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IHRSA appoints its first female Chief Executive
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association has appointed Elizabeth Clark as their next president and Chief Executive. Clark, a seasoned association executive, joins IHRSA at a critical time for the fitness industry and the association.
Clark previously led government relations and advocacy at the National Confectioners Association (NCA ) and beginning 16th August, she will be the first female chief executive in the association’s 40-year history.
Clark succeeds IHRSA Interim President and Chief EXecutive Brent Darden who stepped in last August at the Board’s request and led the association back to stability and united the industry during the pandemic until a permanent Chief EXecutive was selected.
“IHRSA’s mission, to grow, protect, and promote the health and fitness industry, has never been more important,” notes Carrie Kepple, chairwoman, IHRSA Board of Directors.
“For the past year, the board of directors and IHRSA team have been focused on reopening, rebuilding, and reimagining our industry and our association. Liz’s long, successful career in association management, her expertise in advocacy, and her commitment to member service—not to mention her energy and passion—will serve IHRSA and all our members very well.”
Clark's appointment concludes a five-month national search process completed by a six-member search committee chaired by Greta Wagner, executive director, Chelsea Piers Connecticut and IHRSA board member.
Wagner adds “the search committee was tasked with working with industry leaders to find a transformational CEO to move IHRSA and its member clubs into a new era.
“It was evident to the committee almost immediately that Liz's ability to perform at the highest level along with her business acumen made her a natural fit.
“She will bring new energy to the mission to scale up our business and advocate for our industry, and I know she’s the right person to lead IHRSA at this important time.”
Clark has led advocacy efforts at NCA since 2011, serving as the industry’s voice on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country. Among her notable accomplishments, Clark successfully lobbied the administration to have confection manufacturing deemed "essential" during the pandemic. Prior to NCA, she was an executive director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Clark advised “I am honoured to work alongside and on behalf of this dynamic and evolving industry. This is an exceptional opportunity to bring my experience to bear for an industry I have been personally committed to for my entire life, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”
Clark is a lifelong athlete whose commitment to fitness included rowing crew as an undergraduate at the University at Dayton. She holds a Master of Arts in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University.
Executive search firm Spencer Stuart led the nationwide search for IHRSA’s next president and Chief EXecutive. The process was led by a representative search committee consisting of Wagner, Kepple, Alan Leach (IHRSA Chair International Committee), Bryan O’Rourke, Chris Smith, and Jim Worthington (IHRSA Board Ex Officio).
8th June 2021 - ChinaFit and IHRSA reveal strategic partnership
3rd May 2021 - IHRSA shares updates on United States’ GYMS Act
22nd November 2020 - IHRSA survey highlights users’ sentiments on the essential role of fitness clubs
6th March 2020 - IHRSA publication seeks Fitness Industry support for Global Goals
22nd January 2020 - SportsArt named as IHRSA 2020 Associate Member of the Year
16th August 2019 - IHRSA announces collaboration with World Wellness Weekend third edition
4th July 2019 - IHRSA provides guidance on children in gyms
25th April 2019 - IHRSA analysis emphasises why fitness clubs need small group training
31st January 2019 - MINDBODY named 2019 IHRSA Associate Member of the Year
2nd January 2019 - IHRSA highlights role of fitness clubs in supporting all needs and abilities
31st December 2018 - IHRSA resource Gives Clubs Tools to Help Members Lose Weight
22nd October 2018 - Chantal Brodrick named as Moderator of IHRSA Women’s Leadership Summit
19th January 2018 - Aquafit Manager Kristen Green to receive IHRSA Woman Leader Award
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