Gold’s Gym Honors Top Franchise Owners of 2019

Despite cancelling this year’s global convention due to ongoing pandemic, iconic fitness brand still honors network’s 2019 top performers with special virtual awards ceremony.

by goldsgym

DALLAS (August 6, 2020) – , the world’s trusted fitness authority, honored its top franchise owners with a virtual awards ceremony video shared last week with the brand’s global network. Among some of the most notable awards announced were Franchisees of the Year, Best New Gyms and Gold’s Vision awards.

“As disappointed as we were to cancel our annual convention this year, we knew this was the best decision for the safety of our global family in light of the ongoing pandemic,” said Adam Zeitsiff, President and CEO of Gold’s Gym. “With or without an in-person ceremony, we knew the amount of greatness we saw across our Gold’s Gym franchise network last year warranted recognition. Just as we have done to continue serving our members in recent months, we took a virtual approach to shining a spotlight on the many outstanding individuals who represented the very best of what our franchise network had to offer in 2019.”

Named as the domestic Franchisee of the Year was Jeff Mortman, who took over ownership of his Gold’s Gym in Totowa, New Jersey, in 2017 and has since transformed it from a struggling location into a state-of-the-art facility with a strong membership base. Internationally, Japan’s master franchise owner Eiji Tezuka, who is celebrating his 25th anniversary with the brand this year, was honored as the brand’s top franchisee for the second consecutive year. In 2019, Tezuka’s franchise group grew their network by nine new gyms, bringing the brand’s Japanese presence to a total of 95 facilities open and operating across the country.

The brand also named its top new gyms opened in 2019, with the brand’s latest facility in Ocala, Florida, receiving the domestic award, and its new Abdoun location in Amman, Jordan, receiving the international award. The luxurious Ocala gym marks the first facility opened by new franchise owner Pete Garcia, who joined the brand in early 2019 and has plans to open more Gold’s Gym facilities across Central Florida in the coming years. The 80,000 square-foot Abdoun gym is the second Gold’s Gym opened in Amman by master franchisee Adan Abu Rukbeh and his team, and the new facility’s location in the most prominent residential tower in the heart of Amman made its opening in December of 2019 a major hit in the region.

Finally, the prestigious Gold’s Vision Award for 2019 was given to both a domestic and an international franchisee to recognize them as visionaries whose leadership qualities and achievements serve as inspiration for the rest of the global franchise network. The domestic winner of this year’s Vision award was Mike Williams of Gold’s Gym Seattle, and the international winner was JK Valecha, India’s master franchisee.

Other Gold’s Gym franchising awards presented virtually this year include the following, with domestic and international winners listed for each:

  • Best Improved Gym – Hollister, California, and Janakpuri, India
  • Best Group Exercise Programming – Pharr, Texas, and Lefort, Moscow, Russia
  • Best Personal Training Program – Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Lefort, Moscow, Russia
  • Best Community Engagement – Cheyenne, Wyoming, and JP Nagar, India
  • Best Marketing Program – Bridgewater, New York, and Abdoun, Amman, Jordan
  • Legacy Award – Cindy Cerone of Fishkill, New Jersey

“The first half of 2020 has been challenging to say the least, but the way our franchisees around the world have persevered despite so much adversity is a testament to the strength of our global network as a whole,” said Craig Sherwood, Chief Development Officer of Gold’s Gym. “Being identified as a standout performer from our impressive community of brand stewards is an incredible feat. Gold’s Gym would not be what it is today without these outstanding investors driving our growth and evolution, and we are grateful this year more than ever for their continued commitment to the Gold’s Gym brand.”

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What started out in 1965 as a small gym in Venice Beach, California has since become the most well-known and traditional fitness company in the world – Gold’s Gym. Over the last 55 years, Gold’s Gym has developed into a global brand with over 600 locations spanning 6 continents. Bodybuilding greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno and Franco Columbu worked out at the original Gold’s Gym, which went on to become the most legendary gym in the world. In the fitness industry, the brand enjoys cult status and universal appeal with 96% aided brand awareness. In 2020, the RSG Group acquired Gold’s Gym and integrated the brand into its portfolio, making it the global leader in the fitness sector.

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