Gaining Momentum in Detroit: JVS Honors Samantha Friedman With Rising Entrepreneur Award

JVS is proud to recognize the passion, drive and creativity of a young professional at the 21st annual Strictly Business Networking and Awards Luncheon June 14 at the MGM Grand Detroit. JVS will present its 2018 Rising Entrepreneur award to Samantha Friedman of Fuse45. Strictly Business is a fundraiser for JVS workforce development programs that help metro Detroiters build their lives and careers.

After graduating from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Samantha Friedman worked as a marketing analyst for American Express in New York City. She also taught spinning classes for company executives in the corporate gym before and after work hours.

Driven by her passion for fitness, the native Michigander returned to her home state in 2014 to launch a business with her mom, Karen Kelman.

“Since I was in college, my mom and I had a dream to open a fitness studio together,” said Friedman. “Health and wellness has always been a special shared passion and we knew it would only take time to make our dream a reality. Michigan was home for both of us and the perfect place to start.”

Designed for all ages and fitness levels, Friedman’s Fuse45 studios in Royal Oak and West Bloomfield offer a uniquely sustainable full-body workout. The program is high intensity but low impact, allowing participants to work out as frequently as they want without risking injury.

In 2016, Friedman partnered with JVS to provide affordable exercise classes for people living with autism and other developmental challenges.

“Our Fuse[FORCE] classes started because of one local mom who was looking for a healthy program for her two sons with autism,” said Friedman. “Participants of all abilities in Fuse[FORCE] classes are made to feel welcome, and treated just like anyone else. The response has been incredible.”

“Samantha’s energy and drive are contagious, and her passion for making a difference is inspiring,” said Bob Canvasser, co-chair of Strictly Business. “JVS is very excited to recognize Samantha with our 2018 Rising Entrepreneur Award.”

Over 700 business and community leaders are expected to attend the Strictly Business luncheon, which will feature Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, General Motors Company, as keynote speaker. For sponsorship or ticket information, visit or contact Judy Strongman at or (248) 233-4213.