Can a one-time college soccer player help move the personal fitness needle with Soldiers, Airmen and their families? The Exchange thinks so.
Strategic Marketing Manager Roy Montez, the Exchange’s BE FIT Ambassador, delivers daily direction to this vital initiative, promoting readiness and resiliency, and providing Warfighters, their families and military communities with fitness information, nutrition tips and tools to help them live healthy lifestyles.
The Exchange Post talked with Roy to get to know more about him and his new role.
Exchange Post: Tell us a little about yourself and your Exchange background.
Roy Montez: I am entering my 10th year at the Exchange. I started as a visual merchandiser at different Joint Base San Antonio locations. Next, I served as a marketing assistant and a graphic designer on the Marketing/Customer Experience—Store Signing team.
EP: What life experiences do you bring to the table that help you shape and direct the Exchange’s BE FIT initiative?
Montez: From an early age, athletics and physical fitness have influenced and motivated me. My involvement with NCAA Division I collegiate soccer at the University of the Incarnate Word, along with years of strength training, sports nutrition and supplementation, has fueled my desire to share my experience and passion with Soldiers, Airmen and their families to help them reach their fitness goals and enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle.
EP: How do you challenge yourself, while at the same time keeping fitness fun and interesting?
Montez: For the last three months, I have been training for a local Tough Mudder Full contest, which involves conquering 10 miles of mud and 20 drag-you-out-of-your-comfort-zone obstacles. This event is something that is completely new to me! I am approaching this experience with a different mindset and a different training method.
EP: What do you want to see happen in the next year in BE FIT?
Montez: I would like to generate more customer interaction and engagement around the priorities of well-being and healthy habits.
Creating and nurturing a sense of community and support through all of our Exchange communication and media channels will help Soldiers, Airmen and their families in their individual fitness journeys.
Intensifying our partnerships with the Healthy Army Communities and Air Force Smart Fueling initiatives will help us better promote readiness and resiliency.”
EP: What are the biggest challenges that Soldiers, Airmen and their families face in regards to enjoying healthy and active lifestyles?
Montez: Building a routine of consistency is a major challenge. The levels of physical conditioning established during structured times like basic training are tough to maintain when the structure goes away. The busyness of work and life make it difficult for anyone to focus consistently on nourishing foods and beneficial activity. Adjusting and adapting workouts appropriate to age and fitness level is crucial.
EP: For someone who is completely unfamiliar with what BE FIT looks like from an Exchange retail perspective, what would you tell them?
Montez: The changes that are taking place are amazing! BE FIT principles and values permeate the entire Exchange, including better-for-you snack and meals choices in all of the Exchange’s 1,700+ restaurants. The Exchange main stores and Express locations carry more than 400 BE FIT-approved items. BE FIT centers inside Exchange main stores offer expanded athletic apparel and footwear and have the look and feel of a sporting goods store.
EP: Where can shoppers find out more information about the BE FIT initiative?
Montez: Two online sites provide the primary sources of BE FIT information. The Exchange’s Community Hub BE FIT webpage offers a wide range of concise posts, videos and links about personal fitness and nutrition. The Shopmyexchange.com BE FIT landing page provides extensive healthy lifestyle and training resources, as well as six separate BE FIT retail sections that offer immediate purchasing access to relevant products and merchandise.
EP: Do you have any final remarks or observations that you would like to pass along?
Montez: Mind-set is important, especially in fitness. Living a healthy lifestyle does not happen overnight. With encouragement, motivation, consistency and hard work, together we can lead a healthy life and BE FIT.