March 21-24, 2019 • Hilton Chicago • Chicago, Illinois

Fitness Management, Communication and Social Media

Strong business and management skills are essential for many health fitness professionals. Topics include program development, management, networking, client retention, marketing, customer service and relationship-building, leadership and safety. Sessions are on current trends in technology including website, e-mail, mobile apps and social media as they relate to business and communication in the fitness industry.

Hot Topic Panel: Who Should we be HIITing

Alexis Batrakoulis

Alexis Batrakoulis, MS, CSCS, ACSM-EP, CPT, EIM2, has been involved in the fitness industry since 1995 and currently works as an exercise physiologist, educator, and subject matter expert throughout Greece and worldwide. He holds a BS in Sports Science, an MSc in Exercise and Health, and is a PhD Candidate in Exercise and Health focused on Exercise and Obesity while he holds numerous credentials through ACSM, NSCA, NASM, and ACE. He is the GRAFTS Personal Training Education Director, a EuropeActive Professional Standards Committee Member, an ACE International Master Trainer, and he serves as a Member of the Exercise is Medicine Credential, Professional Education, and International Health & Fitness Summit Program Committees for the ACSM. He was named the 2018 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and he has been the Leader of Technical Experts Group for the standards development of Weight Management Exercise Specialist qualification onto European Register of Exercise Professionals.

Peter Ronai

Peter “Pete” Ronai, M.S., FACSM, RCEP, CSCS-D is a clinical associate professor of exercise science in the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield Connecticut. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), an associate editor of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, and a member of the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition program committee.

Tony Nunez

Tony Nuñez, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in Exercise Science in the Human Performance and Sport department at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He teaches courses such as exercise physiology, resistance training techniques and fitness programming for special populations. Tony’s research interests include exercise programming for metabolic improvements, conditioning for disease prevention and sport specific programming. He enjoys outdoor activities, team sports and traveling.


Yuri Feito

Dr. Yuri Feito is an associate professor of Exercise Science at Kennesaw State University and a member of the graduate faculty at Kansas State University in the Kinesiology department.  He has been involved in the medical fitness industry for over 15 years working with a variety of clinical population. Dr. Feito obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Exercise Physiology, and has master degrees in Movement Science and Public Health. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is certified as a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP) and Certified Exercise Specialist (CEP). His current research interests include adaptations to high-intensity functional training, as well as the study of injuries within this training modality.  In addition, he has studied the use of objective measures to promote and measure physical activity among individuals of all ages.


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is currently considered as one of the top fitness trends worldwide while it is evidence-based that it is about a time-effective, efficient and applicable exercise modality for both general and special populations. This round table aims to present all the latest research findings about this topic through four different perspectives examining the application of HIIT in low active, high active healthy individuals, clinical populations and the role of volume and intensity in specific training protocols and goals.

Running the Show: Fitness Customer Service

Lawrence Biscontini

Lawrence Biscontini, MA, has made fitness history as a Mindful Movement Specialist winning the highest number of awards from SCW, ACE, IDEA & Inner IDEA, Can Fit Pro, and ECA since 2002.  Lawrence travels the world offering world-class secrets in mentoring, fitness and spa consulting, and presenting for professional conferences, and working also on the Advisory Board for the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), Senior VIP Consultant for Power Music®, and reporter-in-the-field for the International Spa Association’s #ispaDoyou campaign creating #ispaInterviews worldwide.  He has programmed for Equinox, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym International, Bally, and more, and his creations received the Conde Nast Traveler Awards‘ Top Ten Awardsplacement for innovative spa programming worldwide. Lawrence as Mindful Movement Specialist enjoys celebrity clients like cast members of ABC TV’s soap opera “General Hospital,” and appears on news (CNN Headline News) and television (“LIVE! With Regis and Kelly”). He is a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher (E-RYT 500), an AFAA Certification Specialist and Contributing Author and Content Specialist for industry publications like SCW Fitness Education Certifications and AFAA’s American Fitness, IDEA’s Fitness Journal, and the Spa Industry’s Pulse Magazine. His books include the most recent fiction Stories of Color and nonfiction Active Aging SCW Certification Manual: The Life in Our Years, specializing in active aging research and practical approaches to movement for people over 50.  He has also authored for charity a cookbook, Meals & Musings, a fitness textbook used at universities worldwide, Cream Rises: Excellence in Private & Group Education, and one of the only customer service books written for the spa and fitness world, “Running the Show.” Lawrence created Fitness Group 2000 (FG2000) at the turn of the century whose profits benefit several charitable endeavors, including the outreach work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Save the Children, and the Biscontini Scholarships he has created for most major international conventions.  Over 80% of all revenue from sales generated at support these programs.



Our ACSM Certification tells us HOW and WHAT to do regarding movement, but almost nothing about how to deliver the best in service to our internal and external customers. What to do when a client screams? How to solve challenges on the spot in best way, each time? Our industry is extremely personal, yet few are the fitness textbook chapters that teach customer service. Learn updated techniques for service in the club, personal training, and group exercise environment. Learn from Lawrence’s many fitness and spa roles what leaders in customer service do around the globe that is readily applicable everything we do in fitness. This lecture will help you not only gain and train, but also maintain those all guests at our facilities.



Stabilize, Mobilize & Capitalize your Way to #GAMECHANGING Results

Doris Thews

Doris Thews is an International award winning Fitness Educator who leads several fitness brands. She is Vice President of Group Fitness, Team Training and Innovation for VASA Fitness.  Senior Master Trainer and Global Mentor for Schwinn and is on the International Development Master Trainer team for BOSU. Doris consults several leading brands on business and program development, in addition to presenting and lecturing internationally. She is known for her motivation and athletic coaching style. Power Music Advisory Board Member and RYKA Fit-Pro Ambassador.




Take your company and/or team to the next level by implementing fitness principals to fitness management. Sometimes when growing a successful business, we need to slow down to speed up to achieve results. Join 30+ year fitness industry veteran Doris Thews, VP of Group Fitness, Team Training and Innovation for VASA Fitness to lead you through this session that will provide you an opportunity to analyze and create an execution plan. Participants will leave the session fired up about their fitness future!





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