Fitness Industry Roundup: Leading & Empowering

Fitness industry leaders are honored for their contributions, mental health and well-being and medical fitness are on the rise, and gender barriers are getting knocked down.

First off, March was an incredibly busy, yet fulfilling month! We executed a highly successful IHRSA Convention & Trade Show and were able to meet with so many of you. Thank you to everyone who supported and attended the show!

On another note, as we focus on overall wellness, we invite you to join the free, virtual Mental Health & Well-being Global Summit. We also gathered some news to share related to empowering women to participate in strength training and the growing medical fitness trend.

IHRSA 2023 Honors Health & Fitness Industry Leaders

With so many health and fitness industry leaders stepping up to unify the industry, break down barriers, and advocate for our industry, it can be an arduous process to choose award winners. After much deliberation, IHRSA was proud to honor the following award recipients at IHRSA 2023.

At the 14th Annual IHRSA Women's Leadership Summit, Carol Nalevanko, president of DMB Sports Clubs, received the 2023 Woman Leader Award in Honor of Julie Main. With more than 40 years of experience in the health and fitness industry, Carol exemplifies Julie's famous qualities of leadership and drive.

Greg Oliver, CEO & managing director of Fitness and Lifestyle Group, received the inaugural Global Leader Award in Honor of John Holsinger. Greg has spent more than 40 years in the industry and exemplifies John's spirit, presents a wide cultural understanding, and exudes passion for the industry.

Gale Landers, founder & CEO of Fitness Formula Clubs, received the Advocate of the Year Award. Gale gives freely of his time and has generously contributed financially to grow, promote, and protect our industry.

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Congratulations to Carol, Greg, and Gale for all their efforts and passion. We are forever grateful for the indelible mark they've left on the industry.

To nominate a fitness industry professional for an award, visit

Mental Health & Well-being Global Summit

The mental health crisis is one of the major implications to come from COVID. Luckily, the health and fitness industry is packed with knowledge, difference makers, and resources to combat the crisis. To join the mental health movement, attend the free, virtual Mental Health & Well-being Global Summit, presented by the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation and Wisdom for Life, from April 11-17. Hear from more than 60 experts, explore over 25 topics related to mental health and well-being, and get involved in transforming overall wellness.

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Learn more and register.

Blink Launches Free Strength Training to Empower Women

Uncertainty on how to get started and comfort navigating the strength equipment are two key reasons that prevent women from strength training, according to IHRSA member Blink Fitness’ research. To empower women in the weight room with education on equipment and technique in a super supportive class setting, Blink hosted “Empower Hour” throughout the month of March, as detailed in Club Industry. “We want to make sure that all people continue to feel welcome, confident and prepared to participate in the weight room,” said Ellen Thompson, NASM certified area personal training manager for Blink.

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Find out more.

Reh-Fit Centers in on Medical Fitness

Medical fitness is gaining more traction. As members of the health and fitness industry, health clubs, gyms, and studios are well-equipped to provide medical fitness programs and services. Sue Boreskie, CEO of Reh-Fit, told Club Solutions that the key to entering the arena is getting noticed by physicians and medical doctors. “You need to know how to work with physicians and medical practitioners and provide them with information,” she said. “Find ways to integrate yourself and become recognized and reputable in their eyes.” For example, get involved in communities or conferences that physicians frequent.

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Hear the full interview.

Has your health or fitness-related business been featured in the news recently? We want to know! Send a link to any news article or video that highlighted your business to, and we may include it in a future issue of the Fitness Industry Roundup.

Author avatar

Sami Smith

Sami Smith is IHRSA's Communications & Digital Content Producer. On a typical day, she delivers communications and creates content to shape IHRSA's image on a variety of digital platforms. Outside of the office, you can find her traveling to new areas, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.