Following their Annual General Meeting held in August, FIC has announced a new president, treasurer, and board members to the national leadership team:
SARA HODSON – President
Sara has done a commendable job as co-chair of FIC’s BC Coalition since the height of the pandemic, meeting with government leaders and relaying all vital information to FIC members.
Sara has spent her 20-year career devoted to how exercise affects our physical and mental health. She is a strong communicator and believes in strengthening the fitness industry together. As the lead on the federal ask to make exercise a tax deduction, Sara strives to connect with lobbyists, politicians, FIC members, and various groups.
A trained Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Hodson began her career in cardiac rehabilitation and diabetes management for Fraser Health Authority in BC. There, she saw a need for patients to have clinically-supervised medical fitness programs beyond the hospital walls. In 2011 she launched LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic – a safe, supportive, supervised exercise environment focused on the management and prevention of chronic health conditions. Her clinics create an inclusive culture where everyone is supported in their health journey. In the last ten years, LIVE WELL has grown as a community with franchises in four Canadian provinces, and since COVID-19 began includes a virtual platform to serve members all over the world.
Sara lives and breathes exercise as medicine and is a sought-after speaker on the dose effect of exercise for physical and mental health. Sara is also the proud mother of four children.
CARL ULMER – Treasurer
In 2011, Carl opened the first Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness location in Coquitlam, BC, as the General Manager. He led the Management Group as a Regional Manager from 2012-2017. Soon after, he transitioned into the role of Director of Fitness, where he launched and supported the growth of our newly introduced Personal Training Department. Carl has been promoted to Director of Operations where he now oversees and supports all of the operations of Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness. Carl is also a Partner with L&L Signature Fitness Group (Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness and Orange Theory Fitness Lower Mainland).
Carl has been involved in supporting some of the political campaigns provincially in his area of Surrey, British Columbia. He also supports some minor league and children’s sports associations. Carl hopes to become more involved in these types of initiatives in the future. Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness is an advocate of the National Health and Fitness Day, the Trevor Linden Foundation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation among others.
PAULA COMFORT – Board Member
Paula Comfort is a partner at 360impact Group, a North America leader in executive search and talent acquisition focused in the fitness industry. Since 2008, Paula has executed hundreds of search mandates ranging from sales associate roles to General Counsel. Paula believes strongly in building long term, trusted relationships with 360impact Group clients and takes deep interest in candidates she works with.
Prior to 360impact Group, Paula served as the Managing Director of Fitness and Human Resources for Spa Chakra. Paula holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. She has held senior leadership roles in all aspects of sales, marketing and operations. As a results oriented leader, her strength and passion is building high performance teams for clients. Paula is a very intuitive leader that quickly assesses culture, organization structure and her superpower if finding the perfect fit for both her clients and candidates.
GABRIEL HARDY – Board Member
Gabriel Hardy is the father of 2 young boys and is very committed to the long-term development of young athletes. A graduate in kinesiology from the preventive medicine department at Laval University, he began his career more than 15 years ago as a physical preparation trainer. Gabriel first got the job of physical trainer for the Quebec Remparts in 2006, an organization for which he still holds the contract. During his years as a coach, he guided a wide variety of athletes; from national hopefuls in figure skating to strong men, focusing more on long-term development of young hockey players. He now focuses on the field of hockey where he is a physical trainer for many professional athletes.
He is the CEO of his company, a multi-faceted training complex located in Quebec City: conventional gym, Crossfit center, physical preparation center for athletes as well as certified coaching services. He continues to run his business with the help of a strong team and also offers numerous health and training conferences for businesses in the Quebec City region.
IAN SMITH – Board Member
Ian is a driven leader, with excellent communication skills and the ability to create strong team cultures. He started his early career in retail management, leading teams of up to 150 members, and then transitioned into management consulting. While consulting Ian was able to work across a variety of industries, focusing on both process improvement and leadership development in organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. It was while doing this that Ian was introduced to Orangetheory and began the transition into the fitness sector. Ian opened one of the first Orangetheory locations in the downtown core of Toronto and acts as an Owner/Operator for his studio. Ian is also on the leadership team FIC’s Ontario Coalition.
Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is the not-for profit trade association that represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada. Representing more than 6,000 facilities with more than six-million members nationwide, FIC pursues a legislative agenda in the hope of bettering the fitness industry for both consumers and operators. FIC aims to work with both industry and government to improve the health and physical activity levels of Canadians.