Special Edition Feature Friday: Meet the WIFA Global AmbassadorsNov 23, 2018
The Women in Fitness Association is grateful to announce our global ambassador program! Read on to learn more about the women representing WIFA globally.
Innovative Australian Fitness Entrepreneur, experienced Distributor & Marketing Agent for Fitness Programs, Business Development , Merchandise & E-Commerce in the APAC region.
Deborah has been part of the Fitness Industry for nearly 10 years after leaving her corporate job as a Senior Auditor at one of the Top 10 Accounting firms in Australia. In 2009 introduced Zumba Fitness & in 2014 Piloxing into the APAC Region as an exclusive distributor for both instructor trainings & merchandise, creating ten of thousands of jobs in the region.
By 2018, Deborah had created an innovative tech product for Fitness instructors worldwide called Subaclass, an app that helps instructors, gym managers & clubs to find subs/covers for their classes.
One of her passions is to create a marketplace where the active community can search & book for Fitness Professionals on a worldwide level, this project is now called Morfus (https://morfus.fit) The platform is now live ready for users to connect & upload their profiles.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, raised in Sydney, Australia, and mum of 3!
Connect with Deborah here!
Twenty years ago Rachael Newsham discovered the transformational power of fitness – and since then she’s been on a mission to take it to the world. She’s inspired tens of thousands to get hooked on regular exercise, trained thousands of instructors to be the best they can be, and supported many industry leaders to raise the bar in the world of health and fitness.
It started in her home town of Preston in England. Rachael trained to become a Les Mills Instructor and swiftly began packing out her local group fitness studios, something that can be put down to her engaging personality and fitness prowess. Rachael was soon traveling the whole United Kingdom, educating and inspiring other instructors on what it takes to deliver world leading classes. In 2004 Rachael moved to New Zealand to secure the role of Les Mills Program Director.
As a Program Director Rachael leads the development of Les Mills’ BODYCOMBAT™ and SH’BAM™ programs, which means creating a new martial arts workout and new dance class every three months. These workouts are shaped by Rachael’s creativity, understanding of exercise science and extensive expertise and training – on top of an honors degree in sports management, Rachael has qualifications in drama and dance, has attended a Wing Chun Kung Fu school, gone through Muay Thai training in Thailand, and been tutored in other martial arts.
Committed to spreading her influence and helping the world fall in love with fitness, Rachael is regularly abroad, mentoring fitness instructors and inspiring exercisers all over the planet. Whether she’s leading large group fitness workouts, or running motivational seminars or education sessions, you can be sure that if Rachael is on the stage the room will be buzzing. Her popularity has also spread digitally, she presents at-home workouts and regularly connects with at-home exercisers via video based health and wellness advice. She is also a Reebok ambassador
A philanthropist at heart, Rachael has recently teamed up with UNICEF. Her work as a UNICEF ambassador has involved traveling to South Sudan, leading a global fundraising activation, and encouraging young children’s love of movement – all while getting more people moving in gyms worldwide.
Connect with Rachael here!
Lisa Greenbaum E-RYT 500, YACEP and is a certified Yoga Therapist based in Toronto, Canada. The recent winner of the 2018 Delegates Choice, Canadian Presenter of the Year at the world fitness expo, Lisa has a strong passion for fitness, yoga and movement. Her goal is make Yoga accessible to all and she shares this passion both through leading YTT certifications for YogaFit, teaching workshops at both local and international conferences, running retreats and training private clients.
She is an avid writer and traveler with regular contributions to Tonic, Optimyze, Network, Vitalité and canfitpro magazines. She is known for bringing an easy-going style to her teaching and encouraging everyone to honour and listen to their bodies. She has over 750 hours of YTT education and has studied in US, Canada and India. She is also a certified FIS and PTS with canfitpro. Lisa has been teaching group fitness and Yoga in Toronto since 2001.
Connect with Lisa here!
With over 25 years’ progressive experience in the Health Club industry, Paula has leveraged records of double-digit growth and record-setting launches, to champion the success of both emerging and established brands in the highly-competitive, health and fitness space. As Vice President of the Sports Clubs of Canada/Bally Total Fitness, she was accountable for the Canadian operation of 23 locations. She then joined the senior leadership team of Spa Chakra, a New York based spa and fitness company, where she was Managing Director of fitness and proceeded to open 13 locations in luxury hotels around the world.
Currently, she a proud Partner of the 360 Impact Group, where she delivers comprehensive strategic planning, recruitment services, management coaching, employee training, climate surveys, mystery shopping, sales and marketing services, and human resources support. She is also a partner in a boutique fitness club, eMbody Fitness Clubs. Since 2012, Paula has been a writer for Fitness Business Canada. She resides in the Beach community in Toronto with her husband and three daughters.
Connect with Paula here!
A proud female, with bursting passion and energy for our industry and the impact we have on people’s lives. My career has been filled with challenges and success stories inside the Sport and Fitness industry. Having successfully launched and established 2 US brands and their operations into the UK, I am described as an indoor cycling specialist and, one of the top female directors and leader in the UK. Currently overseeing a full subsidiary operation with all departments reporting to me, allowing me to nurture skills across different areas but with a main focus on Sales and Marketing.
Connect with Elena here!
Group Class Trainer, Personal Trainer, Training Manager, Mentor and Fitness Consultant
After 30 years in the fitness industry, Tracy still continues to coach and lead group classes to feel what the people in her classes are experiencing.The energy, the vibe and the shared love of movement are a reflection of the passion she gifts to to every person in every class.
Tracy has grown up in the fitness industry, from a youthful 18-year old “aerobics” teacher through to managing personal training and group training teams in New Zealand.
As one of the original Master Trainers for Les Mills New Zealand, Tracy was head hunted to support the growth of Fitness First Asia and moved to Hong Kong and then Malaysia. Over 5 years, she trained 1000’s of instructors and built a support management team for the rapid roll out of group classes.
Setting up a support business for Les Mills in South East Asia required building teams across business and training. After 7 years and a new trainer team of 80 international trainers across 8 countries including China, Tracy joined her husband in setting up their own brand of fitness boutique clubs - FIRE Fitness.
Tracy’s vision for fitness is to mentor and build teams to deliver engaging fitness experiences across multiple platforms - LIVE workouts and digital workouts - reaching a wider audience to change more lives.
“I love to see the potential in others when they may not have realised it for themselves. They are aware that they have a passion for fitness but don’t have the game plan to turn that passion into action. I thrive on helping them navigate the steps to make their passion a fulfilling and growth- fueled career”
EXTRA Bachelor of Physical Education (Otago, NZ) Masters in Business Administration (Victoria University, Australia) ACE-certified Personal Trainer. 200-hour Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. Les Mills International Lifetime Achievement Award 2013 Women in Fitness Association Global Ambassador 2018
Mother to 2 children (Jazz 13 years and Sol, 5 years).
Connect with Tracy here!
Katie Vaas is a dynamic brand marketer. She works for a large experiential marketing agency where she guides top companies in their strategies to connect brands with their consumers via passions. Some of these projects have been to provide strategic consult on Olympic, NFL, MLB, NBA, and NCAA partnerships.
In her spare time, Katie lives in the fitness world.
She teaches a variety of group fitness classes at the Charlotte YMCAs and runs her own consulting efforts for fitness start-ups. She serves on the Board for Girls on the Run Charlotte and is Vice President of the Notre Dame Club of Charlotte.
Katie is married, lives in Charlotte, and is a frequent traveler. She is excited to join the WIFA Ambassador program to help empower other women to pursue their dreams within the fitness world.
Connect with Katie here!
Sandy Wiedmeyer has over a decade of experience in the Fitness Industry, working in several capacities from fitness attendant, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and coordinator. She currently holds the position of Fitness Manager at the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex in Pleasant Prairie, the largest municipal recreation facility in the US. Sandy is owner of Iron Diva Fitness, an online training platform; and Team Iron Nation, an online physique prep platform. Sandy also has experience as an NPC bodybuilding show promoter, having planned and promoted competitions for 3 years.
Sandy’s academic background is a B.S. in Education, a MEd in Math and Science Education, and she has completed all coursework towards a PhD in Educational Leadership. Before finding a second career in fitness, Sandy had taught at both the middle school level and post-graduate level.
Sandy found a passion for fitness while staying home with her young children. Her friend, who was a trainer, jokingly told her that she needed to work out if they were going to be friends. Sandy took the advice. She quickly found she loved everything about the gym experience and became a group fitness junkie. The instructors encouraged her to become group fitness instructor certified. It seemed to be a natural fit for the previous educator, so she decided to go for it!
A few years into her fitness journey, she decided she wanted a new challenge and registered to compete in the figure division at a natural show. She found she loved the challenge and structure with prepping for these shows. Her second year competing, she earned her pro card in figure. It was then that her friends encouraged her to become a certified personal trainer. Again, she took the advice of her friends and within 5 years she went from training in general fitness, to coaching and owning one of the largest teams of physique competitors in her area.
Connect with Sandy here!
Emmy-Award Winning Fitness Pro Penny Love has been teaching fitness and inspiring people for over 25 years. She has been a Group Exercise Director for 27 years-
-Group Exercise Director of six New York Health & Racquet Clubs in Manhattan, NYC
-Group Exercise Director at Sportsplex in Greenwich, CT
-Group Fitness Manager for Equinox in Greenwich CT
-Group Fitness Manager for Life Time Athletic in Westchester, NY
-Regional Group Fitness Manager for 6 Clubs in the Ohio Region-Columbus, OH
She is currently the National Director of Group Fitness Operations for The Bay Club Company, based in San Francisco, overseeing Group Fitness Operations in 18 clubs.
She is a fitness writer, motivational speaker, video and TV personality, having appeared as a regular on ABC Morning News as a Health and Lifestyle Reporter.
Penny was featured on the cover of Hospital for Special Surgery’s Magazine- Horizons and is an HSS ambassador for patient outreach.
Penny is a regular writer for The Huffington Post as well as AOL’s That’s Fit and a contributing fitness writer for Maria Shriver.com. She is creator and owner of Penny’s Workout World and is currently involved in development for educational videos and programming for leading fitness companies. She is AFAA certified. She is also certified in myofascial release and is an expert on the use of deep tissue release with the foam roller.
Connect with Penny here!
Keli Roberts is the recipient of the 2003 IDEA International Fitness Instructor of the Year award, 2005 for Best Female Presenter and 2008 Lifetime Achievement OBOW Award and in 2007 Keli was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. Additionally, in 2012, Keli was also honored as Presenter of the Year as well as the 2016 Inspiration Award for Empower! Conventions.
Keli is an ACSM CEP and holds certifications through, ACE as a GFI, HC and CPT. Furthermore Keli is an SCW Faculty Member, a BOSU Elite Presenter and a Schwinn® Senior Master Trainer and a Ryka and Athleta Ambassador.
Connect with Keli here!