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The Catalyst treatment area has top therapy equipment. Submitted photo
The Catalyst treatment area has top therapy equipment. Submitted photo

Knutson, Matheson buy Larsen Sports Medicine

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business River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Larsen Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy and Catalyst, 2305 Willis Miller Drive, has been sold by founder Rich Larsen to local businessmen John Knutson and JW Matheson. The new business will be titled "Catalyst" and the sale was effective Jan. 1.

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Rich Larsen, founder, president and CEO of Larsen Sports Medicine, has accepted an offer from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to become the sports medicine rehabilitation coordinator. Larsen will start his duties at Mayo at the end of January.

Knutson currently serves as the general manager at Larsen, and Matheson is the current clinic director.

"It was important in the transition of the business that the future owners and leaders would continue to deliver a high level of patient-centered care," Larsen said. "I feel good knowing John and JW will do that."

Matheson, from Eden Prairie, Minn., was an instructor for Larsen while he attended physical therapy school at Mayo. He graduated from Mayo in 1996. Matheson has worked in both academic and clinical physical therapy settings over the past 16 years. He started at Larsen in January 2010 and has gained national notoriety in the physical therapy field for his research and ability. He is a sought-after speaker at national events and conferences.

Matheson also is a consultant and speaker for private continuing education courses needed annually to maintain licensure for all physical therapists and others in related healthcare fields. While at Larsen Sports Medicine, Matheson moved up from being a staff physical therapist to a senior physical therapist, to director of physical therapy and most recently, clinic director.

"Our philosophy of providing a great experience for all our clients as we deliver the highest quality care in an evidence informed practice will continue," Matheson said. "Our entire team here is dedicated to exceeding our client's expectations...like Rich has done in the past. We intend on continue that philosophy well into the future."

Knutson, who comes from a different career background, joined Larson Sports Medicine. He was born and raised in Durand and has been in Hudson since 1988. Knutson came to Larsen in October 2011. He helped with marketing, promotion, business development, administration and more. Since then he has become involved in business administration, finance and personnel duties and other tasks as well.

Graduating with a degree in commercial art from UW-La Crosse, Knutson has been involved in the graphics industry since 1979. He first worked as a graphic designer at Mound Graphics, a printing company in Elk Mound. He purchased that business in 1981 and ran the business called Star Graphics for four years.

After selling his first business and moving on to manage a much larger textile manufacturing and screen printing business with 400 employees, Knutson came to Hudson to start Resco Print Graphics (RPG) in Plaza 94, opening in January 1989 with just two other employees.

Knutson ran RPG, along with business partner Eric Strand, and the firm grew and expanded into a 15,000-square-foot facility on Heggen Street. In 2008, Knutson merged his RPG and Digital Dynamics business interests with Eric Strand and the Resco Company to form RESCO. RESCO grew to 80,000 square feet and had up to 105 employees. Knutson was president, and an owner of RESCO from 2008 until August of 2011 when he sold his interest to Strand and retired from the graphics and printing, warehousing and fulfillment business.

Knutson has also been active in many Hudson organizations working with and serving on the boards for Rotary, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, United Way, Knights of Columbus, SOS Players, YMCA and YMCA Camp St. Croix., St. Croix Valley Foundation and more.

"While knowing that at 51 years old, I was not going to be done working, I did say to my wife, 'I hope I have the discipline not to work for at least six months to a year, to see what's out there,'" Knudson said. "Five weeks later, I was working with Rich Larsen at Larsen Sports Medicine."

When Knutson started at Larsen in October of 2011 he managed the marketing and promotion for not only LSMPT but also for the new Catalyst division to help build up the performance athletic training and strength and conditioning business by adding new contracts and more athletes. On Jan. 1, 2013, Knutson was named general manager at Larsen and Catalyst.

"We very much appreciate the opportunity presented by Rich Larsen in selling us the business," Knutson said. "Certainly for the opportunity of ownership in the business, but also because of the fact that we can retain all of our staff and continue on the growth plans that we have been working on as a private independent practice."

History

Rich Larsen started his career as a physical therapist in St. Cloud, Minn., and came to Hudson, with his wife Brenda, in 1999. He worked as a staff physical therapist at Hudson Hospital through 2003 and spent the next four years at the River Falls Area Hospital specializing in sports medicine and orthopedics.

Larsen decided to go into private practice starting Larsen Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy in 2006.

Over the past seven years, the business has grown to employ 23 full and part-time staff including physical therapists, a physical therapist assistant, physical therapy aides, licensed athletic trainers, strength and conditioning specialists, a massage therapist, and administrative and office personnel.

In addition to the Hudson location, Larsen also added a second facility in Roberts. Larsen Sports Medicine currently has alliances with Dr. Lincoln Likness of Hudson Physicians who is the pre-eminent concussion specialist in the region and as doctor of osteopathy is the musculoskeletal specialist in the area as well. Dr. Carly and Justin Anderson, who work predominantly for the University of Minnesota, also offer sport psychology services to Larsen athletes when needed. Brian Zehetner, a registered dietitian, who is the chief science officer for Anytime Fitness in Hastings, Minn., works closely with Larsen athletes on sport's nutritional needs. Also with sports nutrition, Larsen works with Brooke Schneider, a registered dietitian with Park Nicollet, who specializes in eating disorders. Larsen also works with local optometrist Gar Christenson with a vision therapy program for athletes.

"When my kids went to school here they received great tactical and technical coaching, but they didn't have access to sports nutrition, sport psychology, concussion awareness and the strength and conditioning programs we now have for our area athletes," Knutson said. "These specialists allow us here at Larsen to assist the athletic programs at the schools and the individual athletes, to become more complete athletes -- giving them those slight edges will make a difference in how far they go."

Larsen has a 7,000-square-foot that offers equipment, gym space and Hudson's only indoor artificial turf space. In addition to performance training, Catalyst also offers injury recovery training to get athletes back to where they were or better and health and wellness classes like Karyn Bye Dietz's Total Body Fitness program which is a boot camp style circuit training class for anyone wanting to get into better shape.

Rich Larsen starts his new position at Mayo at the end of January.

"I am excited about the opportunity at Mayo Clinic, but sad to be leaving the St. Croix Valley," Larsen said. "The community of Hudson has supported our business and been an important part of our lives over the past seven years. My wife, Brenda, and I are thankful for all that this community has provided for our family."

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