Mary McManigle is a connected leader. As vice president of accounting at CorePower Yoga, she practices the connected mentality of her yoga flow both on the mat and in the office. Coming out of the pandemic, CorePower is currently focused on growth-oriented initiatives. McManigle is equipped with extensive financial experience and a passion for yoga—a perfect fit to execute these goals.
“Operations decides what to do, and [my team] figures out how it fits into our financial statements, how we’re going to account for it, and how we’re going to interact with outside vendors for it all to come together,” she says.
Committed to the company’s positive impact on physical and mental wellness, McManigle’s work is made all the more meaningful.
McManigle was born in a small town in North Dakota, where only thirty-seven people were in her graduating class. Beginning when she was young, her parents insisted: “You’re going to college.” She received a degree in chemical engineering, a second one in accounting, and left her town for good.
Her first opportunity was in public accounting for Arthur Andersen, which brought her to Colorado. “I always knew I wanted to live here because I wanted to ski,” she says.
McManigle rose through her financial career working for real estate investment trusts, including an array of companies that owned multifamily housing, industrial buildings, and hotels.
“During that time, I’d take [my young kids] to the skate park. I’d bring my chair and my book,” she says. “I was starting to get bored, so I decided to buy a skateboard.” Her oldest son taught her how to do a drop-in, among other tricks. And she had fun until an accident left her with a bulging disk and sciatica.
“I could barely walk,” she remembers. Struggling to recover, she drove by a CorePower studio one day with a “One Week Free” sign out front. “Well, it can’t hurt,” she thought.
Within three months, not only was McManigle completely healed, but she’d found a practice that helped her balance a stressful job, a traveling husband, and two kids at home. Addicted to yoga from that point on, she became a certified yoga instructor and taught four classes a week on top of her full-time job.
In October 2020, McManigle’s recruiter called her about the open accounting position at CorePower Yoga. “From the moment I walked into a CorePower studio, I was such a believer in what we do, in why we’re here, [so] it was no question that it was going to be a yes,” McManigle says. “I’ve never really felt like I was part of something larger than myself, and I really feel that way here.”
CorePower has 190 corporate-owned studios and an additional 42 franchised studios. McManigle and her team are responsible for financial statements, bank reporting, annual audits, and data assembly for the several revenue streams.
Since Trevor Tice founded CorePower in 2002, the company has grown exponentially and has been bought and sold by a handful of private equity firms, with TSG Consumer being its primary investor. The onset of COVID-19 in 2020 slowed the rate of growth; since studios have reopened, membership hasn’t fully returned to where the company stood pre-pandemic. Current initiatives are thus growth centered.
“Before the pandemic, we had fifteen new studios in the pipeline. Over the last year, we’ve slowly gotten them all open [and the] objective is to continue to expand,” McManigle reports. “We just bought a new accounting system called NetSuite, [which will] allow project tracking [and thereby offer] management better data. Over the next six months, that’s our primary focus: getting that implemented.”
In confronting the shortage of returning yoga instructors, CorePower increased teacher training opportunities and opened scholarships for aspiring yoga teachers in the BIPOC communities. In making access to classes more versatile, membership now includes access to online and live platforms. In expanding its reach, a newly hired real estate team researches in-field opportunities and projects new markets to tap into.
Meanwhile, the corporate team practices the concepts that students learn in class: to let go, to be present, to be grateful. “We have a studio on-site,” McManigle says. “From time to time, the entire accounting team will take a class together, and it’s so lovely.”
Like the Sanskrit tattoo on her wrist that translates to “connection,” McManigle makes deep, personal connections with the people who report to her. She rolls up her sleeves and works beside team members when they need guidance. She schedules weekly one-on-ones over coffee outside the office. She believes it’s OK for people to fail; that’s when she uses her coaching skills to get them back on track.
“You have to build connection first [so] you can feel good about being tough when you need to be tough,” McManigle says.
As CorePower grows, McManigle consistently looks for ways to automate processes so as to make time for more impactful work. Simultaneously—grounded by yoga’s philosophies—she stays present, focused, and offers grace.
“I’ve been accused of being a Pollyanna because I’m always looking at the bright side,” McManigle says with a laugh. “I was a small-town girl. I would have never envisioned the life I have today, and I’m so grateful for all the people [who] believed in me and gave me opportunities along the way. The flip side: I took every opportunity I could; I always said yes.”
McManigle believes she found yoga when she was supposed to. As CorePower grows, the goal is that others will as well.