Norm Cates received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from Club Industry on Oct. 5 at the 2017 Club Industry Show at the Hilton Chicago.
Cates, who has been the publisher of fitness industry news tabloid Club Insider since 1993, was honored for his work on the tabloid, his time as one of the owners of the CourtSouth chain of health clubs in Atlanta, and his role in helping to found the International Racquet Sports Association, which is now IHRSA. He was the first president of IHRSA.
Pamela Kufahl, content director of Club Industry, noted in her introduction of Cates that "he has been the conscience of the industry through his work on Club Insider." As part of that work, he has been a cheerleader and a watchdog for the industry, never shy about publishing kudos or taking the industry or individual club owners to task when he felt they were hurting the industry, she said.
Several associates of Cates, including IHRSA Executive Director Joe Moore, Gainesville Health and Fitness Founder Joe Cirulli and Management Vision President Rick Caro, offered their congratulations via a video shown to the crowd of more than 200 people who had gathered for a Club Community Breakfast and the keynote address by Nick Sarillo in addition to Cates' award presentation.
During his speech after accepting the award, Cates expressed his love of the fitness industry and turned the spotlight back onto the industry by thanking the people in the room and in the fitness industry overall for choosing to be a part of an industry that makes people healthier, which in turn makes America a better place, he said. He singled out a few people in the room who made a difference in his life and the industry, including Cirulli, Caro and Moore. He also made special note of his son, Justin Cates, who is president and assistant publisher of Club Insider, asking Justin to join him on the stage. Cates emphasized that he felt it was an honor to have worked in the industry and to have worked with many people who made a difference for the industry.
You can read more about Cates and his contributions to the industry in this profile of him.
Cates is the 15th recipient of Club Industry's Lifetime Achievement Award. He joins people such as Joe Weider, founder of Weider Publishing; Joe Gold, founder of Gold's Gym and World Gym; Judi Sheppard-Missett, founder of Jazzercise; Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of the Cooper Aerobics Center; and Jack LaLanne, fitness guru.