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Entries in Augie's Quest (28)


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Augie’s Quest Wins $100K for ALS Research

IHRSA Members Help Augie’s Quest Win $100K for ALS Research
Earlier this week, we posted that Augie's Quest, Life Fitness Co-founder Augie Nieto’s cure-driven effort focused on finding treatments and cures for ALS, was in the running to win $250,000 from CBS' Viewers to Volunteers Challenge. At the time, Augie’s team—headed up by Entertainment Tonight’s Nancy O’dell—was in fourth place, so we asked the IHRSA community to join the team and spread the word on social media—and that’s just what you did. Thanks in large part to your efforts, Augie’s Quest rose to second place, winning $100,000 for ALS research. 

Apple Watch Update Will Support Fitness Tracking for Wheelchair Users
A new Apple Watch feature will extend its fitness tracking and reminder alerts to wheelchair users for the first time, according to ABC News. The smartwatch’s new feature is part of a free software update, watchOS 3.0, and will prompt people in wheelchairs to wheel or spin their chairs around regularly. It will also track speed, distance, and calories burned during wheelchair use, just as it does for running and walking. "We want to make products that serve every walk of life," Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, said in an interview. "We realize that while it was great for messages on the wrist, we wanted to offer this group of people the same opportunity to get healthier using Apple Watch." 

Apply for the 2016 IHRSA European Club Leadership Award
We’re currently accepting applications for the 2016 IHRSA European Club Leadership Award, which annually recognizes a leader in the European fitness club industry who has done the most to advance their company and the industry through strong leadership and performance. This year’s award will be presented during the 16th Annual IHRSA European Congress, October 17-20, in Seville, Spain. The deadline to apply is September 9th. "I am truly honored to receive IHRSA's European Club Leadership Award,” said Martin Seibold, managing director of Fitness First UK in Dorset, England, received the 2015 European Club Leadership Award last October in Marseille, France. “It's amazing to look through the list of previous winners and be part of this history."


Help Augie's Quest Win $250,000 from CBS' Viewers to Volunteers Challenge

Augie's Quest, Life Fitness Co-founder Augie Nieto’s cure-driven effort focused on finding treatments and cures for ALS, is in the running to win $250,000 from CBS' Viewers to Volunteers Challenge. 

Lynne and Augie Nieto (R) visit with Octane Fitness at IHRSA 2016.

The Viewers to Volunteers Challenge 

The Viewers to Volunteers Challenge is a CBS initiative aiming to transform the power of the advertising dollar into an engine for social change, according to the website

“As you enjoy and share content on Viewers to Volunteers (V2V), you'll earn V2V Points,” the site reads. “With a simple click of a button, you can use those points to support V2V nonprofits working in the areas of veterans’ services, education, health and wellness, and the environment.” 

How to Help Augie’s Quest 

With four days left to vote, Augie’s Quest is currently in 4th place—so we’re harnessing the power of the IHRSA community to help them win! 

Here’s how you can help secure the win for Augie’s Quest:  

  • Join Nancy O’Dell’s team. O’Dell, from Entertainment Tonight, is Augie’s friend and served as emcee for Augie’s BASH at the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show. Augie's Quest gets 100 points each time someone joins. 
  • Spread the word! Once you sign up, share the link widely via social media and email to help win up to $250,000 for this worthy nonprofit. 
  • Stay informed. Keep an eye on Augie's Quest's Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep up with the effort's progress.

IHRSA Members Honored at Club Industry’s 30th Anniversary Show

Multiple IHRSA members and longtime supporters were recognized for their remarkable contributions at the Club Industry Show, which took place in Chicago on October 7-9. The Penton-produced event celebrated its thirtieth year with more than 3,500 fitness professionals in attendance. 

On Thursday Augie Nieto, co-founder of Life Fitness, chairman of Octane Fitness, and chief inspirational officer for Augie’s Quest, was honored with Club Industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Augie’s wife Lynne received the award for him, and shared some heartwarming and inspirational words on behalf of her husband. 

The Nietos have led the way in the fight against ALS and the search for a cure, having raised over $45 million since 2006. They will once again be hosting the “Bash for Augie’s Quest” in Orlando, FL, at this year’s 35th Annual International Convention and Trade Show. The Bash will be held on the evening of Wednesday, March 23.

Award winning journalist, entrepreneur, and best-selling author Shane Snow served as the keynote speaker, entertaining and motivating the crowd on overcoming obstacles, solving problems, and personal improvement. 

Friday morning’s session was “Inspired Insights” with Jeremy Strom of Playgrounz and Fitness Beyond Borders, Marty Wolff a former contestant on “The Biggest Loser”, and Joe Cirulli, the founder of Gainesville Health and Fitness and former IHRSA president.  

Cirulli shared a personal anecdote of when he found himself flying solo in a storm, with no communication or navigation equipment. Facing a life and death situation, he found out firsthand how important it can be to think logically under pressure, and make decisions that may not be laid out in a step-by-step process. A perfect example of thinking and acting “on the fly.” 

Two longtime IHRSA Members had staff recognized by PFP.  On Friday, Mark Nutting, the fitness director and master trainer at Saco Sport and Fitness in Saco, ME, was honored as the 2016 PFP Trainer of the Year Legacy award. The PFP Trail Blazer Award was given to Tanya Slusser of The Claremont Club for her outstanding work with Project Walk in Claremont, CA.  Congratulations go out to both Tanya and Mark for their efforts.

IHRSA would like to thank all those that stopped by our booth as well as the staff at Penton that made it possible for us to attend another great show. Next year’s show will be making a move from the McCormick Place to the Hyatt Regency, and will be held on October 12-14, 2016.


Club Industry 2015

Insight, innovation, and an industry legend!

If it’s fall in Chicago, then the Club Industry Show must in the offing.

The 2015 edition of the event will take place this month, October 7–9, at the McCormick Place Lakeside Center in the Windy City.

Attendees will be looking to enhance their fitness industry expertise, and to acquire the tools they need to grow their businesses. They’ll also have the chance to acknowledge Augie Nieto, the cofounder of Life Fitness and a major benefactor of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) research, this year’s recipient of the Club Industry Lifetime Achievement Award.

For IHRSA associate member companies, “tools,” of course, means products. They’ll be showcasing their latest, most innovative, and most exciting equipment, programs, and services October 8–9 at the exhibit hall. The familiar IHRSA brands on the trade show floor will include ABC Financial; ASF Payment Solutions; CSI Software; Gym Groups; Jonas Fitness, Inc.; K&K Insurance Group, Inc.; Matrix Fitness; Motionsoft, Inc.; and others.

Like the exhibitors, the event’s educational sessions and seminars will encompass the entire industry, with tracks on, among other things, sales excellence, business operations, fitness leadership, and emerging trends. Over the course of the three days, attendees also will hear from club owners and managers who’ll share their thoughts on the industry’s future.

“We have several prominent industry veterans who are serving as track chairs,” explains Pamela Kufahl, the director of content and engagement for Club Industry. “And we’re offering a certificate of completion for the fitness leadership track, which will provide marketing, management, and technology insights, for anyone who attends four of the six sessions.”

A special new offering this year, notes Kufahl, will be the “Inspired Insights” presentations––short, inspirational talks by people from inside and outside the industry that are guaranteed to appeal to all. The Club Industry Show will also feature a number of special events.

Shane Snow, the keynote speaker, is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who’s studied the qualities and characteristics of companies that have become successful quickly. He’ll describe what’s he discovered in his presentation, “Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success.”

Nieto, who, in addition to his one-of-a-kind industry credentials, is also, with his wife, Lynne, the cofounder of Augie’s Quest, a charitable initiative that raises money to find a cure for ALS, will receive some well-deserved recognition. In 2005, Nieto was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; the Quest has raised more than $45 million over the past 10 years. His wife will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on his behalf.

One of the initiative’s principal fundraising events is the BASH for Augie’s Quest, which is held each year during IHRSA’s International Convention and Trade Show. It will take place next year, on Wednesday, March 23, during IHRSA 2016, March 21–24, in Orlando, Florida.

“When Nieto started a club while still in college, and happened upon a prototype of the LifeCycle, the fitness industry was very different than it is today,” observes Kufahl. “At the time, the majority of club members were men, who focused on strength training. Nieto had the foresight to see that a product such as the LifeCycle might attract a larger group to clubs—especially women, who, by then, had learned about the importance of something brand-new that was called ‘aerobics.’

“His first try at distributing the LifeCycle was less than auspicious, but he persevered and, ultimately, was incredibly successful,” Kufahl continues. “In the process, he revolutionized the industry, and, by continuing to introduce new equipment, created one of its largest and most venerable companies, Life Fitness.

“We’re very proud to name Nieto the 13th recipient of Club Industry’s annual Lifetime Achievement Award.” “It’s always an honor to receive an industry award, but a Lifetime Achievement Award from a respected organization such as Club Industry means more than I can tell you,” says Nieto. “In a sense, I haven’t really been an active member of the industry for more than 10 years, so to be recognized now by my former peers is unbelievable and extremely moving.

“I wish I could attend the Club Industry Show to receive the award myself,” he explains, “but I don’t travel much these days. However, Lynne will be coming to accept the award ... and, let’s be honest, she’s much better to look at anyway!”

Though his movement may be limited, Nieto’s accomplishments and ambition continue to soar. “The $45 million that we’ve raised for ALS research is a big number,” he reflects. “However, the reality is that it generally takes a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market for a given disease. We’ve got a lot to do in the way of fundraising for ALS, since there’s currently no effective treatment for this muscle-wasting disease!

“Our work, my work, clearly isn’t over.”


‘Power of A’ Gold Award

It’s an honor that confers credit and distinction upon IHRSA, its staff, and both its club and associate members. It’s an honor that also demonstrates, once again, that the IHRSA family has “heart.” Earlier this year, IHRSA was named the recipient of the “Power of A” (Association) Gold Award, conferred by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), for its strong and ongoing support of Augie’s BASH.

The BASH, a fund-raising gala held each year during IHRSA’s Annual International Convention and Trade Show, is one of the principal efforts of Augie’s Quest, a charitable initiative that raises money for research to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The Quest was founded and is overseen by industry veteran Augie Nieto, the co-founder and former head of Life Fitness, and his wife, Lynne. In 2005, Nieto was diagnosed with ALS, a disease that affects roughly 300,000 Americans each year.

Read more.

Click to read more ...


The 'Excellence' challenge

The camaraderie within the health and fitness industry is a special thing.

Be it supporting a member's cause, knowing when to put the learning and networking aside in order to have a good time, or sharing experience and knowledge, time is always found.

Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO, talks about this in his CBI magazine Last Rep column, from a dance-off at June's IHRSA Institute to participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge in support of Augie's Quest.

Check out Last Rep here.


Moore: An industry with heart and soul

Gary Vaynerchuk was easily one of the biggest hits during the 2014 IHRSA Annual International Convention & Trade Show in San Diego. Hundreds of attendees have referred to keynote in the six months since. 

In one part of his energetic and informative talk he explained the humanization of business, which he said is how companies take on the characteristics of their leaders.

IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore, in his CBI magazine Last Rep column, feels the fitness industry takes on this trait, especially when it comes to the support of Augie Nieto and the Bash for Augie’s Quest.

Check out Last Rep in CBI.


Augie takes #IceBucketChallenge with 200 close friends

The #IceBucketChallenge doesn't seem to be losing steam. And many around the country who are taking part are doing so after IHRSA President and CEO Joe Moore issued the challenge to the entire fitness industry.

Among the benefactors - we all hope - of this worldwide phenomenon is Augie Nieto and Augie's Quest, which supports fast-track, innovative research seeking effective treatments, and, ultimately, a cure for ALS. The co-founder of Life Fitness has been sharing videos, retweeting and spreading the word of the many accomplishments during the #IceBucketChallenge.

And this week he took the challenge, along with 200 others, including Domonic, the youngest person ever diagnosed with ALS.

Click here for IHRSA's staff pouring ice water over their heads.




IHRSA members take on #IceBucketChallenge

It's not very surprising but we've already seen a bunch of those in the health and fitness industry accept IHRSA's #IceBucketChallenge challenge.

And, as we promised, we will try to post or publicize as many as we can.

We are happy to report that some IHRSA member clubs are taking the challenge a step further. L&T Health and Fitness, a Corporate Fitness Works company, whose COO (and IHRSA board member) Allison Flatley drenched herself with ice water, is planning a fundraising effort to benefit ALS around the challenge. And  La Cima Club in Irving, Texas, has Augie's Quest as one of the beneficiaries for its upcoming Charity Classic.

And for those of you who are unaware of how the #IceBucket Challenge started, watch this video.

Here are a few of the Ice Bucket Challenge videos (and one photo compilation):

Augie's Quest compilation, including Lynn Nieto, The Atlantic Club, Zumba and more.

Ashburn Village Sports Pavilion, Ashburn, Va.

Brick Bodies, Baltimore, Md.

La Cima Club, Irving, Texas

L&T Health and Fitness 

ASF International












Why I did the #IceBucketChallenge twice

Dumping ice water on your head isn't the most fun thing to do. Especially if you, like me, are from warm sunny Florida and happen to hate the cold. But, when my turn came and a friend nominated me for the Ice Bucket Challenge, I filled a bucket of ice water and dumped it over my head outside my gym. I donated a little money, nominated my brother and two of my friends, and thought I was done. Phew.

Then Chris Clawson nominated IHRSA. And despite being "done", I kind of wanted to do it again. Because ALS is a terrible degenerative disease that often affects young, active people and yet is largely unfamiliar to the general public. Because I remember stories about my great uncle Harry, whom I never met due to this disease. And because I remember attending the BASH for Augie's Quest the past three years, and being so impressed with Augie and his battle to defeat ALS. So for the good cause of raising money and awareness for ALS research and supporting one of the industry's own, I got cold and wet twice in one week. It actually wasn't that bad.

A few other IHRSA staff also did the ice bucket challenge twice. Read on to see who and why they doused themsevles twice.

Click to read more ...