Industry Advisory Panel
The industry advisory panel brings together an experienced group of experts from academia and the fitness, wellness and recreation fields to advise on relevant consumer and core developments. An esteemed group that offers tremendous knowledge and real world experience, the Industry Advisory Panel solicits opinions on trends, opportunities and initiatives to help provide future direction to ACE as it carries out its mission. The panel's feedback is critical to ACE and the organization's commitment to always offer the very best in certification, education and training to our fitness professionals.
Industry Advisory Panel Chair
Shannon Fable, director of exercise programming at Anytime Fitness LLC, was named the 2013 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and the 2006 ACE Group Fitness Instructor of the Year. She is the founder and CEO of Sunshine Fitness Resources and owner of Balletone and GroupEx Pro. Fable is a contributing author for the ACE Group Fitness Instructor and ACSM Group Exercise Instructor manuals and has starred in more than 25 fitness videos. She is also a program developer for several fitness companies including Schwinn, BOSU, Power Systems and ACE.
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Industry Advisory Panel Vice Chair
Samantha Lincoln is a finance executive with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions. She currently serves as the director of business development for Pacific Pulmonary Services. Previously she worked in investment banking and private equity investing for firms including McDonald Investments, Key Bank, CapitalWorks and Instream Partners. Lincoln holds a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Yale University. She lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, with her husband and two children.
ACE Liaison to the Industry Advisory Panel,
Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Graham Melstrand develops opportunities and relationships that advance ACE health policy positions and fitness industry standards. He monitors existing and emerging legislation and regulatory policy and informs ACE of the potential impact they have on the exercise professional, the public, and other stakeholders. He serves in an advisory capacity on a number of boards and committees including: president of the board for the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP), within the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), he sits on the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (COAES) and on the Outcomes Committee of the Medical Fitness Association (MFA). Melstrand holds a bachelor's degree in physical education/athletic training from California State University, Long Beach. As a competitive cyclist, he participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials (1984, 1988) and was a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program (1983 – 1990).
ACE Liaison to the Industry Advisory Panel,
Director of Professional Education
Director of professional education at the American Council on Exercise (ACE), Anthony Wall, M.S., has more than 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Prior to his current role at ACE, he was a program director for Les Mills in New Zealand, where he was responsible for development and training of personal trainers and instructors. Anthony holds a master's degree in exercise physiology, a C.H.E.K. Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach Certification, and several other certifications for TRX and kettle bell training.
Amy Boone Thompson
Amy Boone Thompson is the national director of personal training for Wellbridge in Englewood, Colorado. She has been a presenter and author for franchise and fitness for more than 20 years, lecturing on topics from leadership to management and health. She has also served as program director committee chair for IDEA and co-chair for the San Diego Women's Franchise Network Chapter through the International Franchising Association. She currently writes about healthy choices for families for LiveWell Moms.
Gregory Degnan, M.D.
Dr. Gregory Degnan, M.D., serves as medical director of the Atlantic Coast Athletic Clubs based out of Charlottesville, Virginia and also as the associate clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Virginia. He maintains an active clinical practice in orthopedic surgery at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville. In addition, he sits on the board of managers for Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and is the vice chairman for the Sentara Quality Integrated Network in the Charlottesville region. He has published numerous articles and provided many interviews in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Degnan's passion is driving the move toward integrating the fitness industry into health care.
Jennifer Flynn is a strategy consultant for Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions. In this role, she provides strategic consultation to companies on health management best practices. In addition to her consulting role, she is an active member of leading industry organizations including the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), Population Health Alliance (PHA), and The Conference Board to support research initiatives that provide evidence, knowledge, and insight to advance the field of health management. Flynn graduated from Denison University with a bachelor's degree in psychology, received her Master's in Health Management from American University, and is working toward a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology.
A recipient of the 2007 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year Award, Fred Hoffman, M.Ed., is a registered respiratory therapist and holds certifications from ACE and ACSM. Author of “Going Global: An Expert's Guide to Working Abroad in the International Fitness Industry,” his 30 years of experience includes positions as international education development director for Batuka, director of international services of Club Synergy Group, fitness marketing consultant for Reebok and global master trainer for Reebok International. He is also a master trainer for BOSU, Lebert Fitness and TRX.
Jonathan Lever currently serves as vice president for health strategy and innovation for YMCA of the USA and a member of its senior leadership team. Prior to the Y, he was the founding CEO of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, Inc., an organization that provides management, legal and advocacy assistance to nonprofits. Lever has also served as a program officer at the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, one of the largest private foundations in the Southeast, and practiced nonprofit law in Boston. Lever holds a bachelor's in religion from the College of William and Mary, a master's in education from Harvard University and a law degree from Northeastern University.
Rick Mayo is the owner and CEO of North Point Fitness in Roswell, Georgia. He is also the president of North Point Personal Training Systems, which licenses North Point systems to facilities worldwide. Mayo has been featured as an expert source in several publications including Men's Health, Woman's Day and O, The Oprah Magazine. He also sits on the board for the Exercise Science Department at Georgia State University. Mayo's companies have educated thousands of gym owners, personal trainers and university students.
Kevin McHugh, MBA, is COO of the Atlantic Club, a premier fitness club in the New Jersey Shore area, and has more than 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. The Atlantic Club supports Clubs for the Cure, a grassroots effort created to allow members and employees a means to support the communities of Monmouth and Ocean counties. McHugh also serves as chairman of the board for the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean counties, raises funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and helped launch the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Monmouth County.
Bryan O'Rourke, CEO and founder of Integerus, is an experienced strategist and adviser who helps organizations and professionals solve their biggest challenges. With a proven track record of growing global brands, his network of associates and partners serves an array of large and small clients. He focuses on fitness, wellness, technology, finance, marketing and business development. O'Rourke holds a bachelor's degree from the University of New Orleans, a master's degree in business from Southeastern Louisiana University and is pursuing a doctorate in finance.
Rachele Pojednic, Ph.D.
Dr. Rachele Pojednic is a research fellow at the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, Harvard Medical School. She holds a Ph.D. from Tufts University in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and an Ed.M. in Physical Education and Coaching. As a researcher, her work has a specific focus on physical activity and nutrition interventions for the prevention and treatment of non-communicable chronic disease. Dr. Pojednic also serves on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise Is Medicine® education committee. She has been a consultant and writer to several organizations, including the Today Show and Huffington Post Healthy Living Blog.
Pam Watts is the executive director for NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. In her tenure with the Association, Watts served primarily as NIRSA's second-in-command until assuming the executive director role in early 2012. She was a key contributor to the Association's transition to a “Future First” governance model and establishment of a credential for collegiate recreation. She directs the staff team at NIRSA HQ, fosters external relationships for the association, and works closely with NIRSA, NIRSA Foundation, and NIRSA Services Corporation Boards of Directors to actuate the aligned strategic plan of all three entities in service to members.