Planet Fitness Honors Long-Time Orange Business Owner – Milford-Orange Times

State Rep. Kathy Kennedy presents Orange businessman Joseph Pepe Sr. with a citation from the Connecticut General Assembly. Photo courtesy of Planet Fitness.

Ignite Fitness Holdings – one of the largest Planet Fitness franchise ownership groups operating more than 100 locations across the US and Canada, including 34 clubs in Connecticut – on March 7 honored Joseph Pepe Sr. during a ceremony at the Orange Planet Fitness club. The ceremony included a plaque being placed in the gym to highlight Pepe’s long-standing commitment to Planet Fitness and the community.

Pepe has been in the fitness industry for over 45 years, starting as a personal trainer and membership consultant at European Health Spa in 1975. He became one of the first Planet Fitness franchisees in 2003 when he converted his four World Gyms in Connecticut to Planet Fitness.

The event began with a speaking program including remarks from Joseph Pepe Jr., chief operating officer at Ignite Fitness Holdings; Ryan Berk, chief executive officer at Ignite Fitness Holdings; CJ Bouchard, CEO of Excel Fitness Partners, a current Planet Fitness franchisee and former business partner of Pepe Sr.; Ray Coassin, a long-time friend of Pepe Sr.; and state Rep. Kathy Kennedy, who presented Pepe Sr. with an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the Orange community – home of Ignite Fitness Holdings’ headquarters – for its continuous support of Planet Fitness over the years,” said Pepe Sr. “I look forward to seeing the remarkable things this community and organization accomplish for health and fitness in the future.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to the Orange community, Planet Fitness donated $1,000 to St. Barbara’s Church, where the George Chatzopoulos scholarship fund is offered. Chatzopoulos owned the popular Chip’s restaurants across Connecticut and was a dear friend of Pepe Sr.

“Ignite Fitness Holdings would not be the franchise group it is today without the hard work, diligence, and vision of Joe Pepe Sr.,” said Berk. “Our team is inspired by Joe’s dedication to health and fitness and strives to model his standard of excellence in all we do.”

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