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Q&A with Jonas Serrano, CEO, Phyt NYC

AW: Jonas, tell use more about why you founded Phyt Cares.

JS: I founded Phyt Cares because I was extremely fortunate to grow up in a household surrounded by fitness and experience firsthand from an early age the immense impact it can have in helping people deal with adversity and overcoming challenges. For me, it was an instrumental force in helping me overcome obstacles. Hence, I launched Phyt Cares to fill this void and inspire people that regardless of their environment and surroundings, fitness plays a powerful role in helping people conquer challenges and become stronger.

AW: Your event on November 1st is raising money for Phyt PR, the Puerto Rico chapter of Phyt Cares. Tell us more about your goals for the event and what the proceeds will go towards.

JS: We have a few goals for our inaugural Phyt Cares fundraiser. First, we seek to spread awareness about the challenges Puerto Rico is facing, which have been prominent long before Hurricanes Irma and Maria happened, and how Phyt PR, through our fitness programs, will inspire people on the Island to overcome them. 

Second, we want encourage people to go to the Island, filled with so much passion and beauty, and establish themselves there like I did, and create employment for the locals. Finally, we want to show everyone that with little resources, we can make an immense difference in uplifting people on the Island. 

The proceeds from our inaugural fundraiser will go to various communities in Puerto Rico to help them rebuild and obtain the basic essentials. Further, through Phyt PR, we will be instrumental in creating employment on the Island and lead the charge to teach these people how to be leaders, entrepreneurs or visionaries. 

AW: Given what’s happened in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, what are Phyt PR’s plans on the Island in the next 12-18 months?

JS: First and foremost, we seek to strengthen Puerto Rico from within as I mentioned in my previous question. Second, we seek to educate the people there that the fitness industry presents numerous attractive employment opportunities, whether they want to be an instructor, practice sports medicine, manufacture sports equipment, apparel or nutrition, the possibilities are endless for them to excel.

Third, we seek to bring more awareness to US hedge funds and other companies about the benefits of setting up in Puerto Rico including the tax incentives via Act 20 and Act 22. And also because they have a social responsibility to the Island, through supporting Phyt PR, they will get two tax exemptions, the 501c3 and the 1101.01 specific to Puerto Rico.

Our plans are far beyond Puerto Rico. We are excited to make the same impact in other States, with Florida being the next.

AW: Tell us a little about some of the other partnerships Phyt has in New York.

JS: Phyt is extremely honoured and proud to have long-term partnerships with esteemed corporations, residential buildings, hotels and through the community and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

First and foremost, for this article, it is important to acknowledge our hedge fund partners, who have been clients since Day 1 at Phyt NYC, my fitness facility in Midtown Manhattan, including Soros Fund Management, Wellspring Capital Management, Vectra Capital, Castle Hook Partners and Falcon Edge Capital.  Without them, Phyt Cares would not be possible. 

Our partnerships with high-end residential buildings in New York City including the Galleria Condominium Residence and hotels including the Fitzpatrick have fostered long-term clientele from both locals and tourists alike.

Finally, Phyt Cares has had some remarkable partnerships since our inception in 2013 and touched the lives of hundreds in New York City. 

In conjunction with the US Department of Justice, we work with at-risk youth in Bronx-based ACACIA Network’s Youth Department of Corrections. Through the New York City Department of Education, we worked with schools in Manhattan and the Bronx. We also teamed up with prominent foundations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, ASPIRE, Covenant House, PASE (Partnership for Afterschool Education), Bent on Learning, and more. Further, we are proud to have global recognition through Qatar-based Save the Dream, which promotes safe sports amongst youth. Finally, through our new partnership with Modell’s Sporting Goods, we will create employment opportunities for young adults throughout New York City.

In conclusion, we are proud to say that we work hard every day to have people understand not only the urgency of our mission but further, see how we continue to foster positive change. The more resources we have, the more of an impact we would be able to make!

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