A Decade of WRTS: Dina Kimmel Awarded Woman of Entrepreneurship at Lakers Game
August 17, 2020 | In: Events , News , Why We Rock
As the CEO and Founder of We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym (WRTS), Dina Kimmel is the driving force that has made We Rock the Spectrum the fastest growing international franchise of sensory gyms. In honor of We Rock the Spectrum’s 10-year anniversary, we are taking a look back at some of our greatest moments. Today, we look back on Dina Kimmel’s recognition as the Woman of Entrepreneurship in 2014.
The Comerica Bank Woman of Entrepreneurship Award is awarded to a woman in a leadership role in Southern California who has made a difference in her community. Dina was awarded for all her work in the special needs community at the Los Angeles Lakers vs. OKC Thunder basketball game and this award soon became a symbol of how far WRTS had come under Kimmel’s guidance. In fact, at the time of the award, Kimmel had grown her franchise to twenty-five current locations within just eight months after opening her first Corporate Office in April 2014.
The Woman of Entrepreneurship award holds truer than ever to this day for Kimmel. It continues to be a testament to her business savviness, dedication, and passion for spreading We Rock the Spectrum’s mission of inclusion. What started as an in-home bedroom gym to help her son Gabriel has since, in the last 10 years, grown to 85 locations around the world. Today, her mission to create “a Place Where You Never Have to Say I’m Sorry”® reaches children in over 25 states and 8 countries.
In addition to motivating children of ALL abilities in her gyms, Dina continues to empower mothers and women in business by encouraging them to become franchisees. As a mother to a special needs child, Dina understands the importance of creating opportunities for other special needs mothers. Kimmel says:
“I have met so many moms who want to work but don’t have the means to hire a caretaker or aren’t comfortable leaving their special needs child. I want to give them the chance at a career that so many of them thought would never be possible – a career where they can work and be with their child.”
Especially in light of the global uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, Kimmel’s strength and dedication in guiding We Rock the Spectrum through the crisis is proof of her business savviness. With a significant rise in the number of children being diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorders, We Rock the Spectrum gyms across the globe have been able to stay open and operate as an essential childcare service for essential workers during the pandemic with strict sanitation protocols enforced by Kimmel herself. Kimmel’s mobile sensory gym franchise, We Rock on Wheels, also achieved great growth during this time as it became a critical service for many families unable to leave their homes. By delivering personalized sensory play directly to the doorsteps of families in need, Dina Kimmel was able to safely lead We Rock the Spectrum into the “New Normal” created by COVID-19.
It takes strong leadership to run an international franchise network of multiple independent businesses, particularly through an impactful event such as COVID-19. In 2014, Kimmel’s hard work and dedication were recognized in a significant way. And six years later, this award continues to symbolize Kimmel’s passion to spread the WRTS message of inclusion across the world. With all the growth achieved in the last 10 years, we are excited to see what else Dina Kimmel has in store for the future of We Rock the Spectrum!