Three days ago, Eric Roza was largely a stranger to the greater CrossFit community. He didn’t even have an Instagram page.
Today, the incoming owner and CEO of CrossFit Inc. has two Instagram posts and 64,900 followers.
One big thing: Those who know Eric Roza all say the same thing. He is an incredible, talented human being with a contagious, passionate personality. Success is the standard for things he sets his mind on.
Here are some examples from Roza’s acquaintances:
- “It’s pretty incredible that a guy like Eric would dedicate his life to CrossFit Inc. And he’s doing it to save CrossFIt. He’s so passionate about CrossFit. Combine that with his business experience and success, and you couldn’t ask for a better guy. Whatever he does, he’s successful,” said 50-year-old Max Stock, who trained at Roza’s gym in Boulder, CO for four years.
- “He’s passionate about everything he does, and it’s apparent that he loves CrossFit and what it can do for people. He’s a very positive, upbeat, sweet guy, but he also knows how to get things done,” said Ian Day, a CrossFit Level 2 coach, who met Roza when he started coaching at the CrossFit gym on the Oracle campus — the computer technology corporation that acquired Roza’s consumer data collection and analytics company for a reported $1.2 billion in 2014.
- One of the conditions Roza put in place when Oracle acquired his company was that they open a CrossFit gym on the campus, which “speaks to (Roza’s) passion for CrossFit,” Day added.
- “He’s a great person. He has a ton of energy. And if you talk to this guy for five minutes, I’m sure burpees and CrossFit are going to spill out of his mouth,” said six-time CrossFit Games athlete Patrick Burke. Roza was originally a member of Burke’s gym, and when Roza opened his own gym, Burke coached there for a number of months.
- “When I would coach classes (at his gym), you could tell his employees respected him a lot. He’s a leader, and he knows how to bring people in and how to build a team,” Burke added.
Character reference: Roza owns CrossFit Sanitas in downtown Boulder, CO with his now ex-wife.
- “I think that says something about a person to be able to do that with your ex. They have a very mature relationship. They’re just really balanced people,” said Stock, adding, “He’s also a really good dad.”
Giving back: Stock also remembers Roza for his involvement in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas.
- “He was always doing charity work. Always giving his time,” Stock explained.
On the future of CrossFit: Those who know Roza say that CrossFit Inc., and especially CrossFit affiliates, are in great hands.
- “He’s someone who literally started a company from the ground up and brought it up to be one of the biggest mergers in Colorado history. He knows how to run and market a business and sees things from every point of view,” Day said.
- “He can bring change. It has been time for change for some time, and I think all the veterans (in the community) have known and wanted this for so long. And Eric’s the type of guy who can do it,” Burke said.
- “I truly stand behind him and what he’s capable of doing,” he added.
- “I think you needed a guy like Greg Glassman to start CrossFit because it went so much against the grain, but now you need someone like Roza. This terrible thing happened, but it could be the best thing that could happen to CrossFit now,” Stock said.
- “I think his business savvy will help CrossFit gyms learn how to start making actual money,” he added.
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