Gold’s Gym Concludes 2011 International Convention Focused on a “Stronger. Future. Together”
DALLAS – (August 1, 2011) For three days, a mix of energy, passion and ideas infiltrated the hallways and convention center rooms of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas as more than 1,000-plus Gold’s Gym corporate executives, franchisees, master franchisees, managers, staff and vendors came together for the annual Gold’s Gym Convention.
“Everyone in the Gold’s Gym family shares a deep, emotional attachment to the brand and it is never more apparent than when we all come together to celebrate,” said Jim Snow, president of Gold’s Gym International. “It is amazing to witness the collective knowledge and expertise that exists within the Gold’s Gym family and see how the power of the brand has transcended cultures around the world. This energy combined with the many initiatives we’re rolling out has us well positioned for the future.”
Co-hosted by Gold’s Gym International (GGI) and the Gold’s Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA), the theme of the event was “Stronger. Future. Together.” It was kicked off with a series of business seminars that lasted throughout the course of the convention. Topics ranged from how to drive sales to leveraging social media to enhancing business performance levels within the gym. The convention also featured the official rollout of several new services GGI will be providing franchisees.
This includes a new finance arm of GGI that helps franchisees secure funding, a new communications portal that will improve communications between franchisee and franchisor and house a wealth of reporting features and information, a geo-mapping tool that will help franchisees more strategically select sites for gym development and an online training system that will help gyms easily and seamlessly train their staffs.
“Last year we walked away from convention a tighter Gold’s Gym family and this year we came away even closer,” said Mike Epstein, president of the Gold’s Gym Franchise Association and owner of Gold’s Gym Paramus (N.J). ”Any time we bring the entire Gold’s Gym family together under one roof it really feels like a family reunion. GGI and The GGFA have been working very closely together and what has been accomplished in just this past year is really amazing. New programs, products and services were rolled out and we are excited about the future. Now it’s time to look forward to another great year of success and growth.”
At the convention’s annual awards dinner, Gold’s Gym honored 25 franchisees. Among the most notable (a full list is available upon request):
- Bryce Berry, owner of Gold’s Gyms Clifton, Colorado, earned the Franchisee of the Year recognition.
- Eiji Tezuka, the Master Franchisee for Gold’s Gym in Japan, won the Master Franchisee Award for the third straight year and for the fourth time in its history.
- Gordon Johnson, long-time franchise owner in the Atlanta-area, garnered the prestigious President’s Award, given to the owner that most exemplifies the commitment Gold’s Gym franchisees have to serving their members and their community.
- Bill Austin, long time and widely respected franchisee from the Hudson Valley, NY-area won the GGFA’s Bravo Award which recognizes outstanding leadership, innovation and contributions from members within the Gold’s Gym family.
Adding to the excitement in the convention hall was the induction of Lou Ferrigno into the Gold’s Gym Hall of Fame. Ferrigno, most notable for his role as “The Incredible Hulk” and more recently his charitable work with local law enforcement, spoke about why this honor meant so much. “Gold’s Gym is my home. It is an emotional attachment for me. It is my gym and I am proud to be a part of this family,” said Ferrigno.
In addition to Ferrigno, long time franchisee Blair McHaney was also inducted into the Gold’s Gym Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to the brand. In addition to running successful gyms in the Wenatchee, WA-area, McHaney is widely recognized for his incredible passion and dedication to the Gold’s Gym family. He has served as president of the GGFA and sat on various committees including the Gold’s Gym National Advertising and Advisory Committee and the National Franchise Council.
Gold’s Gym also paid tribute to a select group of its members who have overcome some of life’s most difficult obstacles to lose weight, get in shape or achieve remarkable accomplishments. Convention attendees voted for Gold’s Gym’s “Most Inspirational Member” award, crowning Dave Roberts, a member at Gold’s Gym Dundalk (Dundalk, Maryland) with the title. Defying the odds, Roberts’ success story includes surviving a motorcycle accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury resulting in short term memory loss. He recounted how he was broken both physically and emotionally. Determined to stay strong and not let his accident get the best of him, he began a slow recovery process and vowed to himself that he would compete in a major fitness competition. Roberts’ ended up competing in the USBF Men’s Master Division and taking home the first place trophy.
“Everyone in the ballroom was touched and inspired by these incredible stories,” said Snow. “They redefine the meaning of strength and embody our “Stronger Than” campaign. While we don’t need to be reminded about the importance of personal health, seeing the members on stage and hearing their triumph is an emotional charge that you couldn’t help but feel.”
About Gold’s Gym
Established in Venice, Calif. in 1965, Gold’s Gym is the largest full-service gym chain in the world with more than 700 locations in 42 states and 30 countries. The iconic brand ranks in the top 15 percent of Entrepreneur magazine’s 2011 “Franchise 500.” Gold’s Gym offers the latest equipment and services, including group exercise, personal training, cardiovascular equipment, group cycle, Pilates and yoga. With nearly 3.5 million members worldwide, Gold’s Gym helps all kinds of people achieve their individual potential through fitness. For more information please visit www.goldsgym.com or www.facebook.com/goldsgym.