Thirty-five years after founding In-Shape Health Clubs, Stockton, California, company CEO Paul Rothbard will step down. His replacement, Rich Nelsen, a former Starbucks senior executive, will assume CEO duties on Dec. 1, according to a release issued by the company.
Rothbard will retain his ownership stake in the company and, as part of a succession plan, move into an "active role" on In-Shape's board of directors. He has been CEO of In-Shape since 1992, overseeing brand evolution, operations, marketing, amenities and sales.
"There are three things that I am particularly proud of about my tenure at In-Shape," Rothbard said in the release. "(1) we built a successful company and brand that was welcoming and accessible to the whole community; (2) we adopted an innovative strategy when selecting locations for new facilities, often revitalizing spaces and neighborhoods with our presence, and (3) we are a brand that empowers people to make their lives better.
"Because In-Shape is quite literally in my DNA, my decision to move on is naturally bittersweet. I will remain active as a board member and significant owner, and I look forward to supporting Rich as he leads In-Shape into the future."
Nelsen's 30-year career in business and brand development includes executive roles with Starbucks, Taco Bell and Clark Convenience Stores. Since 2004, he developed Starbucks across the United States, Middle East, Latin America and Europe. Under Nelsen's leadership, the coffee franchise tripled its number of retail locations in Mid-America.
"I believe in the importance of cultivating health, wellness and community and am thrilled to join In-Shape," Nelsen said in the release. "Paul and the team have built In-Shape into a powerful brand, grounded in solid financial infrastructure and a commitment to the service of its members and employees. I look forward to building on this strong foundation and leading In-Shape into the next stage."
Since Rothbard founded In-Shape in 1981, the brand has expanded to 70 locations across California. Its clubs aim to combine fitness, recreation and relaxation, offering group fitness classes, swimming pools, basketball courts, cardio equipment and more.