With an innovative approach to teaching an important life skill, Chris and Jenny McCuiston founded Goldfish Swim School in Birmingham, Mich., in 2006. The couple opened the school after seeing a demand for children’s swim lessons. Their school quickly gained in popularity and the couple, along with Chris’ brother Andrew, built on their success by franchising throughout the country.
The McCuistons will be recognized with the JVS Rising Entrepreneur Award at the 18th Annual JVS Strictly Business Networking and Awards Luncheon on June 11 at The Henry in Dearborn. The luncheon is a fundraiser to support JVS in its efforts to put metro Detroiters back to work.
Jenny and Chris met while both were students at Seaholm High School in Birmingham and married after graduating from college. They used their knowledge in finance, early childhood development and swim instruction to kick-start Goldfish Swim School.
As the concept for Goldfish developed, the McCuistons researched local and out-of-state swim programs. They were most impressed with how quickly children gained confidence in their abilities when a school used one-on-one coaching and mentorship in the pool.
It is a format they successfully implemented when they launched Goldfish, based upon using a 4-to-1 child-to-teacher ratio. Parents and families also love the fun, tropical feel of the school, state-of-art water purification system and warm 90-degree pool water.
When the opportunity arose to franchise the business, Chris, Jenny and Andrew dove right in and began opening multiple Goldfish Swim School locations. Today, there are 18 locations throughout the Midwest and 12 others currently under development nationwide.
“JVS is proud to honor the McCuiston’s accomplishments with the 2015 JVS Strictly Business Rising Entrepreneur Award,” says Leah Rosenbaum, JVS president and CEO. “Bringing their vision to life, they reflect a vibrant Detroit built on innovation and determination.”
More than 700 business and community leaders are expected to attend Strictly Business, which will feature Jack Aronson of Garden Fresh Gourmet as keynote speaker. In addition, attendees will meet Randy and Craig Rubin, co-founders of Crypton Super Fabrics, who will receive the 2015 JVS Business Leadership Award, and three individuals who JVS helped to overcome obstacles to employment.