SAN DIEGO, CA…
The American Association of Franchisee and Dealers (AAFD) announced Curves International, Inc., as AAFD’s Franchisor of the Year for 2009.
Curves International is the franchisor of Curves fitness centers, the world’s largest fitness network with nearly 10,000 franchisee-owned fitness clubs serving four million women worldwide. Curves is also one of the fastest growing franchise companies in history.
Notwithstanding the challenges of rapid growth and dynamic involvement in multiple channels of distribution, the Company has embraced a collaborative culture with its franchise network and has enjoyed a very positive relationship with its members as a result.
AAFD Chairman Robert Purvin cited Curves’ exemplary franchise culture as the primary focus of the AAFD’s recognition. “Curves management has encouraged and supported the organization of an independent franchisee association, including a willingness to engage the association’s elected leadership.”
“In the 15 years that I have been representing franchisee associations, my experience with Curves International has been utterly unique,” said Ron Gardner, the attorney for Circuit Fitness Association (CFA). “The company has supported a completely independent association, both financially, and through open and continuous access to Curves’ senior management and have embraced the CFA as a valuable source of information. That’s contributed to noticeable improvements in the system for both the franchisees and the franchisor—exactly how a healthy franchisor/franchisee relationship should work.”
“Curves International, under the leadership of Gary and Diane Heavin, as well as Mike Raymond, has shown tremendous support for the Curves Franchisee Association. This has been done through funding as well as an open dialogue with not only top leadership, but with the various department heads,” said Mary Ella Young, president of CFA. “Curves has always asked for complete honesty and has been very open to criticism when the CFA felt it was necessary. This never dissuaded them from their support of the CFA. Quite the opposite; they are interested and support the transition to being a completely independent and autonomous group.”
Under the wise leadership of company founders, Gary and Diane Heavin, Curves has defined itself as a franchise system built upon a culture of collaboration with and respect for its franchisee network, as well as setting a high standard for customer satisfaction and commitment.
Said CEO Gary Heavin, “We have always made every effort to work hand in hand with our franchisees—as partners and as friends. The CFA is an indispensable resource, providing invaluable feedback that allows us to serve our franchisees at a higher level. I am pleased to accept this award in recognition of the collaborative efforts of our corporate employees, our franchisees and the CFA.”
The Heavins opened the first Curves in 1992, and sold their first franchise in 1995. The company is headquartered in Waco, Texas. All Curves fitness clubs are independently owned and operated.
The AAFD’s Total Quality Franchising Awards will be presented during the Association’s Annual Franchisee Leadership Summit on Thursday, April 30, 2009, in San Antonio, Texas.
Curves works to help women lose weight, gain muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and raise metabolism with its groundbreaking, scientifically proven method that ends the need for perpetual dieting. Curves works every major muscle group with a complete 30-minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. Founders Gary and Diane Heavin are considered the innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise available to 4 million women. With nearly 10,000 locations in 70 countries, Curves is the world’s largest fitness franchise. For more information, please visit: www.curves.com.
About the AAFD
The AAFD is a national non-profit trade association representing the rights and interests of franchisees and independent dealers throughout the United States. Formed in 1992, The AAFD is focused on market driven reform to achieve its mission to define and promote collaborative franchise cultures that the AAFD describes as Total Quality Franchising. Since its formation the AAFD has grown to represent more than 50,000 franchised businesses throughout the United States. The AAFD currently has members in all 50 states and represents more than 100 different franchise systems.
The AAFD’s Fair Franchising Standards, Fair Franchising Seal, Trademark Chapters, and emphasis on Marketplace Solutions led to the Association’s recognition as a growing force in franchising. The AAFD’s Branded Partner programs add a new dimension to the value of AAFD membership. The AAFD provides a broad range of member services designed to help franchisees build market power, create legislative support of interest to franchisees, provide legal and financial support, and provide a wide range of general member benefits.
For more information about the conference or the AAFD, please call toll free – 800-733-9858 or visit www.AAFD.org.