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 Sal Pellegrino (5)


Gold’s Gym Annual Convention Goes “All In” in Vegas 

IHRSA represented at Gold’s Gym’s annual convention, held at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV, July 11-13. From the first day, when new CEO Brandon Bean proudly championed the Gold’s motto “All in,” to the last, when guest speaker Kris “Tanto” Paranto talked about the importance of leadership and communication in the face of adversity, the conference stressed the importance of collaboration and cooperation between franchisee’s and corporate management.  

Attendees stopped by the IHRSA booth to network with Global Membership Representative Luke Ablondi, who invited visitors to download IHRSA’s Guide to the Boutique Studio Phenomenon following discussions on industry hot topics such as boutique studio competition.  Booth visitors also expressed excitement that the 2017 IHRSA Convention will be back on the West Coast in March. 

Keeping on trend with the hot topic of boutique studio competition, IHRSA member and speaker Sal Pellegrino of Precor facilitated a session called “How to Handle a Low-Cost Competitor (Even When You Are One).”  Sal discussed the massive impact studios have had on the industry, citing successful examples such as fellow IHRSA member Joe Cirulli (Gainesville Health & Fitness) who combats competition by building member relationships with results focused programs. 

Gold’s revealed several new “Gold’s Studio” programs—“Gold’s Fit” and “Gold’s Cycle”—which address and target the growing market of boutique studios, and aim to channel the global presence of Gold’s Gym by creating a strong sense of community for participating members.  The “Gold’s Path” program marks a change in sales and member onboarding philosophy. 

Luke AblondiProspective members choose one of four main “paths” for results, depending on the person’s personal goals. They are set up with a meeting where each new member will receive a custom fitness assessment and ultimately walk away with a 30-day fitness plan, a scheduled follow-up, and a 30-day money back guarantee. 

The conference closed with the awards reception and dinner on Wednesday in the Grand Ballroom of the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Highlights included IHRSA Member Bill Austin being inducted into the Gold’s Gym Hall of Fame. 


Attendees are asked what brought them to the IHRSA Institute

Kate Golden, Director, People & Fitness Operations
Newtown Athletic Club, Newtown, Penn.

“When I was at IHRSA (Annual International Convention & Trade Show) last year a couple people were talking about how great the (Institute) program is and how great it is to learn from it. I am new to the industry so I need to catch up.”


Noah Hastay, Fitness Director
Gainesville Health and Fitness Center, Gainesville, Fla.

“I want to learn more in the management side of the industry. I hope I will be able to improve my team by bringing back some ideas so we can keep the club one of the top in the nation.”



Gregg Pill, Partner
Oak Brook Racquet & Fitness Club, Westmont, Ill.

“I am a big believer in continuing education so I wanted to come out since I haven’t been able to since the (Institute) layoff. I came out to hear the great teachers and industry experts talk and for networking with those of similar-sized clubs so we can share ideas.”


Michele Melkerson-Granryd, General Manager
BodyBusiness Health Club & Spa

“Because I am on the advisory board. Honestly, I always look for new things that make me better at what I do, and I can get that here.



Sal Pellegrino, Director of Key Accounts
Star Trac Fitness, Raleigh, N.C.

“I’ll tell you, I refer to this as getting my four-day MBA in the industry. Our company supported it and I requested to be a part of it. It is such a wonderful event.”


Star Trac is Gold's Gym 'Vendor of the Year'

Star Trac has been named Vendor of the Year—Equipment by Gold's Gym.

Gold's Gym Franchise Association and Gold's Gym corporate vote based on satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending the company for future purchases.

“We are thrilled to have been named the Gold’s Gym Vendor of the Year,” said Sal Pellegrino, director of Key Accounts at Star Trac, in a press release. “We have worked hard to foster a strong relationship with Gold’s Gym and to provide true solutions to their fitness needs, both at a corporate level and for the franchisees.” 

Check out more in the Star Trac press release.


ABC Financial hires former IHRSA intern Pellegrino

Sarah Pellegrino, who despite her young age has been involved and employed with several companies and organizations in the health and fitness industry, has been hired with ABC Financial.

Pellegrino, who recently graduated from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, will be a regional sales director.

Pellegrino has worked for the Fitness Industry Technology Council in social media, the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association in the Research department as an intern, and the Carolina Sports Business Club as the chief business officer. She also founded the Carolina Sport Business & Fitness Expo, a three-series panel session and career fair for sport and fitness industries.

"We are thrilled to have Pellegrino join us at ABC Financial," said Steve Ayers, chief revenue officer of ABC Financial.  "Her personal and family background in the fitness industry has given her the experience and mindset to be a great asset to our industry." 

Pellegrino’s father, Sal, is national director of sales for Star Trac.

Read on for more on the recent hire



Gold's Gym convention is Building Stronger Connections

Gold's Gym International Convention attendees at the Octane Fitness booth.The 2013 Gold's Gym International Convention was held in Las Vegas this week, with the theme, Building Stronger Connections. 

Jim Snow, president of GGI, kicked off the event with a presentation for those in attendance from around the world. Peers and colleagues got together to discuss ways to enhance their businesses. Retention and member satisfaction were identified as keys to success.

The three-day event was also a chance to celebrate recent acquisitions and ones planned for the future. 

Sal Pellegrino of Star Trac holds some of the stuffed animals given to first responders.There was the annual Stronger with Service event that this year had attendees building bikes, that went to first responders from Clarke County Fire Department, along with stuffed animals. There was also the popular trade show.