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updated: 4/15/2013 6:58 AM

Fitness experts need not apply to run these new centers

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  • Brian Cygan

    Brian Cygan

  • Lake Zurich-based Exercise Coach.

    Lake Zurich-based Exercise Coach.

  • Lou Brock

    Lou Brock

  • Martin Plotkin

    Martin Plotkin

  • Lindsay Walsh

    Lindsay Walsh

  • Kelly Collins

    Kelly Collins

  • Anne Pramaggiore

    Anne Pramaggiore


Wauconda resident Brian Cygan, founder of Lake Zurich-based Exercise Coach, said he's expanding the franchise from 16 to 28 locations nationwide this year.

He's looking for people who are frustrated with the conventional workout or have no passion for exercise; the average middle-aged person who says they have no time; and those who don't like the group fitness scene or are intimidated by the gym.

They may be his customers.

But he's really looking for them to start a new franchise, he said.

"We're looking for high-character people with talent and drive who were moved out of a good position and now they want to do something meaningful," Cygan said. "We're not just looking for people in the fitness industry. ... That's where innovation comes from, not necessarily those from within the industry. We're seeking savvy entrepreneurs."

Cygan began developing his alternative attitude toward wellness when earning his bachelor's degree in kinesiology at Northern Illinois University. He's always been athletic and even played baseball during college. But then he started questioning the dogma being taught and began looking outside the classroom for answers.

"There's a whole sub-segment in the fitness industry that saw things differently," he said. "It's not just about burning calories and doing reps."

That's what led him to open his first Exercise Coach location in Buffalo Grove 13 years ago wit his wife, Gerianne Cygan, he said.

The Exercise Coach offers programs for those who are short on time, such as two 20-minute sessions per week that are tailored to the customer. It focuses on physiological stress and the body's responses, most often with deep, muscular effort.

By 2010, he decided on the franchise model and began expanding nationwide in Illinois, Texas, North Carolina and Arizona. He aims to open 250 to 300 locations in 5 years, he said.

That's why he's also seeking like-minded franchise owners who know what their customers feel about exercise and are looking to improve their wellness, he said.

"This is for the person who doesn't want to go to the gym because they're frustrated with failure and don't like conventional exercise," said Cygan. "And that's the vast majority of people."

Ziegler's gets facelift

Co-owner David Ziegler said his Elgin-based Ziegler's Ace Hardware had a facelift after 30 years. Partnering with the city and the Elgin Chamber of Commerce, Ziegler's received a facade improvement grant from the city that allowed them to put in additional landscaping and awnings on the front of the building. The project also brought together local companies Silva Architects and Shales McNutt Construction for the exterior. Ziegler's is one of nine stores owned by cousins David and Brian Ziegler.

Brock a keynoter

Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Lou Brock is the keynote speaker at the 8th Annual HR Illinois Employers' Healthcare Conference on April 23 at Hilton Lisle/Naperville, 3003 Corporate West Drive in Lisle. He'll talk about being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and demonstrate how he integrated managing diabetes into his life and ambitions.

Theater to go digital

Scott Dehn, co-owner of the McHenry Outdoor Theater, is the latest theater owner forced to change from traditional film to digital technology or go out of business. Most major movie studios will stop distributing 35-millimeter film by the end of this year. So the theater needs to update its technology, which involves the purchase of a $130,000 digital projector. He also seeks to upgrade the electrical system in the projection booth and do other work. He's started a fundraiser at


St. Charles doctor Martin Plotkin marks his 75th birthday during an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. on April 18 at Wellness Concepts, 2075 Foxfield Road, Suite 102, Saint Charles. ... Audiologist Ronna Fisher, founder of Hearing Health Center in Naperville, said she has started a new program at her Naperville facility. Patients who can't qualify for standard financing will be eligible to receive new hearing aids for free.

Lindsay Walsh and Kelly Collins have been hired as account representatives at 3D Exhibits Inc. in Elk Grove Village. ... Libertyville native Kristen Watson is the new development director for Waukegan-based Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep. ... Laura Walczynski has been promoted to sales manager at the Q Center, a conference center in St. Charles.

Patricia Hottel, technical director at McCloud Services in South Elgin, wants you to know that this is National Pest Management Month. McCloud encourages businesses to pest-proof buildings and facilities this spring. ... Tastefully Simple consultant Sharon Tuzik of Algonquin was named to the direct sales company's Presidential Advisory Committee.

Barrington resident Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd president and CEO, will be the keynote speaker at The Executives Club of Chicago breakfast meeting May 8 at 9 a.m. at the Fairmont Hotel's International Ballroom, 200 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago.

Brian Graves, a managing director at Dresner Partners (IMAP Chicago), lives and works in Barrington. And Steve Dresner, the president of Dresner Partners and an IMAP board member, lives in Glencoe. Managing partners Omar Diaz and Michelle Moreno live in Bridgeview and Lake Forest, respectively. They were involved in a symposium last week held at Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, hosted by IMAP, a global partnership of merger and acquisition advisory firms, and Dresner Partners, IMAP's partner in Chicago.

Michelle Hunter, chairwoman of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council, and senior vice president of marketing & development at Credit Union of Southern California, said Great Lakes Credit Union in Gurnee was honored with a Diamond Award, which recognizes outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry. The award was presented by the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council.

•There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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