Suzanne Gray has spent more than four decades developing one-of-a-kind fitness programs for children and adults from all walks of life—such as firefighters and those with special needs. This is precisely why she was chosen to be part of Club Industry's inaugural class of brand ambassadors.
Gray is president of Right Fit Sport Fitness Wellness, based in Willowbrook, Illinois. Right Fit's offerings include a 6,000-square-foot multipurpose fitness facility, as well as off-site occupational training.
Gray is bringing her varied experience to this year's Club Industry Show (Oct. 24-26, Hilton Chicago) in the form of her Oct. 26 session, "From Chairs to Pushing Sleds—Senior Fitness: What You Need to Know" (10:45 a.m., Lake Huron room).
Below, we caught up with Gray about being named a Club Industry Ambassador, her favorite memories from past Club Industry events and why she chose to address senior fitness in this year's session.
Q: How were you first introduced to Club Industry?
SG: My Club journey began when I met a dynamic salesperson at the Club Industry Show in 2008. She encouraged me to apply for Club Industry's contest for the "Best of the Best" fitness programs in the United States. I accepted her challenge, and my company, Right Fit, won the "Best Children’s Program" category in 2010.
Q: Since then, how has the Club Industry Show personally helped you and your business positively evolve?
SG: My affiliation with Club Industry has led to more speaking roles for myself and other Right Fit training specialists. Soon after first attending, I received an invitation to author the book “101 Games and Activities for Youth with Autism” and two DVDs, “Raising the Bar: Fitness Training for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders" and “Fire-Up: Fitness Program for Fire Fighters." Right Fit is better able to utilize the talented Club Industry team to effectively market fitness programs outside my company's four walls and to communities as far away as Vietnam.
Q: Can you share a favorite anecdote from a past Club Industry Show?
SG: At the 2017 Club Industry Show, I met a representative from Coach Me Plus, and we’re now developing a proprietary online digital program to better serve fire fighters and first responders by giving them access to 24/7, on-demand fitness programming.
Q: Why should health and wellness professionals attend Club Industry? What sets Club apart from other trade shows and conferences?
SG: Industry networking and professional partnerships are essential to succeed in any field. I believe Club Industry strives to create valuable experiences for every member through its high standard to educate every consumer. For many decades, the Club team has committed to delivering the best and most valuable market information on a timely basis.
Q: You are part of the inaugural class of Club Industry brand ambassadors. What makes you most excited about this opportunity?
SG: As an educator, business owner, wife and mother of four sons, I am energized by this exceptional opportunity to align myself with the best in our industry. Being an ambassador allows me to spread the word, educate and advance Club Industry’s mission.
Q: What do you believe you can do with this ambassadorship platform to effect change at the show and beyond?
SG: I hope to share experiences with like-minded people and have them become a part of the dream and mission of Right Fit: delivering fitness for "every body."
Q: Can you talk about your role at this year’s show? How did you decide on your session topic, and why do you believe it is relevant to attendees?
SG: I am excited to present on at 10:45 a.m, October 26, in the Lake Huron room: “From Chairs to Pushing Sleds—Senior Fitness: What You Need to Know." Seniors are among today's fastest-growing populations, with this style of training becoming a top-10 fitness trend—so we need more fitness professionals to train Baby Boomers. This will be a fun, hands-on educational experience to motivate professionals in attendance to take charge and dynamically create a bigger and better functional fitness platform for active agers. Baby Boomers have a huge appetite to stay active, healthy and learn how to optimize their movement for years to come.
Q: Finally, summarize Club Industry in one sentence.
SG: Club Industry is a caring family of dynamic professionals ready to educate and share experiences in the fitness field—all in the name of enthusiastically promoting lifelong health and well-being worldwide.
Don't miss Suzanne Gray's session at the 2018 Club Industry Show: "From Chairs to Pushing Sleds—Senior Fitness: What You Need to Know" (10:45 a.m., Oct. 26, 2018, Lake Huron room, Hilton Chicago).