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Minneapolis – CEO Chuck Runyon and President Dave Mortensen, co-founders of Self Esteem Brands – parent company to Anytime Fitness, Waxing the City, Basecamp Fitness, and The Bar Method – have been selected by the International Franchise Association (IFA) as the 2019 IFA Entrepreneurs of the Year. The formal presentation took place on Feb. 9 during the IFA’s annual Convention at the Orlando World Center Marriott.
First presented in 1982, The IFA Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes leaders within the franchise industry who have the vision to see what might be, are willing to take risks that traditionally accompany any new endeavor, and possess the management skills to create a successful business enterprise through franchising.
“We accept and dedicate this award to every franchise owner who’s taken that leap of courage to own their own business,” said Runyon. “This award was only made possible by the hard work and trust of 4,500+ franchise locations that brought our vision for the brands to life,” added Mortensen.
The duo started their entrepreneurial journey on a mission to revolutionize the fitness industry with an alternative to big-box gyms and developed the Anytime Fitness business model – a 24/7 gym open 365 days of the year with state-of-the-art equipment and top-line trainers and staff. After opening the first club in 2002, they were confident that their concept had the potential to become something extraordinary. Today, the brand has grown to nearly 5,000 locations, making history as the first franchise on all seven continents, in nearly 40 countries, serving more than 4,000,000 members. Now entering a period of brand evolution, shifting from its pioneering convenience model to a more personalized coaching approach, the multi-billion-dollar franchise continues to stake its claim as a worldwide leader while expanding its global footprint.
Building on this success, Runyon and Mortensen established Self Esteem Brands with the vision of improving the self-esteem of the world at its core. The portfolio of brands has grown to include Waxing the City, Basecamp Fitness, and The Bar Method. Waxing the City, the premier facial and body waxing franchise, was recently ranked in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500® and plays a dominate role in the beauty industry boasting 118 locations. As an emerging brand, Basecamp Fitness seeks to carve out a niche in the growing boutique fitness industry, offering a unique, fun, and fast-paced workout in just 35-minutes – catering to the busy lifestyle of today’s society. Self Esteem Brands’ most recent acquisition, The Bar Method, boasts over 100 locations across North America and aims to empower women to be the best version of themselves through efficient, full-body workouts that build inner and outer strength, grace, and pose.
“Dave and Chuck are well-deserving of this honor,” said Robert Cresanti, IFA President and CEO. “Their leadership of Anytime Fitness and the entire Self Esteem Brands family led to pioneering new concepts in fitness, expanded opportunities for their franchisees, and a healthier America. IFA is proud to honor them as the 2020 Entrepreneurs of the Year.”
Central to Runyon and Mortensen’s leadership philosophy is the four P’s: People, Purpose, Profit, and Play. The duo claims the secret to their success has been less of a focus on ROI and more on ROEI – return on emotional investment. ROI has always been the holy grail in business – rightfully so as a company needs a healthy ROI to grow and innovate. But, according to Runyon and Mortensen, it is personal growth that ultimately leads to business growth. They believe it is a leader’s job to create a company that builds its people, so in turn they build the business – their passion, energy, and commitment contribute to a strong working environment.
“As we’ve grown and evolved over the years, it’s become clear our assets are in our people who care deeply about their members, their employees, and their businesses,” said Runyon. “They are the heart of this brand and it’s their caring and connecting with people, and dedication to our business, that will form the foundation for a strong future. We thank our entire network – as they are the key ingredient behind being honored with this prestigious award.”
For more information on Self Esteem Brands and its various franchise opportunities, please visit https://www.sebrands.com/.
About Anytime Fitness
For 12 consecutive years, Anytime Fitness has been the fastest-growing gym franchise in the world, averaging 300 new gyms per year while serving 4,000,000 members at 4,500 gyms on all seven continents. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing its members with convenient fitness options and friendly, personal service in well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment. Anytime Fitness gyms are now open in nearly 40 countries. All franchised gyms are individually owned and operated. Join one gym and use them all.
About Self Esteem Brands
Improving the self-esteem of the world. That's the lofty goal of Self Esteem Brands, the parent company of Anytime Fitness, the world's largest fitness franchise; The Bar Method, an industry leader in barre-based fitness; Basecamp Fitness, a leading high-intensity interval training concept poised for rapid expansion; and Waxing the City, an award-winning waxing and personal care franchise. Self Esteem Brands seeks to enrich the lives of all of those who interact with our companies in more than 35 countries worldwide. That includes our consumers, vendors, employees, franchisees and the surrounding communities, where more than 4,500 of our independently owned and operated franchises are located. Additionally, Self Esteem Brands is actively seeking other innovative business concepts to partner with and franchise.