The New Perspectives You Need to Hear in the Fitness Industry

Where can you go to hear the speakers you expect to hear but also some new voices you may not have heard? The Future of Fitness virtual event. (Photo by gorodenkoff/Getty Images Plus.)

During the past year, we’ve heard from a lot of experienced club operators and consultants who have given of their time to share their expertise on various online webinars, conferences and videos. This is no small thing, as it takes time and thought to put these together. Few of these people, if any, are getting paid to help the industry. They do it because they want to see the industry thrive.

At Club Industry’s past two Future of Fitness virtual events, we’ve been honored to have many of these people participate. And some are participating again in our next free Future of Fitness event June 16-17.

But we also understand how important new voices and perspectives are to the industry. So we’ve made a point to make space for new presenters at our virtual events. This month’s virtual event is no exception.

For this month’s free event, we have not just new people speaking but also more speakers from YMCAs, more women, more people of color and more people from outside the United States.

We’ll start with the last session of the event, a live panel that includes two familiar faces and two new faces. “Where the Fitness Industry Is Heading” is a live interactive panel in which you get to ask your questions of panelists Blair McHaney, CEO of MXM (a sponsor); Todd Magazine, CEO of Blink Fitness; and newcomers to our events Sue Glass, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metro Denver; and Emma Lehner, founder and CEO of Bodystreet, a brand in Germany.

One of the most popular topics in our last two virtual events (and likely also in this one) is hybridization. Adam Zeitsiff, CEO of Intelivideo (a sponsor of the event), will again moderate this live panel where you are asked to bring your questions to the panel, “What Is Next for Hybridization?” Zeitsiff may not be a new face to our virtual events and neither is panelist Chris Craytor, CEO of ACAC Fitness & Wellness Centers and CEO of Welld Health, but all of the other panelists are: Tiffany Hamlin, national director of group fitness at World Gym International; Tommy Matthews, business development director of Be Military Fit; and Ronn McMahon, president and CEO of Greater Wichita YMCA.

Because of the popularity of the online fitness and outdoor fitness sessions at our last virtual event, we are offering this session at the June event: “Fitness Freedom: The New Principles of the Virtually Anywhere Fitness Experience.” Not only is the moderator, Uday Anumalachetty, divisional vice president at Fitness on Demand (a sponsor), new to our events, but so are all four of the panelists: April Fisk, CEO of RockBox Fitness; Jerome Bonhomme, CTO of American Specialty Health; Heidi Nyquist, franchise owner, Snap Fitness; and Will Brereton, founder of SH1FT and Ministry of Fit.

Our panel, “Certifications vs. Personal Training Licensing: Is Now the Time?,” is another example of a panel with a lot of new faces for us. Moderated by PJ Taei, CEO of UScreen (a sponsor), the panel will include Lawrence Biscontini, mindful movement specialist at FitnessGroup2000; Akaylah Jaeke, a professor at Madison College; and Anthony Wilkins, a trainer and owner of Alloy Personal Training for Women. Insights on the topic from a larger brand will be offered by Jarrod Saracco, COO of World Gym.

Another panel, “The XX Factor: Why You Need Women in Your Executive Ranks,” is full of new faces for us, starting with moderator Ashley St. Jules, vice president of marketing for Les Mills (a sponsor), and including panelists Catherine Edmunds, chair of the DEI advisory group for EuropeActive; Jomana Elwenni, director of human resources for Orangetheory Fitness Canada; Stephanie Erazo, founder of Prana Wellness and ambassador for Women in Fitness Association; and Carrie Kepple-Styles, founder and co-owner of Styles Studios Fitness as well as chairman of IHRSA board of directors.

The panel “Expanding into Connected Fitness” will share insights about how studios are moving from a virtual studio model experience during the pandemic to create more connection through connected fitness equipment for members in their homes. Moderator Alex Peacock, chief commercial officer for Sweatworks (a sponsor) will ask the panelists where this transformation is taking studios. Panelists, all of whom are new to the Future of Fitness events, are JJ Creegan, senior vice president of operations at Orangetheory Fitness; Helaine Knapp, founder and CEO of CityRow; and Ediva Zanker, co-founder of GRIT Bxng.

The panel, “The Path Ahead for Studios Around the World,” is moderated by Julian Barnes, co-founder and CEO of Boutique Fitness Solutions. Barnes has become a bit of a regular at our Future of Fitness virtual events, offering his studio insights, but the three panelists he’ll be talking to are new to us. Anabel Chew is co-founder of WeBarre, which has locations in Singapore and Hong Kong. Joanne Mathews, CEO and founder of Ten Health & Fitness, will offer a perspective from the United Kingdom. Kari Saitowitz, founder and CEO of Fhitting Room, will offer the U.S. perspective.

Another panel around studios is “Licensing Could Turn the Studio Model on Its Head,” which will be moderated by Len Fridman, CEO and co-founder of Wellness Living (an event sponsor). The two panelists are new to us: Jill Dailey, founder and CEO of The Dailey Method, and Sadie Kurzban, founder and CEO of 305 Fitness.

Stacey Seward Vandiver, owner and CEO of SoulBody Fitness (a sponsor), is moderating another panel, “The Realities of Group Fitness NOW,” about how group fitness is changing, and the panel has all new speakers: Sara Keller, group exercise director at Brick Bodies Fitness Services; Joella Hopkins, vice president of group fitness at EoS Fitness; and Linda Haupt, corporate director of group fitness at U.S. Fitness.

Three solo presenters are brand new to our event. Tina Carroll, president and chief communications officer at Carroll Consultants, is presenting “Hiring Has Changed and Here Is How to Adapt.” Sarah Marion, director of syndicated research at Murphy Research, is presenting “What the Numbers Say about Digital vs. Brick-and-Mortar Fitness.” Lisa Gorsline, president and general manager at Corpus Christi Athletic Club, has spoken at other events, but she is new to Club Industry’s events. She’ll be presenting “5 Ideas to Create a Service Culture That Retains Members.”

The session “Life Time Shares How It Is Working for Change Through DEI” is not quite a solo presentation, but this one-on-one interview features David Pettrone Swalve, senior vice president of Life Time University and Workforce Inclusion at Life Time, a company that doesn’t often present at industry events, so we feel honored to have Swalve and Life Time represented.

Check out all the speakers at the event by going here. Review the agenda here. And then go here to register now. Even if you can’t attend live next week, register so you can access sessions on-demand later.


Suggested Articles:

The California Fitness Alliance has dropped its lawsuit against the California governor now that gyms in the state have reopened.

Artificial intelligence allows gyms to accurately predict the future and take informed action using data that already exists in the business. These 10

The new wellness and work space is the second in Houston and the sixth nationally for Life Time.