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Becoming Essential: Next Steps to Align and Advance the Exercise Profession


Presented by

Brian Biagioli, EdD, Graham Melstrand, Francis Neric, MS, MBA, Michael Stack


This panel discussion explores efforts to engage governments and the public health community on behalf of the fitness industry and exercise professionals. The panelists will share what they have learned about government perceptions of the industry, future opportunities and the path forward to establish the profession and industry as an essential part of the health ecosystem.

At the end of the video, viewers will:

  • Understand what tactics, messaging and data are necessary to effectively engage public health and government on behalf of the exercise profession.
  • Recognize how we, as exercise professionals and the industry, can “bridge the gap” and become the community-based resource for programs, leadership and expertise for health, fitness and sports performance.
  • Become familiar with the current and ongoing efforts of health advocacy and trade organizations to promote physical activity and exercise and advance the profession.

Panelists Include:

Graham Melstrand is the Executive Vice President of Community Health and Wellness for the American Council on Exercise. He currently serves at the President of the Board for the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP), which operates the US Registry of Exercise Professionals, and is President of the Board for the Physical Activity Alliance (PAA).

Brian Biagioli, EdD is the Graduate Program Director in Applied Physiology at the University of Miami. He is also the Executive Director for the National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) and current chairman of the board for ICREPS. He has 20 years of research expertise in professional standard setting where his work is represented across several national and international initiatives in the health, fitness and sport sectors.

Francis Neric, MS, MBA leads the development and administration of ACSM’s state-of-the-art certification programs. He serves on the boards of the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals (CREP), Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES), and International Confederation of Sport and Exercise Science Practice (ICSESP). Francis also presented on exam development, educational certificates, and digital badging with the Institute of Credentialing Excellence.

Michael Stack is the founder and CEO of Frontline Fitness Pros and serves on the Board for the Michigan Fitness Club Association. He is also a clinical professor for the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology. He is the creator and the host of the Wellness Paradox Podcast. Finally, Michael is also the founder/CEO of Applied Fitness Solutions, a Michigan-based fitness company transitioning to a medical fitness center.