Gymco, locally owned and operated since 1980!

Posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2015  |  




Grand Rapids, Michigan – June 30, 2015

This company was, quite literally, ‘born in a barn.’

Founded in 1980 by coaches Mark and Doreen Bolhuis, Gymco’s first gymnastics classes were held in a barn behind Luther Village Retirement Home.


Gymco's first students practiced in an old barn!
Gymco’s first students practiced in an old barn!
A vintage look: Gymco's 1980 crew.
A vintage look: Gymco’s 1980 crew.


“With our humble beginning 35 years ago, I could never have imagined what Gymco has become today,” remarks Doreen. “Building this company has been an incredible journey of adventure, risk and reward, and I’ve grown tremendously in the process.”

It’s true. Gymco’s long list of achievements includes top honors like Small Business of the Year, 101 Best & Brightest Places to Work, and Top Women Owned Business.  The company has transitioned from the old barn to today’s 16,000 square foot custom-built gymnastics facility near East Grand Rapids. Its programs now range from gymnastics to movement-based preschool to summer day camps, bike clinics and beyond.


Custom-built: Gymco's current facility.
Custom-built: Gymco’s current facility.


“Gymco has maintained a continued trajectory of growth for 35 years, through multiple recessions and the inevitable crises.  We attribute our growth to solid internal systems and culture, along with excellent services for families that are infused with genuine care for the children we teach.”

What’s stayed the same? The mission. Gymco provides positive sport experiences for their students – teaching important athletic skills and building confidence to prepare kids for a lifetime of physical activity.

Doreen is a champion of Gymco’s programs. “We’re building well-rounded athletes who can be successful in any sport they try. These athletic skills last for a lifetime, creating a more active and healthy lifestyle into adulthood.”


The company celebrated its 35th anniversary this weekend with a party for all of its members, filling the facility with happy and active kids and parents.

“Our Gymco team is tremendously thankful for the community support we’ve enjoyed for 35 years,” said Doreen. “It is extremely rewarding to know we have enhanced the health and quality of life of multiple generations of West Michigan families.”

Gymco has served over 90,000 children in West Michigan since opening its doors.

Looking forward, Gymco continues its strong history of transition and growth. The company is executing a succession plan that brings CEO Shannon Austhof to the spotlight; it’s also launching a new and innovative Performance Team track for its gymnasts this fall. Find out more at


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