Welcyon Adds Industry Veterans to Executive Team
EDINA, Minn. – Welcyon, Fitness After 50, a start-up franchisor with a new concept that caters to the 50-plus crowd, is flexing its muscle by adding a veteran cast of health and fitness industry executives to its senior team.
The list includes Bill Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development; George Henry, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development; and Cherie Cocallas, Director of Real Estate Development.
“To succeed in the $21 billion health club industry you need a concept with a crisp, clear, differentiated proposition – and Welcyon provides it,” said company co-founder and CEO Suzy Boerboom. “In addition to our unique club offerings, having such an accomplished team of industry professionals sets us up to achieve our ambitious growth plans and allows us to provide the expertise and structure necessary to ensure the success of our franchisees as well.”
Rodriguez is an award-winning marketing executive with nearly a decade of experience in the health and fitness industries, having played a key role in the growth of some of Minnesota’s most respected brands, including Snap Fitness, HealthPartners, Lifetouch, Minnesota Twins, Nordic Track and the local United Way. Prior to joining Welcyon, Rodriguez led marketing for Snap Fitness, the world’s fastest growing franchisor of 24/7 express fitness centers, helping top grow the system five times in size to 1,200 clubs worldwide. Among his other career highlights, he is co-creator of Major League Baseball’s biggest off-season fan event, producer of an award-winning national series of fitness festivals in partnership with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, and previously was a certified group exercise instructor.
“Every now and then, a concept comes along that is so compelling, so logical, that you can’t help but jump at the chance to see it through,” said Rodriguez. “Snap Fitness was like that, and now so is Welcyon.”
Henry, another former Snap Fitness executive, spent the last seven years serving as the company’s National Sales Director, helping hundreds of franchisees achieve success in a new industry category. He also owned 18 Snap Fitness franchises. Earlier in his career, Henry founded and was CEO of IcoSystem, the first wellness center in Minnesota with a focus on what he describes as the four key components of wellness – nutrition, exercise, stress management and self enhancement. His career has also included teaching positions at Keene State College in New Hampshire as the Director of Teacher Preparation in the school of Health and Physical Education and at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota as the Chair of the Health and Physical Education Department and Director of Athletics.
“Welcyon is a strong brand,” said Henry. “We are a bold, forward-looking business model for entrepreneurs and other would-be franchisees who want to be part of a large, growing industry, but with a distinct, differentiated value proposition.”
Cocallas has more than 20 years of experience in real estate and business. Prior to joining Welcyon, she served as Director of Real Estate for Snap Fitness, during which she assisted hundreds of franchisees with market evaluation, site selection, lease negotiations and the facilitation of legal review.
“No doubt, our real estate and operational support for franchisees is solid,” Cocallas said. “But the underlying appeal here is the purpose beyond the profit – the opportunity to redefine aging for a whole generation. That’s what brought me and my colleagues to Welcyon, and what franchisees will find so attractive.”
Founded by healthcare executives Tom and Suzy Boerboom, long-time experts in the field of active aging and former health club owners themselves, Welcyon, Fitness After 50, is an up-and-coming franchisor of health clubs designed specifically for adults over 50. The model is based on providing members a more satisfying experience and healthier results than traditional gyms by staffing with specially trained fitness coaches, using high-end medical fitness equipment that is safer and more effective than traditional weight-stack machines, and customizing workouts via smartcard technology that tracks and modifies workouts based on the member’s progress. For more information, visit www.welcyon.com.
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