Dan Rootenberg is the CEO of Spear, the only two-time National Practice of the Year award winner. Dan co-founded Spear in 1999, working out of a small treatment room in midtown Manhattan armed with a singular vision for combining clinical excellence with a five-star customer service experience in the PT industry. Spear has since successfully grown to 27 locations throughout NYC, Westchester, and NJ, employing over 400 people.
Dan’s focus on organizational leadership has resulted in several honors and recognitions from business, medical and academic institutions.
Dan is an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® New York finalist, National Entrepreneur of the month winner, and an Olympic Team medical coordinator.
Spear has been named to the Inc5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America seven times, received Columbia University’s Award for Leadership in Clinical Education, and has been named by SmartCEO magazine as a Future50 company five times.
In 2016, Dan was awarded the American Physical Therapy Association’s Jayne L. Snyder, National Practice of the Year Award. Earlier that year, Spear was the first private practice to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange when on May 4th during Small Business week, they were featured on MSNBC. Spear was also chosen to appear in Chase Bank’s National Ad Campaign, Mission Main Street, as a thriving small business committed to serving community interests.
As a New York City-based company, Spear experienced the devastating effects of the pandemic in March 2020, losing roughly 80% of its patients early on. Relying on their on-the-ground crisis leadership experience, Spear saw the challenge as an opportunity to give back freely to the community, support its team members, innovate, and adopt new technology. Spear was recognized for its efforts by, again being named the National Practice of the Year at the WebPT Ascend conference in 2020.
Dan served on the American Physical Therapy Association’s COVID-19 Advisory Committee and was awarded the 2020/2021 Board Service Award for extraordinary contributions to the APTA’s private practice section.
Since then, Spear has not only rebounded but also expanded its business strategy, enhancing access to care and growing its ability to help more people get the award-winning care they need.
Dan developed the Spear Future Leader Program, an award-winning year-long MBA-style program that teaches young leaders tools and concepts to become successful both personally and professionally. Dan is a national lecturer and keynote speaker. Dan began his career at the Hospital for Special Surgery, the nation’s top orthopedic hospital, where he developed advanced skills in orthopedic and sports injury management. Dan currently serves on the boards for both the HSS and Mount Sinai rehab networks.
Prior to becoming one of the premier sports physical therapists in NYC, Dan played pro baseball on three continents. In the summer of 2021, Dan traveled to the Olympic Games in Tokyo as the team PT and medical coordinator for Israel’s overachieving baseball team and has worked with the team for the past decade in Major League Baseball’s World Baseball Classic tournament held in Seoul, Tokyo and Jupiter, FL.
Dan received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Binghamton University in 1994, along with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Touro College in 1997. Dan earned his Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the EIM Institute of Health Professionals in 2010, winning the Capstone Project Award for business development.
Dan also served on the Board of Directors of Peter Stuyvesant Little League and the Bonnie Youth Club, two organizations devoted to teaching children lifelong values, self-worth, and responsibility through baseball. Dan has made numerous guest spots on Sports Talk radio, and was featured in the award-winning documentary “Holy Land Hardball”. Dan lives in NYC with his wife and three children is an avid tennis player and is probably too proud of winning a little league championship with his oldest son as baseball coach.
Listen to Dan’s podcast on Core Values, Leadership, and Self-Improvement