Fit for Success
STORY: Amy Meadows
PHOTOS: Stephen Payne
Five years ago, Monica Dioda walked into Flywheel Sports and took an indoor cycling class. She loved the boutique feel of the studio and started thinking about opening one herself. As a single mom of two young children, Dioda had been considering her career options. Although she had enjoyed a successful career in law, she knew that path wasn’t for her anymore.
“I have always loved fitness and have always been very active and athletic,” notes Dioda, a native of Italy. “When I moved to the States, I remember taking my first spin class, and it was love at first sight. It was the best thing ever. When I started thinking about what I was going to do next, I knew I wanted to do something fitness related.”
Dioda grew up with entrepreneurial parents. Her mother was the first CPA in her town in Italy. Dioda thought she would become an accountant and work for her mother, but realized after a year of business school that it wasn’t her calling. She was introduced to an attorney, and the profession intrigued her. So she pursued a degree and found her way to a master’s program in international law at the University of Georgia. Upon graduation with a law degree from Georgia State University, she went to work for Atlanta law firm Jones Day in mergers and acquisitions. After several years at the firm, as well as a marriage and two children, she stopped working to raise her kids. But after her divorce, she was ready to get back into the professional arena. As Dioda thought about the indoor cycling business, she began to focus on what she thought was missing from the equation: technology. If she opened her own studio, she wanted to use technology to interact with members, but she couldn’t find anything like what she envisioned in her mind. “I thought to myself, ‘Maybe there’s a business idea here,’” she recalls.
Around that time, Josh Lloyd, a leading local tech entrepreneur, moved in next door to Dioda. They struck up a friendship and soon realized that they might be able to work together bringing Dioda’s vision to life. Lloyd brought sales and business startup experience to the mix, while Dioda could use her background in law and finance to further their mission. They officially joined forces in April 2014 and, within a few months, created FitMetrix, a state-of-the art fitness technology platform for gyms and health clubs that includes a booking system, real-time tracking, leaderboards and more. “Today, people don’t want to just go exercise. They want a full, engaging experience,” says Dioda. “FitMetrix allows studios to customize and provide white-glove treatment for clients.” From allowing participants to book specific treadmills, cycles or yoga mats to sending personalized emails with daily results, the platform makes interacting with clientele seamless. With a new app and workout video streaming services being developed, the process will become even more comprehensive.
In 2018, only four years after its launch, FitMetrix was acquired by Mindbody, Inc., and the company moved its home base to Atlantic Station. Dioda now serves as general manager and senior director for the platform, while Lloyd is senior director of product development.
“It’s a little surreal. I look at it, and I’ve lived two different lives,” says Dioda. “I went from being an attorney to a stay-at-home mom, and then I started with Josh when I was 45. I want people to look at what happened to me and realize that you can make a major career change. It’s never too late. This has been a great life lesson.”