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A Father's Day wish becomes true

Von Hollingsworth and his daughter Anna help others to improve their lives – together.

After 30 years as an electronics manager Von Hollingsworth had become "uneasy" and he wanted to do something more meaningful remainder of his working days. But he was not particularly receptive to the idea when, seemingly out of nowhere, his daughter, Anna, suggested they open a business together by opening a gym.

"My first answer was," You're crazy. Absolutely not, "recalls Von." I said, 'I'm too close to retirement to tackle that at the time. "

By Hollingsworth and his daughter Anna, in their club in Concord Township, OH

But, in typical Anna's" She persisted. "(19659003)" The next thing I knew was mine Inbox full of potential franchises, "Von said." I started doing some research on the stuff she sent me. I did not give her much feedback because I was not seriously interested then. But the more I read about Anytime Fitness, the more it started to make sense.

Less than a week before Christmas 2012, Von and Anna jointly opened an Anytime gym in Concord Township, Ohio.

"At the time, I was only a few years out of college and financially unable "Opening a gym by myself," Anna said, "But I had a pretty good investor in my mind who was my dad. I had the fitness expertise because I was in a gym and knew all about the equipment and I was a certified personal trainer. I had to bring that to the table. And I have always been a kind of sales person. From the beginning, her complementary skills served the business well – Von was the "big-screen man" while Anna did most of the day-to-day work in the gym, but both were motivated by the same – and it was not money.

The most fun we have – my wife, Anna and I – is when we go out to eat and talk about [a gym member]who's lost 70 pounds, "Von said." Or we're talking about another member that's hers Diabetes medicine is gone. We talk about the people who come to us and say, "You saved my life, that's incredible."

And they are not content to help the members while they are in the gym . Anna and Von have become known in Concord Township for their various community engagements. Over the past three years, the tournament's "24 in 24" Challenge has raised $ 119,000 and made the wishes of local children living with life-threatening illnesses come true.

2018 "24 in 24"


"Last year we had 108 members who tried the Challenge, That was 10% of our total membership, "said Anna. "This year we have an incredible 160 Challenger participants, and the 24 in 24 has become the heartbeat of our small business and a large part of our community."

And that's only the beginning. Each of the last four years, Anna and Von have organized a Miles for Mutts 5K event and donated $ 17,000 to their local Lake Humane Society. In addition, the fitness club running club, which has nearly 200 active members, has raised nearly $ 7,000 over the past year through various charity events in the Concord area.

The fundraisers are important and impressive. But it's in the gym where the magic happens – where Von and Anna have literally helped thousands of members significantly improve their health and fitness.

"I have a great time," Von said. "I'm in the gym four hours a day talking to people, that's what it's about here, I've been working for Anytime Fitness more than I ever imagined, I've seen so many people who have improved their lives." [19659007] "I think my father's ability to connect with our members is because they can relate to him and identify with them," Anna said. "He's definitely creating a culture in those walls that is fun, smiling and just a good mood, usually I only laugh when I see him talking to people because you never know what the hell he's talking about.

Regarding advice for others considering doing business with a close relative, Anna believes that being honest and abilities are the key to success.

"You find out who is best for a particular task, and then you have to delegate tasks and then respect each other," said Anna. "With us, we knew that my dad would handle the finances, and he would do our accounting and things like that, you also need to hire someone who has the skills to run a gym in that managerial role, and that's where I feel . "

Despite his initial concerns, Von now described going into business with his daughter as an eternal Father's Day gift – and one of the best decisions he has ever made.

"It's the end of the smartest thing we've ever done," Von said. "It was a pleasure, a whole lot of fun."

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