“Annbeth Eschbach successfully navigated the birth and growth of a premier lifestyle brand that has revolutionized the spa and fitness industry in many ways, which makes her an inspirational Keynoter for our community,” said Julian Barnes, co-founder of Boutique Fitness Summit. “Annbeth’s journey is both relatable and aspirational for fitness studio owners at every level: she grew Exhale to multiple locations despite economic headwinds, maintained control of the brand, and then found a well-matched global hospitality company in Hyatt Hotels & Resorts to forge a strategic relationship.”
Nearly 17 years ago, Eschbach was among the first in the industry to bring to market a wellbeing brand, a new concept that addresses mind + body, through spa + boutique fitness – under one roof. In her Keynote, she’ll share her inspiring story, including how she built a national brand while weathering a recession, why she took the self-owned route rather than franchise, and why she decided to sell to Hyatt in 2017, and continue to lead the organization under new ownership.
“Prior to founding Exhale, we worked for a club and spa management company with over 50 properties in 16 markets under management. After many years of doing takeovers and turnarounds, we became convinced what people wanted from spa and fitness industry did not exist, and that it needed to move in another direction. We saw a void for an everyday wellbeing experience that transforms lives—and created Exhale to fill it,” said Annbeth Eschbach, CEO, Exhale.
Before founding Exhale, Eschbach spent 12 years at Wellbridge, then the third-largest national spa and club operator. She served four years as president and COO for the ten-unit chain of Cardio Fitness Centers in New York and Chicago. She also served as president of the board of directors of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, a trade association for commercial health clubs throughout the world. Most recently, Annbeth has served as an Entrepreneur in Residence for Babson College, and undergraduate entrepreneurial business school in the Boston area.
Boutique Fitness Summit is an immersive, one-day conference experience for the boutique fitness community, offered annually in New York City; Washington, DC; and Chicago, IL. The Summit curates educational sessions and panel discussions with respected studio founders and owners, operators, and industry thought leaders across a range of topics, from the latest case studies to best practices. Novice owners and industry veterans alike come together to discover proven business methods that will vault their studios to the head of the pack, discussing the methods that matter in studio operations, marketing, retention, studio and instructor management, and technology trends. Intimate and authentic networking opportunities abound, including one-on-one meetings with best-in-class vendors and partners. Learn more and register to attend at www.boutiquefitnesssolutions.com.
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