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4 Ways You Know You’re Ready to Join the IHRSA Board

If you’re an IHRSA member club operator interested in promoting the association and the fitness industry, now is the time to consider applying to the IHRSA Board.

If you’re an IHRSA member club operator interested in promoting the association and the fitness industry—now is the time to consider applying to the IHRSA Board!

The IHRSA Board of Directors is an elected group of club operators and industry leaders who 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.

Each year, two to four board positions are filled as existing board members complete their terms of service. This ensures that new board members are side by side with seasoned members, providing a breadth of experience, ideas, and direction that can help clubs of all types, sizes, and specialties. Our association grows stronger and more successful by applying insights from club operators just like you.

So, are you ready to join the IHRSA Board? Here’s how you’ll know…

1. You’re a passionate and dedicated IHRSA member club operator

“What makes a good candidate?” says Michele Melkerson-Granryd, Chair of the Nominations Committee. “Someone who believes that the fitness industry should be an essential component in the health and wellbeing of the world’s populations and wants to use their experience and knowledge to help IHRSA succeed in its mission.”

With research now showing that physical inactivity is directly correlated with greater COVID-19 mortality, IHRSA needs board members who are passionate about the need to promote the importance of physical activity for health and wellbeing.

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That’s never been more true than now, she adds. “Serving during the pandemic was a major responsibility and more time-consuming than expected—but I truly feel fortunate to be part of helping IHRSA pivot in response to COVID-19.” Like Melkerson-Granryd, you can bring that perspective to the Board as it is helping the industry thrive and grow, not just survive.

2. You’re ready to play a more active role in the industry

The Board looks for member club operators who are highly engaged in IHRSA and the health and fitness industry. 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,

  • Advocating on behalf of the industry—working with governments, media, and other stakeholders to promote the health benefits of the industry and ensure a business-friendly climate,

  • Serving as an international federation or state alliance leader, and

  • Encouraging others to participate in IHRSA membership, programs, and meetings.

"Joining the IHRSA Board of Directors was the absolute pinnacle of my fitness industry career,” says Alan Leach, Board Chair. “Working with the most experienced fitness professionals in our industry to move health and fitness forward is an experience I’ll never forget.”

3. You value industry connections

There are many benefits to serving on the IHRSA Board beyond the prestige of holding a position that helps guide the association and the health club industry. While a typical board may call to mind a stuffy, formal organization, the IHRSA Board is anything but.

IHRSA Board meetings have been known to incorporate yoga, walking, weight training, kayaking, and other activities into discussions and brainstorming sessions.

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“Working with the industry professionals that make up the IHRSA Board of Directors and IHRSA Staff has truly been one of the more rewarding experiences in my 30+ year career,” says Melkerson-Granryd.

4. You’re excited to apply!

Have we convinced you yet? If you think you’re the right fit, we want to learn more about you and your role in the industry.

New board member applications are due on August 13, 2021.

The application process involves answering seven questions about your involvement in the health and fitness industry and with IHRSA. Your involvement in civic or community affairs and/or national and international association activities is also a consideration. You are also asked to provide at least five industry references.

All applicants are screened and interviewed by at least three members of the IHRSA Nominations Committee. Interviews are done by video or in person when possible.

The Board of Directors’ term is four years. The time commitment is typically at least 10-15 hours per month including video board meetings and committee participation. Board members will also travel to at least one on-site board meeting per year held in conjunction with IHRSA’s Annual Convention & Trade Show. Travel costs for the Board meetings are covered by the association.

"The IHRSA Board is looking for people from all areas of the world to help shape the future of the global fitness industry,” says Leach. “We are looking for fitness industry business expertise from independent operators of all sizes to big box clubs to smaller boutique clubs and studios. If you feel you can contribute to the future of the global fitness industry, there is no better platform than the IHRSA Board. Apply now."

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Pam O'Donnell

Pam O'Donnell is the Vice President of Member Experience & Development at IHRSA.