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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

IHRSA's interim CEO, Brent Darden, tells HCM it’s time for a ‘sense of urgency to survive and thrive’

Speaking to HCM, Brent Darden, the new interim CEO and president of IHRSA, says the organisation is positively committed to a reassessment of its mission and activity.

Darden said: "I believe the time has come for both IHRSA and our industry to reimagine themselves — to reset and to set the stage for a revival that holds tremendous promise."

Darden, a former IHRSA board member, was appointed to take over from Joe Moore, who stepped down last week in the middle of a growing crisis over booth refunds for IHRSA's cancelled 2020 trade show, with industry insiders saying the change was 'overdue'.

Darden said: “ IHRSA remains committed to its founding principles of growing, protecting, and promoting the health and fitness industry. As we look to the future, we must strengthen our resolve to live out these ideals in support of the global community we serve.

He stressed the challenges facing the industry in terms of profile with governments and stakeholders, commenting: "It’s been said that crisis reveals character, and this is true not only of individuals, but also of organisations.

"The pandemic has laid bare the reality of how far we must go to earn a prominent place in the continuum of helping people lead healthier lifestyles.

"Around the world, at a time when the benefits of regular exercise should be emphasised more than ever, it has been dismissed and deemed irrelevant."

Darden said making this journey is a responsiblity for all in the industry to share, saying: "Collectively, we simply must do more if we want to play a significant role in the fight to reverse the trend of obesity, physical inactivity, and unfulfilled wellbeing.

"As the interim CEO of IHRSA, I look forward to reaffirming our value to the association's members and bringing together the passion that our industry has, when it comes to making a difference to the lives of others," he said.

Although no mention was made of the refund crisis, Darden acknowledged the existential threats facing both IHRSA and parts of the industry, by concluding: "While honouring our past, and being respectful of our present, the future requires that we evolve with a sense of urgency, to survive and thrive."

Stephen Tharrett, industry analyst and co-founder of ClubIntel said: "Change is always hard, but in this instance it was needed. IHRSA needs to step back and decide what it really wants to be. Should it be a lobbying entity? Should it be focused on education for the industry? Should it spend more promoting the industry? Should it be US or international in focus? Once it answers these important questions, then it can find the right leader to take it into the future."

Darden will steady the ship while the association seeks a new CEO, and it has set up a dedicated committee to drive this recruitment process.

Joe Moore's departure was announced by the IHRSA board on Tuesday, August 18. He had been president and CEO since 2006.

Brent Darden background

Brent Darden earned his master’s degree in exercise science from Baylor University and began his career as a front desk attendant and fitness floor instructor at the First Baptist Church of Waco Life Recreation Center.

He was subsequently employed in a variety of positions in a regional multi-club group, a large independent athletic facility, and a niche group exercise studio.

He went on to work in corporate wellness, as wellness director for Texas Instruments and Northern Telecom and then served as VP at Cooper Aerobic Enterprises, working alongside Dr Kenneth Cooper, where he ran the fitness centre and in-residence wellness programme and oversaw the opening of the Cooper Spa, and the establishment of the Cooper Consulting division.

In 2003, Darden and his partner took over the failed North Dallas Athletic Club, renovating it and relaunching it as the Telos Fitness Center.

From 2010 to 2015, Darden served on the IHRSA board of directors, as nominations committee chair, vice-chair, chair of the board, and ex-officio.

Since that time, he has consulted for fitness brands and delivered keynote presentations around the world on leadership, employee engagement, customer experience, strategy, and brand frameworks.

Find out more about Brent Darden on his website here.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Speaking to HCM, Brent Darden, the new interim CEO and president of IHRSA, says the organisation is positively committed to a reassessment of its mission and activity.
HAF
2020/THUMB346138_282530_590614.jpg
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News

IHRSA's interim CEO, Brent Darden, tells HCM it’s time for a ‘sense of urgency to survive and thrive’

Speaking to HCM, Brent Darden, the new interim CEO and president of IHRSA, says the organisation is positively committed to a reassessment of its mission and activity.

Darden said: "I believe the time has come for both IHRSA and our industry to reimagine themselves — to reset and to set the stage for a revival that holds tremendous promise."

Darden, a former IHRSA board member, was appointed to take over from Joe Moore, who stepped down last week in the middle of a growing crisis over booth refunds for IHRSA's cancelled 2020 trade show, with industry insiders saying the change was 'overdue'.

Darden said: “ IHRSA remains committed to its founding principles of growing, protecting, and promoting the health and fitness industry. As we look to the future, we must strengthen our resolve to live out these ideals in support of the global community we serve.

He stressed the challenges facing the industry in terms of profile with governments and stakeholders, commenting: "It’s been said that crisis reveals character, and this is true not only of individuals, but also of organisations.

"The pandemic has laid bare the reality of how far we must go to earn a prominent place in the continuum of helping people lead healthier lifestyles.

"Around the world, at a time when the benefits of regular exercise should be emphasised more than ever, it has been dismissed and deemed irrelevant."

Darden said making this journey is a responsiblity for all in the industry to share, saying: "Collectively, we simply must do more if we want to play a significant role in the fight to reverse the trend of obesity, physical inactivity, and unfulfilled wellbeing.

"As the interim CEO of IHRSA, I look forward to reaffirming our value to the association's members and bringing together the passion that our industry has, when it comes to making a difference to the lives of others," he said.

Although no mention was made of the refund crisis, Darden acknowledged the existential threats facing both IHRSA and parts of the industry, by concluding: "While honouring our past, and being respectful of our present, the future requires that we evolve with a sense of urgency, to survive and thrive."

Stephen Tharrett, industry analyst and co-founder of ClubIntel said: "Change is always hard, but in this instance it was needed. IHRSA needs to step back and decide what it really wants to be. Should it be a lobbying entity? Should it be focused on education for the industry? Should it spend more promoting the industry? Should it be US or international in focus? Once it answers these important questions, then it can find the right leader to take it into the future."

Darden will steady the ship while the association seeks a new CEO, and it has set up a dedicated committee to drive this recruitment process.

Joe Moore's departure was announced by the IHRSA board on Tuesday, August 18. He had been president and CEO since 2006.

Brent Darden background

Brent Darden earned his master’s degree in exercise science from Baylor University and began his career as a front desk attendant and fitness floor instructor at the First Baptist Church of Waco Life Recreation Center.

He was subsequently employed in a variety of positions in a regional multi-club group, a large independent athletic facility, and a niche group exercise studio.

He went on to work in corporate wellness, as wellness director for Texas Instruments and Northern Telecom and then served as VP at Cooper Aerobic Enterprises, working alongside Dr Kenneth Cooper, where he ran the fitness centre and in-residence wellness programme and oversaw the opening of the Cooper Spa, and the establishment of the Cooper Consulting division.

In 2003, Darden and his partner took over the failed North Dallas Athletic Club, renovating it and relaunching it as the Telos Fitness Center.

From 2010 to 2015, Darden served on the IHRSA board of directors, as nominations committee chair, vice-chair, chair of the board, and ex-officio.

Since that time, he has consulted for fitness brands and delivered keynote presentations around the world on leadership, employee engagement, customer experience, strategy, and brand frameworks.

Find out more about Brent Darden on his website here.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Speaking to HCM, Brent Darden, the new interim CEO and president of IHRSA, says the organisation is positively committed to a reassessment of its mission and activity.
HAF
2020/THUMB346138_282530_590614.jpg

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FreeMotion Fitness
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HCM Magazine
Mental health
Vigorous exercise has been shown to be the equivalent of an entry-level dose of an antidepressant such as sertraline
HCM Magazine
Statistics
This year’s edition of the IHRSA Global Report which addresses performance from 2020, is a valuable record of the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, creating a benchmark from which to understand the recovery. Kristen Walsh reports for HCM
HCM Magazine
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The co-founder of The Great Outdoor Gym Company has a vision to inspire communities to become healthy and sustainable, both environmentally and personally. She speaks to Kate Cracknell
HCM Magazine
Interview
Gyms have a role to play in collaborating with the social prescribing movement to improve the nation’s health, the CEO of the UK’s National Academy of Social Prescribing tells Kate Cracknell
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Our vision is a future with ethnic diversity in aquatics
HCM Magazine
Statistics
How have consumers responded to the end of lockdowns? Cesar Carvalho shares some bounceback numbers with HCM
HCM Magazine
Hybrid
The Gym Group has taken its digital hybrid strategy full circle, piloting in-gym workout pods and studios with its home workout delivery partner, Fiit. HCM talks to the team driving the project
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
Screens display power generated from each piece of equipment, allowing people to compete against each other for kilowatt hours produced
HCM magazine
Our competition need to fasten their seatbelts
HCM magazine
In this issue, we’re focusing on sharing insights and thought leadership to highlight opportunities for the development of the sector in terms of both markets and offerings, says Liz Terry, HCM editor
HCM magazine
Focusing on dieting has failed to offset the rising tide of obesity, say researchers from the Universities of Arizona and Virginia. A focus on fitness gives better health outcomes
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Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
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Featured supplier news: Luxe Fitness partners with Fisikal to drive digital member journey
Luxe Fitness, a Bristol-based gym offering premium service at a budget price has partnered with Fisikal – an expert in digital business management solutions – to enhance its member experience and digital journey.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: Mediana Co., Ltd.
Mediana specialises in the manufacture of medical and health care devices, such as body composition ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Freemotion Fitness
With science and innovation at its core, Freemotion questions how we work out and then ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
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Welwyn Garden City
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Property & Tenders
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Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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