We recently caught up with Bill to ask him how he views his role on the Board and what he believes should be IHRSA’s priorities from an industry partner perspective.
CBI: Why was it important for you to join the IPAC?
Bill Davis: My primary motivation for joining was to be an active voice in encouraging all industry partners, regardless of what they provide, to participate more holistically in IHRSA's mission. I believe IHRSA has a responsibility to come forward with very clear, concise expectations of what they will do for the industry, especially in the context of a realistic assessment of the resources they have available both in monetary terms and human capital.
IHRSA was hit hard through the pandemic and had to make some tough choices. There has to be some recognition of that and support has to be given to really bolster IHRSA to where it's providing the impact that it's capable of providing.
CBI: What do you think should be the priority of the Board right now?
BD: It starts and ends with a concise articulation of where IHRSA wants to focus its resources over the next three to five years. IHRSA needs a clarity of purpose, whether that's focusing its attention on advocacy work, deciding what the next generation of the IHRSA Convention & Trade Show entails, or what types of educational and/or insight experiences IHRSA can afford to give its members.
There's a lot that IHRSA can decide in terms of its prioritization, but I think that declaration is critically important. Are these priorities unequivocally aligned to stated strategies and commitments to the marketplace?
At the moment, IHRSA is attempting to do a lot with limited resources. A greater level of support from the industry as a whole can elevate IHRSA to a place where it could have a positive influence on an industry that, quite honestly, needs leadership like IHRSA's capable of providing.
CBI: Where does advocacy fit into this “clarity of purpose?”
BD: I think it's big. Make no mistake, the industry was left behind in the pandemic. Liz talks a lot about those industries that arguably have a less profound effect on the wellness of the world's population garnering more support than the fitness industry received, and this led to the realization that we were not well positioned from an advocacy perspective.
Liz was brought in with a very clear understanding of her strengths in that area, and it's incumbent on us to find a way to capitalize on that as much as we possibly can. But that, unto itself, necessitates real funding. It's not just simply walking the halls of Capitol Hill, it has to be reinforced by a PAC that has real substance behind it. I’m optimistic that we can garner strong support for that.