Lee will Oversee the Fitness Franchisor’s Financial Strategy and Initiatives
TITLE Boxing Club, a boutique fitness franchisor, named Stefanie Lee chief financial officer (CFO). Lee will be responsible for financial strategy and initiatives. Lee’s appointment to CFO comes as TITLE Boxing Club expands nationwide. She brings nearly two decades of experience in finance and operations to the role. The fitness franchisor was recently acquired by BoxUnion and plans to expand to more than 300 locations by 2025.
“Throughout my career, I’ve built a proven track record of implementing strategies that help global brands increase revenue while reducing costs. I’m confident my expertise will support the TITLE Boxing Club corporate team and each franchise partner, so they have the tools needed to be successful,” Lee said in a statement.
Lee looks forward to seeing TITLE Boxing Club’s growth. “I am excited to be on the team that will drive success and ultimately grow the boxing fitness segment. We are the leader in boxing fitness concepts, but there is still so much opportunity for growth.”
From her first meetings with senior leadership, Lee knew that the brand was something special. “This team has and will accomplish great things. I am enthusiastic about finance and franchising, but what really sealed the deal was the people I met during the interview process and the team I met after I started. The energy is infectious.”
In Lee’s view, TITLE will stay ahead of the curve by prioritizing both physical and mental wellness. “Our mission and vision at TITLE Boxing Club centers around increasing fitness and reducing stress. We are invested in both our members’ mental and physical health. Our coaches meet our members where they are each time they enter our clubs. The positive impact of TITLE Boxing Club is witnessed each and every day inside our clubs.”
BoxUnion’s leadership team believes that Lee is the right person to help the company achieve its goals. “Stefanie’s extensive experience in improving store development and profitability makes her the perfect fit as our new CFO. We’ve spent over a year strengthening our franchise development team and Stefanie can further enable us to streamline programs for our members and franchise partners. Her support will keep TITLE Boxing Club on track to hit our momentous growth goals,” said Todd Wadler, CEO of TITLE Boxing Club and co-founder of BoxUnion.
Lee and Franchising
Throughout her career, Lee has worked for fast-casual restaurant franchises including Cold Stone Creamery, IHOP, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and others. She was recently the vice president of finance and operations for the Americas division of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), a scuba diving membership, training, and retail organization. PADI was Lee’s introduction to the fitness industry. She was also the senior director of finance for Kahala Brands, a corporate franchisor of fast-casual brands.
While working at the finance department of Cold Stone, she enjoyed making connections with franchisees and appreciated their entrepreneurial spirit. “The energy is contagious. I naturally have a customer service approach to my work, and franchising is such a great fit. Traditionally, an accounting or finance position is not necessarily synonymous with customer service, but in franchising it is.”
She adds that with her finance roles, she supports both the franchisee and franchisor. “We are focused on franchisee profitability as well as the growth trajectory of the franchisor. We need to be able to dive into a small business P&L at the same time we are running a full corporate budget cycle. It’s different everyday, which makes it exciting and fun.”
Advice from a Franchise Pro
For prospective candidates, Lee stresses the importance of being passionate about the industry, going into the venture with open eyes, and networking with successful franchisees. “I would highly encourage a new or potential franchisee to take the opportunity [to spend time with a successful franchise location], as it could be extremely invaluable.”
Franchisors looking to improve their financial strategy should listen and get out of the corporate office, Lee says. “Identify those franchisees whose business is thriving, but also those who maybe aren’t adopting the blueprints you’ve provided and find out what is working and what isn’t. Ask tough questions, collect the data and anecdotes, and then come back to the office and use those data points to create a challenging but attainable financial strategy; one that not only meets the financial goals of the franchisor, but also strengthens the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee.”