The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



From educational tools and events to promotional programs and public policy initiatives, IHRSA brings you success... by association!

Join | Renew
Pledge Your Support

Search IHRSA Blog
« IHRSA 2016 Session Spotlight: Technology: Trends, Opportunities & Challenges | Main | And The Worst Gym Fail of All Time Is... »

Meet Team IHRSA: Kristen Walsh, Associate Publisher

With the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show fast approaching, we’re running the “Meet Team IHRSA” series to highlight some off the staff members you’ll see in Orlando, March 21-24. We hope this will help you to get to know our team a little better. 

Kristen Walsh
Associate Publisher


Explain your role at IHRSA. What do you do? What is the best part of your job?    

As IHRSA’s Associate Publisher, I have a lot of very different responsibilities, which keeps things interesting. That’s the best part of my job—that it never gets boring and there’s always something new and interesting to take on. 

In addition to writing columns and features each month for Club Business International, and twice each year for Get Active! Magazine, I also compile, edit, and oversee The IHRSA Global Report, which mails annually with June CBI. I also manage the IHRSA Store as well as, IHRSA’s online career center. And I compile and send out several monthly IHRSA e-newsletters, such as The EdgeCBI News, and HR Digest. Sales is a small part of my job—I sell classified ads as well as Get Active! magazine subscriptions. 

What drew you to work for an organization that supports the health club industry?    

I graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in political science. I was looking to work in public policy for any industry, really. I just lucked out in that I found a relevant job (Government Relations Assistant) working for this incredible, growing industry. Twenty years later, I still work for IHRSA, just in a different capacity. 

Tell us about your fitness routine. How do you stay active?   

One nice thing about working for IHRSA is that I get to work from home three days per week. On those days, I take an indoor cycling class at a new studio near my house called WheelHouse. I had never tried indoor cycling before they opened in September. I’m totally hooked! I never thought I could sweat so much in 45 minutes. Afterwards, I feel relaxed and mentally clear and ready to tackle the day. 

I also like to play basketball and tennis with my eight-year-old daughter when it’s nice outside, and we do an occasional 5K together. 

What is your favorite thing about the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show?    

One of my favorite things is escaping cold Boston in March and going somewhere warm! 

But honestly, the best part is getting to know health club owners and managers from around the world. The vast majority truly love what they do, and it shows. I’m especially impressed by those from faraway lands such as the Middle East, who invest an enormous amount of time, money, and effort to get to our show, to learn all they can—often despite language and other barriers—in order to improve their businesses and grow the industry in their region. 

Where can IHRSA 2016 attendees find you at the Convention in Orlando, March 21-24?  

I will be at the on-site IHRSA Store (near registration) for much of the event. There, I will be selling publications, answering questions, and taking pre-orders of audio (MP3) session recordings. 

You will also find me at the Financial Panel, taking notes for use in writing The 2016 IHRSA Global Report. I also never miss a general session. The quality of our keynote speakers never ceases to amaze me, and I always leave each general session feeling motivated, inspired, and proud to work for this industry. 

What do you do for fun in your spare time?  

I spend as much free time as possible with my daughter, Alyssa, and my husband, John. We travel quite a bit, especially to Cape Cod, the White Mountains, and to my parents’ house on a lake in New Hampshire. I also volunteer for two local nonprofits, helping with their marketing, social media, and public relations. 

Share a random fact about yourself. 

I’m an animal lover, a vegetarian, and an aspiring vegan.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.