With nine tanning business locations, a distribution company and more than 100 employees depending on him at the age of 30, Zach Neugebauer has a lot riding on the future of indoor tanning.
So, rather than sitting pat, focusing solely on his business and hoping for the best for the industry, Zach has taken an active role in helping sustain the best possible position for indoor tanning now and decades down the road. He’s been involved in industry politics for basically his entire adult life, and now he’s moving into a key role in fighting for his business and yours as the newest Board Member of the American Suntanning Association.
Zach understands that no matter how well he operates his business, broader issues need to be confronted for the industry to sustain success for decades to come. He also understands that the fight is about much more than business owners like him. Thousands of tanning business employees have lost their jobs since the tan tax went into effect in 2010, and Zach knows he’s fighting for the livelihood of his more than 100 employees and tens of thousands like them around the country.
“My greatest joy, honestly, has been the pride of owning a small business and working with your employees. I have several that have been with for over 15 years. They started as part time and made a career working in our company, making good money, supporting families, and I know their children and spouses, and I’m so proud of those relationships,” Zach says.
“When we go fight every year, that’s part of our message. We’re creating good paying jobs and have good people working, and they depend on us. Every time you create more regulation, it eliminates jobs and you’re eliminating people contributing to society and paying taxes. Not only do I think about them, I update our employees via email. I have employees sending emails back saying ‘Go get ‘em!’ It makes me feel good seeing them supporting our industry, and they’re very happy we’re wiling to fight for our industry and company.”
Actions always speak louder than words, and the message he’s sending to his staff and the industry is clear: There is undoubtedly a future in the indoor tanning industry, but we’ll all be better off if we do our parts to help remove barriers, change the narrative and make our businesses as prosperous as possible. Zach knows where he wants to be years from now, and he’s doing everything he can to make that possible: “I’m 30 years old and would love to see the business be around for 40 more years.”