Missing Your Fitness Friends and Peers? They Are Here

Without any in-person events this year, including the Club Industry CEO Summit, you may be feeling a little out of touch with some of the owners and CEOs who have become your friends because of your attendance at Club Industry’s CEO Summit. Well, Club Industry can remedy that to a certain extent. Many of your friends are speaking at Club Industry’s new Future of Fitness virtual event next week (Nov. 16-18), and you’ll want to catch their sessions at this free (yes, free) event. 

Here’s a list of who you won’t want to miss. (Fingers crossed we didn’t leave anyone out.)

What lessons has the industry learned from the COVID-19 pandemic? Find out in the session “COVID-19 Lessons Learned” at 10:35 a.m. Eastern on Nov. 16. It will be moderated by Chris Clawson, CEO of Life Fitness, and will include panelists Todd Magazine, CEO of Blink Fitness; Martin Seibold, CEO of LifeFit Group; Brent Gallagher, co-owner of Avenu Fitness; and Cheryl McCarver, executive director of Cooper Street YMCA.

Bill McBride, CEO of Active Wellness, is moderating a panel, “What Leadership Looks Like in a Time of Crisis,” with panelists Greta Wagner, senior vice president of Chelsea Piers Management and executive director/executive vice president of Chelsea Piers Connecticut; Laurie Smith, senior vice president, VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa; and Frank Ancharski, COO of American Family Fitness, at noon Eastern on Nov. 16 with a Zoom call immediately following in which the group will answer questions for a more intimate and interactive experience.

The U.S. Health Club Industry’s Survival Requires Club Alliances” will occur at 12:35 pm Eastern on Nov. 17, featuring three club operators who helped form alliances in their states: Gale Landers, founder and CEO of Fitness Formula Clubs; Scott Gillespie, owner of Saco Sport & Fitness in Maine; and JoAnna Masloski, COO of Wellbridge in Colorado. Right after the panel session, which will be moderated by Al Noshirvani, chairman of Motionsoft, the group will break off into a live Zoom Q&A chat so that you can ask them more specifics about alliances, getting involved with your state alliance or creating your own alliance.

The day after this alliance session, we are presenting a panel, “The Fitness Industry Needs a Political Movement,” with panelists Chris Craytor, president and COO of ACAC; Mark Miller, COO of Merritt Clubs; and Jennifer LaTourette, vice president of Van Scoyoc Associates, one of the lobbying firms for IHRSA. Moderator Helen Durkin of IHRSA will ask these politically active health club operators to share their efforts and the results of those efforts. Make sure to attend that at 10:15 a.m. Eastern on Nov. 18.

In addition to this session, Craytor will present a session at 8:35 am Eastern on Nov. 18 entitled “Healthcare Reimbursement Strategies for Fitness: Moving Beyond Check-in Programs.”

Part of the problem the industry faces is that it still suffers from a poor reputation due to bad actors of the past. That history has come back to hurt the industry today. So how can we elevate the reputation of the industry? We address that at 8:40 a.m. Eastern on Nov. 17 in “How to Improve the Industry’s Reputation and Build Confidence in Its Importance.” Kevin McHugh, COO of The Atlantic Club, and Ori Gorfine, COO of U.S. Fitness Holdings, will share their clubs’ efforts to communicate the professionalism with which health clubs now operate and the value health clubs provide to their communities. Find out how you can do the same by attending this panel, moderated by Maria Turco, CEO of Honor Yoga.

Joe Cirulli, owner of Gainesville Health & Fitness, will present the session “Making Your Health Club Welcoming to the Traditional Non-Joiner,” sharing his years of experience making that 80 percent who haven’t joined a health club feel like they belong inside his clubs. This session is at 9:30 am Eastern on Nov. 17.

Julia Sutton, CEO of exhale, will be on the panel “Apple, Facebook, Tonal and Mirror: Friends or Foes to the Fitness Industry,” at noon Eastern on Nov. 16. The panel, which will be moderated by Michelle Blakely, founder of See Jake and Jane Train, will also include panelists Rob Lander, founder of Fisikal, and Ryan Simat, senior vice president of sales at Echelon Fitness Multimedia.

Also make sure to sit in on “Creating a Better Customer Experience” session at 9:55 a.m. Eastern on Nov. 18 by Blair McHaney, president and CEO of MXM. In this session, McHaney will frame up how the member experience and member expectations have changed, what it means for club owners and operators, and where the industry should focus its energy—all of which will help with retention.

Finally, even though Peter Moore of Integrity Square isn’t a part of the CEO Summit group, his session, “How Private Equity Views the Fitness Industry Today,” may be of special interest to you. So tune into it at 8:55 a.m. Eastern on Nov. 16.

Check out the full agenda for this event, including sessions on technology, marketing, healthcare integration, programming and personal training, political activism for the industry and more, offered by a premier group of speakers.