Franchising’s Power Players: Shane Evans

Franchising's Power Players - Shane Evans, Massage Heights

Massage Heights’ Co-Founder and CEO on Leading a People Business

Shane Evans’ back pain inspired her interest in the benefits of massage therapy. But her motivation in co-founding and leading Massage Heights was less about herself than it has been about others.

“My ‘why’ became more about the number of people who were dealing with pain and stress that we could serve,” she said in an interview. “And then it became more about how we could take care of business owners. How can we help people get into business for themselves, but not by themselves, and really help more people live their lives better. And since we started franchising, I think my ‘why’ became more about helping our franchisees and their team members realize their dreams through our services and the model we provide.”

Evans has served in various leadership roles with Massage Heights and recently returned to the CEO’s position she held for five years up until 2021. Massage Heights has now grown to more than 115 retreats in locations throughout North America, providing personalized wellness treatment options through therapeutic massage and skincare services.

A Unique Perspective on Leadership

Through a variety of activities and roles, Evans has gained rare insight into franchising and leadership. In addition to her leadership roles with the brand, she owns her own Massage Heights retreat. She also serves on the board of the International Franchise Association; is co-founder and principal of Summit Franchise Supply LLC, the supply chain for Massage Heights; and partner in The Gents Place, an upscale men’s grooming salon.

Evans also got an up-close look at Massage Heights’ operations when she appeared incognito in big-hair wig and glasses in an episode of the CBS reality series Undercover Boss. The experience prompted several initiatives, including the Massage Heights Family Fund to help employees struggling with financial and personal issues.

Evans also is a massage junkie and regular guest at Massage Heights – and no longer suffers back pain.

Vision for Future Growth

The U.S. wellness industry, valued at $1.8 trillion, continues to surge as more Americans seek to improve their health and well-being. With its continued and responsible growth, Massage Heights is well positioned to meet the demand.

“Twenty years ago, when the company was founded, our vision was to provide unparalleled wellness experiences. It is with a deep sense of responsibility and commitment that I step back into this role,” she said. “As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we also look forward to launching initiatives that honor our legacy while paving the way for future success.”

What I love about franchising is its ability to bring together entrepreneurs under a shared vision.

Shane Evans Massage Heights

Here, Evans discusses leadership, franchising and long-standing success.

What Does Leadership Mean to You?

As the co-founder and CEO of Massage Heights, leadership to me is about inspiring and guiding our team toward achieving our collective goals. It’s about setting a clear vision, empowering our team members and leading by example. It involves nurturing the potential in each individual and fostering a culture of collaboration and excellence.

How Did You Discover Franchising?

I discovered franchising as a powerful business model that enables rapid expansion while maintaining quality and consistency. It was during the early days of conceptualizing Massage Heights that I realized franchising could help us spread our vision of high-quality, accessible massage therapy services far and wide.

Please Share Your Favorite Mantra or Motto in Business.

My favorite mantra in business is “Empower, Inspire, Elevate.” This encapsulates our approach at Massage Heights where we strive to empower our franchise partners, inspire our team members, and elevate the experiences of our guests and members.

What is Your Greatest Career Accomplishment?

The greatest career accomplishment for me has been witnessing the growth and impact of Massage Heights. From a single location to a nationally recognized brand, each step in our journey has been incredibly rewarding.

Who Do You Admire in Franchising and Why?

In franchising, I greatly admire individuals who are innovative yet consistent in delivering exceptional customer experiences. Those who prioritize the success of their franchisees as much as their own stand out for me.

What Qualities Do You Seek in Your Team?

In my team, I seek qualities like passion, dedication and a strong commitment to our brand’s values. I value team members who are adaptable, collaborative, and always eager to learn and grow.

What Do You Love about Franchising?

What I love about franchising is its ability to bring together entrepreneurs under a shared vision. It’s a model that not only promotes business growth but also fosters a strong community of like-minded individuals.

How do You Define Responsible Franchising?

I define responsible franchising as a commitment to the success and well-being of each franchisee. It involves providing ongoing support, maintaining high standards, and ensuring that every stakeholder upholds the brand’s values and reputation.

What Ingredients Are Essential to Growing a Brand?

The essential ingredients to growing a brand include a clear and compelling vision, a consistent and quality product or service, strong and supportive leadership, and an adaptable business strategy.

What has been the Secret to Massage Height’s Long-Lasting Success?

The secret to Massage Heights’ long-lasting success is our dedication to delivering exceptional experiences to our franchisees and our guests and members. Our focus on quality, consistent innovation and a strong supportive network has been instrumental in sustaining and growing our brand.

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Lisa Ocker’s career began at her hometown paper, The Baytown Sun, covering everything from city government to chemical plant disasters, a hurricane and a controversial FEMA buyout of a flood-plagued neighborhood. From there, she moved to South Florida, reporting for the Palm Beach Post and South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspapers, and serving as editor of the regional magazine, Boca Raton. Returning to her home state, she led the re-launch of SUCCESS magazine as editor after a Texas-based entrepreneur bought the 100-year-old brand.

Lisa’s work also has appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsweek. She has covered major news events including the space shuttle Challenger explosion and the rape trial and acquittal of William Kennedy Smith, nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Edward Kennedy. Her coverage of immigration issues included reporting on Haitian and Cuban refugee crises while traveling with the U.S. Coast Guard and from the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Her work with SUCCESS included profiles of entrepreneurs Steve Case, Ted Turner and the late Tony Hsieh.

Now living in and working from Santa Fe, NM, Lisa enjoys sharing the challenges and successes of franchisees and franchisors as a contributor to FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine.
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