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.
The Fitness Industry 'Enhances the Lives of Millions'
The fitness industry impacts lives every day, going “far beyond the calories burned, the inches lost or gained, dumbbells, treadmills, and walls,” according to ILC member Anna Welsh.
Director of Client Success
Jonas Fitness, Inc.
Anna Welsh has been an Industry Leadership Council (ILC) member for the past year. She believes that aligning with IHRSA is a way to show all levels of governments and local communities that you support the most sensible way toward improving fitness for everyone, in every regard.
What is the most fulfilling part of being a leader in the fitness industry?
The most fulfilling part of being a leader in the fitness industry is knowing that every day I am part of a community that enriches and enhances the lives of millions. An average day in our industry is more rewarding than the best day in many others.
If you could go back in time, what is one piece of leadership advice you would have given your younger self about working in the fitness industry?
My younger self did not realize the depth of impact the fitness environment has on lives beyond the aspect of improving physical health. Our gyms are sanctuaries and safe havens. They are destinations that offer hope and respite. The community, camaraderie, and inspiration in the gym carry far beyond the calories burned, the inches lost or gained, dumbbells, treadmills, and walls.
IHRSA does a significant amount of advocacy work to Grow, Promote, and Protect clubs across the country. How do you feel that work benefits your business or the industry at large?
Having the great fortune of speaking and meeting with vendors and fitness operators every day, keeping up with IHRSA initiatives, events, and industry news allows me to share the most accurate and current information. This helps facilitate fitness operators in making the best decisions for their business. Having IHRSA as a trusted resource has allowed our industry to flourish and be regarded as a respected part of every community.
Why should club operators or industry leaders get involved in the ILC and IHRSA Advocacy?
Supporting the people (IHRSA ILC) who stand up for the rights of the fitness industry and who champion to protect and educate is a must. Gym operators who take the time to participate, can shape the future growth and safety of the industry. Aligning with IHRSA is a way to show international, federal, state, and the local community that you support the most sensible way toward improving fitness for everyone, in every regard.
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.
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).