IHRSA Board Approves Sweeping Changes to Unify Fitness Industry

New changes include adding three board seats and updated bylaws to further the organization as a more effective global advocate for fitness, wellness, and health services.
By Sami Smith

By Sami Smith

Courtesy IHRSA.com

New changes include adding three board seats and updated bylaws to further the organization as a more effective global advocate for fitness, wellness, and health services.

In a meeting on August 31, the IHRSA Board of Directors approved several new proposals that will change the organizational structure. First and foremost, the group, led by Board Chair Chris Craytor, voted to add three new seats to the board.


The new seats will represent one member each from the National Health & Fitness Alliance Advisory Council, the Global Health & Fitness Alliance (GHFA) Advisory Council, and the Industry Partner Advisory Council (IPAC). The representatives from these three groups will serve two-year terms but will not hold officer positions.


“I realized on the day I arrived at IHRSA that these were three critical voices that deserved more recognition and a vote,” says IHRSA President & CEO Liz Clark. “They will bring even more purpose and clarity to our strategic vision.”


Currently, Gale Landers, founder & CEO of Fitness Formula Clubs, is chair of the National Health & Fitness Alliance, Andrea Bell, co-founder & director of Inspire Brands Asia, is chair of the GHFA, and Bill Davis, CEO of ABC Fitness Solutions, is chair of the IPAC.


The new IHRSA Board seats won’t necessarily be occupied by each group’s chair—that will be determined by the groups, then voted on by the IHRSA Board.


Additionally, the IHRSA Board approved changes to specific bylaws and created two new committees: Membership and Events.


“These proposals demonstrate our determination to broaden and strengthen our global partnerships and to ensure that advocacy always has a voice at the highest levels,” adds Liz.


Under Liz’s leadership, these changes represent the continuing transformation of IHRSA, with the intention of positioning the organization as a more effective global advocate for fitness, wellness, and health services.


The Impact of IHRSA Board Service


Serving on the IHRSA Board of Directors is a fulfilling role that helps the health and fitness industry worldwide thrive and grow. Former and current board members agree that there’s no better platform to guide the industry than joining the IHRSA Board.


“I can say without question that applying to serve on the board has been one of the best decisions I have made in my career,” says IHRSA Board Chair Chris Craytor, CEO of acac Fitness & Wellness Centers and CEO of Welld Health. “As a member of the IHRSA Board, you will have the opportunity to personally influence the growth, promotion, and protection of our industry.”


Contributing to the global health and fitness industry as a member of the IHRSA Board of Directors has had a similar impact on Alan Leach, Board ex-officio and CEO of West Wood Clubs in Ireland.

Joining the IHRSA Board of Directors was the absolute pinnacle of my fitness industry career. Working with the most experienced fitness professionals in our industry to move health and fitness forward is an experience I’ll never forget.”

Currently, a record number of board applications are under review to fill seats for the 2023-2027 term. Each year, two to four board positions are filled as existing board members complete their terms of service to ensure that new board members and seasoned members can provide a breadth of experience, ideas, and direction to help health clubs and fitness facilities of all types, sizes, and specialties.


IHRSA is grateful for each applicant and looks forward to working alongside industry veterans who are committed to providing guidance, strategic direction, and insight that has a lasting global impact.


Liz notes that the record number of applications “is a reflection of a newfound interest from so many in our community who want to join, shape, and continue to lead this organization into the future. We thank you for your interest in playing a larger role in IHRSA. We’re building something special here, and we’re glad you’re with us.”


Sorting through the applications has proved to be an arduous process. With so many qualified, engaged, and passionate applicants, and only a few seats up for grabs, the IHRSA Board of Directors nominations committee has their work cut out—in the best way possible.


“One of the things that have impressed me the most in my first year as CEO of IHRSA has been learning just how much incredible talent there is in this industry,” says Liz. “We’re rich with brilliant entrepreneurs and passionate professionals who treat our industry as much more than a career—it’s a lifelong mission.”


The IHRSA Board hopes to vote on nominees for the three seats at the end of the month. IHRSA will release more information in the coming weeks.

Sami Smith is IHRSA’s Communications and Digital Content Producer. On a typical day, she delivers communications and creates content to shape IHRSA’s image. Outside of the office, you can find her traveling to new areas, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.



The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a global community of health and fitness professionals committed to building their businesses and improving their communities’ health and well-being. The mission of IHRSA is to grow, protect, and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with the benefits that will help them be more successful. IHRSA and its members (health clubs and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and industry suppliers) are dedicated to make the world healthier through regular exercise. For more information visit www.ihrsa.org.

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