Amazing Athletes announces its 2013 Franchises of the Year and Rookie of the Year!

Anthony & Kelly Scuorzo, Shawn Kenny & Matthew Pitcher, and Sue Anne Bigelow are this year’s winners!

Each year, Amazing Athletes honors franchisees who best embody the program’s mission to instill healthy choices and active lifestyles in children through sports. Through their dedicated efforts, these award-winning franchisees challenge their communities to take a youth-focused approach in helping cultivate the next generation of healthy, thriving and confident adults. This year, Amazing Athletes is proud to announce not one, but two, winners of the 2013 Franchise of the Year, as well as this year’s outstanding Rookie of the Year.

“All of our franchisees are amazing, but we want to make sure we are recognizing those who go above and beyond,” said Amazing Athletes co-founder Dr. Janee Henderson. “Franchisees with this honor are active in their communities – they are constantly looking to grow and innovate. They participate in franchise events and provide feedback when asked for input. They are also willing to help out other franchisees and talk to potential franchisees. Most importantly, they have enthusiasm and belief in Amazing Athletes and its importance.”

And the 2013 Franchise of the Year and Rookie of the Year winners are…

Franchise of the Year (tie)

Anthony and Kelly Scuorzo  

North and Central New Jersey

The Scuorzos’ Amazing Athletes franchise spans three territories in North and Central New Jersey. With more than 500 students in 36 locations, the Scuorzos certainly have their hands full, but they still find the time to stay active in their community, participating in youth baseball games, kids fairs and finding every opportunity to help their community’s families succeed.

“We were so surprised that Janee and Glen chose us as one of the winners to receive the Franchisee of the Year Award that we couldn’t believe it!” said Kelly. “It was definitely a great feeling to have all of the hard work that we put into running our Amazing Athletes business recognized by our corporate office. It made all of the small sacrifices and effort that goes into running a successful business everyday so worth it. It was a proud moment for the both of us!”

The Scuorzos attribute their ability to work together as a team as one of the main reasons for their success.

“We put a lot of time and effort into finding new ways to make our business run more efficiently and try to stay as organized as possible – something that is not always easy to do when you work from home with two kids,” said Kelly. “When things get tough, we try to keep each other focused on the big picture and remind ourselves that our boys are the reasons why we work so hard to be a successful business. Family is everything!”

The couple has also developed lasting relationships with their schools’ directors, parents and students over the years by keeping an open line of communication with them at all times. Last year, the Scuorzos even found a way to work and communicate successfully through a devastating natural disaster and family move with two small children.

“After Hurricane Sandy hit our area, we were faced with a lot of different challenges,” said Anthony. “A lot of our schools were closed and families were displaced and without power for weeks, including our own family. We had to rely on our cell phones to reach out to schools and parents to keep them up to date on our classes and makeup dates. As soon as the dust settled and our schools reopened, we got right back to work. I think everyone who was affected by Sandy wanted to resume their normal routine as quickly as possible.”

The Scuorzos collaborate with other New Jersey franchisees and are friendly to all whom they encounter, helping out others whenever possible. Their growth in the wake of disaster is astounding and certainly makes them deserving of this year’s Franchise of the Year award!

Shawn Kenny and Matthew Pitcher

South and Central New Jersey

Another star team out of New Jersey – Shawn Kenny and Matthew Pitcher – has gone well above and beyond helping youth and families in their community succeed, staying active through baseball games, participating in kids fairs and sharing their expertise with other franchise owners about how to run summer camps.

“We are honored to be recognized as a top franchise in the country knowing of all the other franchises that do an awesome job as well to promote this great program,” said Shawn.

In addition to extending their reach to a staggering 644 students in 37 locations, Shawn and Matthew are also getting active online, helping grow their social media and web presence to empower more families to sign up for the beneficial program. But what the duo attributes as the secret to their success is their stalwart belief in the benefits of the Amazing Athletes program.

“We offer a program that is not only unlike any on the market, but a program that has been proven to promote exercise through fun while developing their bodies and minds, as well as giving children the knowledge and confidence to learn and play certain skills of our nine sports,” said Shawn. “This belief gives us the confidence to be persistent to promote our programs to every school we can.”

He said much of the team’s success also stems from their great group of coaches who not only share in their beliefs about the program, but also execute their passion for the program so successfully in the classroom.

Kenny and Pitcher too dealt with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, yet they continued to push through and diversify their business in the region and manage their coaches gracefully throughout the ordeal. For that reason and many more, we congratulate Shawn Kenny and Matthew Pitcher for their well-deserved Franchise of the Year award!

Rookie of the Year

Sue Anne Bigelow

Oahu, Hawaii

Despite being on her own in Hawaii, Sue Anne Bigelow has made great strides with her Amazing Athletes franchise on the island of Oahu since August 2012. Thanks to her careful planning and dedicated execution of the Amazing Athletes program, she has seen tremendous growth in her territory, which currently boasts more than 350 students in 26 schools each month. Sue Anne was able to exceed her first year goal by mapping out each target school on her list and persistently following through with her client-focused business model based on continuous follow ups, personal demonstrations of the program and prompt crisis management. She worked closely with her coaches to set up a lesson plan every week to ensure consistent and high quality coaching, and she also communicated effectively with parents and directors to quickly and thoroughly address every issue with parents, directors and coaches so problems did not fester.

“I started with five schools initially and did every single demo on my own. Then I tried to get a new school every week,” she said. “Directors were very receptive, and I had extremely great feedback from parents. I just kept going and followed closely to the procedures and paperwork.”

Sue Anne said her next year’s goal is to reach 500 students and cover 35-40 schools, while also maintaining high enrollment and presence in each school.

Sue Anne, her husband Ben and their two boys, Bo and Brix, lead fit and active lifestyles, and they understand the importance of sports and healthy living. Sue Anne is always taking the time to respond to feedback requests and provide constructive criticism on ways to improve the Amazing Athletes brand. She believes strongly that every child has the potential to succeed in sports, and her passion is evident with every developmental fitness program offered in her island state. For her valiant efforts right out of the gate, we congratulate Sue Anne on her incredible feat and honor her with our Rookie of the Year award!

Franchises with 500+ enrollment

Anthony and Kelly Scuorzo | North and Central New Jersey

Shawn Kenny and Matthew Pitcher | South and Central New Jersey

Amber Fletcher and Natalie Phillips | Bakersfield, CA

Amazing Athletes began its Franchise of the Year award program in 2007, and added the Rookie of the Year award in 2009 as a way to honor high-achieving franchise owners in the program. A trophy and official announcement of the winners will be presented at Amazing Athletes’ biannual conference in Las Vegas on June 27-28. Visit www.amazingathletes.com/hall-of-fame for a list of past award program winners.

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