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.



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Meet Team IHRSA: Meredith Poppler 

With the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show less than two months away, we’re launching 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.   

Meredith Poppler
Communications and Leadership Engagement


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

I am all about the “Grow, Promote, Protect” part of IHRSA’s mission. I work to raise awareness of and funding for important advocacy issues that have the potential to either make or break the industry. And as IHRSA’s media and PR contact, I spend most of my work day communicating the importance of physical activity and how great health clubs are through reporters, bloggers, health columnists, social media, etc. 

The best part of my job… Can I pick two? I proudly serve on the Board of Directors of the Tennis Industry Association, representing the health and sports club industry. And there are some amazing perks (like front row seats at major tennis tournaments) that come with that assignment. But overall, I really like to write (blog posts, articles, news releases, media reports, web copy, responses to this questionnaire, even solicitations asking people to join the ILC) which I get to do every day.  

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

Short story: I was a gym rat when I started here, so it was the perfect fit to call club owners, ask them about their business, explain why they should be IHRSA members, etc. 

Long story: There was a teeny tiny little ad in the Boston Globe for an international racquet sports business that was looking for salespeople. I wasn’t at all into racquet sports back then, but “international” and “sales” piqued my interest. Waiting in the reception area for my interview, I read CBI magazine, saw the other people working at IHRSA, and thought, this looks like the right place for me. 

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

I was the first person at IHRSA to move file cabinets and shelves around to make a standing desk, so first, I really work to keep sitting to a minimum. Second, a couple years ago, Public Policy EVP Helen Durkin convinced me to get a Fitbit, which helped me realize how little movement I was getting on a typical work day. So now, (at least in good weather), I get my at least 10,000 steps. 

For more serious exercise, I do one very intense group training workout once a week. And, I picked up tennis about 15 years ago, and now play fairly competitive women’s doubles and mixed doubles two-to-three times a week. And, for 2016 my husband and I have a New Year’s resolution to begin practicing yoga. 

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

This will be my 23rd IHRSA Convention, so I’ve got a lot of people to catch up with. My face always hurts from smiling and laughing too much, even though I don’t usually have much time to chat. And, of course, I’ve had the pleasure of learning from some of the most amazing keynote speakers over the past 20-plus years. 

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

I work with local media to come in and film segments on the Trade Show floor during Trade Show and early morning workout hours. But most of the time, I’ll be in or around The Industry Leadership Club, Room S230C, where we have a series of special events scheduled for Industry Leaders and ILC Members

Convention attendees come from more than 80 countries. Can they speak to you in any other language? 

Je parle un peu de française. And I’m great (I think) at “Twitter”, does that count? 

What do you do for fun in your spare time? 

As mentioned, I’m a big tennis fan, both to play and to watch. And we have an idyllic (oldest continually working farm in the Boston area) organic farm in my neighborhood with walking trails, chickens, goats, lambs, ducks, flowers, a farm stand, barn dances, etc. If it’s not snowing or raining, you’ll often find me at the farm or on one of the walking trails. 

Share a random fact about yourself. 

I have two awesome, brilliant, handsome step-sons, one of whom is getting married in May to the most wonderful young lady, so I am soon to be a first-time mother-in-law.

Reader Comments (1)

Great idea to highlight the IHRSA Team! And it's always a pleasure to see Meredith at the shows... always with a smile and a friendly hello! See you next month!
February 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFred Hoffman

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