Betty Francisco


Youth Fitness Evangelist, Entrepreneurial Business Executive and Diversity Thought Leader

ABOUT

As an entrepreneur, business executive and community leader, I am driven by my passion to help others embrace healthy living. I believe this commitment to health and well-being is instilled in all of us at a young age. This is my motivation for founding FitNation Ventures, a boutique consulting practice focused on fitness and lifestyle programming for youth in the Greater Boston area. As its first venture, FitNation launched ReImagine Play, a new Boston-based fitness offering for children ages 6-18. Reimagine Play is creating innovative, tech-inspired fitness and healthy eating programs for children and families through pop-up fitness classes and boutique studios that combine active-play video games with cutting-edge classes and personal training.

In addition to my entrepreneurial spirit and authentic communication style, I am recognized for being a creative thinker and the consummate connector, as well as for my operational savvy, and ability to execute growth and business improvement strategies for organizations of all sizes and structures. My experience is underscored in my most recent role as EVP, General Counsel and member of the executive team for a nationwide luxury fitness and lifestyle brand. It was there that I merged my business and legal expertise with my lifelong passion for health and fitness. Previously, I was a senior business law attorney at a major Boston law firm where I advised founders, executives, and boards in early-stage retail, technology, and biotech ventures. Key to my success has been my ability to effectively build and nurture strategic partnerships with businesses, community organizations, and critical stakeholder groups to achieve common goals and optimize business results.

Born and raised in New York and Puerto Rico, I am the child of first-generation Hispanic and Chinese parents – making me a "China Rican" at the core. Unequivocally, a strong work ethic and focus on education bridge these two very disparate cultures. As a result, I am a passionate advocate for advancing attorneys of color and Latina professionals into leadership roles. As an example, I cofounded the Latina Circle, a network that provides Latina professionals with mentoring, leadership training, and business partnering opportunities so they can achieve their potential.

SKILLS

Leader

I believe in leading by example around a shared vision. I strive to create a team culture that values diversity of talent, ideas, and backgrounds. I demand excellence, integrity, and accountability, all while maintaining a fun and playful environment.

Problem-Solver

Identifying a problem is a science but providing tangible solutions is an art. I am results-oriented and always find practical ways to turn business problems into opportunities. I am not afraid to take on the unknown and investigate solutions.

Strategic

I think like a business owner. I seek opportunities to grow the business and elevate the brand internally and externally. My approach is to anticipate trends and challenges and provide a strategic path for success.

Connector

I am adept at connecting individuals and businesses to open doors that foster mutually beneficial relationships. I am a role model, sponsor, mentor, or mentee, depending on the day. I believe in our shared responsibility to champion others so they achieve their potential.

Creative

I am an artist by training. I weave my creativity in everything I do – from how I think through a problem to the end result. I often look at divergent ideas and mix out-of-the box concepts to drive innovation.

Multidimensional

I am a skilled business executive and talented attorney. I can manage multicultural teams, create strategic plans, cultivate business, negotiate acquisitions, or fight a battle if necessary. I thrive on challenges, especially those that fuel my natural curiosity and penchant for lifelong learning.

WORK EXPERIENCE

Founder and President

Co-founded

EVP and General Counsel

Business Law Associate

Latina Circle

Co-founded

2012 – Present

Co-founded the Latina Circle a nonprofit organization that provides Latina professionals across industries with meaningful networking, mentoring, and business partnering opportunities. Our mission is to connect, mentor, and champion Latina leaders, share best practices, and provide them with a network of professional support. The Latina Circle develops leadership programming aimed at preparing the future generation of our Latina leaders to advance into the next phase of their careers.

Sports Club Management Ventures

EVP and General Counsel

Boston, MA 2006 – 2014

Served as General Counsel and member of the senior executive team for luxury fitness and lifestyle brand with seven clubs nationwide (operated as Sports Club/LA and Reebok Sports Club/NY) generating over $100 million in annual revenue. In my role, I advised the CEO and Board of Directors on all major business initiatives, strategic partnerships, development, and mergers and acquisitions. I managed all major business transactions, risk management, member and tenant relationships, governance, and commercial contracts. I was also a key partner to marketing, sales, operations and human resources in the development and launch of high profile initiatives, including new sales programs and brand partnerships.

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

Business Law Associate

Boston, MA 1998 – 2006

Senior business law associate with expertise in corporate and securities matters, with a focus on venture capital financings, private placements, securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and asset dispositions. In my role, I represented both venture capital funds and domestic and foreign companies in structuring and negotiating equity and debt financings, public and private mergers, acquisitions, and other business combinations ranging from $50M to $1B in purchase price. I also advised founders, executives, and boards in early-stage retail, technology, and biotech ventures on initial capital and organizational structure, founder's agreements, contracts, raising capital, and other general business law matters.

FitNation Ventures

Founder and President

Boston, MA 2015 – Present

FitNation Ventures is a lifestyle and fitness consulting practice focused on developing innovative fitness and wellness programming for youth in the greater Boston area. FitNation owns ReImagine Play, a new Boston-based fitness offering for children ages 6-18. Reimagine Play is creating innovative, tech-inspired fitness and healthy eating programs for children and families through pop-up fitness classes (focused on agility and strength training, obstacle courses, dance, kick-boxing, and nutrition). We are also developing boutique fitness studios that combine active-play video games and exercise technology with cutting-edge classes, bootcamps and personal training. Our certified fitness trainers are passionate about training and mentoring kids to live a healthy life-style. For more information, visit www.reimagineplay.com.

APPOINTED POSITIONS

Boston Public Schools
School Quality Working Group

The Boston Public Schools’ 2013 School Quality Working Group is an appointed group of community leaders charged with developing a measure of school quality beyond test scores. As part of the group, I co-chaired the Community Engagement Subcommittee, which ensures communication and engagement with critical stakeholders.

Boston Women's Commision
Commission Member

The Boston Women’s Commission is an advisory group that counsels the Mayor of Boston (Martin Walsh) and the Office of Women’s Advancement on issues relating to women’s economic, social, and political circumstances. The Commission will provide a voice for women across Boston by collaborating with public, private, and nonprofit partners on key issue areas significantly affecting women and girls.

Bentley University
Arts and Sciences Advisory Council

The Arts and Sciences Advisory Council (ASAC) counsels the leadership of Arts and Sciences of Bentley University on new initiatives in curriculum, student support, research, and the integration of the Arts and Sciences and Business. The Council helps evaluate the success of current activities and projects, and serves as an advocate for the Arts and Sciences at Bentley as a means of providing the context and understanding essential to a world-class business education.

BOARDS

Boston Pipeline Fellow

urrently participating as a 2015 Boston Pipeline Fellow. Pipeline Fellowship is an angel investing bootcamp for women, that works to increase diversity in the U.S. angel investing community and creates capital for women social entrepreneurs. Since its April 2011 launch, Pipeline Fellowship’s angel investing bootcamp has trained over eighty women, who have committed more than US$400K in investment, and has expanded from New York City to Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Board of Directors

As a member of the Board of Directors for the Associated Corporate Counsel's (ACC) Northeast Chapter, I serve on the Programs Committee and co-chair the Diversity Committee, where I created a new Diversity and Inclusion event series for in-house counsel. ACC-Northeast serves the entire states of Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Past Board Member

ALPFA is the largest Latino professional association for business professionals and students. As part of the ALPFA Boston Board, I led the ALPFA Law program from 2010-2013, which provides Latino attorneys with career development and networking opportunities. Under my leadership, the ALPFA Law program added seven corporate sponsors and created an annual summit bringing together leaders in Boston's business and legal community.

Diversity Committee

The Boston Bar Association's Diversity Committee is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession by honoring exceptional leadership on diversity strategies, offering public service opportunities for lawyers looking to introduce diverse youth into the legal field and providing valuable mentoring and professional experience to help retain a diverse population of lawyers in Boston.

Board of Corporators

Serve on the Board of Corporators, which represents the interests of the local community and acts in the best interests of the corporation. Corporators keep the Bank abreast of major initiatives and organizations servicing the community, many of which the Bank supports through its foundation.

Board of Directors

As a member of the Board of Directors for YW Boston, I serve on the Governance Committee and Fund Development Committees. YWCA Boston is increasing social, racial, and gender equity by working to increase access to better health, make neighborhoods safer for everyone, and close the educational achievement gap.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Panelist, 2014 Women in the Law Conference - Fearless: Risk Equals Reward.

May 16, 2014


Speaker, 2014 Annual Convention – General Counsel Forum.

September 19, 2014


Panelist, Women's Leadership Series - Be You! How a Strong & Authentic Personal Brand Will Take you Far.

May 22, 2014


Panelist, YW Connect - Lessons from the Top: How to Join a Nonprofit Board

April 10, 2014


Panelist, Diversity in the Boardroom: Securing a Seat at the Table

January 23, 2014


FEATURES

Hispanic Executive Magazine

Whipping Corporate into Shape

July 1, 2014

Epstein Becker Green Executive Women’s Networking Blog

A Conversation with Betty Francisco

February 6, 2012

Boston Business Journal

Feature as an Emerging Leader

July 15, 2011