Human Resources, Small Business & Startups, and Sports Business

Gymnastics center implements succession plan

January 8, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Gymnastics center implements succession plan
Shannon Austhof. Courtesy Gymco

The founder of a long-running gymnastics center is implementing her succession plan.

Succession

Gymco in Grand Rapids, founded in 1980 by Doreen Bolhuis, said yesterday that Bolhuis will pass on the title of CEO to Shannon Austhof, who most recently served as the company's vice president. Bolhuis will maintain the position of president.

Austhof will also join Bolhuis in the ownership of Gymco, while Bolhuis focuses on oversight and the completion of a two-year succession plan.

As CEO, Austhof will focus on strategic planning, new business and product development, training and growth.

The move is meant to keep Gymco a women-owned business for the foreseeable future.

Bolhuis will also spend time on GoalCoach, a consulting and mentoring service for executives, entrepreneurs and businesses.

“I am thrilled to transition my CEO responsibilities to Shannon and am confident that she is the right choice for Gymco’s future,” Bolhuis said. “Shannon has consistently demonstrated her capable leadership, vision and innovation at Gymco.

“Shannon works collaboratively with staff and community partners, empowering others to be and give their best. She has vast experience in gymnastics, sport development, leadership, business and Gymco’s mission.

“She will now build on and enhance Gymco’s legacy. I anticipate a bright future and continued success for Gymco under Shannon’s leadership.”

Shannon Austhof

Austhof has been an athlete her entire life and been with Gymco for 18 years, holding a variety of leadership positions.

She is finishing up a degree in psychology at Aquinas College and has completed studies in early childhood education and business development. Those studies helped Austhof establish Gymco’s lineup of children’s fitness programs.

“I am excited about the opportunity to grow with Gymco,” Austhof said. “I knew from the moment I walked in for my first interview that this was home for me.”

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