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The 2013 BizJournals.com Top 40 Under 40 Class

Top 40: Jim Cavale, Iron Tribe Fitness

Jim Cavale’s description as a “business trailblazer” certainly fits as he has blazed up the career ladder to COO since only joining Iron Tribe Fitness in late 2010. Cavale, 30, also opened the company’s Hwy. 280 location, a “franchise prototype,” in January 2011 and soon after became a partner with Iron Tribe founder Forrest Walden.

Education: B.S., University of Montevallo, 2005

City: Homewood

Family: Wife, Yazmin; daughters: Savanah, 10, and Sofia, 1, and a dog, Rocco

Who is your historical hero? Frank Sinatra

Why did you choose your historical hero? Frank Sinatra was a multidimensional threat. Whether it was his Grammy Award-winning music or his Oscar Award-winning acting, Frank paved the way for entertainers to this very day, and he came from very humble beginnings to do so.

Most admired trait about your hero? His ability to connect people. Frank maintained valuable relationships with “influencers” from all walks of life; whether it be entertainment, politics, religion, etc. He established life-long relationships that have had a big impact on our culture.

How would you use it to change Birmingham?Birmingham has dozens of potent communities like mine (Homewood), which would be that much more incredible if they connected to work as one city. I would love to see Birmingham’s communities unite someday, as it could be something truly special.

Your favorite hero’s quote? “If you don’t know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he’s just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It’s one world, pal. We’re all neighbors.”

Your real-life hero? Pastor David Platt of the Church at Brook Hills. His ability to impact the people of Birmingham to ultimately have an impact on people from all the ends of the earth, is truly inspirational to me. The power of the Holy Spirit is evident in his life.

Ultimate career goal? My core purpose is to positively change the trajectory of people’s lives. Whether it’s extending lives with results-based fitness and nutrition or empowering entrepreneurs with a potent business plan for success. I love helping people.

Your career track? Since my college days creating a sports broadcasting network at UM, I’ve always been a “find-a-way-to-get-it-done-right-entrepreneur.” I’ve worked on air for ESPN, created trademarked sports recruiting tech and then began building Iron Tribe with Forrest.

Most notable career achievement? Presenting in front of thousands at the Arizona Biltmore to win Infusionsoft’s 2012 Marketer of the Year title. Some 10,000-plus businesses around the world run on the Infusionsoft CRM, but we compelled the audience enough to garner this award.

Why did you choose your profession? In January 2010, I walked into that first Iron Tribe gym in Homewood and things would never be the same. I exited my business later in 2010 and opened up our second ever gym in 2011. Thirty-plus gyms later, I’ve believed in our big picture vision from day one.

How do you stay competitive? In the daily Iron Tribe “Workout of the Day,” where the time it takes me to finish my workout is my score. The clock doesn’t lie nor does it lack in motivation for me to improve. Every day is a stride toward getting better and it’s transformed me.

If you could be an animal, which one would you be? Lion, because I embrace the responsibility to lead others.

A hot topic in your industry? In franchising, many brands become “watered down” during fast-paced growth efforts. We aren’t dedicated to ensuring that we are over delivering the Iron Tribe experience to all of our clients at all of our gyms throughout the U.S., transforming their lives.

Your guiding principle? To utilize our talents to impact the kingdom of God so that the work I am a part of will last far after I have left this earth. As long as I am a part of something with this at its core, I will be the most excited man in the room each day.

Favorite tech toy? The iPhone, of course. I have been an Apple junky since 2001, before it was “the trend.” Their hardware, software and e-commerce have changed the way we do business and live life – the iPhone brings these all together.

No. 1 on your bucket list? I want to drive from Birmingham to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’ve heard a million reasons why it wouldn’t work, but I’d like to figure out a way to prove my doubters wrong.

Best advice you’ve gotten? “Work can convince you that you are working hard for your family while you are being seduced through ambition to neglect them. Don’t let it happen. Don’t sacrifice the most important thing in your life for your dreams.” – Tim Keller, Redeemer Church in New York

Your quirkiest habit? I am OCD. Everything in my home, office and car must be in place for me to go on … Even with a one-year-old, I work hard to preserve this organization.

Most influential person in your life? Jesus Christ

Guilty pleasure? I cannot enter a movie theater without being tempted to crush a large bag of butter-layered popcorn. It’s to the point where I have to change my driving route to get home at times because I’ll stop by and pick up a bag at the nearest theater.

Interesting fact about you others may not know? I was a classical pianist at the concert level before changing to the jazz-blues style that I still play at times today.

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