Apr 13 2017
Employee Spotlight : Jeff Uyemura
Jeff Uyemura graduated with an Economics degree but his passion for technology lead him to a career as the Digital Manager at Jazzercise. With a background like Jeff's, we were curious about his path to the fitness industry and his pseudonym "Digital Guru."
How did you come to Jazzercise Corporate?
The company I was with at the time got acquired by a competitor and they were in the process of laying off most of the company. A recruiter randomly contacted me about the opportunity with Jazzercise and it seemed like a really good fit. The timing couldn’t have been better.
Tell us a little bit about your path…
I graduated from UCSD with a degree in Economics but was always interested in all things digital. Immediately after college, I tapped into my entrepreneurial spirit, and co-founded a dot-com startup company which specialized in online advertising. We got venture capital financing and our company grew to over 40 employees. As a business owner, I learned some invaluable lessons about technology, marketing, leading teams, and achieving business goals.
I went on to oversee the web development, digital, and SEO departments for many companies throughout my career. Most recently, I served as the Web Director for the one of the nation’s largest suppliers of medical supplies and equipment. I was able to help them achieve tremendous growth with their online revenue from $150k/year to over $3 million/year within the first year with the company.
What’s your favorite thing about working here?
Relaxed company culture that has a real family feel. Being able to wear shorts to work every day definitely does not hurt either.
When you tell a new friend about where you work- what is their initial reaction?
I’ve heard it all from “they’re still around?” or my favorite was “do they make you wear spandex?” But I see that as a great opportunity to help educate people on how we have evolved over the years.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I surf just about every opportunity I get. I can’t wait to teach my sons when they get a little bit older. When I’m not in the water, I can usually be found either at the gym, playing the guitar, or chasing my boys around the yard.
What’s your favorite snack?
Does beer qualify as a snack? Just kidding. I’m a big connoisseur of craft beers and enjoy trying the huge variety of local craft beers here in San Diego.
I also don’t think I could live without Mexican food. Carne Asada burritos, chips and guacamole are definitely staples in my household.
What are most people surprised to learn about you?
Although I’m of Japanese descent, I don’t speak any Japanese and can barely use chopsticks. My friends always make fun of me about that one.
If you could do another job for just one day at Jazzercise, what would it be?
If it was just for one day, it would probably be something completely different--just to experience it. Maybe something in the warehouse. Honestly, though I love working with websites and technology.
Think back on your career with Jazzercise, what was your proudest moment?
A few that standout would have to be the successful launches of the new Jazzercise.com site, apparel site, and the app. I’m happy to use my experience and knowledge to help Jazzercise continue to evolve technology-wise.
What three words would you use to describe Jazzercise Corporate?
Casual, family, flexible.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Another little known fact about me is I donated a kidney to my sister, Christine, in 2001. She had Lupus and was really sick at the time. I’m happy that I have been able to help her live a normal, fulfilling life. She’s had a couple of bumps in the road since then, but she is doing amazing today.