American Council on Exercise Announces 2022 IDEA World Scholarship Awardees


July 18, 2022

American Council on Exercise Announces 2022 IDEA World Convention Scholarship Awardees

For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, five exercise professionals were awarded scholarships to attend the annual IDEA World Convention

San Diego, Calif., July 18, 2022 – The IDEA World Convention Scholarship Program, funded by Kathie and Peter Davis, founders of IDEA Health & Fitness Association (IDEA) and the IDEA Foundation (now the American Council on Exercise, or ACE), announced five 2022 award recipients who will attend this year’s IDEA World Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada between
July 20-24, 2022.

“We are honored to continue supporting exercise professionals who help communities become more physically active,” said Kathie Davis, former executive director for IDEA. “The initial purpose of IDEA was to ‘Inspire the World to Fitness,’ and the IDEA World Convention Scholarship Program in partnership with ACE helps takes that inspiration to the next level – by recognizing and supporting those who are making positive changes in our communities.”

The 2022 IDEA World Convention Scholarship recipients include:

  • Sandra Brown, ACE Certified Personal Trainer from Oregon, trains older adults in California and Oregon as a Fall Prevention Instructor and through personalized exercise sessions so clients are able to maintain independent lifestyles thanks to increased physical activity and sustained functional movement.
  • James Gathings, Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor from Georgia, hosts multiple community events including lunch-and-learns and fitness sessions to train and guide community members lead healthier and more active lives.
  • Leanne Johnson, ACE Certified Personal Trainer from Kentucky, turned to exercise when she was medically disabled and later created her own business to encourage increased physical activity and healthy living to hundreds of community members weekly.
  • Kelly Kroeker, ACE Certified Personal Trainer from Minnesota, predominately works with individuals who are chronically ill, live with chronic conditions, or are recovering from them, including a cancer-survivorship exercise and support group.
  • Julie Schuldt, ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor from Arizona, has organized multiple fitness-related fundraising events and oversees more than 160 fitness programs across her local recreation centers.

“The exercise professionals selected as this year's IDEA Scholarship award recipients exemplify ACE’s mission to get people moving,” said Scott Goudeseune, chief executive officer at ACE. “It is a privilege to continue collaborating with Peter and Kathie to administer these scholarships and ACE is excited to see the 2022 awardee’s careers continue to flourish.”

The IDEA World Convention Scholarship Program was established by Kathie and Peter Davis in 2018 and is administered by ACE. The program recognizes the exceptional work of exercise professionals and health coaches who are making a difference in their communities. Scholarship awards include event registration, travel, boarding, and meals during the Convention. This is the first year the program has awarded scholarships since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic hit the global fitness industry hard, especially exercise professionals and health coaches,” said Peter Davis, former chief operating executive of IDEA. “The industry is bouncing back, and we’re excited to be able to support the fitness professionals who remain in the game to get people moving.”

The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the fitness industry continues to evolve. Approximately 25% of all U.S. health and fitness facilities closed and 30% of studios permanently closed due to the pandemic (IHRSA, 2022). In addition, more than 1.5 million jobs, around 47%, in the fitness industry were cut due to the pandemic (IHRSA, 2022).

Gyms and professionals who remain in the industry have shifted their service delivery, to include more hybrid options that include in-person and virtual sessions (IBIS, 2021; Club Intel, 2021).

About the American Council on Exercise

Since 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) has been the leading non-profit education and certification provider for health coaches and exercise professionals in the United States and around the world.

With more than 90,000 highly respected certified health coaches and exercise professionals, ACE Certified Professionals are on the ground daily helping people move, stay active and make lasting lifestyle behavior changes to build healthier communities.

Headquartered in San Diego, ACE collaborates with public health partners to educate people of all backgrounds about the importance of physical activity and other healthy lifestyle behaviors; advocates for public policies to increase physical activity opportunities; and supports scientific research that investigates the efficacy of behavior-change interventions and the effectiveness of exercise practices and trends.

For more information visit AMERICAN COUNCIL ONEXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise.