Meet Dave! Dave was born and raised in South Jersey. He went to school at Boston University before returning home to start a career in commercial real estate. He spent the first 10 years of his career with local private equity commercial real estate companies, spent some time running real estate asset management for everyone’s favorite swedish furniture maker, and got an MBA from Villanova School of Business. During that time, he lived in Center City as well as the Philadelphia suburbs. Along the way though, he left his passion for fitness behind but found it again in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. He met his wife in 2011 and they moved into their home in Graduate Hospital in 2013 in anticipation of welcoming their oldest son.
When they moved to the neighborhood in 2013, there was only one gym option nearby and it happened to be a CrossFit gym. Dave had CrossFit on his radar for sometime but had not actually taken a class. The move to Graduate Hospital changed that and Dave immediately took a liking to the fitness methodology which combines strength and metabolic conditioning training. Dave grew up playing hockey and as the risks of playing men’s league hockey started to outweigh the rewards, Dave looked to find new ways to get his competitive drive out. Turns out CrossFit was the answer for that too.
Dave and his wife have two sons, both of whom attend Chester A Arthur Elementary School. Throughout their 10 years of living in the neighborhood, they have sought ways to give back to the community and have actively participated and donated to local causes. Dave transitioned to operating and overseeing the expansion of OpenBox Athletics in March 2021 after a 20 year career in commercial real estate.
The gym that Dave started doing CrossFit at ended up closing in 2017, but Dave and other members of the former gym were approached to open a new gym in the same location. Knowing that the real estate was perfect, Dave saw an opportunity to apply his business acumen learned from his real estate career and education onto his passion for health and wellness. His partners, who have different business and education backgrounds, also saw the opportunity. As a result, OpenBox Athletics was formed in Fall 2017 and then opened in December 2017 at 1931 Washington Avenue.
OpenBox Athletics was formed to create an opportunity for residents to seek out and define what it meant for them to live a healthy lifestyle. When it first opened, OpenBox Athletics housed a crossfit program and a yoga program; unfortunately, yoga in a loud crossfit gym didn’t catch on but fortunately a quick pivot to a boot camp program did. The community grew and was thriving as the gym passed its second birthday. Then the pandemic hit and a fire happened. It took rebuilding, but Dave believed in the team he built at OpenBox Athletics and believed in the passion he had for spreading health and wellness in the neighborhood and beyond. In December 2022, OpenBox Athletics celebrated its fifth birthday and is eyeing expansion into other parts of Philadelphia. OpenBox Athletics is the largest CrossFit affiliated gym in Center City Philadelphia and has more high credential coaches than any other gym of its kind in the area. It is the fitness home to people starting their health and wellness journey all the way up to world class level athletes.