Matrix names industry veteran Chris Clawson president; promotes Kent Stevens to executive vice president
150 percent sales increase drives need for experienced leadership to sustain growth
COTTAGE GROVE, Wis. â€“ Feb. 8, 2007 â€“ Matrix Fitness Systems today announced it has named fitness industry veteran Chris Clawson president and promoted Kent Stevens to executive vice president from vice president, sales. Both appointments will be effective Feb. 19.
Clawson succeeds Nathan Pyles, who retains his position as president of Johnson Health Tech North America, which conducts the research and development for JHT globally.
â€œIn 2006, Matrix recorded a 150 percent increase in sales over 2005. To help sustain this tremendous growth, we know we must have a seasoned fitness industry professional at the helm, and Chris is perfect for the job,â€ said Pyles. â€œHis enthusiasm, knowledge and wealth of industry experience, which includes business and product development, marketing and sales, are exactly what Matrix needs in a leader at this time.â€
Stevens, who will report to Clawson, will continue to direct the Matrix sales team. His newly expanded responsibilities will include a focus on key national accounts, which the company sees as a growth area for 2007.
â€œKent has been extremely instrumental in the success and growth of Matrix,â€ Pyles said. â€œHis experience with the company since its inception six years ago is invaluable, and this promotion is much deserved.
â€œTogether, Chris and Kent create a powerhouse of fitness industry knowledge and business acumen,â€ Pyles continued. â€œWith them leading the way, the company is in a great position to advance to the next level.â€
About Chris Clawson
Clawson, 43, comes to Matrix from Stamina Products, Inc., Springfield, Mo., where he served as vice president, marketing and business development. Before that, he spent nearly 11 years with fitness equipment manufacturer Life Fitness, Schiller Park, Ill., where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including senior director of product management for commercial cardiovascular products, vice president of consumer sales and marketing, and general manager of Omni Fitness, which was headquartered in Moonachie, N.J.
Prior to joining Life Fitness, the 20-year industry veteran worked in outside sales and product management for Diversified Products Fitness, Inc., Opelika, Ala., a consumer fitness equipment company. He also spent six years in retail management with two leading sporting goods retailers, and in the mid 1980s played professional baseball in the minor league systems of the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros.
Clawson has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from San Diego State University.
About Kent Stevens
Stevens, 46, was Matrix's second employee after the company was founded in 2001. He was named vice president, sales, in 2004, but provided input and direction for a variety of areas of the company.
His 26-year fitness industry career began with the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where he served as assistant strength and conditioning coach. Three years later, he moved to the San Francisco Giants, becoming Major League Baseball's youngest strength and conditioning coach. He then opened a health club, Body Sculpture, in Phoenix, which quickly established itself as the premier resource in Arizona for personal training services.
In 1992, Stevens transitioned to the equipment side of the industry when he was tapped by High Tech Professional Strength Systems, Inc., Paso Robles, Calif., to conduct sales and equipment design. The next year he was named national sales manager. After Life Fitness acquired the company in 1995, Stevens stayed for six more years as a regional sales manager before joining Matrix.
Stevens received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Fitness Trade Journal in 2004 for outstanding service and accomplishments in the fitness industry. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise physiology from the University of Nebraska.
About Matrix Fitness Systems
Matrix Fitness Systems Corp., www.matrixfitness.com, offers a complete line of cardiovascular and selectorized strength-training equipment for health clubs and other fitness facilities. Based just outside of Madison, Wis., the company is the commercial products division of Johnson Health Tech. Co., Ltd., an ISO 9001-certified company and the fastest growing fitness equipment manufacturer in the world.
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This press release may contain forward-looking statements. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements above. These include, but are not limited to, competitive factors, technological and product developments, market demand, and economic conditions.