IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals worldwide with more than 21,000 members in over 80 countries, has announced the winners of its 2007 fitness awards. The ceremony was held as part of the silver anniversary celebration at the IDEA World Fitness ConventionT, the world's largest fitness training event, which took place earlier this month.


 


During the five-day World convention, which gathered more than 7,000 fitness professionals from over 50 countries, IDEA Health & Fitness Association recognized Lisa Druxman, MA, with its prestigious IDEA Program Director of the Year, Bill Sonnemaker as IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and Fred Hoffman, MEd, as IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year.


 


Druxman, from San Marcos, Calif., is known to mothers all around the country as the founder, owner and director of Stroller StridesR LLC, the nation's largest postnatal fitness program. Focused on helping new moms get fit, Druxman manages and trains employees and instructors while also marketing the program and teaching classes. Druxman's "support group exercise," as she calls it, has touched more than 20,000 participants in 400 locations across


38 states. She also lectures on pre-natal exercises and serves on the board of Postpartum Health Alliance. One of the greatest benefits of Druxman's continuing commitment to postnatal fitness and her leadership at Stroller Strides has been its impact on the next generation. When kids participate in their moms' exercise regimes-riding in the strollers-they see their parents as good role models and this helps the children learn to love fitness.


 


Sonnemaker, who earned the title "Atlanta's Best Personal Trainer" in 2005 and 2006 from Atlanta Sports & Fitness Magazine, is the founder of Catalyst Fitness, Georgia's only fully accredited and medically recognized personal training facility. A former analytical research chemist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he uses a systematic, progressive and integrated approach to train clients of all ages and walks of life. He emphasizes that clients must take control of their health and fitness, focusing on flexibility, core, balance, reactive, resistance and cardiorespiratory training plus balanced nutrition. Some of Sonnemaker's greatest successes have been working with clients who then inspire their entire family to live healthier and fitness-focused lives.


 


Hoffman, who lives in Paris, has motivated more than 200,000 participants in a career than spans more than 25 years. Currently the director of international services for The Club & Spa Synergy Group, he's also the fitness consultant for women's marketing at Reebok France and a Reebok Global Master Trainer as well as a fitness instructor, personal trainer and international fitness consultant. With a repertoire of more than 35 programs, Hoffman is known for his wide variety of workshops and classes, including innovative sessions on choreography-based movement, martial arts-inspired fitness and yoga as well as strength and core training. He also is internationally regarded as a pioneer in step training, having served as a member of the original Step Reebok team in France. Hoffman conducts continuing education for physical therapists who offer small-group exercise classes and personal training in their clinics and is preparing to launch a new fitness program for older adults.


 


According to Kathie Davis, co-founder and executive director of IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the 2007 award winners exemplify the outstanding leadership, professional and personal commitment as well as community and industry involvement that motivate others to seek healthier lifestyles. "We applaud the unwavering dedication of Lisa, Bill and Fred in helping their clients attain greater personal growth and higher levels of fitness while also recognizing their significant contributions to their communities and the fitness industry as a whole," she says. "We are so proud to recognize these outstanding fitness professionals while honoring their accomplishments, which truly embody our never-ending quest to Inspire the World to FitnessR."


 


In addition, IDEA awarded its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award to Augie Nieto, a legendary fitness equipment innovator and entrepreneur. A fitness industry visionary who bought the marketing rights to the Lifecycle exercise bike at age 19, Nieto later co-founded Lifecycle Inc. in the 1980s.


 


Over the next 20 years, the company-now called Life Fitness Inc.-grew under his charismatic leadership into a $600 million company, the world's largest commercial manufacturer of fitness equipment. At the height of his success, in 2005, Nieto was thrown a shocking curve when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehring's disease.


 


Summoning his customary can-do attitude, Nieto has turned his efforts to attracting funds for ALS research. His campaign, called Augie's Quest, has raised millions of dollars all dedicated to fighting ALS. Nieto draws strength for his daily battle from family, friends, colleagues and the steady flood of supportive emails as he continues to lead as active a life as he can.  


 


"Augie has had an indelible impact on the fitness industry, through his stellar leadership and amazing professional and personal example of commitment and fortitude," says Peter Davis, chief executive officer and co-founder of IDEA Health & Fitness Association. "While his accomplishments are long and varied, Augie is perhaps best known for his spirit of enthusiasm and integrity, which drove his early dream to elevate the role of cardiovascular equipment in the fitness industry and now fuels his quest to fast-track ALS research in order to find a cure for this devastating disease. We are honored to bestow Augie with IDEA's 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award.


 


About IDEA Health & Fitness Association


IDEA Health & Fitness Association is the world's leading membership organization of fitness and wellness professionals with more than 21,000 members in over 80 countries. Since 1982, IDEA has provided personal trainers, group exercise instructors, fitness program directors, mind-body teachers, health club owners and fitness center managers with pertinent information, health and fitness educational opportunities, career development programs and industry leadership while helping them enhance the quality of life worldwide through safe, effective lifestyle and fitness programs. IDEA members interact with consumers more than 25 million times a year in the fitness marketplace. For more information on IDEA fitness and wellness conferences, publications, professional fitness education and products, member services and other activities, visit www.ideafit.com.


 

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