AFS Experts are some of the brightest minds in the fitness industry.
Carefully selected by the AFS Executive Team, these individuals provide on-going best practices, industry insight, and specific strategies via blog posts, videos, and other communication vehicles you can leverage on a daily basis.
Liz Callham received her Bachelor’s Degrees from Illinois State University in Exercise Science and Public Relations and also completed a Masters in Business and Administration from DePaul University. She holds certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from NSCA,Certified Exercise Physiologist through ACSM, and Studio Instructor through Power Pilates. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the Exercise Science Department at ISU.
Liz's expertise comes from 12 years in commercial fitness where she held several roles including Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor, Fitness Director and General Manager. Liz has also excelled in managing major changes within facilities including rolling out new departments and price points, developing new staff and continued progress towards both member and employee retention. She has had the great opportunity of mentoring numerous employees and assisting in both sales and training of specifically PT and Pilates trainers.
Personal Statement: My passions have always been people and fitness. I get up everyday knowing that I have the ability to change lives and facilitating that in numerous environments and levels allows me to feel fulfilled each and every day.
Rachel Cosgrove, 2012 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, co-owns and operates Results Fitness, located in Southern California and open since 2000. She has authored two best selling books, The Female Body Breakthrough and Drop Two Sizes published with Rodale and created the Drop Two Sizes DVD set.
She lectures nationally and internationally on topics such as strength training, fat loss, business and nutrition. A consultant for Nike, she is also on the advisory board and is a columnist for Women's Health Magazine and has been featured in almost every fitness magazine on the market.
She oversees a team of 22 who help her run the gym while she works full time coaching up-and-coming fitness professionals through ResultsFitnessUniversity.com, a resource for trainers to join in to the mission of changing the way fitness is done.
Dennis is a dedicated father of two and very lucky husband. Over the last 8 years as an entrepreneur, an executive and an educator Dennis has created 12 unique fitness brands, managed one of the industry’s largest club companies, and has contributed to programming in more than 300 clubs in the US, Japan and Australia.
In 2015, Dennis’ Transformations Small Group Training program was acquired by a publicly held fitness company and certified by the NAFC. This program generates more than $250,000 annually per trainer and has impacted close to 10,000 member’s lives
Dennis’ latest venture has brought him back to the studio world. As the CEO of VIRTUAL.FIT a technology platform created to support studio and online businesses with content management, distribution, LIVE broadcasting and membership sites. Dennis and his team are excited to help business owners expand their businesses leveraging the industry’s best technology.
Dennis is also the Operating Partner for Omni Fight Club Ca a new boutique studio franchise with 5 locations across the US and growing fast. Dennis and the Omni team are providing an affordable high level entry into entrepreneurship for ambitious people across the world
Khaled is a San Luis Obispo native and has been a leader in the fitness industry for over 10 years. Khaled’s work as the Founder of the Nor-Cal Fitness Summit as well as a consulting business (RISE Fitness Business Coaching) has been helping fitness entrepreneurs, 1-3 years into business, lay the foundations needed to become successful.
Both of Khaled's companies serve to connect fitness professionals worldwide and bringing them together at a world-class venue to educate, motivate and grow. During the past 10 years, Khaled has developed, coached and led more than two hundred personal trainers.
Khaled’s mission is to “inspire you, to inspire one, to inspire millions to greatness,” and to help people live a healthier life.
Brent Gallagher is the owner of Avenu Fitness & Lifestyle, a brand measuring the quality of life one can live, not just their biceps and waistlines. Over the last 10 years Brent has grown from zero clients and zero teammates in 1,200 sq. ft. to an all-star 14 person team generating over seven figures annually, serving 465+ clients in 4,500 sq. ft. He has created a one-of-a-kind, unorthodox, 30 minute approach to training, nutrition and life that’s an unsuspecting experience from the typical workout.
Brent invests time coaching high performing leaders and challenging fitness businesses to come to blows with the status quo by redefining what's possible for the communities they serve. www.BrentGallagher.com
John Graden rocked the martial arts business with his 1-2-3 combo of his book, Black Belt Management, creating the industries’ first professional association NAPMA, and then upgrading that to the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association (MATA). MA Success editor John Corcoran first called him a “visionary” in 1995. Martial Arts Worldmagazine dubbed him, The Teacher of Teachers.
Mr. Graden’s leadership was recognized in many mainstream media outlets including a cover story on the Wall Street Journal, documentaries on A&E Network, and as a guest on the Dr. Oz Show.
For those of you who think he is all about the business, his WAKO World Championships with the USA Team and legacy as a Joe Lewis protege might change your mind. In fact, Black Belt magazine did a cover story on Mr. Graden and his brother Jim’s relationship with the late legend. The story was called, “Passing the Torch” and it was Joe Lewis saying that when he leaves he was passing the torch to the Graden’s.
Mr. Graden has authored most of the best selling books on how to run a successful martial arts school in addition to many other subjects.
Brett Maloley has had a decade-long career in the fitness industry, both as an executive and as an entrepreneur, having built two successful equipment distribution and consulting companies, a transcendent non-profit geared to combat childhood obesity and serving as the chief executive officer for a publicly traded nutritional supplement distribution platform.
Brett is currently a Co-founder and CEO of Boston-based startup Ladder, a mobile platform that connects people with local health and wellness professionals, via digital coaching. Additionally, Brett serves as an advisor to 64px.com, the world's largest network of Google Chrome extensions.
Brett is a passionate student of the commercial fitness industry, having grown up in the space, and is committed to using what the industry has taught him to help create forward-moving change. He resides in Boston, MA with his girlfriend, Nicole and their french bulldog, Penelope.
Best Selling Author and International Speaker/Personality, Frank Nash is one of the most in-demand and exciting coaches, writers and presenters in the fitness industry. He currently spends his time lecturing, teaching, training and writing and as the owner of Frank Nash Training Systems in Worcester, MA, Frank consults and works with gyms and clubs all over the globe.
For the past 15 years, Frank has achieved excellence in the field of Fitness Training and Performance Enhancement, helping individuals and athletes reach their goals through sound scientific training. Though included in Frank’s successes are countless collegiate and professional athletes, Frank’s true passion and focus is weight loss and lifestyle coaching. He calls this “life changing” training.
A personal trainer by education and passion, Frank created and managed a successful health club where he “pioneered” what is today called “small group training” (where meers share the time and cost of the trainer).
Over the last 15 years, Frank's passion for excellence has driven him to help thousands of individuals succeed and to build what has been called “one of the most successful training clubs” in the nation. His leadership is recognized worldwide for he currently consults with many gyms on the “Business of Fitness.”
Ingrid Owen has been in the fitness industry for the past 25 years including 18 years with 24 Hour Fitness where she served in various capacities as the Vice President of Fitness, Group Fitness, Learning and Development as well as corporate Operations. She started her career as a GX instructor as well as a personal trainer. Eventually she entered the club management track and was elevated to Vice President of Operations before moving into a corporate role.
Through the course of her tenure at 24 Hour Fitness, she developed key partnerships with industry leaders such as Zumba, Les Mills, Parisi Speed School, IDEA and TRX. It was the integration of these partners that became the cornerstone of the group fitness programming.
She is currently a consultant in the industry serving to help club owners and industry leaders develop stronger fitness programming and integration to secure their primary business of member retention as well as build strong ancillary business revenue through both personal and small group training.
Michael Scott Scudder
Michael Scott Scudder has been in the fitness industry for more than three decades. He is currently the Founder and CEO, MSSNetwork.
An advisor/coach to over 600 fitness facility organizations on advertising, marketing, sales, operations, management and business development – Michael has delivered training programs for health clubs and studios on management, marketing, sales, demographics and member integration strategies.
Michael is a featured speaker at conferences such as: Club Industry; Club Industry East; Club Industry West; IHRSA International; IHRSA Sales, Marketing and Programming; IDEA Health & Fitness Association; Athletic Business; Gold’s Gym International; World Gym International; National Fitness Trade Show; NEHRSA, and many more.
He’s also had his work published in several trade magazines such as: Club Industry; IHRSA’s CBI; IDEA Source; IDEA Fitness Manager; Athletic Business’ iClubs; Peak Performance; Fitness Management; Gold’s Gym Magazine; World Gym Insider; and others. Known as a “renegade thinker” – a “contrarian” – and an “industry trend analyst” - Club Industry magazine said “he is one of the industry leaders who has made a difference with his career…and continues to do so as an innovator, savvy business person and marketer. He is one of the people you should be watching in the industry.”
Stephen Tharrett is currently the owner and president of Club Industry Consulting, a global consulting business based in the U.S. He is also a co-founder and partner in Club Intel, a member and brand insights firm.
Stephen is also a partner in Dinosaur Games, a start-up video game developer based in Austin, TX. From September 2008 until October 2010, Stephen served as CEO for the Russian Fitness Group, a $170 million dollar privately held fitness club company that owned 30 clubs and franchised an additional 20 clubs throughout Russia.
He had a 20-plus year career with ClubCorp, a billion dollar private club company based in Dallas, where he served in several roles ranging from director of athletics to senior vice president for athletics, golf and tennis, as well as serving on the company’s leadership cabinet and business planning committee.
Stephen is a former board member and president of the International Health and Racquet Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), having served as president of the board from 1996-1997. He is the author of eight management textbooks for the health and fitness industry and a frequent speaker at industry conventions throughout the world.