Our story

Wellness + halcyon days = Welcyon. Our name Welcyon (pronounced well-see-on) is derived from combining two ideas: a sense of wellness or wellbeing, along with the Ancient Greek legend of halcyon days. According to the legend, halcyon birds that nested on the sea were able to calm the winter winds and waves for their own safety. Today, halcyon days suggests a time of joy, freedom, and tranquility. The concept of Welcyon reflects this combination of serenity and energy derived from both exercise and community.

It Started With a Vision

Our Co-founder believed America needed a unique exercise environment specifically for those of us 50 and over. He was aware of the movement towards active aging and the push to maintain independence. At the same time, he recognized that traditional gyms are often intimidating and don’t provide the guidance and direction needed to help those 50 and over achieve their best health. This was the beginning of Welcyon, Fitness After 50.

Our dedicated team

Welcyon is committed to changing America by improving the health and vitality of at least one million aging adults. Our team brings vast experience and skill in identifying and understanding the aging adult. Not only have we designed a unique, cutting-edge fitness center, we realize the personal impact of good health as well as the national implications.

Tom Boerboom, Co-owner, President

Tom Boerboom is one of the co-founders of Welcyon and serves as the President.

He has more than 35 years of experience working in the areas of long-term care, assisted living, and senior housing. He has a spent a majority of his career with Beverly Healthcare in the role of Vice President of Operations. In early 2000, he joined Mission Healthcare and is currently the Chief Operating Officer. His education includes a BA in Marketing from Southwest Minnesota State University. Tom also completed advanced graduate studies in LTC Administration at the University of Minnesota and is a Minnesota Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.

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Paul Contris, Principal

Paul Contris is a co-founder of Welcyon and brings more than two decades of experience in the long-term care industry.

After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Puget Sound in Washington, Paul began his career as a certified public accountant. He later joined Hillhaven Corporation, where he was instrumental in expanding the company. Paul was then recruited by Samaritan Health Systems (SHS), based in Arizona, to serve as its chief financial officer in charge of creating a long-term care subsidiary called Samaritan Senior Services. Under Paul’s leadership, Samaritan Senior Services grew to include 22 long-term care facilities. Paul later founded a new long-term care company called SunQuest HealthCare Corporation. Wanting to continue work in this field, Paul began Mission Healthcare with Evergreen Terrace Healthcare Center, based in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, as the company’s first community. Today Mission Healthcare has more than 900 associates working in seven communities.

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Suzy Boerboom, Co-owner, CEO

Suzy Boerboom's specialty is taking a concept and turning it into reality.

She was drawn to the healthcare field at an early age and became a registered nurse. After serving as a psychiatric nurse, Suzy founded a mental health technology program at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her love of teaching and working with older adults led her to work in long-term care as an instructor, director of nursing, and nurse consultant. She went on to serve as the Director of Customer Service and Education for 112 long-term care facilities. She also took on the role of Quality Management Director for Volunteers of America. Suzy later spent four years in the fitness industry before joining the Welcyon team.

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Mark Richards, Vice President of Programming

Mark Richards MS, PT, is Welcyon's Vice President of Program Development.

Mark received his B.A. in Physical Therapy in 1980 from the College of St. Scholastica and his M.S. in Physical Therapy from the University of Minnesota in 1997. He has 28 years of varied clinical experience in orthopedics, sports medicine, and geriatrics and has conducted research in resistance exercise in aged therapy patients. He has been employed as a national manager for three different therapy companies; NovaCare, Aegis Therapies, and as National Director of Gerontological Fitness for Marriott Senior Living Services. He has developed and managed clinical programs involving strength building, the use of electrotherapy equipment, balance, wellness, etc. Mark has conducted numerous trainings, presented many clinical lectures at state and national level therapy and healthcare conferences and seminars, including American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) National Meetings. He played an instrumental role in the creation of a certification program for physical therapists through the APTA Section on Geriatrics that certifies physical therapists as Exercise Experts for Aging Adults and currently serves as a faculty member for the certification program.

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Bill Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development

Bill is an award-winning marketing executive who excels at transforming organizational vision into marketplace success.

He is recognized for playing 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. He most recently held the position of Vice President of Marketing for Snap Fitness, where he led strategic marketing planning and built the infrastructure to support a system, that during his tenure, grew four 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 and producer of an award-winning national series of fitness festivals in partnership with the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. Bill earned an MBA in Marketing from the University of Minnesota.

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George Henry, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development

George Henry, P.E.D. joins Welcyon as Senior Vice President of Franchise Development.

Dr. Henry earned his Physical Education Doctorate from Indiana University in 1974. His teaching career included 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. In 1988 George founded Body Balance, the first wellness center in Minnesota, with a focus on what he described as the four key components of wellness, nutrition, exercise, stress management and self enhancement. George served as the CEO of Body Balancefor 10 years. For the past seven years George has been the National Sales Director for Snap Fitness, one of the most successful fitness franchises in history with over 2,000 franchises sold. During that time George also owned 18 franchises.

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Ki McCue, Vice President of Franchise Sales

Ki McCue joins Welcyon as Vice President of Franchise Sales.

She brings with her an extensive background in sales management. She spent 15 years at Herman Miller and served as Area Sales Director. Her job included new business development and key account strategy. Ki has a passion for physical fitness and has held several positions in the field, including Head Varsity Women’s tennis coach for University of Minnesota, Morris.

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Lori Storm, Director of Media Relations

Lori Storm has been an active part of the Twin Cities media scene for more than a decade.

Her career in journalism started in Indiana and Wisconsin with jobs reporting and producing the news. In early 2000, Lori landed at KARE 11 News in Golden Valley, where she worked in the news department and later joined the producing team responsible for KARE 11 Today and Showcase Minnesota. Driven by her passion for writing, Lori moved into the magazine world and assumed the role of Editor/Managing Editor of Twin Cities Statement magazine. Building on her journalism background, she made the leap to Welcyon as the Director of Media Relations. She is currently a contributing writer for Artful Living Magazine and The Line. She also produces news videos for companies through Furthermore Productions. Lori is a graduate of Syracuse University in New York.

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Marilyn Birkelo, Director of Franchise Support

Marilyn Birkelo, RN, BSN, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Montana State University in 1980.

Her nursing experience includes 30 years of acute care, long-term care, staff development, and disease management. She has been an educator for the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Program, and a CPR instructor through the American Red Cross. She has worked as a director of admissions; coordinating patient hospital transfers to a rehab facility. Most recently, she was employed as a nurse educator for diabetes, cardiac, and respiratory disease management. Marilyn was the former manager of the Welcyon corporate clubs in Edina and Bloomington.

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Cherie Cocallas, Director of Real Estate Development

Cherie joins Welcyon to offer nationwide real estate services to our franchisees. Cherie has more than 20 years of experience in real estate and business.

Her background includes the role of Director of Real Estate for Snap Fitness. Cherie has assisted hundreds of franchisees in the fitness industry with market evaluation, site selection, lease negotiations and the facilitation of legal review. She earned a B.A. in Economics from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.

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You have a choice

Lifestyle change can have a significant effect on overall health with age. In fact, the CDC attributed 35% of deaths to three preventable causes: smoking, a poor diet, and lack of physical activity.