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‘Turnaround specialist’ plots breakout growth at GymGuyz


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Ed Ruane

Ed Ruane

When he began his career as an aeronautical engineer, Ed Ruane never expected to wind up as a fitness industry exec. But after a car crash forced him to start physical therapy, he discovered his enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle superseded his passion for jet engine parts.

Now, after a decades-long career building fitness franchises, Ruane joined GymGuyz as the brand’s chief growth officer.

Ruane’s transition from servicing jets to the fitness industry began in 1991 when he became a trainer. He later co-founded the New York Metropolitan Club Association, a regional coalition of fitness club owners.

At NYMCA, Ruane became a fitness activist. When New York proposed a vanity tax on health clubs in 1993, he helped raise funds to lobby state legislators and made several trips to Albany to speak out against the proposal. The initiative was struck down, largely thanks to his efforts. “If people are working out, guess what? Society is better. People’s relationships are better. Their work ethic is better,” Ruane said.

After serving as Equinox Fitness’ first regional director and helping grow the brand from four units to 50, Ruane worked as a “turnaround specialist,” helping struggling companies reach their full potential.

Ruane brings that growth mindset to GymGuyz. One of his priorities is improving the franchisee experience by expanding operational support and heat mapping zip codes to target potential customers. Ruane is also looking to develop ancillary revenue streams, provide a minimum essential health plan for all fitness coaches and create a rewards system that incentivizes GymGuyz customers to exercise more. Through these strategies, he is projecting breakout growth in 2020.

“The difference between potential and actually winning is a big difference,” Ruane said. “That’s why I’m here.”


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Send promotions and new hires in franchising to Beth Ewen, bewen@franchisetimes.com

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