Editor’s Note: This October, we will celebrate our 30th class of 40 Under Forty honorees. Each week in 2022, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia will highlight one of our 2021 40 Under Forty honorees leading up to the announcement of our milestone class this fall.
Most young entrepreneurs achieve success through making a singular vision into reality. What makes Cyrus Fees so unique is that he’s excelling in two ventures simultaneously.
“I live kind of this double life,” Fees said as he talked about his work as a ring announcer and as the owner of Vision Quest VR, which has locations in Johnson City and Knoxville.
In one world, Fees is known as “Mr. International” due to the fact that he has worked as a ring announcer and play-by-play voice for the past 13 years at combat sporting events in 26 different on six different continents. He has interviewed world-famous fighters like Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr. and Ken Shamrock while working events that have been televised on ESPN, Fox, NBC and HBO.
Last October, Fees crossed a goal off his list when he was able to finally work a UFC show in Las Vegas. Fees counts UFC’s Joe Martinez and Bruce Buffer among his mentors in the world of ring announcing.
“They taught me to always try to get better and be myself,” Fees said.
When he isn’t under the bright ring lights in a far-flung locale, Fees is home in Johnson City cultivating the business he started in the Mall at Johnson City. Vision Quest VR, which offers customers top of the line virtual reality experiences, has become a center of activity in the mall where it is in high demand.
Fees has enjoyed so much success in Johnson City that he recently expanded to Knoxville. He has connected with 40 Under Forty alum Keddrain “KD” Bowen, who owns Fanatics 101 in the Mall at Johnson City as well as a store in Asheville, and Fees said Bowen has been a source of good information.
“That’s such a huge jump,” Fees said. “I’m learning how to balance my time and to take one thing at a time when I get overwhelmed.”
It would be easy for Fees to have his head in the clouds given the success he has achieved and the demands on his time, but he said owning a business in Johnson City has helped him plant deep roots in our region.
“I’m way more connected to Johnson City and the Tri-Cities now that I have a business that serves the community and serves kids,” Fees said.
Fees has displayed that investment in his community by diving headlong into service as a member of the Johnson City Rotary Club. He has also supported Shop with a Cop in Jonesborough, Dawn of Hope, Coalition for Kids, Niswonger Children’s Hospital and Isaiah House 117, among other organizations. Fees also holds a charitable drive each year to provide gift cards to those in need around the Christmas season.
Helping those in need is a high priority for Fees, who says he also came from a very humble background. Those experiences he went through in his youth drive him to provide for his wife and children by continuing his climb up whatever ladder is in front of him.
“I was never really surrounded by a lot of people succeeding, so I always had that in the back of my mind that I wanted to more and get myself to a certain position,” Fees said. “I love making connections, ascending the ladder and kind of slowly making my way up there. I kind of get a thrill out of that.”
Next week we will profile Cyrus Fees of Vision Quest VR. If you would like to nominate someone for inclusion in the 2022 class of 40 Under Forty, visit 40under.com/nominate and follow the instructions.