice at Ryan Swanson— now Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland—and met Meru Belbayeva through work. "Meru showed a lot of interest in WAC programs and had already met a few members," James says. He didn't hesitate to sponsor her for Club membership. M eru Belbayeva spent her early childhood in Russia. Her family moved to the United States for business when she was 7 and settled in Woodinville. Flash forward, Meru graduated from Oregon State University with a dual degree in finance and business administration and moved to Seattle. Seeking a place to connect with other young business people and to work out, she quickly decided on the WAC. "When I moved to Seattle I missed having a local gym and athletic community," she says. "The Club was close to work and home and had great facilities and programs." As the co-owner and CEO of Downtown Spirits, Meru is an avid user of Women's Fitness but does much more than exercise here. "Hagerty's is a great place to get some work done outside of the office," she says. "I also use banquet rooms for hosting private events for my company and for my family." She soon hopes to explore the WAC's reciprocal network during future travel. "Membership is what you make it," she says. "However you spend your time here, it is always with the underlying feeling that you are part of a community." —Joshua Stollenmaier is a WAC editorial intern. L U K E R U TA N 14 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | JUNE / JULY 2015 Includes Membership All-Stars as of press time. All-Star program continues through July 31. Membership All-Stars receive $500 WACash and are entered in a drawing for a weekend getaway to Los Angeles, including airfare and accommodation. JOIN OUR GROWING LIST OF 2015 WAC MEMBERSHIP ALL-STARS: Phil Abbess, Alfred Anderson, Miles Craigwell, David Donovick, Ron Emerson, Nick King, Bob Rupp, Dan Titcomb They also grow the Club and ensure our continued status as one of the nation's premier city athletic clubs. Our new Membership All-Star program honors those members who serve as primary sponsor for three or more new WAC members in a given year. MEMBERSHIP A L L -S T AR WORK & SOCIAL LIVES UNITE AT THE WAC MEMBERS MAKE THE WAC! Written by Joshua Stollenmaier Meru Belbayeva Member since 2013 James Shaker Member since 1984

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