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(OAKLAND, CA, August 2, 2018) – The Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) today proudly announced that fitness industry legend Augie Nieto and his wife Lynne have agreed to deliver a keynote presentation at SUCCEED! – the first-ever major Business Convention & Expo for current and aspiring studio/gym owners. The event will be April 12-14, 2019 at Hotel Irvine, in Irvine, CA.
Augie Nieto is the successful fitness industry mogul behind the Lifecycle, co-founder and former CEO of Life Fitness, and one of the true shapers of the modern fitness industry. In 2005, at the height of his career, Augie was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. A diagnosis of cruel irony for the very person who brought muscular strength and endurance to millions, he then faced the inevitable diminishment of virtually all of his voluntary muscles and movement. ALS robs thousands of people like Augie of every benefit exercise provides.
At this crossroad, understanding the bleak reality that ALS lacked the critical awareness, financial support or widespread research needed to find effective treatments and cures, Augie co-founded Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS. Today, despite relying on a motorized wheelchair and needing to use a communication device to speak (that Augie navigates with his big toe and a rollerball), Augie’s Quest has raised more than $60 Million through events, partnerships, and fundraising activities around the globe, to fund cutting edge ALS research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) in Cambridge, MA.
“Whether you’re talking about fitness, entrepreneurship, motivation, or inspiration, nobody embodies success like Augie and Lynne,” said Josh Leve, AFS founder and CEO. “Their session will showcase the true meaning of succeeding in business and in life.”
Lynne Nieto, Augie’s wife, is the “voice” of Augie’s Quest, often appearing with Augie to present the mission and vision of their shared cause and showcase the enormous task and bold quest to which they’ve dedicated their lives. A board member of ALS TDI with an accounting degree from the University of Colorado, Lynne’s leadership, heart, drive, and focus on the bottom line have been instrumental in the success of Augie’s Quest.
Originally only given a life expectancy from diagnosis of 2.5 years and with medical advice to “get your affairs in order,” Augie’s response was typical Augie – he got to work.
“You can either celebrate what you can do, or mourn what you can’t,” Augie said. “Every day I wake up and create a new normal. I don’t dwell on what has changed, but instead, I focus on keeping busy achieving my goals.”
Now, 13 years later, the disease has robbed him of the strength and use of his body. But, rest assured, his mind and spirit have been left unscathed. Augie’s inexorable drive to work and achieve has never been stronger. Pairing his ALS activism with his superb business acumen, Augie has transformed the ALS space.
Chris Clawson, an Augie disciple and himself former CEO of Life Fitness and Matrix Fitness says, “They may call it Lou Gehrig’s disease, but they will call it Augie’s Cure.”
“For a session that will educate you, inspire you, bring you to your feet, and bring you to tears, don’t miss Augie and Lynne Nieto,” said Leve. “This is a keynote presentation attendees will be talking about for years.”
The Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) is the only membership community dedicated solely to the business of fitness studios. AFS provides studio owners and developers a wide array of business-specific products, services, and benefits that enable them to more effectively manage and grow their businesses, building on the passion, compassion and courage they’ve already shown – including SUCCEED! - the first-ever major Business Convention & Expo for current and aspiring studio/gym owners.
About Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS
Augie and Lynne Nieto have been taking on ALS the only way they know how – with honest humor, fierce friendship and one-of-a-kind business savvy. Augie was the “Steve Jobs” of the fitness industry, a business icon finding career success building the Life Fitness and Life Cycle brands, ushering in popular workouts and new forms of cardio, and getting the masses to hit the gym. Since their ALS diagnosis, the couple has been on a unique quest, rallying family, friends and the entire fitness industry to fund innovative science, effective treatments and an ultimate cure through Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS and its beneficiary the ALS Therapy Development Institute - to date, raising more than $66 million to fund essential research into treatments and cures. Because ALS isn’t an incurable disease; it’s only underfunded.
Today, Augie and Lynne have found the joy and laughter in life again and are featured in AUGIE, the new documentary film and love story from the award-winning director James Keach of Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me and producer Eric Carlson of CK&D. Now available to purchase or rent via iTunes and Amazon, their story encourages people facing ALS to never give up, and to dive deep into the riches that life can bring. “You’ve got to laugh every day,” says Augie, as he continues to fight for a cure. Learn more at AugiesQuest.org.