~ and The MECKids Story ~
Fran Dean Bishop is no stranger to the world of health and fitness.
An accomplished business leader and health technology expert, Fran founded Aerobodies Inc. in 1994 as a provider of health management programs, products and services for corporations, local, state and federal government agencies. Today that same company has evolved to become AFC Management Services, and it serves organizations from coast to coast.
Fran is also an accomplished speaker and is highly in-demand for various health- and fitness-related conferences across the country. It was after one of these presentations that the idea for MECKids sprouted. A 16-year old named Lisa rang her phone and asked, “Do you still have the Fitness By Phone program available?”
Fran had just been featured as the Coach of Year in 2007 and Lisa had come across the article. “I think this program is perfect for me as a high school student I have hectic schedule but I want to get in shape and lose some weight! My mom says the price is just right for us at $495.”
Lisa came in a few days later for her appointment and handed Fran a check. Fran gasped; the check was for $4.95, not the $495 quoted in the magazine! Lisa has misread the information and had her mom write the check for the lesser amount.
The more that Fran thought about it, the more she realized that while there were plenty of resources devoted to workplace wellness and adult health, there were no similar organizations dedicated to building healthy habits in children. In fact, children often got the opposite message... especially when a slice of school cafeteria pizza is counted as a serving of vegetables under the FDA guidelines (something that still happens today)!
The more she thought about it, the more it was obvious - if healthy habits could be instilled in children from a young age, it would be much easier for them to stay healthy later in life. There were probably more kids just like Lisa looking for fitness and nutrition solutions that were tailor-made JUST FOR KIDS!
And so MECKids was born.