Joe Zentmyer is co-founder and CFO of Chicago-based First Ascent Climbing & Fitness, one of the fastest-growing gym operators in the United States. First Ascent has opened 4 locations since starting operations 3 years ago and has more in development.
Joe divides his time between real estate/expansion and operations. In his real estate work, Joe focuses on building positive relationships with property developers that translate into strong returns for all stakeholders. On the operations side, Joe focuses on building a culture of employee development and on integrating best practices from other industries into traditional climbing gym processes.
Before First Ascent started operations, Joe worked for a Fortune 200 multinational in a variety of financial and business management roles, including employee incentives, sales management, commodity forecasting, new product development, and systems automation. In his spare time, Joe enjoys reading classical literature, studying history, and traveling to rock climb outdoors.