Fitness Industry Leaders Focus on Planning for the Future

Being a leader means you can “advocate for one of the best products being ‘sold,’” according to ILC member Paula Neubert.

The Lessons in Fitness Leadership series highlights IHRSA’s industry leaders and thanks them for their continued commitment to growing, promoting, and protecting the health club industry. By sharing their business expertise, we hope that you will get to know them, what they've learned along the way, and how they view leadership.

Paula Neubert Column Width

Paula Neubert
President/CEO
Club Greenwood

Paula Neubert has been an ILC member for the past five years. She joined the ILC after finding out about the invaluable advocacy work IHRSA does to grow and promote the industry.

What is the most fulfilling part of being a business leader in the fitness industry?

You get to be a leader and advocate for one of the best products being “sold.” Think about it…how many businesses allow you to spend your days talking to people, helping them reach goals that make them healthier and happier, and give you the opportunity to be energized and motivated just by stepping out of your office door and taking a walk around the club? I am proud and honored to be part of this industry!

If you were able to go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger self about working in the fitness industry?

Try not to get bogged down in the day-to-day. It’s so easy to become distracted putting out fires, and reacting to things that pop up throughout the day. A leader needs to focus on strategies, creating and planning for the future.

What prompted you to join the Industry Leadership Council (ILC)?

Phone calls from a few IHRSA Board members. I didn’t know a lot about the ILC, but they helped me understand more about this group of leaders and the advocacy work they do to help our industry. I’ve been a loyal supporter ever since.

The Personal Health Investment Today Act, or PHIT, is legislation that would make access to physical activity more affordable. How will passage of this bill help America get fit?

Many people are already used to using flexible spending accounts for healthcare, so being able to add fitness as an option is a plus. We often hear that trying to “be healthy” costs money, whether it’s purchasing more nutritious food options or joining a club, so having the option of pre-tax funds set aside for the purpose of fitness, would make it easier for people to make this decision. The passage of the PHIT Act will have an instrumental positive impact on America’s fitness level!

Founded 20 years ago by a group of concerned industry leaders, the Industry Leadership Council exists so that IHRSA has the funds to stop or amend legislation and regulations that would be harmful to club operations, as well as to have the resources necessary to take advantage of opportunities—like PHIT and financial incentives to exercise—that would grow the industry.

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Emily Gluck

Emily Gluck is IHRSA's Executive Assistant. On average her job consists of scheduling, supporting the executive team, and planning events, while the best part of her job is getting to work with a great team on a daily basis. If Emily is out of the office you can typically find her kayaking, hiking in a national park, or rafting on a remote river (ideally she likes to get out of cell phone range).