In Honor of Veterans Day, Meet Veteran Franchisee, Jeff Mortman!
October 31, 2019
At Gold’s Gym, we’re proud of the honorable servicemen and women who have served and continue to serve our country, those who keep Americans safe and protect our freedom. In honor of Veterans Day, we’re spotlighting Jeff Mortman, a former US Marine and Gold’s Gym Totowa franchise owner.
Jeff joined the Marines in 1989, left active duty in 1999, and went into the Reserves until 2006 – totaling 16 years of military service. When he first joined the Marines, he started out as a basic riflemen and infantrymen, but because he scored so well in math, he was quickly transferred to finance. “I always liked money and was good with numbers,” says Jeff.
At Camp Pendleton in Southern California, Jeff moved into the Special Operations Command, and went to the Middle East for two tours before becoming a recruiter and filling additional roles with the Marines. Upon rejoining civilian life, Jeff owned a mechanical contracting firm, a family business that he owned with his father, brother, and uncle. They ultimately sold the family business and one short month later, he became a Gold’s Gym franchisee.
From Member to Gold’s Gym Franchisee
Jeff’s journey began when he decided to get in better shape, so he joined a Gold’s Gym. As he continued to get healthier and lose weight, his passion for health and fitness grew. It was no coincidence; when he sold his mechanical contracting business, he started to seriously consider the Gold’s Gym franchise opportunity. And, it didn’t take him long!
Jeff quickly decided to take advantage of his business acumen and passion for fitness by joining the global Gold’s Gym franchise family, but he didn’t do it alone. His wife, Gina, runs the social media side and PR, their daughter, Gianna, 13, works the front desk and is their master shake designer, and their son, Brandon, 11, handles cleaning and maintenance, and is the taste tester for all the shakes!
“It was all what I thought, just an awesome organization. I eat, breathe, and sleep Gold’s Gym – I live the brand and everybody in the gym knows me,” he says. “Every expectation was met and then some.”
Proudly Honoring Military & First Responders!
Jeff’s passion for the Armed Forces and first responders shines through with the various initiatives he supports not just on Veterans Day but throughout the year. “Probably 30% of my membership are heroes: police, fire, and military,” he says. There is not a lot of military around his Gold’s Gym, so for his team and his community, their heroes include the local first responders.
Jeff, Gina, and their Gold’s Gym team go above and beyond to show their appreciation for veterans and first responders. To illustrate, they had a US veteran create custom-made wood flags that represent every branch of the military, as well as the first responders (police, fire and EMT), which are proudly displayed on a huge Heroes Wall in the center of the gym for all to see.
Additionally, a US Marine veteran/police officer custom-made a Gold’s Gym American flag wood logo that is now hanging proudly over the gym’s front entrance. Even the gym’s schedule honors veterans and first responders. “We specifically went 24 hours to support these heroes and their crazy schedules,” says Jeff.
- Gold’s Gym Totowa is holding its first Battle of the Badges (police vs. fire) challenge/competition. This challenge will involve 10 different physical events with teams of police vs. fireman, and the ultimate winning department will have a huge trophy that will be displayed in the gym. Jeff hopes this will become an annual, safe and fun competition between the two departments. One hundred percent of what they raise will go to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
- Totowa veteran special (all the time), and ZERO enrollment (normally $99.00) for veterans with an honorable discharge.
- Heroes Membership for any EMT, member of the military, police, or fire department who is actively serving, which offers ZERO enrollment and other discounts and incentives.
And that’s not all. The gym holds an annual car show to raise money and support the SEMPER FI FUND. They make it a day for the whole family with food trucks, bounce houses, a face painter, a DJ, a local US Marine recruiting office, and of course a lot of amazing cars, trucks, jeeps, military, and first responder vehicles. “We are supported by many of the local first responders and local politicians in this effort. We raised a few thousand each year and it seems to be growing – 100% off all money raised goes to the fund,” he says.
The incredible efforts in honor of veterans and first responders of Jeff and his Gold’s Gym have not gone unnoticed. In fact, they won the Silver Card Award, the highest award a business or civilian can receive from the NJ State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Inc. (NHSPBA) on the town, county, and state level.
The Silver Card Award is normally awarded to someone in business that has supported heroes for no less than 10 years, but Jeff was honored to receive the first award in five months at the town level, and at the one and a half year mark, he was awarded the Silver Card at the county level. “This is one of the best honors I have received,” he says.