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Entries in Board of Directors (30)


Weigh In: Should IHRSA’s Personal Trainer Guidelines Recognize ANSI?

The IHRSA Standards and Membership Review Committee of the IHRSA Board of Directors is reviewing a request to expand the IHRSA Personal Trainer Guidelines to recognize the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an “acceptable accrediting organization” under the guidelines. And we want to hear from you.

Continue reading "Weigh In: Should IHRSA’s Personal Trainer Guidelines Recognize ANSI?"

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Shape the Future of the Health Club Industry by Joining the IHRSA Board

If you’re an IHRSA member club operator interested in promoting the association and the fitness industry—and having a little fun while you’re at it—now is the time to consider applying to the IHRSA Board! 

The IHRSA Board of Directors is an elected group of industry leaders who are chosen to provide strategic direction and insight to the association. The mission of IHRSA is to grow, protect, and promote the health and fitness industry, and board members act as ambassadors charting the course of the association.

Continue reading "Shape the Future of the Health Club Industry by Joining the IHRSA Board."

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IHRSA Welcomes the Newest Members to the IHRSA Board of Directors

IHRSA proudly welcomes Carrie Kepple, Alan Leach, Bryan O’Rourke, and Brad Wilkins as newly elected members of the IHRSA Board of Directors. The board-elect will serve a four-year term from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021. 


Carrie Kepple is a 10-year industry veteran of international club business, currently serving as the manager of a Les Mills facility in Newmarket, New Zealand. She has expanded Les Mills business operations in New Zealand—opening, reopening, and managing three clubs across the country. As an international trainer and presenter, Kepple has also served as a global sales training consultant for Les Mills and as the national director for 62 corporate-owned clubs offering Gold’s Gym Group Exercise (GGX).

Most recently, Kepple launched a new coaching business called LIFESTYLES-Mindful Wellness, and she enjoys being a distributor for Kyäni nutritional supplements—demonstrating how proper nutrition can be paired with daily exercise to produce lasting health benefits.


Alan Leach currently serves as general manager, sales trainer, and head of sales and marketing for the West Wood Club, based in Dublin, Ireland. He uses his 32 years of health club and sales management experience to serve more than 33,000 health club members at West Wood Club and Crunch Fitness locations in Ireland and Bosnia.

Leach has been an avid supporter of the industry for years. At the start of his career, he grew an individual club’s membership from 700 to 3,100—establishing the club as one of the most profitable facilities in Europe. He continues to promote physical activity and the global industry as a regular speaker at countless events for fitness professionals.


Bryan O’Rourke is the founder and CEO of Integerus, LLC; the chief security officer (CSO) and principal of Fitness Marketing Systems, LLC; the CSO and partner in the Flywheel Group, LLC; the president of the Fitness Industry Technology Council (FITC); and the owner and CSO of a chain of Gold’s Gyms based in Houston, Texas. He is also a former chairman of the Medical Fitness Association’s education committee.

O’Rourke is an industry innovator and technology expert, who serves and consults with leading fitness and health clubs brands around the world. As a highly regarded speaker and author, he has spoken on four continents, addressing how health club businesses and wellness professionals are improving the world’s health one step at a time. He was recently named to ACE's industry advisory council and contributes to the GGFA's think tank.


Brad Wilkins is the senior vice president of Cooper Aerobics Enterprises, Inc., and oversees the Cooper Fitness Center and the Cooper Spa in Dallas, Texas. Wilkins joined Cooper Fitness Center as an intern in 1996 and since then, has taken on roles as a fitness trainer, fitness director, and general manager. Most recently, in 2015, he was named the chief operating officer of Cooper Wellness Strategies.



This Week in the Fitness Industry: 12,000+ Mexican Health Clubs Serve 4.1M Consumers

12,000+ Health Clubs Serve 4.1 Million Consumers in Mexico
The just-released IHRSA State of the Mexican Health and Fitness Industry Report found that 12,376 Mexican fitness facilities generate an estimated U.S. $1.8 billion in revenue from 4.1 million members.

The report, which was sponsored by Movement, and compiled in collaboration with Club Intel with support from Mercado Fitness, was based on a survey of 239 club operators representing 1,434 facility locations. The findings indicate that more than four million Mexicans are members of health clubs, with a market penetration rate in Mexico of 3.2%.

“To put that into perspective, the penetration rate is 18.5% in the United States for health club membership and more than 20% for health club utilization—so there is tremendous growth potential for the industry in Mexico,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products, previewed the report’s findings during the 3rd annual IHRSA Mercado Fitness Mexico City Conference & Trade Show, which took place in Mexico City on October 26 & 27, 2016.

Learn more about The IHRSA State of the Mexican Health and Fitness Industry Report, which is available in English and Spanish.

Britain Fights Obesity Crisis with ‘Daily Mile’ School Program
Britain is attempting to improve its obesity crisis with a voluntary “daily mile” program that encourages primary school students to run, jog, or walk a mile during the school day. The initiative has caught on, according to The Washington Post, and every day tens of thousands of schoolchildren across the U.K. participate in the daily mile, in addition to their regular physical education classes. Students don’t change their clothing, compete with one another, or know when the teacher will tell them when it’s time to rush outside. A 9-year-old boy told The Post that the daily mile “makes me feel like I’m proud of myself” and means that “during lessons, I can concentrate a bit more.”

Pokémon Go Players' Fitness Gains Overstated, Short-lived
When Pokémon Go madness swept the world this summer the game was touted as a way to get children—and gamer adults—more active as they walked around their communities lost in augmented reality. And while there was some proof that the game encouraged users to move more than they normally did, new research published in the British Medical Journal suggests that the results were overstated and short-lived, TechCrunch reports. According to researchers, a group of Pokémon players showed an average of 955 extra steps per day during the week after the game came out, while a control group remained near the baseline. Unfortunately, “that thousand-step gain was cut in half by week four, however, and by week six was all but wiped out.”

IHRSA Announces Nominees for Board of Directors
IHRSA has announced four nominees for the IHRSA Board of Directors. They are:

  • Bryan O’Rourke, Owner of Gold’s Gym, Houston, TX and CEO, Integerus, LLC
  • Alan Leach, Regional Manager, West Wood Clubs, Ireland
  • Carrie Kepple, Club Manager, Les Mills, New Market, New Zealand
  • Brad Wilkins, Senior Vice President, Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Cooper Aerobics and Cooper Wellness Strategies, Dallas, TX

All four will stand for election at the annual meeting on Friday, March 10 during the IHRSA 2017 International Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles. Read our full press release on the board nominees. 


Rasmus Ingerslev: Man of Many Brands

Rasmus Ingerslev is a successful fitness industry entrepreneur with multiple startups to his credit, including two of Denmark’s largest health club groups, fitness dk and Fresh Fitness, and a new startup, REPEAT. He’s also a cofounder of the Danish Fitness & Health Organization (DFHO), and a recipient of the IHRSA European Club Leadership Award.

Currently, Ingerslev serves as chairperson of IHRSA, REPEAT, Barry’s Bootcamp Nordic, and Stockholm Leisure Partners. He spoke to Club Business International about his passion, goals, new ventures, technology, and the health club industry’s future.

CBI: You began your tenure as the chairperson of IHRSA’s board of directors in July—the first non–North American in the association’s 35-year history to hold this position. What do you bring to the role?

RASMUS INGERSLEV: First and foremost, I bring passion for our industry, which, I believe, is the most important ingredient required to push anything forward.

Second, I bring experience as a fitness industry entrepreneur. I’ve founded or cofounded two of the largest club groups in my home country of Denmark; I’ve built an international company that supplies virtual training; and I’ve cofounded and helped build a national trade body, the Danish Fitness & Health Organization (DFHO).

Third, I’ve created a very strong international network over nearly 20 years in our industry, which has given me a global perspective. My many years as a speaker, writer, and participant at IHRSA events have been a central point of building this network.

I’ve also had the privilege of being in a roundtable with some of the sharpest minds in our industry for the past 10 years. Together, we’ve travelled the globe to see and understand the state of our industry, and taken deep dives into each other’s businesses. My passion, experience, and network are very useful in my current role as chairperson.

CBI: Recognizing the increasing significance of technology, the board has recently decided to create a Technology & Innovation Council. What can you tell us about this and any other board initiatives?

RI: My agenda, in accordance with our strategic plan, is growth. Ultimately, the wider we spread IHRSA’s wings, the better we can do as an industry. The better we do as an industry, the more likely it is that we can make the planet healthier.

In this context, we’ll quantify a new IHRSA membership goal later this year. We also want to embrace the next generation of industry leaders. To do so, we’re launching a new program, “IHRSA Rising Stars,” that recognizes the young talents that will shape the future of the industry.

The Technology & Innovation Council is another key initiative we’ll see brought to life shortly, as these areas have been key drivers for the changes we’ve seen over recent years, and that will continue to influence the industry to an increasing extent.

Continue reading "Rasmus Ingerslev: Man of Many Brands."

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: Pokémon Go Users Play Their Way to Better Health

Pokémon Go Users Play Their Way to Better Health
No doubt by now you’ve seen Pokémon Go players milling around town, eyes glued to their phones as they try to capture and battle with virtual creatures. But Mashable reports there’s a significant benefit to this sudden phenomenon—better health. According to data from fitness tracker Jawbone UP, its users who also mentioned they used Pokémon Go logged 62.5% more steps last weekend compared to their steps taken during a normal weekend. “The spike in steps, roughly 8,375 more than normal, occurred on July 9 and 10, just a few days after the launch of the augmented reality game on July 6,” the Mashable article states. “And although Jawbone can't guarantee that all Jawbone UP users who mentioned Pokémon Go definitely have the game installed, the early data backs up the flurry of mentions on social media linking Pokémon Go to fitness.” 

(Image: Jawbone UP)

IHRSA Board Member Applications Due July 31
If you’re an IHRSA member club operator interested in promoting the association and the fitness industry—and having a little fun while you’re at it—now is the time to consider applying to the IHRSA Board! The IHRSA Board of Directors is an elected group of industry leaders who are chosen to provide strategic direction and insight to the association. The mission of IHRSA is to promote, protect, and grow the health and fitness industry, and board members act as ambassadors charting the course of the association. “The board looks for member club owners and principals that are highly engaged in the association and industry,” says Allison Flatley, chief strategy officer for Corporate Fitness Works and chair of the IHRSA Board Nominations Committee. Learn more about applying for the IHRSA Board. 

MACMA Celebrates Its 30th Anniversay in Annapolis, MD

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the IHRSA booth!


Shape the Future of the Health Club Industry by Joining the IHRSA Board

If you’re an IHRSA member club operator interested in promoting the association and the fitness industry—and having a little fun while you’re at it—now is the time to consider applying to the IHRSA Board!

The IHRSA Board of Directors is an elected group of industry leaders who are chosen to provide strategic direction and insight to the association. The mission of IHRSA is to promote, protect, and grow the health and fitness industry, and board members act as ambassadors charting the course of the association.

Who Should Apply to Join the IHRSA Board

“The board looks for member club owners and principals that are highly engaged in the association and industry,” says Allison Flatley, chief strategy officer for Corporate Fitness Works and chair of the IHRSA Board Nominations Committee.

Engagement comes in many forms, including: 

  • Participating in industry events and IHRSA programs; 
  • Leading education sessions for our future leaders; 
  • Sharing trends and best practices at conferences or in digital or printed articles
  • Promoting public policy as an active ILC member; 
  • Serving as international or regional association leader;
  • Encouraging others to participate in IHRSA membership, programs, and meetings.

“A strong board candidate should have the professional experience to represent clubs or management companies and members of IHRSA,” Flatley says. “It is always helpful to have a diverse group representing different professional experiences, demographics, geographical locations, business types, club sizes, etc. Most importantly, a good board candidate must be able to make unbiased decisions. We need representatives that can think for the good of the association and industry.”

Why You Should Join the IHRSA Board

There are many benefits to serving on the IHRSA Board beyond the prestige of holding a position that helps to guide the association and the health club industry.

“First, board members have the pleasure of working closely with IHRSA’s CEO and staff; they are a diverse and talented group of professionals that work hard to advance our industry and serve the association members,” Flatley says. “Second, the shared time with other board members is extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Being able to collaborate with so many successful leaders is inspiring. Plus, you develop close relationships and network with industry colleagues.”

And, while the typical Board of Directors may call to mind a stuffy, formal organization, the IHRSA Board is anything but.

Board Members playing spike ball during a break at a recent meeting.

“The IHRSA Board practices what we preach by incorporating activity into our meetings,” Flatley says. “Some of my favorite highlights include running, walking, yoga, and weight training while discussing industry best practices or brainstorming how to grow the industry.”

The Board of Directors’ term is four years. The time commitment is five to 10 hours per month, including travel to three two-day board meetings and committee participation. Travel costs for the Board meetings are covered by the association.

How to Apply to Join the IHRSA Board

New Board Member applications are due July 31, 2016.

The application process involves answering seven questions about your involvement in the health and fitness industry, and with IHRSA. We are also interested in your involvement in civic or community affairs and/or national and international association activities. We request at least five industry references.

All applicants are screened and interviewed by at least three members of the IHRSA Nominations Committee. Interviews are done over video chat.

Learn more about the IHRSA Board, and download the IHRSA Board application form


3 Secrets to Health Club Success from IHRSA’s Outgoing Board Chair

Molly Kemmer has made great strides since she entered the fitness industry at age 18, when she earned a group exercise instructor certification. 

After receiving a personal trainer certification and a master’s degree in exercise physiology and health promotion from Illinois State University, she went on to positions of increasing responsibility at a number of clubs in the Denver area. In 2012, Kemmer joined EXOS/MediFit, a leading global fitness and wellness management firm, serving as the general manager of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado; in 2014, she became EXOS/MediFit’s regional director of community services. 

Then, in 2015, she was elected the chairperson of IHRSA's Board of Directors. 

With her term expiring in June, Kemmer spoke to Club Business International to reflect on the new ideas, challenges, and changes the past year has brought. Her interview was filled with sage advice, which we boiled down to three secrets to health club success. 

1. Understand and address customers’ needs and expectations. “I can think of several [dramatic industry changes in the past year], including the rapid growth of the studio, boutique, and niche models, and the continued proliferation of low-cost facilities,” she said. “The emergence of offerings that are positioned as ‘premium low-cost’ warrants some serious study to determine the long-term opportunity and market impact they may present. In addition to these developments, the market’s obvious appetite for new technology suggests that traditional club models are at risk if they fail to study ‘what works,’ and adapt to address consumers’ needs and expectations.” 

2. Don’t compete with technology—complement it. “In the case of our industry, [the popularity of wearables and other fitness technology] has a lot to do with the access, information, and convenience afforded by virtual connectivity. The key question, though, is why are consumers so interested in virtual access, data-tracking, cloud-community participation, etc.? What are they craving? And then, beyond that, how can clubs satisfy this elusive need via the membership experience in a positive and productive way? We should also ask what experiences can clubs provide that can never be replaced or replicated by technology alone? Find the answers to these questions, and you’ll create a unique and engaging experience—one with a lasting impact—for your members.” 

3. Focus on organizational culture to ensure longstanding success. “Today, the data is showing that it’s not one thing that makes a difference; rather, success requires a layered, multifaceted approach—one that’s supported by a culture with aligned values, and one that produces measurable and sustainable results,” Kemmer said. “We’ve also discovered that reward systems that are balanced between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and buttressed by environmental and social support, produce better outcomes than ones that rely solely on financial incentives. And it’s important to offer the programming and physical environment that provide the motivation, inspiration, and convenience for employees to ‘work out at work,’ and to remain connected to achieving their goals—even when they’re not at work.” 

Read Molly Kemmer’s full interview in the April issue of CBI.


Rasmus Ingerslev Elected IHRSA's First Non-North American Board Chair 

Rasmus Ingerslev, executive vice chairman of Wexer Virtual in Denmark, will be the 2016/2017 chairperson of the IHRSA Board of Directors, serving as the first non-North American chair. His term, which was announced at IHRSA 2016, will begin July 1, 2016.

“IHRSA is an international organization, with members from over 70 countries and attendees at the recent IHRSA 2016 from 80 countries. The board's election of Rasmus as their next chair emphasizes that fact,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO. “Rasmus has enthusiastically supported IHRSA and the industry in a variety of capacities through the years. And now the staff and I look forward to the energy and commitment Rasmus will bring to his term as board chairperson.”

Ingerslev is an experienced fitness industry entrepreneur who successfully developed and sold fitness dk and Fresh Fitness, two of Denmark’s largest health club groups. He is a past recipient of the IHRSA European Club Leadership Award, and is a co-founder of the Danish Fitness & Health Organization (DFHO). He resides in Sweden with his wife Mauna and their two young children, Isabel and Victor.

“My foundation for success has been innovation, often including technology, but more than anything networking,” Ingerslev said. “I am a true believer in ‘Success by Association’—IHRSA’s slogan—and look forward to bringing my best efforts and experience into the chairmanship for the benefit of the organization and the industry. We have taken on a big task, wanting to reverse the global inactivity epidemic. But if we, being IHRSA, our partners, and members, can continuously move the needle just a little bit forward in regards to the number of people we help lead better lives through exercise, we are a success.”

Rasmus will take over the reins as Chairperson in July from Molly Kemmer, Regional director for EXOS | MediFit, who will serve an additional year on the board as Ex-Officio.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Rasmus, the board, and the IHRSA staff, to serve the industry and the association's members,” she said. “Rasmus brings a tremendous breadth and depth of experience regarding organizational growth, as well working with boards of directors. The association is fortunate for his leadership.”


IHRSA Welcomes New Members to the IHRSA Board of Directors

IHRSA proudly welcomes Steve Capezzone, Jason Reinhardt, and Anastasia Yusina as newly elected members of the IHRSA Board of Directors. The board-elect will serve a four-year term from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020. 


Steve Capezzone is CEO of New England Fitness & Wellness. He is a 35-year veteran of the industry with Healthtrax. In July of 2015, Steve purchased eight facilities from Healthtrax, and just purchased a ninth center last month. As a graduate of the University of Connecticut, Steve started with Healthtrax as a fitness technician, and worked his way up to the Chief Operating Officer position. Steve’s strong background in fitness, sales, facilities and medical partnering make him a strong and versatile leader for these centers.


Jason Reinhardt is the owner and founder of Go M.A.D. Fitness, which stands for Go Make A Difference and currently has two locations in southeast. Michigan. Jason is an industry veteran who has held several executive leadership positions over his 18 years in the industry. Jason is a seasoned speaker for IHRSA and has served on the faculty for The IHRSA Institute. Jason shares his passion for health and fitness with his wife Kelly and two boys Cole and Brady.

Anastasia Yusina, graduated from Moscow University, Paris Institute of Political Sciences, and Moscow International Relations Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in economics. Anastasia is president of Fitness System Holding, founder of Orange Fitness and City Fitness health clubs, and developer of the Gravity Studio microGym concept in Florida. She is a member of the IHRSA European Council and was awarded the 2011 IHRSA European Club Leadership Award.