After one week of voting and a total of 10,092 votes from the public, Houstonians have chosen Gallery Furniture owner Jim McIngvale, better known as Mattress Mack, as Houston’s Man of the Year 2014. While McIngvale’s fans took to the internet with 5,078 votes, his opponent, local rapper Paul Wall, garnered 5,014 votes, making it a close race to the very end.
“I believe that local celebrities are the best ambassadors for promoting healthy lifestyle in Houston, a city that has been ranked several times as one of the fattest in the United States,” said Samir Becic, founder of Health Fitness Revolution.
After hours of research and debating on who should be chosen as Houston’s Man of the Year 2014, the team at Health Fitness Revolution narrowed its pick down to McIngvale and Wall and asked the public to help determine the winner. McIngvale, a well known face in Houston and an inspiration to entrepreneurs and businessmen, supports local sports, charities and programs that promote health, such as Chuck Norris’ Kick Start Program, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School. He and his wife Linda also own Westside Tennis and Fitness, and they once brought a professional men’s tennis tournament to Houston.
Wall, a famous rapper, was chosen as a finalist due to the fact that he turned his life around and made a change to be healthy and fit, losing 130 pounds, criticizing rap music for promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, and proclaiming that “health is the new wealth.”
“When I came to the United States and to Houston in 2000,” Becic said. “I heard a very strong voice on the radio talking about the quality of his product. A week later, my first personal training clients in America were Earl and Marsha Bernstein, the former CEO of Ashley Furniture. They told me that the voice I heard was Jim McIngvale, aka Mattress Mack, who started selling furniture out of his truck, and now lives the American dream. Earl and Marsha knew him very well, and they said that any chance he has to help charities, he does it. Jim McIngvale had a strong influence on me and my career.”