It’s time to celebrate our resident superheroes: Chris and Jenny McCuiston, the founders of Goldfish Swim School, who received the Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Award! The duo earned the award in the Education & Training category in Michigan and northwest Ohio from Entrepreneur of the Year – the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs – which was founded by EY (Ernst & Young member firms). Just another reason to #LOVEGoldfish!
In 2006, Chris and Jenny opened the doors to the first Goldfish Swim School in Birmingham, Mich., after bringing their novel concept of a year-round swim school to fruition. The way they #LOVEGoldfish and every single aspect of it is evident, which is why their hard work and effort in the years since is well deserved with this award!
“We are thrilled to be recognized with such high honors from EY and the panel of judges,” said Chris. “We are so thankful to so many people who have helped us get where we are today. Without our parents believing in us and supporting us back in 2006 when the Goldfish concept was just an idea in Jenny’s head, we wouldn’t be here. We are so fortunate to have an amazing franchise team and great franchisees – they all work tirelessly every single day, are humble, smart and kind and continue to believe in us and in the brand to help it grow. This award really belongs to Jenny. Without her vision, we wouldn’t be teaching over 70,000 kids each week across North America. She impresses me every day.”
That’s 70,000 kids and their families who #LOVEGoldfish – plus grandparents, friends, the teams at every Goldfish Swim School, and countless others.
“I am so thankful to continue to grow our vision and brand with the support of so many,” said Jenny. “We are beyond thankful for our family, friends and team and, of course, the kids we teach each day – they are why we do this.”
To win such a prestigious award takes integrity, compassion and trust – core values Chris and Jenny embody and pass on to their Goldfish Swim School teams around the country. Their teams provide WOW! customer service at each location, and their idea of a year-round swim school has proven successful with extraordinary results.
And they’ve learned a lot along the way, too! One mistake Chris has made?
“Turning our pool fill on at night and forgetting to turn it off which resulted in a 5am call from my landlord telling me that my pools were overflowing and about to go into our offices!” said Chris. “That’s a mistake you only make once!”
Mistakes are how you grow and become better as a business, too, as Jenny realized.
“We started to get into selling a bunch of different items in retail that didn’t necessarily relate to our core product of swim lessons,” said Jenny. “Not only was it not successful, it took time and energy away from focusing on our swim lessons. As with all mistakes, it taught us an important lesson that we carry with us to this day – it is important to focus on our mission and our expertise and not get distracted by things that take us away from that.”
Congrats to Chris and Jenny for receiving the Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Award, and for growing Goldfish Swim School into a thriving business, giving everyone plenty of reasons to #LOVEGoldfish!
Find out for yourself!
Why will YOU #LOVEGoldfish? Stop in to the Goldfish Swim School location near you and sign your kids up for swim lessons today! Even babies as young as 4 months old can start learning how to swim.