The PNC Bank LGBT Business Award went to Unite Fitness, the new brand name for Fusion Cross-training studios, founded by out fitness expert Gavin McKay.
McKay said the company will use the grant to spearhead a new online program and to support a fitness decathlon race Unite is launching in July.
“We’re expanding this year,” McKay said. “We’re creating an online program for people across the country, or really the world, to use our program, and then we’re creating a fitness race and working on a lot of other things. We can use every dollar to help create better products and be able to market them. This is our year for reinvesting in our company.
McKay founded Fusion five-and-a-half years ago and has been an IBA member since the organization’s inception. He said PNC also gave him one of his first start-up loans.
The award, presented for the first time last year, goes to a “business that demonstrates a well-defined plan for growth, including innovation, sustainability and ongoing contribution to the community.”
PNC Wealth Management senior investment advisor David Huting said McKay’s application was the most rounded and researched.
“His plan was extremely well-written,” Huting said. “And within the plan, he examined the competitive landscape very thoroughly.”
Eight companies applied for the award, on par with last year’s grantmaking process.
Huting explained that, in addition to the award presentation, the partnership with IBA allows PNC to present a business-planning seminar, which he said he’s eager to see develop.
“We offer this planning seminar and we’ve gotten about 25 people who attend but we really want to see that grow,” he said. “The award itself is significant but where we can have a really significant impact in the LGBT community is helping businesses do better planning. So we want to keep taking the seminar to a better and better level.”