Jim arrived at the first-ever Iron Tribe Homewood gym in February 2010… Not as a partner, but actually as one of ITF’s first clients.
Growing up in Syracuse, New York, Jim’s athletic career led him to Alabama in 2002, when he accepted a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Montevallo (UM).
After graduating from UM with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism in 2005. Jim moved 30 miles north to Birmingham, where he started J. Anthony Productions, providing online video production solutions for a long list of small college athletic programs via The Gulf South Conference.
Simultaneously, Jim began broadcasting live sporting events for regional television networks like Comcast SportsNet and Cox Sports Television, as well as doing work nationally for ESPNU.
Then in 2008, Jim raised angel investor money to fund Eporro.com, a then-BETA website that allowed high school student-athletes to build Recruit Profiles with their highlight videos and academic transcripts. Their BETA-test success with 30 Alabama high schools, led to the Silicon Valley funding of NextSpex.com, which launched in 2009 with statewide partnerships with the Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana High School Athletic Associations.
In early 2010, Jim became one of Iron Tribe’s first clients and began helping Forrest Walden develop video production for the new gym’s website. As Iron Tribe grew rapidly, Jim began shadowing the Homewood operation and learned the entire business from coaching to management.
Exactly one year after Forrest had started Iron Tribe with his Homewood location, Jim opened the 2nd-ever Iron Tribe location on Birmingham’s Highway 280—this gym is still known as the “ITF business franchise prototype.”
Upon reaching the 100-client mark in just 90 days, Jim trained his staff to manage the location and became a partner with Forrest in the Iron Tribe Fitness corporate office, where they began to create what would become the Iron Tribe Franchise business opportunity.
As Iron Tribe’s President, Jim’s focus is scaling the Iron Tribe Fitness athlete experience throughout all of its gym markets, leading each of his department Vice Presidents and Franchisees to innovate new growth strategies and engage their respective teams to achieve the brand’s purpose of creating fitness communities that change lives!
He is also quite passionate about his involvement with the Aspire Movement, a Birmingham-based ministry that pairs adult men as mentors with fatherless children. As a mentor, he gets the chance to spend priceless time with his mentees, Mekhi and Amari. And as a board member, Jim can contribute the same leadership components he uses to run Iron Tribe, to help guide the ministry to impact more mentors and mentees.
Jim and his wife, Yazmin, are the proud parents of two beautiful girls, Savanah and Sofia, and their son James IV.