Leroy Fisher is a firefighter, coach, and — for over a year now — an Ormond Beach small business owner.
Fisher, a Palm Coast Fire Department firefighter for 14 years, celebrated the first anniversary of his gym, Fisher Lifting, on Saturday, June 3.
Fisher has been training in weightlifting for over 10 years. In 2015, he started a girls weightlifting team at Father Lopez High School.
Many of the athletes he’s trained on the Father Lopez girls weightlifting team have received state metals and championships, and the team has a state finalist as well as a district and regional champion or runner-up almost every year. The team is going into its ninth season this upcoming school year.
It was during his coaching that Fisher met Connie Garzon, who works for the University of Central Florida Business Incubator Program in Volusia County.
Fisher had trained her daughter, Sophia Bernal, at Father Lopez from her sophomore to her senior year.
Fisher and Garzon began to talk during practices and competitions about the possibility of Fisher opening a gym one day.
“I saw Leroy, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, he has so much potential,’ and what he has done for my daughter is amazing,” Garzon said.
The UCF Business Incubator Program has been around for 23 years with the goal of helping local entrepreneurs start companies that provide jobs the county needs, Garzon said.
Fisher started planning for his gym during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he was coaching remotely and working on program design online.
When the pandemic’s impacts faded, he decided it was the perfect time to open the gym.
He took the required UCF incubation course, and, once he finished, opened Fisher Lifting at 100 Business Center Drive, Suite 5, in Ormond Beach on June 3, 2022.
“I put in my welcome message, ‘Welcome to the Fisher lifting family,’ because I know that it’s a gym, but you’re a part of my family, and I am going to check in on you,” Fisher said. “I care about my members and staff.”
Fisher specializes in Olympic lifting, but also works as a personal trainer and creates how-to videos in an online program library that is updated every week.
The gym has 24-hour access for members, along with a free 30-minute mental health session every month.
“I am going to make you strong and mobile, no matter your age,” Fisher said.
The purpose of the anniversary event, Fisher said, was not only to draw attention to his business, but to also promote other small businesses that he works with. These include the YES program, Be Healthy Chiropractic Wellness Center, Monkey Bubbles soap and Aloha Hair and Color Studio.
“I’m happy with where we are at,” Fisher said. “I’ve collaborated with a lot of local businesses — again that family feel. I’ve built new members that are staying and sustaining. The biggest thing for any new business is having reoccurring members or customers.”