SUGAR HILL, GA -- Blair McHaney is stepping down as president of the Gold’s Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA).

McHaney, owner of Gold’s Gyms of Wenatchee, WA, and East Wenatchee, WA, served three years as GGFA’s president and a total of seven years on the organization’s executive board of directors. Mike Epstein, owner of a Gold’s Gym in Paramus, NJ, will succeed McHaney as the GGFA’s new president.

“As president, Blair has served his fellow franchisees with integrity, strength and endurance for the demands of the position,” GGFA Executive Director Ginger Collins said in a statement. “He has an undeniable passion for the brand and the association.”

McHaney, a columnist for Club Industry, also has served on the National Franchise Council (NFC) since its inception in 2006.

“Being asked to lead in any fashion for this brand is an honor for me,” McHaney said in a statement. “I was fortunate enough to have a great board, great mentors, and a remarkable executive director in Ginger Collins. I feel very good with Mike Epstein taking over as president of the GGFA, and we all feel good about GGI’s [Gold’s Gym International] new president, Jim Snow. Mike Epstein is a rapport builder and a vigilant protector of the brand. He will work very well with Jim Snow, [Senior Vice President] Joel Tallman and all others at GGI.”

Epstein has served on the board as vice president for the past three years. He also has worked at the NFC level and served as chairman of the Gold’s Gym Advertising Committee for several years.

In addition to McHaney, Gordon Johnson also is retiring from the GGFA board. Johnson, owner of Gold’s Gyms of Douglasville, GA, has served on the board since 2006.

“The entire Gold’s Gym family owes Blair and Gordon a debt of gratitude for their contributions to the brand,” Snow said in a statement. “Not only did they bring an incredible amount of passion and experience to the GGFA board and the NFC, they were instrumental in helping us spearhead initiatives that will benefit Gold’s Gym owners for years to come. Their efforts have helped strengthen both our franchisee community and the relationship between GGI and the GGFA. They have been true champions of the brand.”