The Tumbles team has a wealth of experience building and operating a variety of kid-focused businesses in the fields of tutoring, education, fitness, recreation and sports. While we come from varied backgrounds, our team shares a common goal of shaping the minds and bodies of the future while providing owners with the support they need to build a profitable franchise business.
For Manish Vakil, ensuring Tumbles’ success is about more than making money—it’s also about fighting obesity and making a difference in the lives of kids and families worldwide. As founder and CEO of Tumbles, he oversees all aspects of the company—from helping franchisees build profitable businesses to expanding our mission around the globe to ensuring our programs make every kid who walks through our doors smile.
Manish has a B.S. in Finance from Rutgers University and over 15 years of experience in franchise sales, operations, marketing, price negotiation and accounting. In addition, he has a history of owning and operating a variety of profitable kid-focused businesses, including a tutoring center, kids’ gym and children’s STEM education program prior to founding Tumbles.
When he isn’t busy helping Tumbles’ franchisees build successful businesses and bringing fun fitness and STEAM education programs based on developmental milestones to kids around the world, you’ll find Manish playing tennis, watching movies or experiencing new people and cultures while traveling the globe with his wife and twin boys.
As Tumbles’ Chief Operations Officer (COO), Joe Flanders is our go-to guru for streamlining processes and overseeing franchisee operations support. He manages the interior design and buildout of Tumbles locations, finds and facilitates third-party partnerships for equipment, designs our STEAM curriculum, maintains the integrity of our brand identity, and develops strategies to grow our program offerings and meet the changing needs of our customers.
Joe brings a wealth of franchising and kid’s business experience to the Tumbles family. He spent 14 years as a franchisee of children’s concepts and was the creator and owner of a proprietary kid’s STEM business. Joe has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from the University of Georgia, where he spent four years playing trumpet in the Redcoat marching band for over 86,000 adoring fans. Go Dawgs!
For Joe, helping shape the minds and bodies of kids isn’t just a career calling—it’s a family affair. His wife, Katerina, is a biology teacher and educational specialist in curriculum development, and has presented science and literacy topics both nationally with the NSTA and internationally through programs offered by Columbia University. And his three kids—Lexi (14), Nate (11) and Maddie (8)—are competitive year-round swimmers with Olympic aspirations. Joe and his family love to travel, especially if their trips incorporate active endeavors, including hiking, swimming and enjoying nature.
As Tumbles’ Chief Digital /Technology Officer, Alex (“Sasha”) Popović is in charge of all things digital—from creating a suite of proprietary tools that keep our business running smoothly to managing a team of technology specialists to establishing our digital brand guidelines. Alex has a special knack for developing user-friendly digital tools that help our franchise partners build successful businesses and make it easy for our customers to learn about and sign up for our programs.
Alex brings over 12 years of hands-on experience designing, building and delivering digital products to the Tumbles family. He has worked on everything from start-up companies to blue chip brands like IKEA, JetBlue and the NFL. Alex holds a B.S. in Multimedia Design and Development from the University of Belgrade. Never one to stop learning, Alex continually hones his skills with professional development courses in cognitive computing technologies, interaction design and more.
When Alex isn’t using his technical savvy to help further Tumbles’ mission of shaping the minds and bodies of the future, he enjoys hiking and planting trees.
Karen Kegerreis is in charge of gym curriculum and operational training, as well as gym curriculum development in the US. Some of her chief responsibilities include assisting our US franchisees to implement our fun and engaging gym curricula, teaching franchisees how to build community support through positive customer service interactions, and instructing franchisees through their initial and ongoing operations training.
Karen has spent her entire adult life in the health and fitness world! Karen earned a B.S. in Health and Physical Education with a minor in Dance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has worked as a corporate training director for a large health club chain in the Washington DC market, as a personal trainer, a group exercise instructor, a children’s mobile fitness instructor, a boys & girls varsity tennis coach, and served as a manager of multiple Tumbles locations for 13+ years!
In her free time, Karen enjoys cycling and running, and most importantly, spending time with her new granddaughter!
Scott Horton is in charge of developing engaging kid’s gym curriculum based on developmental milestones. He also trains franchisees and their staff how to successfully implement our curriculum and spread the joy and fun of fitness worldwide.
Scott earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College, has owned and operated a Tumbles franchise in Encinitas, CA for over 24 years and has trained fellow franchisees for more than 15 years. While Scott acknowledges he might be biased, his favorite Tumbles “customers” over the years have been his own three kids—who gained confidence and the love of physical activity through the very same programs that Scott develops and teaches every day.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Scott is a diehard Red Sox fan, but the lure of sunny Southern California brought him out West. In his free time, Scott enjoys vacationing on Cape Cod in the summer, coaching various Little League teams, and inspiring a love of fitness and sports in his three children.
Nemanja’s journey with the Tumbles team began as a Search Engine Optimization Specialist, but through his dedication and expertise, he has evolved into a true bridge between the Tumbles team and the development teams, marketing team, and technology.
With over 6 years of experience in optimizing digital presence and building profitable strategies for a diverse range of companies, from local businesses to international enterprises, he found pleasure in the development of business from a technological perspective. Over the last two years, Nemanja has been focused on designing and implementing innovative solutions for the Tumbles franchisees, using cutting-edge technologies, and strategies to streamline their workflows. His passion for design thinking and constant improvement has led to the advancement of various projects, from websites to CRM software, that has helped Tumbles franchisees to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
In his free time, Nemanja relaxes by taking a dip in the pool as an amateur swimmer and still holds onto his table tennis skills as a former professional player.
As Tumbles’ STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Curriculum Designer, Julie McLendon develops programs that foster the love of learning and help kids pursue new things in a fun, supportive environment. She loves working with children and inspiring them to discover the joy of struggling before finding the right answer.
Julie has more than 20 years of experience teaching kids from preschool to high school. She primarily teaches science, but also coaches the Gilmer County High School’s robotics team and is currently working with the school board on a new STEM program. Julie has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University, a bachelor’s in Middle Grades Education from North Georgia State College and University, a master’s in Education from Walden University and several education certifications.
When Julie isn’t busy looking for new ways to get kids excited about learning, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and building custom homes and toys for her pet goats and chickens.
Dr. Dragan Mirkov, received a BS from the Faculty of Physics in 1994, an MSc in Biophysics from the University of Belgrade in 2001, and a PhD from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Serbia in 2003. He currently works as a Professor at the University of Belgrade and a Guest Professor at the Institute of Sport Sciences, University Giessen, Germany.
In 2013 he was one of the Team leaders in the National project aimed to establish National percentile values for health-related physical fitness tests. Today, these tests are a regular part of the Physical Education Curriculum and serve for fitness and health screening of schoolchildren. Dragan is currently involved with FitBack which aims to design a multilingual online platform that will provide feedback on the different components of physical fitness of an individual and contain critical information for the establishment of a national, regional, or local system for monitoring the physical fitness of children and adolescents. In 2019 he worked as an external consultant with Microsoft Research Center Serbia on demo app development, aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of the new generation of the Microsoft Kinect (Kinect for Azure) in the sport, fitness, and health industry. His principal research interests are biomechanics and motor control, and his academic achievements can be found here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dragan-Mirkov
Dr. Olivera Knezevic is a Senior Research Associate and Assistant Professor at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Sport and Physical Education where she teaches courses in Corrective Exercise and Statistics in Physical Education and Sports.
Previously, she was a visiting researcher at the University of Delaware (USA). She is actively involved in several national and international projects and is an author of more than 45 scientific articles.Her principal research interests are biomechanics and motor control, and her academic achievements can be found here: https://www.researchgate.net/
In her free time, Olivera loves hiking and exploring the outdoors (and chocolate cookies!).
As Tumbles’ General Counsel, Brad Shipe assists the company with trademarks, contracts and other legal matters.
Brad has more than 20 years of experience representing entrepreneurs and businesses in a variety of fields, including franchise law, business litigation, intellectual property, corporate law and commercial litigation. He has a B.A. in History and Math from Tulane University and a J.D. from the University of Georgia Law School.
In his free time, Brad enjoys running, watching live music and solving puzzles. As an expert puzzle-solver, Brad likes to look at problems from a variety of angles—a talent that also serves him well in the legal realm.
Kevin Hogan helps ensure the success of the Tumbles’ brand and its franchisees by recruiting the right franchise partners, developing strong business and financial plans, creating effective training programs, and establishing systems and processes to improve customer service at every level of the company.
Kevin brings over 25 years of franchising experience to Tumbles. Over the years, he has played a role in more than 1,000 franchise brands, including Burger King, Jiffy Lube, Radisson Hotels, 7-11, TGI Fridays, Mobil and more.
Experienced International Businessman with a demonstrated history of working in franchising globally with over 100 brands, international trade, and business development across multiple industries worldwide. Skilled in Relationship Building, Negotiation, Business Planning, Investor Relations, Business Development, Joint Ventures, Cross-Border Partnerships, and Adding Value through a Proven Network.