Five Wellness Innovators and Pioneers Honored at Global Wellness Summit

International wellness industry leaders gathered at the Global Wellness Summit for the presentation of five Global Wellness Awards // Photo Credit: Global Wellness Summit (Photo Credit: Global Wellness Summit)

Wellness industry leaders from around the world gathered at the invitation-only Global Wellness Summit to honor five pioneers and innovators for their outstanding contributions to the wellness community. The summit’s conference, held in Singapore, presented Global Wellness Awards in five categories.

The award for Leader in Social Impact was presented to John Wood. He initiated the program Room to Read with the mission of breaking the cycle of illiteracy in girls. Room to Read has impacted the lives of 16.8 million children worldwide and also offers educational initiatives that involve families, school and local governments. 

The award for Leader in Sustainability was presented to Bill Bensley. As a famed architect, landscape designer and lifelong environmentalist, he has instituted change in how the hospital and resort industry approaches sustainability in its practices. He believes that respectful and conscious travelers can help lead the world to a sustainable future. His projects focus on preserving and replenishing nature and enhancing the beauty of the natural world. 

The award for Leader in Innovation was presented to Ronna Chao. She has worked to reduce the fashion industry’s harmful effects on the environment. To achieve this mission, her company, Novetex Textiles, invented a water-free, upcycling process for textiles by combining new and existing technologies that do not consume water or produce chemical waste. 

The award for Leading Woman in Wellness was presented to Mia Kyricos. As the SVP and global head of wellbeing at Hyatt, she has made wellness more accessible to travelers around the globe. Beyond this, Kyricos has played a pivotal role in helping to define the wellness industry, developing and reimagining brands while creating pathways for others to achieve their potential.

The Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness was presented to Gerry Bodeker. He is a clinical psychologist, public health academic and professor at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford as well as the chair of the GWI Mental Wellness Initiative. Professor Bodeker is outspoken about mental health awareness for people around the world bringing about a better understanding of mental wellness’s importance. This award was created by Debra Simon’s daughter Lauren Wright, to honor her mother’s legacy.

At the ceremony, each recipient selected by the GWS board were surprised with a congratulatory video made by a loved one and were presented to the international delegates assembled at Grand Hyatt Singapore. “The Global Wellness Awards recognize the far-reaching impact of the wellness industry and, in particular, the vision of each award winner,” says GWS CEO and chair Susie Ellis. “We are proud to honor these individuals and thank them for their incredible contributions to the wellness movement.”


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