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Best of the Best

Any new venture brings with it some trepidation. Today marked the first awards presentation at Club Industry for our annual Best of the Best contest. We were a little concerned about the turnout for the event, especially when there were only a few people in the audience a few minutes before show time. But over the course of the seminar, about 35 people came to hear what made our "best" programs tick.

After our editor, Pam Kufahl, made her introduction and SportsArt marketing director Scott Logan had some opening remarks, a video presentation produced by Jenn (Shaver) and Jen (Ray) went flawlessly. I think they need to add "Mix Master Artists" to their resumes.

Not only were the four winning programs all from the state of Texas, all the presenters were (and still are) female. I think we should call them the "Cowgirls" or the "TexAnns" as they do at Tarleton State University.

The four winners and presenters were as follows: Best Behavior Modification Program--Texins Activities Centers and Health Fitness Corp., Dallas, TX (Blair Archer, wellness coordinator); Best Children's Program--Bodyworks Family Sports Center, Lubbock, TX (Kristi Franks, youth fitness director); Best New Member Integration Program--Cooper Aerobics Center at Craig Ranch, McKinney, TX (Kelly Warrington, program director); Best Nonmember or Community Program--Bodyworks Family Sports Center, Lubbock, TX (Krista Burns, events coordinator).

I think the low-key atmosphere of the room helped all four women calm their nerves (not that they showed any) and allowed them to give stellar power-point presentations. All were very professional and enthusiastic about not only winning their awards, but also about showing off their clubs' programs in a positive light.

After the four presentations, Kelli Calabrese presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Phil Kaplan, one of the elite personal trainers in the country. Kaplan acted surprised about winning the award, and then jokingly thanked Martin Scorsese and Al Pacino, as if he had just won an Academy Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was perhaps a little misplaced in the show. Plus, the Best of the Best awards seminar was competing against the giant that is the trade show floor. There has been early discussion about moving the Best of the Best to a more marquee time at next year's show. It's worth doing.

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