Rachel Jackson

Sunshine Fitness Management Makes Generous BGCA Donation

This past year, PFHQ held a nationwide contest to see which locations could sell the most memberships while raising money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. For the month of October, Sunshine Fitness Management’s Palm Bay, Florida, location was one of the top two sellers in their region, and PFHQ awarded the group $5,000 to donate to its local Boys & Girls Clubs.

Together, all participating clubs raised over $1 million dollars for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which helped to support the Judgement Free Generation® program. Since launching the initiative in 2016, Planet Fitness® has contributed nearly $3 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and has awarded $50,000 in scholarships to eligible youth.

“This donation from our esteemed partner, Planet Fitness, allows us to continue to enhance and promote our culture of good character and citizenship, as well as healthy lifestyles,” said Nic Freeman, volunteer resources manager for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida in an interview with the Palm Bay Daily.

On Jan. 17, Sunshine Fitness Management’s Palm Bay, Florida, Planet Fitness presented the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida with a $5,000 check as well as equipment, giveaways and even a pizza party. Four Planet Fitness employees – Sunshine Fitness Management’s Marketing Manager Anthony Roberts Jr., two regional managers Tim Caylor and Jason Lucas; and the Palm Bay, Florida, club manager, Nick Atkins – went to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida and took with them pizza, Capri Suns and cupcakes.

“It was an honor helping out the Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Caylor. “It’s the greatest feeling seeing the kids’ eyes light up when we were donating equipment to them. It was also great that the kids felt comfortable enough with us that they even performed a song that they wrote. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be able to help out the Boys & Girls Clubs, and it creates a special feeling inside that I can’t explain.”

In addition to the pizza party, Sunshine Fitness Management donated a foosball table, a basketball goal, kickballs, basketballs, footballs, four square balls, volleyballs, two equipment bags and scoreboards.

“We are putting to great use all the equipment that was donated to us. In regard to the $5,000 dollars – we have great plans for it! For the past 2-3 weeks we have been doing research on different field trips and activities that we can participate in,” said Angel Montilla, service director for the Boys & Girls Club of Temple Terrace. “Since the majority of our members don’t have the funds necessary to be able to go on field trips during the summer, we are working to use some of the money to help us get the kids to field trips with the hopes of having them or their parents not have to pay for it. We are looking at going to the bowling alley, Zoo, Aquatica, Escape the Room for the teens, Andretti’s, Fun Town, Kennedy Space Center and, hopefully, make either Universal or Fun Spot possible.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida hopes to make this coming summer the best one yet. With the equipment Sunshine Fitness Management donated, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida now have more options for outside activities and can host foosball tournaments for the youth.

“Our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs has been a fulfilling way to reach out to the youth across the country,” said Roberts Jr. in an interview with the Palm Bay Daily. “Instilling anti-bullying principles and attitudes of inclusiveness in the future men and women of our country is a passion Planet Fitness continues to stand behind.”

Alder Partners Tackles Team-Building Led by Former Navy SEAL

When Alder Partners franchisee Stan DeMartinis Jr. tasked his newly hired human resources director with help assessing the state of the company, the results were surprising.

“We realized our turnover was far higher than ever imagined, and quickly identified the financial and operational impact this has on our business. Through this reporting, I learned that at any given time over half of our club staff have been there for three months or less,” DeMartinis said. “The good news is this also allowed us to see that, once we hit a management level, our turnover slows down significantly, indicating we are on the right path in supporting development from that level.”

The desire to build up his team and focus on leadership development was capped by the message coming through at the PF Franchise Conference concerning culture and team-building, so DeMartinis turned to Stonewall Solutions. Led by former Division I athlete and Navy SEAL Jason Kuhn, Stonewall Solutions visited Alder Partners’ Riverdale, Georgia, training facility in April for a full day of curriculum with the franchise group’s corporate staff, club managers and assistant managers.

“When I heard Jason’s story, being a Division I athlete and how he was inspired by 9/11 to become a Navy SEAL, I started thinking about myself a little bit, and the principles he was talking about. I felt like I was able to relate because of my background,” said DeMartinis. “I was a two-sport college athlete, and Mike Rymsha, who runs all of my Atlanta clubs, was the quarterback of our college football team. We were not only teammates but also roommates, so when Mike came on board with Alder, we were able to build our company on a foundation of trust and teamwork that goes back 25 years. It’s that mentality that we are constantly trying to flood through our system. I believe that is the most important part of our job as leadership because, when our team operates with that mentality, I am confident our business will continue to elevate indefinitely.” 

For the training with Alder Partners, Kuhn brought The Fundamentals of Winning curriculum to the classroom and followed it up with an outdoor team-building session based on his experience as a Navy SEAL. “Hopefully, we change the lives of a few people. Primarily with the team drills, what we want to do is build trust in each other and understand the common cause to serve and the value in that. We really want them to understand the value in selfless service and trust and how to build it,” Kuhn said. “We are going to go through leadership development at that grassroots level. How do I lead my family? How do I lead in my everyday life? Communication. Mental toughness. Team culture.”

The morning kicked off with breakfast and time in the classroom. After lunch, Alder Partners moved to a local park where the group participated in warm-up drills and activities that focused on supporting and encouraging team members before breaking into groups for a bit of friendly competition, including moving large tires and 200-pound logs as a team.

“We brought a fair amount of intensity to today’s session, and it was responded to really well. It was fun to see,” said Kuhn. “There will be sore bodies tomorrow, but it will be that good kind of sore, that sense of accomplishment.”

Operations Specialist Derrick Jones, a team member with Alder Partners since 2014, said the program with Stonewall Solutions prepared him to increase his role as a team player and leader. “Because I am already a team player, this experience has taught me how to advance as a team player and how to pat my people on the back and tell them they are doing a good job more than I do sometimes,” he said. “It’s about giving the maximum encouragement; sometimes the minimum isn’t enough.”

Working with Kuhn also led DeMartinis to self-reflection. “This experience caused me to reflect on my own leadership and how I can provide stronger influence to bring out the full potential of this team. I need to do a better job praising you, being appreciative of your unwavering support of me and my vision for this company,” he said in an address to his team. “This has been somewhat life-changing to listen to. I can put my own daily experiences into this outline and know I can do better. I encourage each of you to do the same. I know you all are facing similar challenges, day in and day out, on our gym floors. We are going to get better as a team from this day.”

Jost ADK Location Recognized for Supporting Community

Earlier this year, Jost ADK’s Lakewood, Colorado, location received the 2017 West Colfax MOMENTUM award. This was the West Colfax Lately Luncheon’s third year for the award ceremony but the first year Planet Fitness® has been recognized.

Sponsored by the West Colfax Community Association (WCCA), the award goes to two area businesses that have contributed to the ongoing renaissance of the historic West Colfax corridor.

“West Colfax is kind of under redevelopment. It’s been an undervalued area that now has some focus to it. The shopping center we are in and the surrounding area has undergone a huge redevelopment, and we really bought into the vision of the landlord for that center,” said Jonny Jost, franchisee with Jost ADK. “We bought in and took a chance on that shopping center, and it’s starting to really pay dividends. We got a part of that momentum early on, and that’s kind of what we were recognized for with this award.”

In addition of PF®, WestFax Brewing Co. also received a MOMENTUM award, and Maddie Nichols and Kathi Hasfjord received the LEGEND award.

“We are very honored to receive this distinctive award and to represent the West Colfax community,” said the PF Colfax team. “We are excited to continue growing with this revitalizing community.”

The entire Colfax leadership team attended the awards ceremony, which was held at the Lakewood Country Club. The event featured live music from Jonny “Colfax” Barber and even a West Colfax-themed game show.

“We attribute our success to the people that work in the club and the teamwork that they have, along with the members that really embrace the club,” said Jost. “When we come into an area, especially an area like this, we want Planet Fitness to be an asset to the community and create happier, healthier lives. In this community, the members really embraced us, and they look at that club like it’s a beloved park in their community. They protect it, and they protect our team.”