Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates held a ribbon cutting Thursday, August 10 to celebrate the opening of its new location, 4934 Main Street in Downers Grove. Fifty people attended the event sponsored by Chamber630.
Among those in attendance were village commissioner Nicole Walus and Linda Kunze, executive director of the Downtown Downers Grove Management Corporation.
"This is our success story," said Kunze. She congratulated Mary Lou Savino, Be Fit owner. "We are so happy we didn't lose you. You have so many people around the town that are so thrilled to have you here."
"We want to continue to be a part of the downtown Downers Grove business community," said Savino, who opened Be Fit in 2008. "We are grateful to be a resource for Downers Grove and the surrounding community for their physical therapy and health and wellness needs."
Kunze's statement was reaffirmed in the sentiment of those in attendance. Whether they were chamber members, former patients or former employees, a consistent sentiment was voiced concerning Mary Lou Savino, who is rare among practice owners because she is a licensed physical therapist assistant.
Under Edison lights, between bites of cheese and sips of wine, attendees spoke of being friends who became patients, or of being business partners who became friends of Savino.
That's a sign of "years of relationship building," said Cathy Beverley, a massage therapist who met Savino through a networking group.
Jodie Wood knew Mary Lou for 10 years before becoming patient. "I didn't even know [physical therapy] was what she did," said Wood, who suffered from an ear condition that causes dizziness.
Before coming to Be Fit, she underwent physical therapy and experienced modest results.
Based on the referral of her audiologist, Wood was then treated at Be Fit. "I've been symptom free for a year now, which is huge."
Sahil Ghandi, a physical therapy major at Marquette University in Milwaukee, attended the event. He was an intern at Be Fit in 2016.
He remembered the communication and closeness built through regular meetings. "The teamwork and cooperation was the best thing about them," he said.
Some brands are known for their prices, and others are known mainly for their quality. Yet others, like Be Fit are known for the personality behind the logo.
Mary Lou Savino's personal approach could be described as a combination of fierceness and friendliness. Like Be Fit's logo, a jumping silhouette, she is outgoing and not given to self-reflection.
This constant care for others has inspired the loyalty of friends, associates, and patients. It has allowed her practice to survive despite competition from larger outpatient providers. The fruits of this loyalty were apparent at the ribbon cutting event.