Tess Roering loves to sweat. From spandex-clad aerobics instructor in the late '80s to daily heated yoga these days, the 47-year-old serves as CorePower Yoga's chief marketing officer, joining the booming Denverbased boutique fitness brand about a year and a half ago. Roering's career includes stints with nonprofits and major brands. Recently she sat down with ColoradoBiz to discuss CorePower's place in the multi-billion-dollar yoga industry.
You studied psychology at Stanford University. Did you want to be a psychologist?
I had no idea what I wanted to do and sort of settled into law. I worked for a law firm for about six months after graduating and was like, this is not for me.
So I took a step back and at the time I was doing a lot of volunteer work. I was living in Washington, D.C. at the time. One day while volunteering at Special Olympics International, I took a typing test and got the job as the administrative assistant in the marketing department. Three months later, I got promoted and sent to Austria to run their Winter Games. I ended up getting three years of just a little bit of everything in marketing, but I realized I didn't really know what I was doing. So I decided to go back to get an MBA at Duke.
What did you do with your MBA from there?
I launched into a marketing-focused career. I bounced into all kinds of industries--started off in consumer goods and worked for Gillette when it was independent. I worked for an agency and launched what was a startup at the time--Hotwire. I worked at Visa International and then fell into a really cool job at Old Navy running strategy and advertising. Then I moved to a marketing job at Gap, and then a couple years later was asked to run marketing for a company they had recently acquired called Athleta. So I was head of marketing for Athleta for five years prior to coming here.
How did the CorePower offer come up?
I had gotten a call from a recruiter who was searching for this particular role, which didn't yet exist in the company. I first asked, 'What is CorePower?' So I went to probably 15 or 20 classes in quick succession and immediately fell in love with it.
I've always been a fitness fanatic. I love to ski. I love to play tennis. And a little-known fact--I was actually a high-impact aerobics instructor in college, back in the Jane Fonda days, with the sweatbands, and I wore a bandana around my waist; leg warmers and shiny tights.
What does the CMO role look like for you?