Grassroots committee work at IDEA has laid the foundation for many of the innovations we’ve brought to the fitness industry over the association’s nearly 40 years. Our committees are comprised of IDEA members who participate fully in the industry as leaders in personal training, club and studio ownership and management, group exercise and now, for the first time, the important work of diversity, equity and inclusion.
The IDEA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is an assembly of notable fitness professionals whose purpose is recommending actions that help IDEA meet the needs of our members and the larger industry. Committee members bring with them diverse perspectives, experience and expertise to create dialogue around areas needing improvement within our association and our industry. They collaborate with us on meaningful action plans and inform IDEA’s development of DEI strategies.
We are grateful for their invaluable insight, compassion, and willingness to contribute their time and energy. Together, we aim to create a more inclusive, equitable industry that honors the diverse perspectives and voices of our community, and advocates for our most underrepresented members.
“For nearly 40 years, IDEA has benefited from the collaboration and collective insights of subject matter experts and trusted leaders in the fitness, wellness and sports industry through our IDEA Committee Groups,” said IDEA vice president and general manager Amy Boone Thompson. “We look to these committees to advise IDEA so we can remain at the forefront of issues, education, trends and technologies that will impact the careers of the professionals we serve. We are excited about the work we’re doing with our newest committee.”
We invite you to meet the IDEA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee members:
Chairperson Katrina Pilkington is an NASM-certified personal trainer, weight loss specialist, youth exercise specialist, women’s fitness specialist and nutrition coach; an AFAA group fitness instructor; and a wellness educator. She is currently studying to complete her master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion and has a certificate in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University as well as an associate degree in graphic design. She is a freelance writer and a content creator and host of several online video series. Pilkington is a national and global wellness educator, bridging group fitness and personal training education with inclusion coaching as an adaptable champion of change. Her goal is to lead her community, by example and relatability, to shift the wellness culture to one of belonging and of accessible means. She has a passion for helping others find their deep meaning so they can take care of themselves, inside and out, to the best of their ability, using means that are accessible to them.
Rachael Babiracki started her professional fitness career as a teenager and has worked in various clubs and facilities in nearly every position offered. She has worked as a group fitness instructor since 2003 and a personal trainer since 2005. She has also worked as a trainer, assessor and presenter for Les Mills since 2010 and has served the Les Mills US TAP team in a leadership position since 2015. Babiracki has traveled the U.S.—and the world—delivering education and facilitating courses with instructors and participants. Her purpose is to empower others to embrace themselves fully, as they are, so they can live their most authentic lives, pursuing their passion with fun and joy. She works to challenge systems and power structures that do not allow others to embrace themselves fully and seeks to rebuild in ways that create a world where we all belong.
With nearly 20 years’ experience as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, leader and educator, Farel Hruska is currently director of education and culture at Chuze Fitness. She helped grow FIT4MOM for 16 years as the company’s global fitness director and pre/postnatal fitness director. She has presented at fitness conferences around the world as a fitness and leadership specialist. Hruska’s most meaningful accomplishment, however, is being a mom to her three daughters.
Chrissy King is a writer, speaker, strength coach and educator with a passion for creating a diverse and inclusive wellness industry. She empowers individuals to stop shrinking, start taking up space and use their energy to create their specific magic in the world. She has been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Health, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Muscle and Fitness, and Livestrong publications, among others. With degrees in social justice and sociology from Marquette University, King merges her passion for social justice with her passion for fitness to empower individuals within the fitness and wellness industry to create spaces that allow individuals from all backgrounds to feel seen, welcomed, respected and celebrated. When she’s not serving her clients by empowering them to create stress-free, sustainable lifestyles and feel confident and empowered in their skin, she spends her time lifting weights, reading, traveling, and hanging with friends and family.
Eugene Lloyd is the founder and fitness director at the Club of Riverdale and 713 Fitness Coaching. At the start of his fitness journey 26 years ago, he had a life-changing encounter when he enlisted the help of a trainer. After losing 120 pounds and achieving his first certification, Lloyd immersed himself in every aspect of the industry. He was the AAAI/ISMA Chore-Jam winner in 1996 and 2003 as well as the Personal Trainer of the Year in 2017. He believes adopting and maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle is the key to longevity and happiness.
Brian Nguyen is an athletic trainer, performance coach, business owner and public speaker. With over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, he has worked with NFL athletes as well as Hollywood talent. His true path as a coach is about inspiring people to do things they thought were never possible. Nguyen is also passionate about inspiring, motivating and sharing his knowledge with other fitness coaches. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physiological science and biomechanics and has been an NASM Master Instructor for more than 7 years. He can be caught speaking at various global conferences around the world or playing with his kids (ages 13 and 2). Certifications: NASM-CPT, PES, CES; NATA-ATC; NSCA-CSCS; FMS-SFMA.
Chas Rodgers is a native of Dayton, Ohio, and a U.S. Navy veteran. Before his honorable discharge from the Navy, he started his fitness career by teaching group exercise classes on military bases and learning the ins and outs of group exercise coaching. He went on to earn an advanced personal training certification through NASM. Since then, he has become a master fitness trainer, a coach and a presenter, mastering all disciplines related to health, fitness, coaching and mentoring. He is a role model and poster child for the Veterans Impact Program 45 (VIP45), created by F45 Training. As VIP45’s operations and performance officer, he works with his team to mentor and help as many veterans and active-duty personnel as possible, from all branches of service, who have a passion for fitness and helping others.
Phil Sanchez is a seasoned professional who has built his career working passionately in the
fitness and hospitality industries. Like many fitness professionals, Phil has worn many hats
throughout his career, including personal fitness trainer, group fitness instructor and a
number of club management roles. He currently works for The Bay Club Company as director of
customer service for Southern California and is part of their diversity and inclusion task force.
Phil resides in San Diego with his husband and two sons. He continues to inspire
and connect with clients by teaching group fitness classes on a regular basis.
Kia Williams, MS, 200 RYT, is a global presenter, host of Fit and Fierce on the Mic podcast, and a freelance group fitness content creator. She also serves as a youth fitness and nutrition specialist for the Medfit Network and enjoys providing healthy, sustainable wellness practices to the younger generation. She is a master educator for Barre Above®, Balletone™ and Fluid Strength™ and travels across the nation educating, training and certifying other fitness instructors. Williams has managed several fitness and wellness programs and facilities and has made it her career mission and social responsibility to support people affected by marginalization in jobs, education, health care and lack of representation in the fitness industry. She is committed to helping others live a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a strong, fit and balanced mind and body.
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