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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Entries in John McCarthy Merit Scholarship (6)


What It's Really Like to Win an IHRSA Institute Scholarship

Your chance to win a full ride didn’t end in college. Every year, we offer scholarships to attend The IHRSA Institute to two worthy individuals who have a passion for the fitness industry and demonstrate strong leadership skills.

Each scholarship, named in honor of John McCarthy and Curt and Jane Beusman, has a value of more than $3,000 and includes a full registration to the Institute, program materials and handouts, social and networking events, lodging, and meals, as well as a $500 travel stipend. 

Not too shabby, right?

Continue reading "What It's Really Like to Win an IHRSA Institute Scholarship."

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Two Worthy Recipients Awarded Scholarships to the IHRSA Institute

This year’s IHRSA Institute scholarship recipients are Azeza Tessereau, general manager at Wellbridge Athletic Club and Spa located in Town and Country, MO, and Brent Gallagher, owner of Avenu Fitness & Lifestyle located in Houston, TX.

The recipients were selected by a judging panel of highly experienced and dedicated industry professionals. The panel included: 

  • Rick Beusman, president of Saw Mill Club and the son of the late Curt and Jane Beusman for whom one of the scholarships is named;
  • Bill McBride, president and CEO of Active Wellness and BMC 3;
  • Rick Caro, president of Management Vision, Inc.;
  • Michele Melkerson-Granryd, general manager of BB Fitness Studios; and
  • Bud Rockhill, owner of CW Strategic Advisors. 

Azeza, who one judge touted as a “true up-and-comer,” moved quickly up the ranks at Wellbridge, from Membership Representative to the role of General Manager. Her application demonstrated her passion for the industry, and ability to inspire a team that shares her commitment to delivering the very best. 


Brent exemplifies what IHRSA looks for in a candidate. He is a leader in the industry, whose dedication to promoting the benefits of healthy living has served his business, his staff, and his clients well.

The John McCarthy Merit Scholarship, named for IHRSA’s first executive director, and The Curt & Jane Beusman Institute Scholarship, named for two of IHRSA’s most passionate founders, are awarded to individuals who are able to demonstrate their passion for, and absolute commitment to, the health club industry's future and also for their leadership skills in club operations, sales or service.

The IHRSA Institute will be held August 2-5 at The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill. Learn more about the John McCarthy Merit Scholarship and the Curt & Jane Beusman Scholarship, and find out how you can donate to support future recipients.


Do You Belong at the IHRSA Institute?

The IHRSA Institute is billed as “Executive Education for Club Professionals.” So what does that mean for you? 

While the curriculum is graduate level, it encompasses the needs of all facets of health club management. This event is encouraged for anyone striving to broaden their business and management skills, as they relate to the health club industry. 

The IHRSA Institute is a diverse event, appealing globally to attendees who are brand new to the industry as well as those who have decades of ownership experience. Graduates come from clubs ranging from 10,000 to 250,000 square feet in size, with memberships of none-yet to 10,000 and growing. Attendees have traveled from as far away as Egypt, Denmark, and Chile to learn from the esteemed faculty and a dedicated group of their professional peers. 

Previous alumni classes have been comprised of managers from nearly every health club department, ranging from youth programs to aquatics and maintenance, as well as CEOs, presidents, and owners. A director of franchise systems could sit at a roundtable with a father and son developer team, while a retiree-turned-fitness entrepreneur trades insights with the owner of a holistic, women-only start up club.   

Prior to each institute, attendees are asked to share the top challenges they deal with in their clubs. The responses gathered over a number of graduating classes show an undeniable commonality in the struggles of a club manager no matter the size of the club or the level of experience of the individual. Open discussions of these mutual challenges lead to enlightening roundtable discussions and invaluable idea sharing. 

In a past graduating class, a young, entrepreneurial club owner from Saudi Arabia listed his top three challenges as retention, introducing new concepts, and hiring qualified candidates, while a partner of a 77,000-square-foot club, who has 33 years of business management experience, listed his top challenges as declining membership, marketing, and cultivating key staff.

Though the establishments and history they each have couldn’t be more different, these two club professionals share their day-to-day operation hurdles and overall business trials and tribulations. 

The IHRSA Institute curriculum is carefully curated to address these needs, and many others, with sessions such as “Staff Hiring, Training & Retention,” “Member Retention, Experience and Engagement,” and “Marketing Strategies.” The faculty is carefully selected to represent many club demographics and the number of attendees are kept low to encourage maximum networking and relationship building. Attendees graduate with a portfolio of connections, knowledge, strategies and friendships, as well as the latest IHRSA Research publications. 

Download the IHRSA Institute Brochure today, to discover the learning opportunities that are available to you this year. Attend for free by applying for one of IHRSA’s two full scholarships


IHRSA Institute Scholarship Applications Are Now Available

The IHRSA Institute is one of the most valuable professional development opportunities available to the health club industry. IHRSA now offers two full scholarships to help industry leaders commit to investing in their most promising employees. 

Applications are being accepted through May 13, 2016 for The John McCarthy Merit Scholarship, named for IHRSA’s first executive director, and the Curt & Jane Beusman Institute Scholarship, named for two of IHRSA’s early and most passionate founders. These scholarships will be awarded to candidates who demonstrate passion and commitment to the health club industry’s future, along with exemplary service, sales, and leadership skills.  

Attendees of the IHRSA Institute are immersed in graduate-level learning sessions and provided a unique, intimate environment in which they can develop and foster lifelong connections with accomplished colleagues and expert faculty. Both scholarships will cover full registration, including program materials, lodging, meals, social events, and a travel stipend (total value $2,900). The 2016 IHRSA Institute will take place at the picturesque UNC Chapel Hill campus in North Carolina from August 2 – 5. 

All eligible, qualified candidates are encouraged to apply today for these coveted scholarships, and join the upcoming 2016 class of IHRSA Institute graduates as the next generation of industry leaders.  

To see eligibility requirements and download an application, visit the IHRSA Institutes Scholarships page.


Melissa Hall of Merritt Athletic Clubs Receives John McCarthy Merit Scholarship

Melissa Hall, General Manager at one of Merritt Athletic Clubs’ Baltimore locationsThe IHRSA Institute, which kicks off today at UNC Chapel Hill, includes three days of graduate-level education that immerses attendees in the skills necessary to successfully run a club. In addition to the recently launched Curt & Jane Beusman Institute Scholarship, IHRSA offers the John McCarthy Merit Scholarship to attend the event. The full scholarship, named in honor of IHRSA's first Executive Director, is awarded to an individual who is able to demonstrate their passion for, and absolute commitment to, the health club industry's future and their service, sales, and leadership skills.

This year’s scholarship was awarded to Melissa Hall, General Manager at one of Merritt Athletic Clubs’ Baltimore locations. Melissa exemplifies what IHRSA looks for in a candidate. Her application demonstrated that she is a leader in her organization. In addition to being a habitual learner, Melissa has created training and hiring practices that model the behaviors and the culture of her organization. It is with great pleasure that IHRSA presents Melissa with this year’s John McCarthy Institute Scholarship.


IHRSA Award Applications Are Now Being Accepted

The IHRSA Awards Program recognizes members of the association for their service to their communities, their customers, and to the betterment of the health and fitness industry. Applications for four awards are now being accepted. 

IHRSA proudly pays tribute to John McCarthy - the association’s first Executive Director - by offering the John McCarthy Merit Scholarship to attend the IHRSA Institute.  Qualified candidates should be able to demonstrate their passion for, and absolute commitment to, the health club industry's future, as well as provide evidence of their service, sales, and leadership skills. Don’t delay – the deadline to apply is June 5th

The application deadline of June 30th for the European Club Leadership Award is also fast approaching! The award, given to the club leader who has done the most to advance their company and the industry through strong leadership and performance, will be presented during the 15th Annual IHRSA European Congress, October 19-22, in Marseille, France.

In addition, the applications are already online for the Outstanding Community Service Award and the Woman Leader Award in honor of Julie Main. Both have a submission deadline of November 13th and will be presented during IHRSA’s 35th Annual International Convention & Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, March 21-24, 2016. 

Learn more and download the applications at