The Health & Fitness Association Bestows Awards on Three Industry Leaders

The Health & Fitness Association (formerly IHRSA), a global community of industry leaders, honored three industry leaders with awards at its 2024 IHRSA Convention & Trade Show March 6-8, 2024, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA.

The three award recipients were:

  • Lynne Brick, co-founder of Brick Bodies and one of the largest franchisees of Planet Fitness, who received the Woman Leader Award in honor of Julie Main. 
  • Kevin McHugh, COO of Genesis Health Clubs–The Atlantic Club Manasquan and Genesis Health Clubs–The Atlantic Club Red Bank, who received the Jim Worthington Advocate of the Year Award.
  • Alan Leach, CEO of The West Wood Clubs in Ireland, who received the John Holsinger Global Leadership Award.

Woman Leader Award 

IHRSA celebrates the legacy of Julie Main by presenting the Woman Leader Award to a woman who exemplifies what Julie Main stood for: courage, perseverance, excellence, and professionalism. This year’s honoree, Lynne Brick, embodies the award not only through the entrepreneurial spirit that she exemplifies in the years of work at Brick Bodies, which she co-founded with her husband, Victor Brick, but also through their efforts as one of the largest Planet Fitness franchisees.

Most recently, Lynne co-founded the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation, named in honor of her brother-in-law, who battled schizophrenia. His battle with this condition led to her desire to advocate for others with mental health conditions, especially as mounting research shows that physical exercise can help improve certain mental health conditions. The foundation incorporates healthy lifestyle practices into mental health care.

“I was honored to receive the Health & Fitness Association’s Julie Main Women’s Leadership Award, especially on International Women’s Day,” Lynne said. “I have always been inspired by Julie and so many other women leaders who have had crosses to bear and yet persevere in spite of adversity.”

Advocate of the Year Award

The Advocate of the Year Award was created as a reminder about the importance of public policy in the fitness industry and is awarded to an individual who demonstrates their understanding of this importance on a state or federal level. Kevin McHugh’s work in this area has been long-standing and has increased policymakers’ understanding about the essentialness of the fitness industry. 

Kevin is lead advocate at the New Jersey State Fitness Alliance, was pivotal in development of the National Health & Fitness Alliance, and is dedicated to the policy and advocacy work that improves our industry. 

He helped create Team 435, the industry’s grassroots army that has identified individuals across every U.S. congressional district willing to take action and contact their elected officials through communication crafted by the Health & Fitness Association.

“Our involvement in advocating for the fitness industry is even more important than ever, and this award is an opportunity for me to encourage others to join us in speaking with a united voice for the health and fitness industry,” Kevin said. “We are an essential part of healthcare, the preventive piece of that. And we need to ensure policymakers understand that. Make a difference by letting your voice be heard. Join Team 435 or similar efforts in whatever country you operate.”

Global Leader Award

In 2023, the Health & Fitness Association established the John Holsinger Global Leadership Award in memory and honor of John Holsinger, who served the association in international markets for many years.

Alan Leach received this year’s award for his leadership in the European sphere and his passion for the industry. He displays both these traits through his service to the industry, including as former board chair for the Health & Fitness Association, as a current member of the Global Health & Fitness Alliance, and as a speaker at fitness events around the world.

Alan’s leadership was especially evident through his efforts for the past eight months to donate fitness equipment to rehabilitation centers in Ukraine that help wounded civilians and soldiers and his clubs’ efforts to collect donations for Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

“To receive the John Holsinger award is without doubt the single most monumental highlight of my career in fitness,” Alan said. “It was because of John Holsinger that I personally got to speak to so many in the fitness industry at fitness conferences around the world. And just like so many other speakers and presenters who benefited from John's work on the international stage, I will be eternally grateful for the opportunities John brought my way.”