WAKEFIELD, RI–As of Jan. 1, Healthy Inspirations and Slender Lady, Coronado, CA, have merged and will take the name Healthy Inspirations with Slender Lady franchisees implementing the Healthy Inspirations model in their facilities. Casey Conrad, former CEO of Healthy Inspirations, Wakefield, RI, is president of the merged women-only weight loss and fitness franchise, and Jim Rowe, former majority stockholder of Slender Lady, now is CEO of Healthy Inspirations. Rowe will handle franchising while Conrad will handle operations and marketing.

Healthy Inspirations now has approximately 135 locations, making it the nation’s largest full service weight management franchise, combining individual nutritional plans and coaching, exercise, relaxation treatments and beauty treatments under one roof, Conrad says.

The merger occurred after Conrad decided to start selling franchises again after a three-year hiatus. She wanted someone with franchising experience to lead that effort since her strengths were in health and fitness, weight loss and marketing. At the same time, Rowe, who had bought Slender Lady just 16 months prior and had invested millions into improving it, realized that the company was missing the operational elements necessary to take the company to the next level. The two had the same attorney, who upon Rowe’s request, contacted Conrad about Rowe’s interest in a merger.

Rowe’s background is in real estate and franchising. He is the Help-U-Sell sub master franchisor for San Diego and Imperial Counties as well as for the state of Texas. He was an integral member of the Help-U-Sell team responsible for growing the company from 80 to more than 850 franchises in less than 5 years.

“Combining Casey’s industry expertise and detailed operational systems, sales and marketing with my experience in how to explosively grow a franchise makes for a powerful ‘beauty and the beast’ success formula,” says Rowe. He forecasts up to 100 franchise sales in 2007, and plans to roll out a regional sales model domestically and internationally.