Five locations: CRC Dilworth, CRC Promenade, CRC Lake Norman, CRC Northlake, CRC Riverwalk

Key Personnel: Scott Dvorak, Founder/Owner; Donny Forsyth, Owner; Jamie Davis; Owner; Harry Chandler, GM

History: In the summer of 2000, the Charlotte Running Company first opened its doors in the historic Leeper-Wyatt Grocery store building in the South End District of Charlotte. It was a partnership between former professional distance runners and friendly Atlantic Coast Conference competitors, Scott Dvorak (NCSU) and Eric Hichman (UNC-CH). 

Eric departed the company in 2003, while Scott continued to grow and ultimately expand the business with the opening of its second location at the Promenade on Providence Shopping Center in the Ballantyne area of South Charlotte in 2006. In 2009, Donny Forsyth, one of the top Master triathletes in the country, joined CRC as the first brand partner with his purchase of the Promenade store from Dvorak. The CRC owners group expanded in 2011 with the addition of Todd Joefreda, who partnered with Dvorak to open both the Mooresville store and Northlake location in 2014.

In 2016, Joefreda departed CRC, and a new brand partner was added. With the purchase of both the Northlake and Mooresville locations, Jamie Davis joined the ownership group. Davis, an avid triathlete and runner, came to the Charlotte Running Company after a successful career in finance. 

That same year, Dvorak and Forsyth partnered to open the Riverwalk location in Rock Hill, SC. Nestled right on the banks of the Catawba River, the newest gem in the Charlotte Running Co. fleet sits right on the greenway and has five-plus miles of paved running trails right out of the front door.

In Their Words: “Charlotte Running Company is a leader in our community and in the running industry. Our continued growth is attributed to the culture and passion of our owners and employees. We take leadership positions in the RIA and RIDC board seats. We participate and share best practices in the industry discussions, emails and Facebook groups. We have helped multiple stores get connected with Fitted to start their own online stores.  

“We take risks and embrace innovation with products and ideas. We are a first mover with new technology and bringing in brands like 361, Lululemon and Diadora. 

“Within the last year we’ve added electronic scanners to pair with our video gait analysis and now use the Aetrex Albert at three of our stores and have implemented it into our training and fit process. 

“We don’t rest on past awards, but use them as motivation to challenge ourselves to be better year after year. We take our staff culture out into the community and use those opportunities to foster togetherness. We plan to be back to attending over 200 outside events in 2022 and serving the local community once more.  

“We’re not just a group of owners and shoe stores. We are at the forefront of change, health, wellness, technology, community and diversity in the industry and we make a difference in the lives of others.”

What the Award Means to Them: “Receiving this award reinforces that we are doing things the right way. It also gives us a chance to celebrate all the hard work our staffs put in every day. This is also an award we can celebrate with our customers and our awesome Charlotte running community. They are the reason we come to work every day and we can not thank our running community enough for all their support and love they’ve shown us, not just this past year but for the past 21 years.” n