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Northern Lights Gymnastics Says Goodbye to Owners Peter and Jill Vanderpot

Jan 17, 2023 01:09PM ● By Stephanie Hatley
For 22 years, Jill Vanderpot has owned Northern Lights Gymnastics Inc. Six years prior to ownership, she was an employee. Through those 28 years, Vanderpot has coached thousands of young gymnasts who have entered the doors at Northern Lights Gymnastics.

There are usually 400-500 gymnasts enrolled in programs at any given time during the year. But when COVID brought a whole other set of challenges and the weight of ownership became just too much to bear, Vanderpot decided to sell the gym. But she didn’t want to sell it to just anyone; she wanted it to keep operating as a gymnastics gym. 

Vanderpot explained that she wanted to keep the search for a new owner within the local gymnastics community. She found exactly who she was looking for in John and Danza Leonard and Bill and Anne Sailer, who took possession of the building and business on December 9.

John Leonard is a former collegiate gymnast and has coached at Northern Lights for the past six years. Danza Leonard, who was a competitive gymnast at Northern Lights during her childhood and adolescent years, has been heavily involved in local athletics while serving as a trainer for several high schools. Vanderpot was thrilled at their interest because of their familiarity with both the community and gymnastics.

On the other hand, the Sailers are owners and principals of Sunstone, a Sunapee-based business consulting and accountancy firm. With their business background and their connection to Northern Lights through their daughter, they made the perfect match with the Leonards. Their daughter, Ava, is even a pupil of John Leonard’s at the gym.

Although the Leonards and Sailers want to grow the gym and perhaps add a boys competitive team, the main focus is to stay true to the vision and purpose that Vanderpot and her husband have established for more than two decades. While the new owners are committed to preserving the legacy that the Vanderpots have left behind, Jill is looking forward to another chapter in her life. She’s excited about the possibilities of doing other things in the community without bearing the heavy responsibilities of business ownership.

If you’d like to learn more about the programs offered at Northern Lights Gymnastics, visit the website or give them a call at (802) 295-2070. Programs include adult classes, preschool classes, competitive classes, and camps. We wish Jill and her husband, Peter, all the best in this next chapter of their life journey!

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