LAS VEGAS – March 23, 2006 – In ceremonies held yesterday, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) honored Augie Nieto, founder of Life Fitness, Julie Main, President, Cal West Group, Pete Kight, Chairman & CEO of CheckFree Corporation and SCIFIT with its annual honors at the association's 25th Anniversary International Convention & Trade Show.
“It is a great pleasure to honor this year's awards recipients,” said John McCarthy, executive director of IHRSA. “Augie, Julie, Pete and the visionaries at SCIFIT have made tremendous contributions to the health and fitness industry, helping to improve the lives and overall health of millions of health club members around the world. I congratulate and thank them all for their lasting contributions and dedication to the advancement of the global health and fitness industry.”
IHRSA's Person of the Year Award, which is presented annually to an individual that has made a significant contribution to the health of a nation or world through professional achievement and serves as an inspiration to the members of IHRSA, was presented to Augie Nieto, founder of Life Fitness.
Nieto was chosen as IHRSA's Person of the Year in recognition of his continued service to the health and fitness industry, as well as his tireless efforts to rally the industry in the fight to find a cure for ALS – Lou Gehrig's Disease. Previous recipients of this award include Christopher Reeve (2005), Rudy Giuliani (2004) and Jack LaLanne (2003).
In recognition of her exceptional dedication to IHRSA, its staff and its Board of Directors amidst incredibly challenging personal circumstances, in addition to her dedication to serving cancer patients in her own community and beyond through her Cancer WellFit program, Julie Main, President, Cal West Group was awarded this year's Dale S. Dibble Distinguished Service Award.
This award is presented each year to an individual or company within the association that has made exceptional contributions to the industry and IHRSA. Past recipients of this award include East Bank Club (2005), Ray Wilson (2004), and Frank Eisenzimmer (2003).
The John McCarthy Industry Visionary of the Year Award, which honors an individual that has made an unprecedented or unique contribution to the advancement of the health club industry as a whole was presented to Pete Kight, Chairman & CEO of CheckFree Corporation.
Regarded as a pioneer in electronic billing and payment, Pete Kight is credited with enhancing club membership sales and renewal efforts through an EFT payment option, which is also utilized by IHRSA for its dues collections. Having started his career as a former gym manager, Kight founded CheckFree in 1981 to automate club dues collection and now heads a Nasdaq-listed company with over $750 million in revenues. Past recipients of this award include Joe Cirulli (2005) and Gary Heavin (2004).
IHRSA's Associate Member of the Year Award is presented annually to an associate member that continually provides products and services specifically for the health club industry and who demonstrates sustained support of the association through promotional commitments, advertising and program sponsorships.
This year, IHRSA honored SCIFIT with this award in recognition of its unwavering support for the association and for its vision, which recognizes and effectively addresses the needs of a growing wellness market. SCIFIT is at the forefront of the health care / health club connection and its pioneering work within the fitness and medical rehabilitation markets has increased access to a healthy lifestyle for people of all fitness levels. Past recipients of this award include ASF International (2005), TRUE Fitness (2004), and Technogym (2003).
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is proud to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2005-2006. Over the past quarter of a century, the not-for-profit association has established itself as the voice of quality and innovation for the global health, racquet, and sportsclub industry representing over 7,000 clubs in 74 countries, along with over 600 industry suppliers.