Ignite Fitness Holdings Celebrates Long-Standing Franchisees

Ignite Fitness Holdings held dedication ceremonies in its clubs in Orange, Connecticut, and Rotterdam, New York, to recognize the contributions of Joe Pepe Sr. and Dave Leon to the PF® brand as two of the first franchisees. Both were presented with plaques, which were displayed in the lobby of the respective clubs. At both ceremonies, there was a DJ, food, champagne and more.

At the franchise’s Orange, Connecticut, Planet Fitness®, the group honored Joseph Pepe Sr. on March 7 for his long-standing commitment to Planet Fitness. Pepe has worked in the fitness industry for over 45 years. He started in the industry as a personal trainer and membership consultant at European Health Spa in 1975. Then, in 2003, he became one of the first Planet Fitness franchisees, when he converted his four World Gyms into Planet Fitness gyms.

The ceremony included remarks from Planet Fitness members, including Chief Operating Officer at Ignite Fitness Holdings Joseph Pepe Jr.; Chief Executive Officer Ryan Berk and CEO of Excel Fitness CJ Bouchard. Additionally, Ray Coassin, a long-time friend of Pepe Sr., contributed remarks. State Rep. Kathy Kennedy presented Joe Pepe Sr. with an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly.

In Rotterdam, New York, Dave Leon was honored for his long-standing commitment to Planet Fitness. Many notable community members came out to the ceremony, including the NYS Assembly, town board members and more. Ignite CEO Ryan Berk and COO Joe Pepe presented a plaque to Leon, who also received a citation from the New York State Assembly. Leon was also recognized for his generous donation of the Leon Family Fitness Center on the City Mission grounds in Schenectady. Leon opened his first Planet Fitness club in 2004 and has been committed to the brand ever since.