Boston — September 27, 2018 — Panelists have been announced for the IHRSA Women’s Leadership Summit, hosted by Athletic Business, on Thursday, November 8, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, LA.

The IHRSA Women’s Leadership Summit will offer aspiring leaders in the fitness industry the opportunity to strengthen their network, develop powerful communication skills, and learn from a community of successful women.

Henna Inam, global speaker, author, and CEO of Transformational Leadership Inc., will kick off the event with a keynote presentation that will help attendees define their purpose and create an action plan to experience more meaning in their work.

Following Inam’s keynote, there will be interactive panel discussions featuring women renowned for moving the fitness industry forward through innovation and collaboration:

  • Chantal Brodrick—Based in Sydney, Australia, Brodrick is the host of The Fitness Business Podcast. Since 2015, she has had conversations with over 230 guests on the podcast from business leaders to fitness industry professionals and authors. Brodrick will put her interview skills to work as the moderator of both panels during the IHRSA Women’s Leadership Summit.
  • Stephanie Coulon—Coulon is the member services & marketing manager for Stone Creek Club & Spa in Covington, LA, a club that has received considerable recognition for its support of both national and local causes. Coulon has been with the club since it opened in 2009. She brings 20 years of experience in the fitness industry to these discussions.
  • Helen Durkin, J.D.—Durkin is the executive vice president of public policy for IHRSA. In 1989, she developed the first government relations and legal service programs for health club facilities. Durkin has accomplished many noteworthy achievements as part of the IHRSA team. She led IHRSA to become a founding member of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA); co-chaired the Business and Industry Sector of the National Physical Activity Plan and helped IHRSA become an Organization Affiliate of the plan.
  • Sandy Franco—Franco, a 39-year industry veteran, is the owner of Franco’s Athletic Club & Spa in Mandeville, LA, which received IHRSA’s Outstanding Community Service Award in 2013. Franco, a former member of the IHRSA Board of Directors, was honored as Business Woman of the Year by The Louisiana Business Women's Association and recognized in 2014 as one of New Orleans Top Achieving Women.
  • Trina Gray—Gray, owner of Bay Athletic Club and Bay Urban Fitness in Michigan, currently holds the honor of being the 2018 IDEA Fitness Leader of the Year. In 2012, Bay Athletic Club won IHRSA’s Outstanding Community Service Award. Gray is a top industry presenter, mentor, and coach dedicated to helping everyone lead active, healthier lives.
  • Jill Kinney—Kinney is the founder of Club One and Active Wellness, which acquired most of Club One’s assets when it launched in 2014. Today, Active Wellness is one of the top integrated fitness service companies in the U.S. Kinney is also a former member of the IHRSA Board of Directors, a recipient of IHRSA’s Dale S. Dibble Distinguished Service Award, and was inducted into the Wellness Revolution Hall of Fame.
  • Michele Melkerson-Granryd, M.Ed.—Melkerson-Granryd, a current member of the IHRSA Board of Directors, is the general manager of Castle Hill Fitness 360 in Austin, TX. Melkerson-Granryd has spoken at the IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show, is a member of the IHRSA Institute Faculty Advisory, and was the executive director of the Texas Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association for 10 years.

“The IHRSA Women’s Leadership Summit has consistently been one of the most highly regarded sessions at IHRSA’s Annual International Convention & Trade Show,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO. “We are thrilled to bring this event to AB Show for the first time to give more women the opportunity to learn from and connect with women who are making a lasting impact on the fitness industry and business world.”

One of those women is IHRSA’s own Durkin, who will participate in a panel discussion on the topic of Building a Business that Gives Back.

“I’ve seen too many women underinvesting in their social capital, to the detriment of their career advancement,” said Durkin. “I’m honored to be speaking at this event because I would like more women to experience how building and strengthening our relationships with each other can only help us grow and be more successful.”

The IHRSA Women’s Leadership Summit, hosted by Athletic Business, is sponsored by Club Automation, SportsArt, and Stealth Wellness, offers a valuable opportunity for women in the fitness industry to strengthen their network, expertise, and influence. The $129 registration fee includes the full IHRSA Women’s Leadership Summit program, an AB Show Expo Pass—including admission to the expo, early-morning workout, and AB Show Keynotes—and the AB Show Welcome Reception on Thursday night.

For more information and to register, visit the website for the IHRSA Women’s Leadership Summit.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion. IHRSA and the global health club industry will convene in San Diego, CA, from March 13-16, 2019, for IHRSA 2019, IHRSA’s 38th Annual International Convention & Trade Show.