Jim Cavale, COO
Growing up in Syracuse, New York, Jim's athletic career led him to Alabama in 2002, when he accepted a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Montevallo (UM).
After graduating from UM with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism in 2005. Jim moved 30 miles north to Birmingham, where he started J. Anthony Productions, providing online video production solutions for a long list of small college athletic programs via The Gulf South Conference.
Simultaneously, Jim began broadcasting live sporting events for regional television networks like Comcast SportsNet and Cox Sports Television, as well as doing work nationally for ESPNU.
Then in 2008, Jim raised angel investor money to fund Eporro.com, a then-BETA website that allowed high school student-athletes to build Recruit Profiles with their highlight videos and academic transcripts. Their BETA-test success with 30 Alabama high schools, led to the Silicon Valley funding of NextSpex.com, which launched in 2009 with statewide partnerships with the Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana High School Athletic Associations.
In early 2010, Jim became one of Iron Tribe’s first clients and began helping Forrest Walden develop video production for the new gym’s website. As Iron Tribe grew rapidly, Jim began shadowing the Homewood operation and learned the entire business from coaching to management.
Exactly one year after Forrest had started Iron Tribe with his Homewood location, Jim opened the 2nd-ever Iron Tribe location on Birmingham's Highway 280—this gym is still known as the “ITF business franchise prototype.”
Upon reaching the 100-client mark in just 90 days, Jim trained his staff to manage the location and became a partner with Forrest in the Iron Tribe Fitness corporate office, where they began to create what would become the Iron Tribe Franchise business opportunity.
As Iron Tribe’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Jim works day-in, day-out on purely scaling the Iron Tribe Fitness client experience throughout all of its locations and markets. Technology plays a major role through innovations that streamline the entire operation of an Iron Tribe Fitness location, for both the staff who delivers that experience, as well as the client who is engaging in it.
Jim and his wife, Yazmin, are the proud parents of two beautiful girls, Savanah and Sofia. They are expecting a son, James IV, in December 2013!
Tom DeLosa, VP of Franchise Development
Tom DeLosa joined Iron Tribe Franchise, LLC. in June 2012 as the Vice President of Franchise Development. Tom is responsible for leading the growth effort through new franchise locations nationwide.
Tom joined the company with more than 15 years of franchise and business experience where he has held senior management positions and was a master franchisee. Tom’s franchising experience includes, franchise development,recruitment, training, support and operations.
He enjoys spending time with his wife Kristine and two daughters Paige and Brooke.
Karen Florence, Director of HR & Special Projects
I was born and raised right here in the Heart of Dixie – Southern girl through and through!
I grew up in the small town of Helena and loved every minute of it, which is probably why I love that same close-net feeling of the Tribe so much.
Upon graduating high school I traded one small town for another – Auburn, Alabama (War Eagle!)
After college I worked for a local organization for abused women and children. The non-profit field is a very hard industry to work in, and I take my hat off to those of you who do. My position was so very rewarding, but I also had no room for growth.
After being there for over a year- I decided I would pursue a ‘normal’ 8- 5 job hoping to figure out my life plan. In 2007 working for a financial planning firm, where my OCD in organization and my obsession with spreadsheets came in handy. I was there for 4 years and had moved up the ladder as far as I could go- cue boredom.
Back track a year, and insert Luan in my life and flipping it upside down with the Iron Tribe and Paleo lifestyle. I was sold. I had to find my place on the Iron Tribe team. Naturally, I came running in the door the day Iron Tribe opened and was ready for whatever it had in store. As enthusiastic as I was, I still had no idea how MUCH Iron Tribe had to offer!
Iron Tribe was open for a year before the capacity grew to be too much for just a few people to handle and still continue to grow at the rapid rate we have all been a part of. It was February of 2011 when I first came on bored filling an administration role at the Iron Tribe Homewood location. After 3 months here Forrest promoted me to the Homewood Manager. I was blown away and continue to be amazed by how much goes on behind the scenes in order to provide the best experience for every athlete who walks in our doors.
It didn’t take long before my passion became wanting to help Forrest produce a system to help spread this program to the masses keeping the quality intact.
In 2012 I will be working for the corporate office helping develop systems alongside Forrest and Jim, to teach future Iron Tribe managers how to provide the quality of service we take such pride in!
My passion for helping people and my OCD organization skills have come together and I have found myself on the path of my life long career in helping to grow the Tribe. We are always looking to improve!
I look forward to meeting you soon, in the meantime let me know if there is ever something we can do better!
Luan Nguyen, Director of Training
I was born in South Vietnam where my parents and I fled from in search of better opportunities and quality of life after the fall of Saigon. With hopes of the American Dream, we set sail into the South China Sea in the dark of the night. (the story of our escape is one that I am still amazed by and left feeling so blessed and grateful.
If you ever want to hear it, just let me know. We will grab dinner together!)
We finally made it to Mobile, AL where my two younger sisters and parents still reside.
After graduating in Excersise Science/Sports Medicine from the Univ of South Alabama, I ventured north to Birmingham and now call it home. Helping others through fitness/coaching began early for me with my kickboxing career in my teens and early 20s, then onto my college years as an athletic trainer for 2 colleges, and then onto massage therapy school where I specialized in Sports Massage and eventually migrated to a career as a trainer/coach here in Birmingham for the past 9 years.
I've been told that if you do what you love, it never feels like work. Teaching Iron Tribe allows me to honestly say that I am a believer of that! A few years ago, when I got word about the functional group fitness programming, I was so anxious to try it. How bad could a 15 minute workout be? After peeling myself off from the floor and looking at my poor score on the workout (Fight Gone Bad), I knew I had to really look at my own personal fitness program and all of its holes and all of my weaknesses.
Needless to say, I never turned back. I immediately dove into the certifications and became the first Level2 Crossfit Coach in Alabama. Ive never witnessed, tested, or experienced a program and its ability to not only create fitter athletes but to powerfully change lives and a supportive community.
As the Director of Training for Iron Tribe Fitness, I get the opportunity to create a product that is safe, effective and fun! I work with the best coaches in the world and help put together events that allows our members to unite and bond through competitions, goal setting and fund raisers!
Our growing community is like no other and any chance to unite them is incredible. I also get to be a small part of an awesome team whose vision is to teach Iron Tribe and the Paleo Diet to as many people as possible. To spread and expand the Iron Tribe Fitness family on a global scale!
I feel blessed to be able to teach and coach the aspects of this business and its products to anyone that is willing to listen!
Tra Griffin, BHM DIRECTOR of ops
I grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. I played all types of sports growing up. However, I really enjoyed baseball, wrestling, and golf. I graduated from High School in 2000. It took me a little over a year to decide that I wasn't ready for college.
As 9/11 passed I knew the path I wanted my life to take. I joined the United States Marine Corps in January of 2002. The Marine Corps sent me on two deployments to Iraq and helped to shape the person I am today.
While in the Marine Corps I realized the importance of being fit. I did a lot of weight training mixed in with running three to five miles at a time.
As my unit began its buildup for our second deployment to Iraq I began basing my workouts around functional movements (i.e., presses, deadlifts, powercleans, squats, etc.). I felt these movements mentally and physically prepared me not only for the training evolutions but also for actual missions I faced while in Iraq. Training with these movements was no question one of the smartest moves I could have made with my training.
Once back in the states, a fellow Marine introduced me to functional group fitness. He kept talking about a short, intense workout that was addicting. I checked out the web site and couldn't quite grasp what was going on. I felt the workouts were way too short and the weights were way too light.
Once I began to understand the workouts I quickly learned never to underestimate a workout. I began dabbling more and more into functional group fitness. I was fascinated with the constant variation but most of all the actual sport of fitness. I finally got a Level 1 Certification and quickly began teaching the movements to anyone who would listen.
I graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in August 2009 with a degree in Business Economics. I spent a several months following graduation working at a few gyms in the Birmingham area.
I met Forrest Walden in December of that year and began working at ITF in early 2010. I was skeptical at first about making a career in the fitness industry based on my previous experience. However, working at ITF put all my skepticism to the side. Not only have I met some extraordinary individuals, I have also witnessed first hand all of the lives that have been changed since ITF opened its doors.
It didn't take me long to realize that ITF is the place for me. I am definitely blessed to be apart of something this powerful.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife Molly. We once had an incredible pass time of watching trash reality TV. Now, that stuff is really starting to wear on me. I also enjoy reading, watching football, eating, and sleeping. My goal is to help and improve all aspects of fitness for all of our athletes. I look forward to meeting and working with each and everyone of you.
If there is anything I can do don't hesitate to give me a shout!
Daniel Walters, Marketing Implementer
I love stories. Maybe that's why I was so drawn to Iron Tribe Fitness. There are so many great storylines that come through the orange doors at our gyms every day. I never get tired of hearing them.
Mine starts in Enterprise, Alabama, a small town of about 50,000. Back then it was only 30,000 and you knew just about everyone. I was raised by my mother and grandmother who loved me very much. Growing up, days consisted of school, homework, TV from 7-10pm and then bed. Obesity was the norm and exercising just wasn't part of what we did.
I remember it crystal clear, on the door of the high school's auditorium. A poster that would change the direction of my life forever. It was a flyer for tryouts to become "Mr. Wildcat", the school's mascot. Before I knew it, I was on stage bouncing to the music and generally just rolling around. Some might even call what I was doing a form of "dancing". Afterward, I was exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. I'd never moved my body that way before. It was amazing, it was fun, and it just felt right.
Over the next 7 years, I would be a "character" in some form or fashion: "Mr. Wildcat", "Tony the Tiger", "Babe Ruff" (Birmingham Barons) and ultimately, "Blaze", UAB's lovable dragon. I loved every minute of it. I wouldn't trade the experiences for anything and I'd go back and do it in a heartbeat if asked.
Then the real world called and I traded my dragon head for a Mac and worked at the Apple Store here in Birmingham for over three years. It was tons of fun and helped me realize that it usually only takes patience to solve most problems. After Apple, I took that patience to Infomedia, a local web design and development company. For almost two years, I would run their Customer Service department.
And that's where I was introduced to Iron Tribe.
I was already making some significant life changes when a few coworkers kept raving about ITF. They were seeing great results and they were in shape! After months of investigation and research, I signed up for 101 in January of 2012.
You can prepare all you want for 101, but you're never really ready. But by then end, I had a confidence in myself and my body that I hadn't had, ever! I was moving and having fun doing it, much like years before as a mascot. And the results have only continued. I have made fitness a priority in my life, adopting a "no-excuses" attitude. It's dramatically changed my life in more ways than I can describe.
I'm honored to have joined the corporate staff here at Iron Tribe Fitness. It's amazing to me everyday that I get to work with people who truly love what they do. For me, this is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. The story that we're creating here is a very special one and I'm humbled to be a part of it.