Fred grew up in his father’s auto service business working after school and weekends to help the family business. After high school, Fred went off to trade school and returned to take over the shop. It didn’t take him long to realize that there was a lot more to running a business than just producing a good product for the customer. He knew that there had to be a better way – struggling to make ends meet and losing money to only the customer’s benefit was not acceptable.
At this time, Fred went on a journey looking for answers in search of that better way. He started studying business in earnest. Researching, learning, and reading about operating a business successfully and studying the success stories of others. He went to seminars and workshops and spent every spare moment working to understand business better. Eventually, Fred’s determination began to pay small dividends. Fred’s relentless quest to improve had taken root and begun to grow. What started as a search for better business practices led to a search for self-improvement. And beyond that, to how Fred could help others improve, his kids, his family, and his employees.
Enter Ken Brookings, Aspire’s founder. While on his search, Fred attended a class that Ken was offering to small business owners. Fred immediately recognized that the systems and processes Ken presented were exactly what he had been seeking. He got the answers to questions like, Why is business so difficult? Why am I killing myself just to scrape by? Where is the logical path? From Ken, he clearly learned that YES, there was another way. A better way. And he was determined to learn it.
Fred signed up for Ken’s coaching program and turned the family business around for good. They went from losing about $35,000 the year before signing up to netting a profit of over $350,000 within two years. Ken was impressed with Fred’s resolve, work ethic, and ability to grasp complex business concepts and asked Fred to partner with him to further the mission of teaching other small business owners to do the same – a mission Fred was made for.
Fast forward. After over fifteen years together with Ken, Fred has taught thousands of small business owners how to get off the treadmill, fully take ownership of their businesses, and achieve a better work-life balance and quality of life. In so doing, Fred has found his true calling – helping others. Fred and the Aspire team he leads are driven to reach and help as many other people as possible.
Fred lives by the adage to ‘be better than he was yesterday,’ and he instills this belief into every member of his family, every employee, and every Aspire client. This simple, daily drive to improve has created Fred’s personal purpose and that of the Aspire Institute, where we define our success by the positive difference we make in others’ lives.
When asked what the most important thing he wants our past, present, and future clients to know, Fred offered this, “I want them to know we really care. Our focus is genuinely to help our clients improve both their business and personal lives. While we are not perfect, you won’t find another partner that cares as much or works as tirelessly to make sure you have everything needed to be successful.”
Fred relishes in spending time with his wife, kids, and grandchildren – sharing fun experiences with them, traveling, and flying in his private plane. He now resides in Sandpoint, Idaho, with his wife, Courtney.
Anthony is the son of small business owners, making him no stranger to the stress and burden of running a business. From a very young age, he demonstrated an extraordinary drive to succeed. Anthony competed in high school sports as a young athlete, which led to a collegiate football career in California.
After college, he worked in the fitness industry, spending 14 years developing training programs, sales processes, and providing business coaching for small business owners in the San Francisco Bay Area. His fitness career culminated in a Regional Management role overseeing a corporate division covering California, Utah, and Nevada.
Missing the small town Sandpoint Idaho lifestyle, Anthony moved back to his hometown and joined the Aspire Institute, where he provides expertise in employee development, sales, management, and operations. His tenacious desire for winning drives him to help Aspire staff and clients alike become the very best version of themselves they can achieve. This same drive and dedication for helping others propelled him through the ranks to become Vice President of Aspire in under two years.
As our Vice President, Anthony contributes leadership, clarity of vision, and a winning attitude to every department. It’s not uncommon for Anthony to jump from a marketing meeting to a coach’s production meeting, to a client coaching call and then go on the road to help facilitate an Aspire field workshop. His well-deserved nickname here is “VP of Winning.”
When away from work, he enjoys spending time with his wife Kayley. The young newlyweds are now expecting their first child. Anthony also enjoys his dog Tay Tay, maintaining a rigorous workout regimen, cooking, and competing to win at just about anything!
Director of Marketing / Coach
Mitchell comes from builder blood. His grandfather managed the sawmill in Port Gamble WA that produced lumber for homes on the Kitsap Peninsula and the world market. Two of his uncles became builders – one, a remodeling construction supervisor for John and Ed Bremer who gave their name to Bremerton, WA. The other a GC and owner of a custom home building company in Snoqualmie, Washington. Mitchell worked his way through college on the crew of Cascade Remodelers in Olympia, starting as an entry-level laborer and working up to finish carpenter. Cascade also gave him his start in GC marketing, where as an apprentice video producer, he worked on their first promotional video.
At Aspire, Mitchell serves as the Marketing Director, with responsibility for marketing programs, brand management, and corporate sponsorships, and as a client marketing coach helping Aspire clients implement powerful marketing strategies. Before joining Aspire, Mitchell served as the Executive Director of Northwest Film Institute, a non-profit film production and education organization.
As a creative sales and marketing professional with an entrepreneurial focus, Mitchell has been involved in successful business start-ups including two radio stations, three magazines, a video production company and a jingle house. He’s owned and operated his own commercial recording studio, a full-service marketing, advertising, and public relations firm, and the motion picture marketing company, Movietime Entertainment, which Mitchell founded, grew to a national presence and took public through a merger with MagicWorks Entertainment, illusionist David Copperfield’s production company.
When not furthering the Aspire mission to help residential builders create a prosperous work-life balance, Mitchell spends his time making independent films, composing music, and enjoying the backwoods of North Idaho with his family.
Contractor Business Coach
Rory is a builder, an athlete, a coach and a teacher. The son of a highly-skilled mason, he had become very familiar with construction sites by the time he was eight years old. Throughout his childhood, Rory continued to accompany his father and help on job sites, laying the foundation for his now broad building industry experience.
From an early age, he demonstrated an extraordinary drive to succeed. As a young athlete, Rory was highly competitive in high school sports. His success on the gridiron led to a collegiate football career at the University of Idaho, where he graduated with a Master’s in Education and Undergraduate endorsements in Business and Exercise Science. Working his way through college, Rory gained deeper experience in the trades while employed on new ground up residential and commercial construction crews.
After graduating from college, Rory and his wife Sheila owned and operated a successful house flipping business. They completed multiple whole-home remodels, overseeing all aspects of construction and business operations.
Later, Rory took a position with ARI roofing as Production Manager where he managed several labor crews across the state of Idaho. With ARI, he gained valuable experience in management, developing and implementing sales processes, and creating long-term client relations. Ultimately, he was promoted to Vice President, overseeing and managing company-wide day to day operations including budget management, preparing estimates, materials procurement, and scheduling subs and inspections. During this time, Rory was also a high school football coach, a position he held for eight years, culminating in winning a state championship in the Idaho 5A classification.
In 2018, Rory was recruited by Norcraft, a division of Master Brands, and relocated to Michigan. He worked in the sales department for Norcraft’s custom cabinet division, where he managed the company’s client relations for several large building contractors serving the Grand Rapids and Lansing markets.
Missing the small town Idaho lifestyle, Rory moved back to North Idaho to join the Aspire Institute’s contractor business coaching team. At Aspire, he brings to bear an unstoppable winning attitude in service to Aspire Contractor Clients. He demonstrates a daily passion for helping contractors around the country reach their full business and personal potential.
When away from work, Rory enjoys spending time with his wife Sheila and raising his children Zade, Remi, and Reiss, while enjoying the outdoors and soaking up all that life has to offer.
Jake got his first taste of the construction business while still in high school when he took his first job taping and texturing drywall. Since then, he has dedicated himself to a career in the construction industry, becoming involved in many different business aspects, including sales, management, marketing, estimating, project management, and administration.
From a very early age, Jake demonstrated an intrinsic leadership ability, fostering consensus among his peers and subordinates to produce results at an exceptionally high level. By the age of 22, Jake was responsible for managing over fifty employees. He has recruited, hired, trained, and managed hundreds of staff throughout his career to date.
Jake also has first-hand experience as a business owner. For several years, Jake owned and operated his own highly successful marketing firm in the Bay Area.
Jake offers an uncanny knack and passion for systems and processes that streamline operations and increase profitability. Before joining the Aspire Team, he spent the last decade using his skills to help contractors grow their businesses in the Sacramento area. He has led teams, generated leads, sold jobs, estimated, managed projects, and everything in between. The companies he has worked with have experienced tremendous growth and success. In his last position, Jake’s leadership helped produce a profitable margin focused 500% increase in annual sales over five years. Jake’s knowledge and passion for designing and implementing systems and processes have allowed the businesses he previously worked with to continue to flourish to this day.
In 2020, Jake was recruited by the Aspire Institute as a contractor business coach. Now he applies Aspire systems and his vast construction business knowledge to Aspire clients’ benefit where he continues to make a tangible positive impact on the businesses and owners he coaches. Jake is a highly valued member of the Aspire coaching team.
He now resides in Sandpoint and loves the North Idaho lifestyle. Jake spends his free time enjoying the outdoors with his wife and three children.