Although they both had careers working with professional athletes, it was a chance encounter that led Aimee Slattery to Frank Velasquez.
Slattery, who had worked with the WWE in the orthopedic and sports medicine arena, was taking a yoga class at the Baierl Family YMCA in Franklin Park when she struck up a conversation with Velasquez’s wife, Carrie Velasquez.
After recently moving with her family to Wexford from New York, Slattery said she was looking for someplace new to apply her skills as physical therapist.
As Carrie Velasquez explained it to her on that fateful day, so was her husband.
A former strength and conditioning coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates who worked with the organization from 2003 until 2011, Velasquez—who didn't want to move his family from the area they now called home—was mulling his next move.
Sensing it could lead to something, Slattery asked Carrie Velasquez to pass her number on to her husband.
“I knew it was an opportunity that only comes around once,” she said.
Carrie Velasquez did. After meeting, Velasquez and Slattery quickly found they were kindred spirits. Together they began to explore starting a business that combined both their backgrounds.
“We just kind of knew in our gut we were on the same page,” Slattery said. “Things fell into place quickly from there.”
That was about a year ago. Today, they are co-owners of REV Sports Rehab and Athletic Development in Cranberry.
Opened in April, the facility offers sports rehabilitation, athletic development, strength/conditioning and performance training. Carrie Velasquez, herself a world-class diver with six national championships under her belt, also works at REV as a massage therapist.
From physical therapy to wellness to performance—the aspects that make up REV—each arm of the business works closely with the other, Velasquez said.
“Everything is under one roof,” Slattery added. “We feel there’s something for everyone.”
Located off Executive Drive, REV has an open floor space plan featuring an Astroturf field for performance training as well as a massage room and physical therapty tables.
Velasquez, who lives in the North Hills, said they chose to install garage doors in the former warehouse, which are used to take the workouts outdoors. Indeed, Velasquez said it’s not unusual for those passing by to catch REV clients outside the building flipping tires or participating in other unique exercises.
Velasquez said he and Slattery were attracted to opening a business in Cranberry because of its convenient location near the Turnpike and Interstate-79 as well as it’s proximity to large high schools, including and North Allegheny, and local youth sports organizations.
“It’s a very progressive, fast-growing community,” Velasquez said.
Velasquez also retains close ties to the Pirates organization. Neil Walker and Freddy Sanchez are among the Buccos listed on the REV website endorsing Velasquez.
Slattery also scored testimonials from former clients Vince McMahon, Chairman of WWE, Inc., and wrestler Paul Levesque, better known as “Triple H.” Although their onstage personas would lead you to believe differently, many of the WWE performers are down to earth when the cameras aren’t rolling, Slattery said.
“They are very humble and normal,” she said.
Velasquez and Slattery said working with professional athletes, and taking part in the cutting edge treatments they received, inspired them to bring the same high level of care to their clients.
“Our vision is to bring that service to the people of western Pennsylvania,” Velasquez said.