LAS VEGAS — To formalize camaraderie and networking among Curves franchisees and to establish a direct, two-way communication with Curves International, Curves franchisees formed the Curves Franchisee Association Inc. (CurvesFA) in late October. The nonprofit company representing 10,000 Curves franchisees worldwide will initially focus on the 8,000 Curves clubs in the United States and Canada, says Teri Bertrand, executive board member.

CurvesFA was not formed in response to any issue faced by the franchisees, but rather to identify concerns and advocate a stronger and more diverse voice to Curves International, Bertrand says.

“A short three years ago, it was easy to call corporate headquarters to speak to someone and have one's questions answered,” she says. “However, with the explosive growth of the Curves franchise system, the previous system of dealing with one franchisee's issues at a time — especially when several franchisees may be facing the same or similar issues — became less effective.”

Curves International implemented a new system of oversight with its network of area directors, but establishing the association helped to further facilitate the sharing of ideas between the franchisees and executive board, she says.

At Curves' annual meeting in Las Vegas, the board members elected Melanie Schaengold as the president and presented the CurvesFA officers to the franchisees.