02/03/13 5:00pm
02/03/2013 5:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Southold Town’s Emergency Response Team was named the 2012 Suffolk Times People of the Year.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | (Clockwise from bottom left) Jill Schroeder, Dan Goldfarb, Bob DeLuca and Ed Romaine were among The Suffolk Times’ 2012 People of the Year recipients.

The Suffolk Times held its annual People of the Year reception this week, honoring those who were selected in our first issue of the new year.

You can read more about our 2012 People of the Year by clicking on the links below:

People of the Year: Southold Town’s Emergency Response Team

Business Person of the Year: Jill Schroeder

Civic People of the Year: Group for the East End

Public Servant of the Year: Ed Romaine

Educator of the Year: Daniel Goldfarb

01/04/13 3:36pm
01/04/2013 3:36 PM

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | Jill Schroeder leading a Zumba class at her JABS studio in Mattituck.

Though Jill Schroeder has owned the Mattituck fitness studio JABS for only about a year and a half, she’s been spreading joy Zumba-style for four years now.

The Southold resident leads Zumba classes several times a week at her Pike Street studio, where North Forkers between 6 and 60 years old have come by the dozens to sweat under her instruction.

Zumba is, in essence, an hour-long synchronized dance party. Those who have caught the fever say it’s not just the unique form of exercise that has them smiling, but their chief instructor, who has been named this year’s Business Person of the Year by The Suffolk Times.

“Jill is one of the savviest business owners I’ve ever met in my life,” said friend and customer Marianne Wachtel. “She is extremely professional, but does everything in a personal way. She takes an interest in each and every person who walks through her doors and keeps membership prices low because she wants everyone in the community to participate.”

She added that those who do visit the studio are pampered by the queen bee of Zumba, who provides customers with a clean space to exercise, a stocked bathroom “full of everything a girl needs” and plenty of motivation to achieve fitness goals.

“She gets to know each and every person that walks into her facility and learns quickly about what motivates him or her,” Ms. Wachtel said. “She respects physical limits, while helping her clients discover and unleash an inner strength they didn’t realize they had.”

Ms. Wachtel, who called the certified personal trainer an “absolute arsenal of fitness knowledge,” said it isn’t just Ms. Schroeder’s interest in her customers that makes her such a standout business owner, but her interest in all mankind.

“JABS is a community-based club, so she is at every event that happens and is constantly giving back,” Ms. Wachtel said, citing donated time and money at Southold youngster Camryn Koke’s fundraisers for cystic fibrosis, Shelter Island’s 5K Run/Walk for Breast Cancer and a recent Hurricane Sandy relay race fundraiser held last month in Peconic, where Ms. Schroeder helped raise money and collect donated items for those affected by the storm.

“Henry Ford said, ‘A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.’ That quote always reminds me of JABS and Jill,” Ms. Wachtel said. “It’s so much more than a thriving business. It’s a family.”

The creation of a family environment has led Zumba participants to return Ms. Schroeder’s enthusiasm by volunteering their time and energy at various fundraisers and forming an iron-clad support system for all, including Ms. Schroeder herself.

When she joined the running of Shape magazine’s “Inspirational Zumba Instructor Search,” Ms. Schroeder received the most votes of 400,000 cast in the contest’s first round.

“The community’s support has been amazing,” Ms. Schroeder said at the time. “It just goes to show you how much heart I put into this business.”

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09/12/12 5:00pm
09/12/2012 5:00 PM

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | JABS founder Jill Schroeder at one of her classes last month.

Shape magazine announced this week that Cutchogue resident and local Zumba instructor Jill Schroeder won the first round of its national online contest seeking the nation’s most inspirational Zumba instructor.

According to Shape, Ms. Schroeder, owner of JABS in Mattituck, received the most votes out of the total 400,000 votes cast last month.

Ms. Schroeder said she found out she won Monday night after her fiancé stumbled upon an article about the contest at shape.com.

“I was excited and thought it was cool that I was featured on the website,” Ms. Schroeder said. “If it actually turns into a print article, I think it would be very good for me and my business.”

Created in Cali, Colombia during the mid-90s by aerobics instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez, the fitness program is an international sensation. To become an instructor, one must be licensed by Zumba Fitness, the organization that holds the trademark on the program.

Ms. Schroeder said she first became interested in Zumba five years ago after taking a class in Nassau County, which she said was the closest studio that offered the Latin dance exercise at the time. She opened JABS last year.

Ms. Schroeder was one of three Eastern Suffolk County Zumba instructors that were in the top 10 of the first round of Shape’s competition. Fellow JAB instructor Carol Leonard of Southold and Christine Locrotondo, a Manorville resident who teaches Zumba at Leg Works Dance in Mastic also did well in the first round.

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