Last August, Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen (Co-Founders of Anytime Fitness) left the comforts of home and work, and boarded a plane – destination unknown, to film an episode of ABC’s Secret Millionaire. Little did they realize that this journey into unfamiliar territory would change them in profound ways.
“Secret Millionaire” is a reality show in which millionaires go incognito into impoverished communities and work with various charitable organizations. Their true identities are not revealed until the end of the show, and that’s not the only surprise – the millionaires end up giving back, often in monetary ways.
When they landed, they found themselves in Oklahoma City, and were met with stifling temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. For one week, they sustained 15-21 hour days of volunteer work, filming, and interviewing. At night they slept in a rundown house with crickets, spiders, and cockroaches, with weeds growing on the inside. They were given $71.03 to live on, and didn’t have access to personal technology of any kind.
It was even more grueling from an emotional perspective. In fact, Chuck and Dave have both said that in the end, “their hearts had more blisters than their hands.”
Chuck and Dave had the incredible opportunity to work with organizations that are doing extraordinary things, and were delighted to be able to make generous contributions to each.
“The producers did their research and introduced us to organizations with whom we immediately formed emotional connections,” said Runyon. “In their own unique ways, each of the organizations share Anytime Fitness’ goal of transforming lives and improving self-esteem.”
“It safe to say that the people we met had no idea what we were up to – until we told them,” adds Mortensen. “And the expressions on their faces when we told them that we had some big surprises for them was priceless, something I’ll never forget and always cherish.”
Secret Millionaire airs Sunday, June 10th at 7pm CST on ABC
If you have ever met Chuck and/or Dave, you know that they are not your average executives. Yes, they’ve built a strong and successful global company, but more importantly they’ve invested time and effort into helping their employees achieve their full potential on a personal and professional level. Employees reciprocate with unparalleled loyalty and commitment to the Anytime Fitness brand. In fact, the company just received the honor of “Best Company to Work For” in MN based on employee satisfaction surveys. Leadership starts at the top, and apparently Chuck & Dave are doing something right!
After Secret Millionaire airs, be sure to return right here to Anytime Health for a behind-the-scenes look at Chuck and Dave’s experience and the people they encountered on their journey.