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Denver Co-op Teams Up With Denver Nuggets on Golden Opportunity

On Jan. 25, as the Denver Nuggets went head-to-head with the Phoenix Suns, the Planet Fitness Denver Co-op was ramping up for an appearance of its own. The co-op had previously entered a partnership with the NBA team to execute a Boys & Girls Club Mentorship Month and making a donation before the start of the Jan. 25 game was the perfect way to wrap up a successful campaign.

“For the Colorado Collective, it was imperative that our Nuggets Sponsorship included an element that gave back to our local Boys & Girls Club.” stated Jonny Jost a Franchisee member of the Colorado Collective.

Regional manager Kiki Mannshardt with PF corporate and Izzy Benjamin-Alvardo with Jost ADK were on site before tip-off and presented the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver with a $5,000 check.

“We could not be more grateful for our partnership with Planet Fitness,” said Ben Fiscus, donor relations manager with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver. “It is very clear that giving back is at the core of what the Denver Co-op stands for. At Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver we can confirm that when you become a member of Planet Fitness, you’re not only benefiting your own personal health and wellness, you’re also supporting your local community.”

As part of the sponsorship, Denver Nuggets ambassador and retired player Ervin Johnson also made four separate appearances prior to the game. Throughout the month of January, Johnson visited various Boys & Girls Clubs in metro Denver and spoke about the importance of creating a judgement free generation, as well as sharing some general tips on health, fitness and dedication.

“We are thrilled with how the integration manifested and how many kids genuinely are going to be a catalyst for creating a Judgement Free generation,” said Jost.


KiwiMex Sets Course for Success With Team-Building Sailing Experience

With the sea so close to its Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts locations, KiwiMex found the perfect opportunity to celebrate 10 years in 2018 with a team-building experience on the water. Owner Steve Eddleston chartered the 115-foot, 1939 restored schooner Eros for two days of sailing in the Narragansett Bay area close to Newport, Rhode Island. 

“We wanted to do something special to recognize all the hard work our management team had put in over the year and also find an event that would help us further build our team skills as we have more units to build in the coming years,” Eddleston explained. “Having been a sailor for many years and now living in Rhode Island, I came across Eros. After discussions with the ship’s owner, I learned they were planning on racing the schooner in a couple of local regattas against other classic sailboats and that they would welcome the opportunity to have my team join the crew for the event.” 

Together with the crew, KiwiMex brought general managers and regional managers from its 17 locations to the area for a team-building session full of sailing education and racing fun. The first day was spent learning about the diverse roles available to team members of all backgrounds and fitness levels. Those who took an active role were coached by professional sailors for the morning portion. After lunch, the crew took the yacht out for some racing.  

After reassembling on day two, the Planet Fitness team enjoyed a warm-up sail and a full day of racing fun. “We raced against a colorful array of beautiful boats of various ages from around the world,” Eddleston said. After the event, there was a clambake dinner with all the other boats crews where prizes were awarded for the various classes.

For Eddleston, there is an immense return on the investment to bringing his team together for one or two days each year. He’s even considering returning to Eros for this year’s event. “Team members are still talking about the experience, telling me how much they learned about communications, teamwork, being aware of the environment – the ship with all its equipment and maintenance like the gym, the competitive setting of the race with other vessels, and the camaraderie that comes from working together in a setting away from the job,” he said. “Many said they formed relationships with other managers from distant locations they would never have built day-to-day at the gym.” 

That sense of team is what makes activities such as the sailing experience so important to KiwiMex and Eddleston. “As far as I am concerned, the value of our brand is held every day by our gym teams who are face to face with our members,” Eddleston said. I believe taking the time out on a regular basis, be it summer parties, holiday events, conferences, etc., makes our people feel valued and recognized for all their contributions by ownership. 


National Fitness Partners Honored at Local EMS Awards Ceremony

On Dec. 12, team members from National Fitness Partners’ Statesville, North Carolina, location were recognized during the first annual ICEMS Awards Ceremony.

Recipients for the awards were selected by their Iredell County peers for their emergency medical services, and Planet Fitness team members were recognized for their heroic efforts on two separate occasions.

In June of 2018, a member was working out at the Statesville PF when he fell off the stair climber due to cardiac arrest. Club manager Chris Seddon began CPR and utilized the AED before EMS arrived. In September of the same year, a custodian noticed an unconscious member in the free weight area and notified team members immediately. Seddon began performing CPR while several other team members prepared an AED machine for operation. Once shocks were emitted, the member regained consciousness before EMS arrived at the club.

“It’s extremely important to be properly trained to handle these types of emergencies,” said Seddon. “It makes the difference in whether someone lives or dies. Having that knowledge speaks highly of the facility and makes people feel comfortable going to a facility that they know has the CPR/AED qualifications.”

National Fitness Partners requires all new hires to be trained in CPR/AED within their first month on the job. Once team members have been certified, they are required to reinstate their certification every two years.

“It felt amazing to be recognized for our efforts,” said Seddon. “There was a standing ovation when PF employees were recognized, as we were the only civilians that were honored for the award. The team is very proud of this honor and feels very appreciated.”

Since the September incident, the member continues to come and work out at Planet Fitness and has even taken Seddon and the rest of the staff out for lunch to thank them for saving his life.

“Having the opportunity to save peoples’ lives through CPR certification makes working for PF an amazing career opportunity,” said Seddon. “Not just changing lives but also saving them when you are called to duty.”

The community of Iredell County made sure to show their appreciation for Planet Fitness team members and their impact on the community.

“I was able to attend the banquet with the Statesville Planet Fitness Staff,” said regional manager Jonah Brooks. “The PF crew received a standing ovation from a room of 200 brave men and women in attendance which included state representatives, EMS, firefighters, law enforcement, etc. This was a moment that gave me chills and was a very emotional. The director over the event spoke very highly or Planet Fitness and the actions that were taken on the days of the incident. Truly incredible!”


United PF Partners Captures Centennial Milestone With Celebration

2018 was a milestone for United PF Partners. The franchise group became the first to reach 100 clubs, and in true Planet Fitness fashion, the centennial was marked with an event worthy of the moment.

“The brand has had a tradition of celebrating milestone events since I’ve been a franchisee – the 1,000th club, first club in Panama, 25th anniversary gala and first club in Mexico to name a few,” said CEO Trey Owen. “In early 2018, we realized our organic growth goals would put us at 100 clubs near the end of the year. Clearly, this would be a numerical milestone for the brand.”

Because United PF already had a large leadership conference in the works, the company decided to combine the two events. The Power of You Leadership Conference was set for Nov. 2 – the second anniversary of the formation of United PF Partners – with the centennial celebration to follow on Nov. 3. In August 2018, United PF and JEG-Fit in Phoenix completed the merger that officially put the organization over the 100-club mark.

While it was inevitable a franchisee would reach 100 clubs, UPF considers itself privileged to be the first, making it an easy decision to host a Century Party. Coordinating the event, which Owen described as similar to planning for a “very large wedding,” was led by Gale Sloan.

More than 250 attendees descended on The Gaylord Texan in the Dallas area for the Power of You Leadership Conference, which brought together assistant managers, general managers, high-level field leadership, franchisee partners and the UPF support center. The following day, more than 350 people gathered at Dallas Cowboys Stadium for the Century Party. In addition to the UPF team and partners, the franchise group invited family, investors, valued vendors, fellow franchisees, franchisee leadership and PFHQ staff, including CEO Chris Rondeau and Dorvin Lively.

“Metaphorically, each person in the room was a piece of the puzzle that, together, completes the picture that helps both United PF Partners, as a franchisee group, and Planet Fitness, as a brand, perform at their collective best,” Owen said.

The evening included speeches by Owen, Rondeau and a Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) representative. The organization’s partnership with BGCA is one Owen, a former Boys & Girls Club youth, takes seriously. For 2018, United PF Partners collectively raised $200,000 for the organization, and to cap the Century Party, United PF made an additional, surprise $100,000 donation to BGCA.

While the party honored United PF, for Owen, it was more a celebration of the brand. “For our franchisee partners, the evening was symbolic of our collective vision. The moment was a culmination of a team coming together with shared values of faith, family and a deep respect for one another,” he said. “We dreamed of accomplishing something bigger, together, than we could have accomplished by ourselves. I don’t think any of us truly envisioned hitting 100 clubs in under two years of being together. We feel very blessed.”

With 120 clubs now open, the future is limitless for United PF. “We want to continue to deliver a world-class experience for as many members as possible. I’ve challenged our team to think in terms of running 100, 500 or 1,000-plus clubs,” Owen said. “Anything is possible if you focus on what is important and remove the ceiling of where you think you can be in the future.”


Alder Partners Aims for Big Impact With Mini Judgement Free Zone

Contributing to the communities in Boston and Atlanta where its 21 Planet Fitness® clubs are located is a value Alder Partners emphasizes daily. With the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) also headquartered in Atlanta, franchisee Stanley DeMartinis Jr. set out to impact the organization at its home base.

Because BGCA services tens of thousands of kids, many in struggling areas of Atlanta, it was important for Alder Partners to bring the Judgement Free Zone® (JFZ) message directly to the youth through a mini JFZ. The process began by locating a facility that had space available and staff on site to safely monitor the children using the gym. Salvation Army Atlanta Peachcrest Boys & Girls Club in Decatur was the perfect recipient of the mini fitness center for more than one reason. “The fact that we were able to build a mini Judgement Free Zone in Decatur, where we opened our first Atlanta club, made it even more special,” DeMartinis explained.

After putting together plans for the space, Alder Partners went to work crafting a custom area for the youth to stay fit. Team members, vendors and partners in Atlanta donated time, materials or both to assist with the project. Robbie Ciampi, a member of maintenance and construction, was a standout asset for the franchise group. “He was onsite every day working with our construction crew, helping to ensure the project stayed on track to open on time, giving us regular updates on progress, and troubleshooting any obstacles that came up,” said DeMartinis.

“We realized how lucky we are to work with such great partners in the Atlanta market,” DeMartinis added. “We were humbled and truly appreciative of all the labor and materials that were donated on behalf of our local vendors in Atlanta. Many have been with us since our first buildout in Decatur, and they turned around and put the same effort into this project that they do for all our clubs in the market.”

When it came time to open up the mini Judgement Free Zone, Alder Partners went all out, decorating the gym in PF® colors and providing a light dinner for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The children and their parents heard from DeMartinis and the club’s director, Maj. Kelly English, during the event, which was attended by Dineen Boyle from PFHQ, Alder Partners’ FBC Cory Ouellette and Allison Porter, the Precor representative and equipment vendor for the project.

In addition, Planet Fitness partners with the Atlanta Hawks, which sent down team mascot Harry the Hawk and members of the dance team to celebrate with the youth. With the mini JFZ located directly off the BGCA’s gymnasium, Harry tried his hand at half-court shots, posed for pictures, and held dance-offs with the kids while they waited to go into the fitness area. Alder Partners’ head trainer, Deon Brown, was also on hand to provide instruction to the children on how to properly use the new equipment.

“The kids loved the mini Judgement Free Zone! They were so excited to be able to go in and check out all of the equipment, in a safe, judgement-free environment,” DeMartinis said. “They couldn’t believe we could take what was essentially a few storage closets previously and turn it into a brand-new fitness facility just for them.”

The impact of giving back serves as a constant reminder for the franchise group of the importance of projects like the mini JFZ. “Many of our team members, especially in the Atlanta market, have overcome life obstacles many of us have never seen. We want them to know that, not only are we proud to have them as employees but we are proud to celebrate their success in surpassing those challenges and showing their fellow community members how much we care about them,” DeMartinis said. “During this Mini Judgement Free Zone grand-opening event, we could feel the impact we had on the members of that Boys & Girls Club, from the children all the way up to their parents and the community partners who were onsite with us.”