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Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness Honor Top Franchisees

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Dean and Becky Carpenter with Dave Mortensen (L) and Chuck Runyon (R). Photo courtesy of Anytime Fitness.

Dean and Becky Carpenter with Dave Mortensen (L) and Chuck Runyon (R). Photo courtesy of Anytime Fitness.

Anytime Fitness “Club Operators of the Year”

Anytime Fitness announced that franchisees Dean and Becky Carpenter were named “Club Operators of the Year” at Anytime Fitness’ National Conference on September 28, 2013. The couple owns an Anytime Fitness in Gig Harbor, Wash. According to Anytime Fitness Corporate, winners of the award must “bleed purple, and operate their clubs with excellence.”

Although Dean hasn’t yet bled purple from acquiring an Anytime Fitness Running Man tattoo, his love for the brand is evident. A single-club owner, he and his wife became franchisees in March 2008. According to Dean, he was shocked when he and his wife received the “Club Operators of the Year” award.

“I did not expect that to happen,” recalled Dean. “I knew we did well and I’m very involved, but there are a lot of multi-club and great owners out there, and to receive the award was a surprise to me.”

Winners of the “Club Operators of the Year” award are reviewed on personal training measurements, attrition, leadership, company involvement, community involvement and member services.

Dean explained that the first two years after opening his single location were a struggle, but that incorporating personal training helped turn things around.

The biggest struggle, said Dean, was “building the membership base — the economy was tough at that time,” he said. “Personal training really helped with retention and bottom line.”

Dean said there is no “magic” piece of advice he could give to other club operators or franchisees, but did say that staying involved with his club is an important aspect to his ownership. “I’m very engaged with my club,” said Dean. “I try to be as member-centric as possible.”

“Hats off to my staff,” continued Dean. “They’ve been great. The people who work for me are amazing.”

Snap Fitness “Founder’s Award”

Wayne Sato was awarded the “Founder’s Award” at Snap Fitness’ International Conference on September 25, 2013. According to Snap Fitness Corporate, the “Founder’s Award” was established to recognize a franchisee’s ability to own and operate a franchise, while excelling in areas such as day-to-day operations, maintaining an active presence in the community and exceptional customer service.

The owner of three Snap Fitness locations in Winnipeg, Canada, Sato became a franchisee in November 2008. “I was overwhelmed to get [the award],” said Sato. “My relationship with Snap has been very rewarding.”

According to Sato, one of the keys to his success lies in “hiring right.”

“For the first few years, we were more focused on getting our first club up and running and understanding the industry,” explained Sato, who is also in the commercial real estate industry. “What we realized over time is that you need to have the right staff — motivated and energetic, who really want to be in the club.”

Peter Taunton, the CEO and founder of Snap Fitness, said Sato has been an asset to the company. “Wayne received our ‘Founder’s Award’ not only because of the outstanding performance of his Snap Fitness locations, but because he has been such an asset to the Snap Fitness system as a whole,” said Taunton. “He has served on my advisory committee, and helped steer the direction of our company with his insights on our system-wide programs and initiatives.”

Sato gave a ton of credit to his wife, Vivian Sato, who he said is instrumental in his clubs’ day-to-day operations. “One of the most gratifying things is seeing the change in my wife — she’s assumed a leadership role,” he said.

According to Sato, he and his wife think highly of the Snap Fitness concept. The award, he said, signifies “an organization that really listens to its franchisees. They’re always approaching their franchisees for advice. I feel honored I’ve been able to contribute for the last few years.”

 

By Rachel Zabonick

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Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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