Joe Cirulli will receive the Club Industry Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Club Industry Conference and Exposition Oct. 10-12 in Las Vegas, Club Industry magazine announced.
Cirulli is the founder and CEO of Gainesville Health and Fitness Centers, Gainesville, FL, which consists of two coed facilities and a 2,400-square-foot facility for women. In 1978, Cirulli opened the first club with three employees in a 1,500-square-foot space above a bank. Today, the main facility is 65,000 square feet, and the company has more than 400 employees and 28,000 members.
“Joe Cirulli is one of the biggest success stories in our industry,” says Pamela Kufahl, editor-in-chief of Club Industry. “And despite becoming successful in this industry, he continues to hold true to his mission of helping to make his community of Gainesville one of the healthiest cities in America. He has not felt the need to franchise his concept and expand beyond his community, but he welcomes club operators from other communities into his club to share his expertise with them. That desire to serve his community and to serve the fitness industry makes him the perfect choice for our award this year.”
In 2003, Gainesville received the Gold Well City USA Award from the Wellness Councils of America. The impetus to try for this award came from Cirulli and his staff. In 2000, the group decided it wanted to make Gainesville the healthiest community in America, so it teamed with Shands HealthCare and the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce to encourage businesses in the community to join the effort. Twenty-one businesses representing 55,000 employees (60 percent of Gainesville’s working population) eventually joined the effort.
In 2004 and 2005, Gainesville Health and Fitness was named the Business of the Year by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Cirulli was featured in the August 2008 cover story “The Believer” in Inc. magazine. The story chronicled how Cirulli turned a list of 10 things he wanted to do in life into reality.
Cirulli will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and will share with the crowd some of what he has learned in the fitness business.
“Joe is a great speaker with an inspiring story,” Kufahl says. “His presentation will be one of the highlights of the show.”