Little Gym’s Ley earns Owner of Year award at International fest

Karalyne Ley, owner of The Little Gym in Farragut (215 Brooklawn St.), recently received 2018 Annual Franchise Owner of the Year Award from The Little Gym International during its annual gathering, The Reunion, held this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Presenting the award was company International president/CEO Alex Bingham.
The Little Gym International has announced Karalyne Ley of Farragut as recipient of the 2018 Annual Franchise Owner of the Year Award.

Ley, owner of Farragut Little Gym (215 Brooklawn St.) among her three regional ownerships, was recognized for her outstanding contributions to The Little Gym during the company’s recent gathering at The Reunion, an annual international three-day conference filled with brand-building workshops and presentations.

The Reunion is attended by hundreds of franchisees representing many of The Little Gym locations, which span 32 countries. This year’s event was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“I am honored to receive this award, especially because there are so many talented gym owners in our system,” Ley said. “It’s sometimes easier to see what kind of impact you have in your own gym, but when you’re recognized as a leader in the entire franchise community, it’s an incredibly special moment.

“I know that I’ll always remember that special feeling — it will only continue to motivate me to serve The Little Gym,” she added.

“Karalyne is the perfect model of a giving, forward-thinking and collaborative partner, as she’s proven in her two decades of commitment to helping The Little Gym grow roots in new communities,” said Alex Bingham, president/CEO of The Little Gym International.

“She’s an integral part of our franchise community, and it’s inspiring to see the impact she makes in The Little Gym family and the communities around her.”

“When Ley and her family first discovered The Little Gym, they realized that becoming part of the franchise family was the perfect opportunity,” a company press release stated.

“When her brother suggested looking into a family business, he and their mother found The Little Gym, and together they all took the leap into entrepreneurship,” the release further stated.

Ley, a college student at the time, moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, to help open their first location in 1996.

Since then, the family business has grown to include The Little Gym locations in Greensboro, North Carolina and Charleston-Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Ley has looked beyond her own locations to support The Little Gym as a whole, especially when it comes to helping those in need.

“When Hurricane Harvey hit in August 2017, three gyms in the Houston area were severely impacted,” the release stated.

To help, Ley organized a fund-raiser within The Little Gym franchise system, encouraging other gym owners to contribute to the franchisees affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“With those donations, the Houston owners were able to purchase new equipment and rebuild their gyms,” the release stated.

Ley has served as a field consultant for The Little Gym for more than 11 years, a position in which she mentors other franchise owners.

She recently joined the Inspire Group, a collection of tenured owners who help guide The Little Gym International.

Ley has successfully managed several Little Gym locations, and while she’s based out of the Farragut area, she has ties to all four communities where her gyms are located.

The Little Gym International is described in the press release as “the world’s premier children’s enrichment and development franchise that offers a springboard to life’s adventures with movement-based learning and imaginative play.”