Brent NeevelBrent Neevel

Powerful word-of-mouth marketing has helped Brent Neevel grow Sheboygan Fit Body Boot Camp into a formidable presence on the local fitness scene.

Now, he's adding some power-of-dance marketing to the mix.

Fit Body Boot Camp has been helping clients reach their fitness goals for more than 3.5 years, thanks to Neevel's high-energy approach and a very satisfied customer base that's become like a second family.

"We've created a great environment that people want to be part of and they're inviting their family and co-workers to also be part of it," Neevel said. "Personally, I don't like being the center of attention, and I'm not a natural networker, but once I get to know someone, you can't shut me up.

"Dancing in the Gala is a big step outside my comfort zone, but for my growth and evolution, it's something I need to get better at. To meet the goals and mission of our business, we have to be out there, and this is an extension of that."

Neevel knows his clients can sympathize with stepping outside their comfort zone, as it happens all the time at his facility. Many of his clients have been inactive for a long time, and coming to grips with getting in shape is a challenge.

"People always say, 'I can always do that later,' but life is never going to slow down, and if you want to do it, make the time and make it happen. Dancing is not easy, but if I go after it with energy and effort, I know it will be just fine."

Neevel was drawn to the Gala thanks to his wife, Gina, a Lakeland alumna and former university employee. The couple attended several Galas, and they were married at a beautiful ceremony on the lawn in front of Old Main in August of 2016.

"I don't know if I would have started the business without the push from Gina to move here," Neevel said. "Lakeland will always have a special place in our heart, and this is a way for me to show some appreciation and give back."

Neevel took a ballroom dance class in college, and while he considers himself a dance novice, being in a profession based around movement will help him prepare for a high-energy routine.

"There will be some failure, but hopefully that's in private," Neevel said with a laugh. "This will be fun."

Brent's partner is Erika Farquhar.