Upon the advice of many, including my partner and friend Robert Dyer, Sal Pellegrino and others, to learn more about the pulse of the health club industry, I headed up to Boston this week to sit down with the President and CEO of IHRSA, Joe Moore. Representing thousands of health clubs around the world and being the voice of the health club industry in general is no small job. However, in speaking with people like Joe Moore, Pam O'Donnell (pictured above with Joe and I), Meredith Poppler, Helen Durkin and others, I continue to discover a lot more about the thinking behind the organization that I'd like to share and of course hear back from you on. I also understand the importance of why people like you and I need to do more for this organization in order to help it succeed.
As way of background, for those that do not know, Joe Moore has been CEO of IHRSA officially for five years but his background in fitness goes way back. As a former police officer and fitness enthusiast, he founded the Dayton Nautilus Health Club in 1969. 35 years and 10 locations latter he sold out in 2005 to FitWorks (check out this interesting article on Joe from 1985 to learn more). Joe was out of the health club business but soon would find his new place leading the charge at IHRSA.
I did my research in advance of our talk and learned that Joe played a mean guitar riff. Being fellow musicians gave us something to really talk about (watch Joe play guitar at IHRSA in 2010 with the Board Of Director). That made our visit all the more enjoyable and I found Joe to be quite a personable guy.
Anyway, after an initial chat and sharing thank you's and the like, I asked, "What can I do to help?". Joe's view was simple in saying "Bryan we just need to get more people to move". This thinking is consistent with much of Joe's writing and while I won't go into details of our visit in the interest of confidences, our exchange was indepth and insightful.
For those of you who follow my writing, I believe the health club industry is in the midst of a massive evolution and navigating that change will result in a lot of upheavel with some winning and some losing. Regardless, it was engaging and enjoyable to see the leadership of IHRSA and visit with my musical friend Joe Moore. After talking I felt better about being able to make a greater contribution to the health club industry which I and so many of my friends and colleagues love.
Tell me, Bryan O'Rourke, what are your views on IHRSA ? Are you making the level of contrbution you'd like to ? Why or why not ? How can we make IHRSA a more effective membership organization that can help advance the health club industry and fitness in general ? Thanks for sharing your views and thank you Joe, Pam, Helen and Meredith among all of you at IHRSA for doing what you do and taking time out of your busy day to visit.