Cover art for podcast HALO Talks

HALO Talks

100 EpisodesProduced by Pete MooreWebsite

Entrepreneurs in the Health, Active Lifestyle and Outdoor ("HALO") sector sharing their stories

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Episode #288: Sharon Zackfia, Partner, William Blair

September 16th, 2021


In this info-packed episode, we're treated to an "insider's look" at the public and private markets from a highly experienced veteran. Sharon chats about what public markets look at and why some companies get valued the …

Episode #287: Bob Stauble, Managing Partner, Rebelution Health

August 26th, 2021


Bob began his career with Healthtrax in 1980. Due to his strong science background, they were one of the first to get into company healthcare. "I was a company intrapreneur," he states. "Starting divisions, selling some …

Episode #286: Alex Bayer, Founder & CEO, Genius Juice

August 17th, 2021


Going from a former insurance agent to a successful entrepreneur with a Shark Tank appearance under his belt (January 2020,) Genius Juice Founder …

Episode #285: Brent Leffel, Founder & Managing Parter, Equity 38

August 13th, 2021


After a 20+ year background in finance, Pete Moore brought Brent into the industry in 2005. After acquiring Crunch while at Angelo Gordon and then …

Episode #284: Wes Chow & Paul Park, Owners, UpFit Academy

August 11th, 2021


Regarded as one of the top body transformation studios in NYC and very well known for the fantastic community they foster, this podcast was conducted …

Episode #283: Bobby Verdun, CEO, Active Entities

July 28th, 2021


Bobby founded Active Entities after a successful college and professional basketball and tennis coaching career. "Health clubs don't matter to people …

Episode #282: Kevin McHugh, COO, The Atlantic Club

July 22nd, 2021


Kevin is a 28 year veteran of the beautiful, 44 acre Atlantic Club.  33% of its business comes from the health club, and 67% from ancillary revenue. …

Episode #281: Anthony Baretta, CEO, Push Fitness

July 15th, 2021


In business for 12 years, Anthony started in the industry at 16 and worked his way up. Now 41, he's the owner of five Push Fitness locations in the tri-state area. "I always wanted to do a luxury gym at an affordable …

Episode #280: Sadie Kurzban, CEO, 305 Fitness

July 12th, 2021


Founder & CEO of 305 Fitness, Sadie Kurzban opened her first studio in 2014. Currently with 7 locations across Boston, DC, and NY, over 1,000 trainers trained (with plans for 25,000+ in the next three years) 305 is …

Episode #279: Coss Marte, Founder, CONBODY

July 7th, 2021


At 19, Coss Marte was making over $2 million a year selling drugs. Imprisoned at 23, he quickly realized he had "all sorts of health issues." He lost 70lbs in 6 months and started CONBODY  after his release 8 years ago. …

Episode #278: Dave Hunt, Founder & CEO, Crossrope

July 2nd, 2021


As the Founder of Crossrope, (which he bootstrapped from the beginning) Dave has jumping in his blood! He spent 12 years as a Naval pilot and, while in the Academy, also competed in both long jumping and high jumping. …

Sara Kooperman , CEO, SCW Fitness Education

June 29th, 2021


With a 40 year background in the industry, Sara started in group exercise, eventually owned her own studio, became the #1 distributor for Les Mills for years, and then founded SCW Fitness Education. She was at the …

Ian Mullane, CEO,

June 23rd, 2021


Ian Mullane is the Founder of With a strong background in finance, predictive analytics, and the fitness industry (he owned in …

Jay Faires, The Wellness Agency, Founder

June 18th, 2021


As Founder of The Wellness Agency ("TWA") Jay describes it as, "Kind of a Y-Combinator meets William Morris or UTA for wellness." Prior to TWA, Jay founded Mammoth Records and was Head of A&R at Atlantic Records …

Shauna Reiter, Founder, Alaya Naturals

June 15th, 2021


With a challenging history of severe autoimmune disease, Shauna Reiter's journey to eventually founding Alaya Naturals has been a long, but rewarding one. Alaya's annual revenue is $6 million with over 100,000+ …

Erika Flint, Board Certified Hypnotist, Founder Cascade Hypnosis Center

June 9th, 2021


Erika Flint is an award-winning hypnotist, best-selling author, speaker, co-host of the popular podcast series Hypnosis, Etc., and co-host of the …

Vicki Reece-Founder & Dush Ramachandran-COO, Joy of Mom

June 4th, 2021


The Joy of Mom's Mission is, "To unite and empower women everywhere to be unapologetic warriors and sisters while navigating the ever-evolving life …

Aileen Hoffman & Marc Eisenshtat, The Sunrise Association

June 2nd, 2021


Aileen Hoffman is the VP for the National Sunrise Walks,, a series of walks to help raise funds for the incredible Sunrise Association. "It's been an unbelievable 15 year journey serving thousands of children impacted …

Jasmine Chou

May 25th, 2021


A former student-athlete and author of #sponsored: How Athletes & Brands Can Leverage Each Other to Create Value, Jasmine Chou chats with Pete about the differences between--and ways companies approach--both amateur …

Kaumil Gajrawala, Managing Director: Consumer Products, Wellness, Credit Suisse

May 20th, 2021


Kaumil Gajrawala is the author of a seminal, recently released (April 6, 2021) initiating coverage report from Credit Suisse titled, Wellness Sector Initiation: An Apple a Day which can be downloaded here

"We think …

Chris Pronger, Founder & President, Well Inspired Travels

May 18th, 2021


A former NHL Hall of Famer, (Top 100 all time NHL), Stanley Cup Champion, NHL MVP and 2x Olympic Gold Medalist (4x Olympian,) and now President of

Sal Pellegrino, Senior Strategic Account Manager, Precor

May 12th, 2021


Sal has been in the industry since 1979, first as a club owner and then in 1984 when he moved to selling equipment. "You have to put yourself in the position of the customer . . . you have to see what's happening in the …

Todd Wadler, CEO TITLE Boxing Club and Co-Founder BoxUnion

May 11th, 2021


A former investment banker for almost 24 years with entrepreneurship in his DNA, Todd is the CEO of Title Boxing Club and Co-Founder of Box Union. He chats with Pete about his experiences going from banking into the …

Robert Fioretti, Managing Director, Palladin Consumer Retail Partners

May 5th, 2021


"We're going into these deals with the intent of partnering with Founders, that they're going to continue to be involved, and the last thing we want …

Celeste Headlee, Journalist, speaker, and author of We Need To Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter

April 30th, 2021


"We do not have any tech available that's better than our ears and our mouths . . . we've spent 300,000 years becoming the best communicators this planet has ever seen using our voices and our ears," states Celeste …

Erik & Rickard Blomberg, Eleiko

April 26th, 2021


Eleiko is a Swedish based, 60+ year, family owned, seminal brand in the HALO sector founded in 1920's which has a massive following among strength …

Praveen Kashyap and Mike Alpert, Smart Health Clubs

April 20th, 2021


Praveen Kashyap is the CEO of Smart Health Clubs and a self- professed, "Born inventor, engineer, and now entrepreneur!" He came to the USA in 1987, did his Ph.D in Computer Science, and among his many other …

Dr. Dan Reardon, Co-Founder & CEO, FitnessGenes

April 16th, 2021


"Exercising at home is unstructured. As great as it is . . . there's nothing more beneficial than being in a gym with a good personal trainer . . . …

Ryan Beck, Owner, bodyART Training Studios

April 13th, 2021


"bodyART comes from an understanding of Western science as well as Eastern philosophy to 'help bridge the gap' in movement," states former professional dancer and bodyART Training Studios Director and Owner, Ryan Beck. …

Barry Herbst, Senior Vice President, The Elliott Group

April 9th, 2021


"We've seen an incredible amount of growth in the HALO (Health, Active Lifestyle, Outdoor) sector for the past 10-15 years. I love the space, the industry, and its passion and energy!" states Barry Herbst from The …

Rick Rome, CEO Wash Club

April 6th, 2021


A former Wall Street executive, Rick caught the entrepreneur bug and for the past 10 years has been running Wash Club, now in 75 cities and 4 countries. "COVID took a bite out of us, but on the upside we're definitely …

Aaron DiGregorio, VP-Franchise Financing, Live Oak Bank

April 1st, 2021


Live Oak is a niche lender in 30 different industries. "We're niche lenders within a niche space. . . focusing more on tried and true, well rounded …

Jim Owen

March 30th, 2021


Jim was a former "rainmaker" and partner at three different investment banks on Wall Street for most of his adult life. He's written 7 different …

Andrea Fornarola, CEO & Founder, Elements Fitness Studio

March 25th, 2021


"The cool thing about dance as fitness is that you don't necessarily have to focus on what you look like doing it. . .you're just focusing on …

Eddie Tock, CEO, REX Roundtables

March 22nd, 2021


When asked about how the industry has been responding since COVID, Eddie Tock, CEO of REX Roundtables states, "I think it's great to see the industry coming together in a stronger way. I still think we have a long way …

Frank Ancharski, Club Coach Services, Owner

March 18th, 2021


"I'm a lifer!" states Frank Ancharski, industry veteran and owner of Club Coach Services. "I've been in it since leg warmers were around, The Step® was just coming out, StairMaster wasn't a reality yet, and there was …

Matthew Richter, Thiagi Group, President (2nd Interview)

March 12th, 2021


Matt Richter is President of the Thiagi group and, in his second appearance on HALO Talks (first one here,) he and Pete continue their in depth conversation on learning, development, and training. With regards to COVID, …

Glenn Dickstein, Founder, Neighborhood Trainers

March 10th, 2021


A long time industry veteran, Glenn states, "Neighborhood Trainers was meant to be kind of a combination of a dating site and real estate listings as a way to help people find the right trainer." He got the inspiration …

Adam Taplinger, Director-Private Equity Solutions, Tax Credit Co.

March 4th, 2021


"For every W2 employee you have, you could be eligible for up to $5,000 per employee depending on your particular fact pattern. This is not a loan. …

Charles Friedberg, Jijo, Founder & CEO

February 26th, 2021


"The problem that trainers are looking to solve is finding and keeping new clients. For clients? They don't need another tool to find new content. …

Rich Novelli, Highpoint Sport & Wellness, General Manager

February 26th, 2021


"The pandemic either will make you stronger, or will force you to get out of the way for new technology and new ideas. But I think a lot has been the …

Jon Canarick, Managing Partner, North Castle Partners

February 24th, 2021


 "Brands are very powerful. It is the ultimate moat. When someone has built something that resonates with a lot of consumers and drives passion, …

Jack Thomas, Founder & CEO BASE Gyms

February 19th, 2021


"I'm very bullish on the return to boutique and studio in-person fitness," states Jack Thomas, Founder & CEO of the high end chain BASE out of …

Kyle Bergman, CEO & Co-Founder, Sweat from Home

February 16th, 2021


"Part of our Mission is to conduct an amazing, two way, connected, live stream workout with coaches that see and care about you. . . and two-way is the word I want to repeat! We're one of the leaders in it, and it's …

Bill McBride, President & CEO, Active Wellness

February 5th, 2021


When asked about the digital "hybridization" of the industry, long time industry veteran Bill McBride states, "It's going to be like a swimming pool. …

Ryan Drummond, The Athlete Book (2021 Update)

January 29th, 2021


"One thing campus recruiters, athletes, and professionals don't have a lot of is time," states The Athlete Book Founder, Ryan Drummond. In this update, Ryan takes us through their new point-based system focused around …

Bryan O'Rear, CEO & Co-Founder, ShapeLog

January 26th, 2021


On what ShapeLog can do for your club, Co-Founder & CEO Bryan O'Rear states, "Imagine user behavior is something that you know well in half of your facility, but that journey falls off very quickly as they traverse …

Bryan K O' Rourke, Partner, Vedere Ventures

January 21st, 2021


"There are some basic table stakes today with respect to how a member wants and expects to interact with their brand, so the days of having an app just to say you have an app. . .are over," states Bryan O'Rourke, …

Marcus Johnson, CEO, Flo Brands

January 13th, 2021


Marcus Johnson is a modern Renaissance Man! He's an independent Billboard-ranked musician and NAACP Image Award-nominated jazz keyboardist and pianist. Also the CEO and Founder of FLO ("For The Love Of") Brands, and …

Hillis Lake, Eleiko, Business Development Manager

January 8th, 2021


"There is a need for personal, human connection that will never go away, no matter how good our garage gyms get, no matter how good the technology …

Ross Campbell, Founder & CEO, FIT Summit

January 6th, 2021


With a background in planning, promoting and executing C-level, multinational conferences in the gas and oil sector, Singapore based, Ross Campbell …

Aaron Zack, Founder, Revolving Mind Media

December 29th, 2020


Aaron attended the University of Texas at Austin and followed that up by obtaining his MBA. He worked his way through the ranks in a sports agency …

Taylor and Roland, Twenty Billion Neurons / Fitness Ally

December 23rd, 2020


Roland Memisevic is the CEO & Founder of Twenty Billion Neurons, a Microsoft M12-backed artificial intelligence startup committed to making …

Benjamin Nazarian & Dr. Jason Wersland, Therabody

December 16th, 2020


"I put it away and then I went back to doing my thing. I didn't realize it was going to be useful!" laughs Dr. Jason Wersland, Founder of the Theragun

Adam Zeitsiff, President & CEO, Intelivideo

December 9th, 2020


"I always had a love for tech, what it can do, and how it can transform business . . . .and nothing is transforming fitness these days more than …

Erika Wasser, Co-Founder, Prospr At Work

December 4th, 2020


Asked how Prospr began and what her initial pain points were, Erika laughs, "I thought I must just be a bad people manager! It wasn't until I started meeting others across different verticals that I realized, 'No, I …

Stu Brauer, Owner, WTF Gym Talk

November 25th, 2020


"Before you become this fancy Swiss Army knife, are you even a decent pocket knife first? Do you do one thing really well yet? People will cancel memberships, they're less likely to cancel relationships," states Stu …

Sami Asikainen, CEO & Co-Founder, Carbon Trainer

November 17th, 2020


"We didn't set out to build a tech company, we were looking at our own frustrations of being stuck at home," states Sami Asikainen, CEO & …

Jeffrey Kazmucha, Founder, AMP Venture Partners

November 13th, 2020


"I work closely with the Founders to align their vision with my understanding so I can go and create appropriate milestones," states Jeff Kazmucha when discussing part of his process working with clients. A fitness …

Matthew and Michael Rosenberg, Solin Fitness

November 3rd, 2020


Matthew and Michael Rosenberg both come from banking and finance. They saw an opening in the market that wasn't being addressed and started Solin …

Jason Stowell, Health and Wellness Director, JCC's of America

October 22nd, 2020


"There's this race to the bottom, which is doing everyone a disservice. If your value proposition has to be driven by the fact that you can give the …

Dr. Elizabeth Stanley

October 15th, 2020


Dr. Elizabeth Stanley earned her B.A. from Yale, her M.B.A. from MIT, and her Ph.D from Harvard. She's a former Army Intelligence office and author of the recently published (and very timely) Widen The Window: Training …

Good Soul Hunting Executive Recruiting

October 12th, 2020


"We help first, and we hunt second," states Co-Founder Matt Adey of their newly rebranded company, Good Soul Hunting. (Formerly Pipeline Partners.) …

Lorenzo Lewis, CEO, The Confess Project

October 7th, 2020


"The Confess Project is America's first mental health barbershop movement. Currently in 14 cities, it is a grassroots movement committed to building …

Todd Waks, CEO, Nxt Water

September 29th, 2020


"It's not about the exit. It's about working with the right people who recognize that this brand stands for something and they're prepared to put the resources behind it," states Todd Waks. A self-described, "serial …

Jim Crowell, CEO, Investor, Board Member The Brand X Method

September 25th, 2020


"I don't think the brick and mortar gym business is going away, but I do think the connection to the client is going to get much deeper outside the gym," states Jim Crowell. As a former athlete and coach with a …

Greg Commins, Founder, Three Sages

September 23rd, 2020


"It's the travel channel meets wellness," states Greg Commins, CEO of the three year old company, Three Sages Wellness. He continued, "Particularly …

Scott Welle, Founder, Outperform The Norm

September 18th, 2020


Scott Welle is a #1 international best selling author, speaker and founder of Outperform The Norm, a leading program for business leaders and athletes looking raise their game and perform at the highest level. His one …

Jennifer Maanavi, Founder & CEO, Physique 57

September 16th, 2020


Originally from the finance and wealth management world, Physique 57 Founder Jennifer Maanavi states, "I always wanted to get into the business …

Kal Jamshidi, Founder, onPodio

September 8th, 2020


"If you ask my parents, they'd still say I'm crazy--jumping from banking to an early start up!" laughs Kal Jamshidi, former investment banker turned entrepreneur. Kam formed onPodio 15 months ago out of a personal …

Cameron Trickey, Western Sales Manager, Primo Fitness

September 1st, 2020


Primo Fitness is a 20+ year company in the refurbished equipment space representing multiple brands and works with top chains internationally and …

Frank Lawrence, CEO, Little Rock Athletic Club

August 28th, 2020


"We're a platform for a life well lived . . . being a big, multipurpose facility you're always trying to reinvent yourselves and stay relevant," …

Pete Leibman, Founder, Stronger Talent

August 26th, 2020


"You can't just plug someone in to a vacuum. You've got to think about how they fit into a bigger picture," states Pete Leibman, author of Work Stronger, and founder of his recently launched executive search firm …

Geoff Schneider, Managing Director & Founder, Cava Capital

August 21st, 2020


"Many entrepreneurs--especially returning entrepreneurs--want investors focused on what's best for the company, not what's best for the VC's …

Michael and Jake Lewis, Orange Theory Fitness Franchisees

August 17th, 2020


"The first time I went to an Orange Theory, it was amazing! It was really inspiring!" says Mike Lewis. Mike and his son Jake own the Tuckahoe Area Developer license and are currently searching for their second location …

Joe Burton, Founder and CEO, Whil

August 14th, 2020


After 20 years serving as a Fortune 500 executive in various public companies, Joe Burton founded Whil, the leading enterprise digital solution for …

Denise Imbesi, CEO & Founder, Muscle Mixes

August 12th, 2020


Denise founded Muscle Mixes in 1988 and was selling cassettes back then. "We were pioneers because nobody was doing it legally at the time!" she jokes. This is an extremely timely discussion considering what's been …

Lester Morales, CEO, Next Impact

August 6th, 2020


"Most people back their way into the insurance business . . . but I got into it on purpose," jokes Lester Morales, Founder of Next Impact. Lester's family was one of the 67% of bankruptcies caused by healthcare …

Ann Marie Barbour & Mike Hanson, Endorphinz

August 3rd, 2020


"A lot of people . . . just look for a platform. We say, pause a second, think about what's your content strategy and what you're trying to achieve . …

Sun Sachs, Co-Founder & CEO, ReWire Fitness

July 30th, 2020


ReWire is a full neuro-performance solution that's not just for professional athletes, but definitely for amateurs as well . . .a hardware/software …

Anthony Vennare, Co-Founder, Fitt Insider

July 27th, 2020


"It's not about the Men's Health, 'be jacked' model as much anymore . . .  it's more about community, it's more about the social hour. . .but doing it in a healthy way . . . it's the accountability and engagement that's …

Floery Mahoney, Founder, Board30 Global

July 22nd, 2020


"Ours is truly a unique, and patented system . . . and that's really been our main selling point," says Founder Floery Mahoney. After rebranding the …

Jaidus Mondesir, Founder, Takes On Adventure & SoulCycle Instructor

July 17th, 2020


"SoulCycle really helped me own my voice. . . it allowed me to connect people that would have never met each other," says Jaidus Mondesir who also …

Tamika Harden, Body by Tamika

July 14th, 2020


"We have many hats, but not all hats fit!" states Tamika Harden when discussing entrepreneurship and starting out on your own. Tamika is an industry veteran with over 15 years experience. She has held nearly every …

Noa Shaw, Life Coach, Soul Cycle Instructor

July 9th, 2020


They say truth is stranger than fiction, and Noa Shaw's incredible come back story certainly illustrates that. Noa grew up in NYC in the 70's, got …

Tony Greco, Greco Fitness Founder

July 7th, 2020


"Everything stems from the mind . . . in order to change the way you feel, you have to change the way you think," states industry veteran,  Tony Greco. Tony is the Founder of Greco Fitness, the leading boutique fitness …

Brian Von Ancken, Founder, Anckor

July 2nd, 2020


Brian was one of the first employees at Tough Mudder after graduating law school. Since then, his rather unique background eventually led to his …

John Ford, CEO-North America, eGym

June 25th, 2020


"How do we make the gyms useful for building health in the de-conditioned population? It's a hard problem to solve, and that's what the majority of …

William Maloney, Health and Human Performance Advisor

June 23rd, 2020


"I think Kobe turned his profession from what it was into a purpose. It's one of the reasons why people gravitated towards him . . . and I think it's also one of the reasons why his loss hit us so hard. He was there …

Rick Richey, Co-Founder, ReCOVER

June 18th, 2020


Rick Richey has been in the HALO sector since 2002. As the Owner of the Independent Training Spot, he's since gone on to start ReCOVER in 2018, the first facility of its kind in NYC dedicated strictly to recovery using …

Coach Dana Cavalea

June 16th, 2020


"The strength coach is the ultimate fall guy in professional sports. It's almost like the more players are paid, the less accountable they became for …

Patrick Cundiff, Director of Marketing, Loud Rumor

June 13th, 2020


"The fitness industry is notorious for having terrible retention rates. New leads are the lifeblood of any business," states Patrick Cundiff of Loud Rumor. Having worked with over 2,000 fitness studios in the past 5 …

Jared Verteramo & Partha Unnava, Lasso Gear

June 9th, 2020


"Everybody moves and everybody wears socks! It's what we call the movement cycle. . . and there's an entry point for everyone and that's a great opportunity," states Jared Verteramo, President of Lasso Gear. Lasso is a …

Isaac Boots, Founder, Torch'd

June 2nd, 2020


"You can get great experience working with other companies, but you always have to have something bubbling . . . if you want to create your own thing. You have to be ready to take the risk," states Isaac Calpito on how …

Omar Simmons, Managing Director at Exaltare Capital Partners

June 1st, 2020


As the Managing Director and Founder of Exaltare Capital, Omar's group was one of the first inside the Planet Fitness network.  He was able to "see around the corner" and jump in very early. With his background in …

Alex Plonsker, Split Gym

May 28th, 2020


"The level of conviction has to be high enough even if it seems to be insane by everybody," states Alex Plonsker of SplitGym, referring to how crazy it can be as an entrepreneur. In essence, SplitGym is becoming a, …

Trillium Rose, Director of Instruction, Woodmont Country Club

May 21st, 2020


"Two of the most important elements in the golf swing are your glute strength and hip mobility," states Trillium Rose. Trillium is recognized as a …

Joana Meneses, Founder, BodyRoots

May 17th, 2020


"Just move! It doesn't have to be about how many sets, reps, and time. There is no magic pill. We are the magic pill!" states entrepreneur Joana Meneses. Founder of BodyRoots, Joana has been in the HALO sector since …

Lee Spieker, Railyard Fitness, Founder

May 13th, 2020


"Kids who exercise up to an hour a day will do up to 40% better on tests in school," states Lee Spieker a 30+ year industry veteran. Lee has done it …

Greco Fitness, Jenna York and Mike Donnelly

May 9th, 2020


"We need to accommodate people who have low ability levels, while also not limiting what we offer to those who have high performance abilities," states Mike Donnelly, Director of Fitness for Greco Fitness. With plans to …

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