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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Lessons in Fitness Leadership: Give More Details and Direction

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership. 

Karen Raisch-Siegel
LifeWorks of Southwest General
Middleburg Heights, OH

What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?

The most fulfilling part for me is that I have the privilege to make a positive difference in the lives of my employees, members, and community. It is quite humbling and surreal how the decisions I make affect so many lives.

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger-self about working in the fitness industry?

I would tell myself to calm down, slow down, and that everyone is doing the best they can. I’ve learned that people don’t operate in the same ways I do—and that’s okay, and that I need to provide them with more details and direction. 

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)?

I attended the ILC meeting at IHRSA 2016 in Orlando. I was very moved by the advocacy initiatives that IHRSA pursues and all that the Industry Leadership Council does for our industry. I didn’t even know it existed in the past, I’ve been so busy in my world that I feel like I’ve been living in my own small bubble.

What has been your most memorable experience as part of the ILC?

I am very new to the ILC so my most memorable experience so far was listening to the 2016 ILC Summit keynote speaker, Ann Handley. She spoke about how our story is what makes us different, and that we need to find a way to tell bolder, bigger and braver stories. It was an excellent session on marketing and very useful. I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the ILC sessions once again this year.