Gary Pawlas, Founder and Owner
Founder and owner of VARIA FITNESS, Gary has a Ph.D. in Engineering Science and over twenty years of industrial and academic experience in product design and development. From 2002-2012 he was a faculty member in CU Boulder’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and from 2008-2012, was Director of the Industry/University Cooperative Project Center for over 125 Senior Mechanical Engineering students every year.
In 2013, based on his Crossfit workouts, he had the first concept of a variable weight medicine ball. Over the next few years he designed, developed, and patented a variable weight medicine ball and competition style kettlebell. Along the way he was able to work with former students and industrial colleagues to bring the products to market.
Gary completed 25+ Olympic distance triathlons, took up Crossfit 9 years ago and loves to road & mtn bike, hike and camp.
Jeannie Freis, Marketing and Social Media
Jeannie earned her MBA from Babson College, ranked #1 for Entrepreneurship, and her BA in International Business from the University of Scranton. Jeannie has over 20 years experience leading engineering teams in product research, development, execution, and implementing go to market strategy. She has worked for startups through Fortune 500 companies across all phases of the product lifecycle, including several new product launches. Early in her career, she lived, worked, and studied in Europe.
Personally, she is an avid runner, hip hop and tap dancer. She enjoys local road races and track meets throughout the year, and has performed with multiple choreographers throughout Colorado. She lives in a household of athletes as the mother of two very active children and a Siberian Husky. Her daughter is a competitive gymnast; her son is a competitive runner, and the dog is a retired sled dog from Breckenridge.
Vincent Powell, Product Design and Manufacturing
A Colorado native, Vincent Powell holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado and is the Founder of VP Mechanical Design. He specializes in product development and design for manufacturability (DFM) primarily for inventors, entrepreneurs, and startups. Vincent has designed products for a wide variety of entities, from inventors to major corporations, across a broad range of industries.
When he's not promoting his own startup companies or chasing his two young children around, Vincent enjoys downhill mountain biking, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and escaping to the mountains any chance he gets.
Matthew Johnston, Social Media and Manufacturing
A graduate of Elon University, Matthew worked for two years in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Newark NJ assisting various community organizations develop new programs. He then spent a year living in a small town near Antigua Guatemala, helping provide additional educational opportunities in an afternoon community program. At VARIA FITNESS, Matthew provides direction and content for the Instagram account, manufacturing support and marketing strategy development.