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Entries in thankful (1)


The Many Things IHRSA Staff is Thankful For This Year

It is that time of the year again—the time where we come together to list, appreciate, and reflect on all the things we are grateful for.

Often times, good health finds a spot at the top of this list. So because we are in the business of providing access to good health, we decided to ask IHRSA staff members why they are most thankful to work in an industry that prioritizes giving over receiving.

Here are their responses:

"I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve this amazing industry for so many yearsfor my happy, healthy 95 year-old Dad who is a great example of the benefits of life-long regular exercise, and my two brand new grand-babies who will soon be able run and play."

- Anita Lawlor, chief operating officer

“I’m thankful to be a part of an industry that truly has a positive impact on people’s lives…both day-to-day and long term.”

- Marc Gagnon, senior meetings manager, education


“I am thankful for my IHRSA family and for the continued support from so many industry colleagues and friends over my 20+ years at IHRSA.”

- Lynne Devaney, vice president of sponsorship and business development



“This year I ran my first half marathon...and my second. This is a true testament to how working for such an exciting and passionate industry has changed my life for the better. I’m extremely grateful to work for a company that allows me to repay that favor by helping everyone live happier, healthier lives.” 

- Shannon Vogler, communications and public relations coordinator 


“I’m thankful for all the good friends I have made in IHRSA’s global family.” 

- Jay Ablondi, executive vice president of global products




"I am thankful we work in an industry that makes the world a better place by helping people live longer, healthier and more active lives.”

- Amy Bantham, vice president of health policy and health promotion



“I am so thankful that I represent a cool/growing/innovative/important industry and am so lucky to have the pleasure of working with deeply passionate people both inside the IHRSA office and throughout the industry. I’m also really grateful that I get to play and watch tennis at some amazing places thanks to IHRSA connections.”

- Meredith Poppler, vice president of communication & leadership engagement 


"Having just celebrated my one-year anniversary at IHRSA, I'm thankful for being a part of a company and an industry full of welcoming and inspiring people, many of whom I already count as good friends."

- Marianne Aiello, digital content manager



"I’ll never forget the first IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show I attended in 1984. It was unlike any conference I attended in another industry. The IHRSA members were so energetic and positive! More than 30 years later, that same energy is still there. I am thankful that through IHRSA I have met people from all over the world who share one common goal: making their members, their communities, and the world we all share healthier, happier, and better. Thank you IHRSA members!"

- Cathy McNeil, vice president–marketing & international operations

"I am thankful to work with wonderful peoplethe IHRSA staff and membersin an industry that is a positive force and also very giving! I feel fortunate to have met and become friends with so many interesting and fun people from all over the world, to watch people and strong relationships grow over the years, and to have had all of these incredible experiences at IHRSA and industry events! Happy Thanksgiving!"

- Pam O’Donnell, vice president–member experience & development  


"I am thankful to be able to spend my days surrounded by people who believe in the importance of fitness, health, and wellbeing."

- Carolynn Jordan, member communication specialist




"I’m thankful for the opportunity IHRSA gives me every year in March: to leave Boston and travel to somewhere warm and exciting, like Los Angeles!"

- Kristen Walsh, associate publisher




"I am grateful to be part of an amazing IHRSA team that works together to support the health and fitness industry and serve our amazing members!" 

- Saacha Vitalle, global membership representative



"I'm thankful to work with an IHRSA team that genuinely cares about each other, the members that we serve, and the growing the industry we represent."

- Tara Verity, senior service project manager


And now, we’d love to hear from you. What are you thankful for this year?

We’d be grateful if we could share your thoughts in a future issue of the IHRSA Advocate. Email Shannon Vogler.