MEET THE STAFF
At Front Runner, our staff are what makes us unique. Each employee equally contribute to the company’s reputation of displaying integrity, a strong customer-first drive, and an overall positive atmosphere. Learn about your Front Runner staff below!
Chad Varga, Owner
Chad, along with his wife Denise, have been the owners of Front Runner since 2001. Chad earned his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and his master’s degree from University of Tennessee in Engineering and was also a part of the Texas Instruments National Running Team. After 21 years of engineering Chad decided to take his love for running one step further and became the store owner of Front Runner.
Chad is a very involved owner, he is often found on the store floor helping customers or going out of his way to help make someone else’s life easier. In addition to his dedication at Front Runner, Chad is also actively involved in the community including earning the Chattanooga Track Club Runner of the Year in 2001.
In addition to his community involvement, Chad is also a proud father of two. He enjoys serving as a Scout Leader for his son’s Boy Scout group and enjoys supporting his daughter at University of Tennessee.
“I enjoy everything about owning the business. The relationships with the customers, employees and suppliers, to helping people live a healthier lifestyle.” – Chad
Andrew Dorn, Manager
Andrew highly contributes to the success at Front Runner as the manager. He is responsible for the majority of product ordering and anything else the day may bring. He has been involved in the industry for over 15 years and has served as the manager at Front Runner since 2010. Andrew grew up in Portland, OR and earned his bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Bryan College in 2009.
Andrew fell in love with distance running when he started running track in 9th grade and continued his running career in college.
Now Andrew still enjoys running but also uses his time to lift weights and private coach too. When he is not at Front Runner you can find Andrew writing, reading, or playing trivia.
“I enjoy the conversations I have with customers. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I also really like being presented with a challenging ailment or injury. It’s deeply satisfying to get to the bottom of an issue that has been causing a person discomfort and frustration.” – Andrew
Christian Singer, Assistant Manager
Christian helps manage the floor and also does a lot of the backend work including keeping track of inventory. He has been working at Front Runner since January 2014 and is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration at Westerns Governors University.
Christian has completed a half Ironman race as well as multiple other race distances including a marathon. He enjoys activities with his wife, daughter and new baby girl including swimming, paddle boarding, and traveling.
“I view being an employee at Front Runner as an opportunity every day to help others improve their quality of life. I am thankful for my ability to come to work here.” – Christian
Bill Higney, Fitting Specialist
Bill is a former track and football coach for 41 years. During these years he taught the importance of proper footwear. He has a Bachelors in English from University of Tennessee – Chattanooga and a Masters from Cumberland University.
His hometown in Chicago moving to Chattanooga in 1966. Bill is a father to three children and enjoys golf and reading in his spare time.
Wendy Ransom, Fitting Specialist
Wendy, founder of Emily’s Power for a Cure, a foundation in memory of her daughter Emily’s fight against Stage IV Neuroblastoma, uses running and triathlons to raise awareness and funds to find the cure of Neuroblastoma. Wendy has completed 3 full marathons, 3 Ironman 70.3 distances, and numerous half marathons/5K’s. Wendy is also a devoted wife to her husband Jonathon and four children (Jon Pat, Max, Molly, and Emily).
When it comes to swimwear at Front Runner, Wendy knows best! As a mother to three swimmers, one who swims at Drexel University and another whom was recently signed at Southern Illinois University, Wendy has been consistently involved in the swim community for years and can help any swimmer find exactly what they need.
“My favorite part about working at Front Runner is meeting new people and seeing old friends that come into the store!” – Wendy
Natalie Varga, Fitting Specialist
Natalie is a University of Tennessee student as a member of the chancellor’s honors program. Her parents bought the store when she was a baby, so she grew up in the Chattanooga running community. As an employee now, she’s comfortable with the customers and loves to hear everyone’s story. Natalie enjoys fashion and picking out colors and styles that people will like. She looks forward to the relaxed atmosphere at Front Runner and how much fun she has at work.
“I love working at Front Runner mostly because I get to meet new people and visit with those I already know. I’m also proud to be around someone like my dad, who is respected and loved by many for all that he has done for others and accomplished as a runner and person.” – Natalie
Dennis Call, Fitting Specialist
Dennis is a long time employee at Front Runner, officially retired in 2019 but we still think he deserves his bio on the website! He started when Chad opened the store in 2001. Before joining Front Runner, Dennis was a material manager at Mold Tech Electronics.
Dennis is eager to assist anyone who walks through the door and promises they’ll leave with a smile!