A Charleston native, Joey Welling graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina in 2009with a B.S. in Business Administration. But, before he even finished his education, he joined the health and fitness workforce at the age of 18, spending his summers and winter breaks learning the business from the ground up as an hourly employee at one of Charleston’s premier gyms. This experience taught Joey the fundamentals of business and customer service that books cannot.
After graduation, Joey joined CGM Logistics. Putting both his attention to detail and degree to work, Joey excelled
in CGM’s Finance Department. However, as his time with CGM continued, Joey realized his true passion was in fitness, not finance. So, he took a chance and reached out to his former gym, who based on Joey’s work ethic, knowledge and enthusiasm, offered him a management position. Joey jumped at the opportunity, and officially began his career in the wellness industry.
In 2012, the owners of the Charleston gym decided to close, so Joey took initiative to find a new location for his Charleston clientele, and Exemplar Fitness became that home. For the next three years, Joey grew his personal training roster at Exemplar Fitness.
In November 2015, at the age of 28, Joey Welling became a 50% owner in Exemplar Fitness. He saw great potential in the gym, but recognized the need for changes in structure, strategy, technology, marketing and management. With the go-ahead from the co-owner, he began to actively transform the physical space, implement policies for growth in the business and create an environment for physical and mental wellness. The build out, which increased the size of the gym from3000 to over 6000sq ft began in January 2016, and over the next six months, Joey oversaw the renovations and made changes to software, personnel and the overall management of the business. Through his leadership, innovation and resolve, Joey knew he could take the outdated facility and turn it into not only a profitable business, but one of the most unique health clubs and recognizable names in the Charleston community.
Due to the end of a 15 year lease, Joey and his partner decided to shut the doors of Exemplar Fitness early 2021 and head down their own paths. Joey is the current owner of Ethos Athletic Club, a 21,000 sqft health club in the center of Charleston that will accommodate your everyday gym goer, personal training, HIIT and yoga classes, and sports performance training for athletes 10 years old and up.