PCSFN Lifetime Achievement Award
The President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition (PCSFN) Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to up to five individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, sports, or nutrition nationwide.
Nominations for 2019 awards will be accepted January 2 through April 15. Nominations received after April 15 will not be accepted. Nominations with incomplete information will not be considered. Eligible nominations will be reviewed and winners determined by the President's Council members.
Factors considered in the selection process include: span and scope of career; population and area of PCSFN mission served; reach of individual’s work; successes for the individual; and miscellaneous information. Please see the nomination form for detailed criteria for the nomination process.
*Awards were not distributed in 2017 and 2018 based on the timing of Council Member appointment and swearing in.
Use the Lifetime Achievement Award nomination form to nominate an individual whose career has greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, sports, or nutrition nationwide.
2016 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Charles B. “Chuck” Corbin, Ph.D. - Dr. Corbin is Professor Emeritus in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University. Dr. Corbin is a fitness/physical educator and a researcher in fitness, health and wellness. He has published more than 200 scholarly papers and authored/co-authored more than 100 books. Several, including Fitness for Life and Concepts of Fitness and Wellness, have earned national awards. He co-authored the first physical activity guidelines for children and is a fellow in American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Association for Kinesiology in Education (NAKHE), National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK) and SHAPE America. Dr. Corbin served as President of NAK and is a member of the SHAPE America Hall of Fame. He served as the first chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition’s Science Board and as co-editor of the Council’s Research Digest. He was a charter member of the FITNESSGRAM® Scientific Advisory Board and has presented keynote addresses worldwide. Dr. Corbin is most recognized for his pioneer work in fitness education, youth fitness and activity promotion.
Diane H. Hart, CHES, NCCA, CPT - Ms. Hart is the President and Executive Director of the National Association for Health and Fitness and the key architect and Chair of the Global Employee Health and Fitness Month (GEHFM). As a fitness professional, Ms. Hart holds multiple national certifications in the field of fitness and health promotion. Her activities include Provider and Health Specialist with BlueShield of Northeastern New York, specializing in Corporate Wellness Programs; Founder of Hart to Heart Fitness; Co-Chair of BeActive New York State and creator of the “Move for Life” state-wide health plan initiative; consultant to the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention; contributor to the National Physical Activity Plan; contributor to the Declaration of the United Nations in connection with non-communicable diseases and physical activity; and member of the Advisory Board of the National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Councils and Medical Fitness Network. Ms. Hart is the proud recipient of the Silver Eagle National Leadership Award created in memory of C. Carson Conrad, who served five U.S. Presidents as Executive Director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Richard J. Hodes, M.D. - Dr. Hodes has directed the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging since 1993. He has devoted his tenure to the development of a strong, diverse, and balanced research program, focusing on the genetics and biology of aging, basic and clinical studies aimed at reducing disease and disability, including Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive change, and investigation of the behavioral and social aspects of aging. He has also focused on dissemination of research results to health professionals and to the public, including initiatives on exercise and physical activity aimed at maintaining health and well-being while aging, led by the Institute’s Go4Life physical activity and exercise campaign for adults age 50 and older. Dr. Hodes is a graduate of Yale University and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed training in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and in Oncology at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Hodes is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, a member of The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine). As an author of more than 250 research papers, he is an influential scientist in and contributor to the field of immunology.
Rafer Johnson - Rafer Johnson was a founding member of Special Olympics California and has served on the Southern California Board of Directors for more than 40 years. Mr. Johnson became involved when its founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, asked him to start the program in California. He has been instrumental in the development of the Special Olympics program and its fundraising activities ever since. Mr. Johnson has given back to his community and California by working with more than 40 organizations. Throughout his career, Mr. Johnson has received more than 50 honors and awards related to his many athletic and academic achievements, which include being a three-time world record holder in the decathlon, a Silver Medalist at the 1956 Olympics, and Gold Medalist at the 1960 Games.
Ken Min, PhD (hon.) - Mr. Min is Faculty Emeritus, Director of the International Martial Arts Research Institute, University of California, Berkeley, and a 9th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo, Judo and Yongmudo. Mr. Min’s life has been devoted to the martial arts, first as a competitor, then an instructor, coach and ultimately founder, editor, manager, researcher and administrator. He founded the University of California Martial Arts Program which includes judo, taekwondo, wushu, karate, tai chi chuan and yongmudo. Under Mr. Min’s leadership as team coach and technical director, the Berkeley taekwondo team won 34 national team titles within a 38-year period. While pursuing his career at Berkeley, Mr. Min also founded the National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (1970) and led the effort to have taekwondo recognized as a competitive sport by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and United States Olympic Committee (1974). He served as a member of the Education Council and Game Preparation and Service Committee of the United States Olympic Committee. Grandmaster Min was a founding member of the World Taekwondo Federation (the Olympic International Federation governing Taekwondo), and served on that organization’s governing council for almost four decades. He also served as International University Sports Federation (FISU) Taekwondo Technical Commissioner from 1986 until his retirement in 2015.
2015 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Barbara E. Ainsworth, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.M., F.N.A.K. – Dr. Ainsworth is a Regents’ Professor in the Exercise Science and Health Promotion Program and Associate Director for Health Promotion Faculties in School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University. Her research relates to physical activity and public health with focus on the assessment of physical activity in populations, the evaluation of physical activity questionnaires, and physical activity in women. Dr. Ainsworth is best known as the lead author for the Compendium of Physical Activities, an exhaustive list of the energy cost of human physical activities. Dr. Ainsworth is a Past President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Academy of Kinesiology. She has served on the PCFSN Science Board and the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport Scientific Committee.
Hon. Margaret J. Giannini, M.D., F.A.A.P. - Dr. Giannini is a former director of the Office on Disability for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As director of the Office on Disability, she guided many key initiatives, including creating I Can Do It, You Can Do It!, a national initiative to improve physical fitness for children and youth with disabilities. Dr. Giannini has devoted her professional life to persons with disabilities and has been a pioneer in the development of a number of initiatives in research, training, and clinical services for the disabled community. She has established a number of innovative programs for prevention, early detection and treatment of intellectual disorders in the inner city, and has been responsible for organizing community traveling health teams representing a variety of related disciplines. Dr. Giannini received the First Honorary Degree by Mercy College Doctor of Humane Letters; the American University of Rome’s Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa; and an Honorary Doctor of Science, Case Western Reserve University.
Billy Mills – Mr. Mills became involved in distance running in high school and earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Kansas where he was a seven time All American. Upon graduation from the University of Kansas, Mr. Mills was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. As part of the 1964 Olympic team, Mr. Mills set a world record and became the only American to ever win a gold medal in the 10,000 meter run. Today, Mr. Mills is an accomplished businessman, author, and National Spokesperson for Running Strong for American Indian Youth. He has received five honorary doctorates; received the Distinguished Service Citation – the highest honor that the University of Kansas Alumni Association bestows; was chosen as Sports Illustrated’s Athlete of the Century for the state of South Dakota; and in 2013, he won the second highest honor that is awarded to a civilian – the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Obama.
Russell R. Pate, Ph.D. - Dr. Pate is a Professor in the Department of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Pate is an exercise physiologist with interests in physical activity and physical fitness in children and the health implications of physical activity. He has published more than 300 scholarly papers and has authored or edited eight books. He coordinated the effort that led to the development of the Recommendation on Physical Activity and Public Health of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (1995). He served on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (2003-04), the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (2007-08), and an Institute of Medicine panel that developed guidelines on prevention of childhood obesity. He currently serves as Chair of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance, was ACSM president from 1993-1994, and is a past-president of the National Coalition on Promoting Physical Activity.
Joan Sullivan-Morris - Ms. Sullivan-Morris is one of the pioneers in the development of rhythmic physical activity, dance exercise, and sports and fitness programs for all. Her teaching skills, dynamic personality, and dedication led her to become a central faculty member in the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports’ national and international clinic and workshop campaigns for almost four decades. During her many years of volunteer service to the President’s Council, Ms. Sullivan-Morris shared her passion and vision for dance as exercise. In the late 1960s, she introduced new and innovative concepts that helped rhythmic group activities explode in health clubs, community recreation centers, public schools, YMCA/YWCA’s, and anywhere people sought fun and fitness for health and well being. Ms. Sullivan-Morris continues to serve her community as a volunteer dance/fitness leader. She and her husband Frank teach country/western dance twice a week choreographed to meet fitness needs of the elderly including flexibility, endurance, and strength enhancement rhythmic activities.
2014 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Steven N. Blair, PhD – Steven N. Blair is a Professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. He has published more than 650 papers in the scientific literature, and has extensively examined the association of cardiorespiratory fitness and various health outcomes. This research shows that low fitness is one of the strongest predictors of mortality and numerous chronic diseases, and likely causes more deaths in many populations than smoking, obesity, or other risk factors. He has received awards from many professional associations, including the Population Science Research Award from the American Heart Association, the Stunkard Lifetime Achievement Award from The Obesity Society, and the U.S. Surgeon General's Medallion.
Boyd Epley - Boyd Epley is recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as the “Godfather of Strength and Conditioning.” As the Head Strength Coach at the University of Nebraska for 35 years, his training program helped produce five National championships in football, three Heisman Trophy winners and 356 wins. Coaches in every sport and millions of athletes have been impacted since Epley showed strength and conditioning improves athletic performance. His sphere of influence grew even greater when he founded the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 1978.
Kathleen Ann Cordes - Professor Emerita Kathleen Cordes served as professor, chair, coach, director, and is a well-known author of textbooks in the recreation field. During her career, she served as one of the first female directors of men and women’s athletics in the country; the first female varsity coach at University of Notre Dame; and first athletic director of Saint Mary’s College, Norte Dame, Indiana. The American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance recognized Cordes with national, district, and state Honor Awards. She received national/state awards for Distinguished Service to Recreation; was elected American Leisure Academy Senior Fellow; and selected for Indiana University’s Anita Aldrich Distinguished Alumni Award. As executive director for the American Association for Leisure/Recreation, Cordes worked on a White House Millennium committee and authored the official volume, America's Trails for the 21st Century, to promote health and the wider use of trails across the country.
Barbara L. Drinkwater, PhD Dr. Drinkwater joined the Pacific Medical Center as a Research Physiologist, she was at the Institute of Environmental Stress, University of California, Santa Barbara and the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Washington. Dr. Drinkwater's research has focused on the female athlete: her physical performance under environmental stressors such as heat and altitude; the effect of exercise associated amenorrhea on bone health; and the role of exercise, calcium, and exercise in preventing osteoporosis. She is also a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and has served on their Board of Trustees, as Vice President for Education, and as President.
Jane Katz, EdD - Jane Katz has taught aquatic fitness and safety at the City University of New York since 1964 and at John Jay College since 1989. She is the author of 14 books on swimming, fitness, and water exercise some of which are translated into 4 different languages. Her books are in over 1200 libraries around the world including Swimming for Total Fitness (Random House), first published in 1981. Katz’s Olympic career began with the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo where she was a member of the synchronized swimming performance team. In 2000 she received a meritorious award from the International Olympic Committee for her “dedication and contribution to the development” of swimming. She was recently named by Aquatics International magazine as one of the top 25 leaders in the aquatic industry along with Michael Phelps and Dara Torres. In April of 2014, Katz received John Jay’s College-wide Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition to being a scholar and a practitioner, Jane is also an All-American and World Master’s Champion in aquatics and continues to compete.
2013 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Ruth Alexander, EdD – Dr. Ruth Alexander is Emeritus professor in the University of Florida. She is known for establishing the “Lady Gator Athletic” program, which allowed women to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Dr. Alexander was the first woman who served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as a Council Member, Special Advisor, and Clinician. She is a founding member of the Florida Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In 1987, she was inducted into the National Association of Sport and Physical Education’s Hall of Fame.
Kirk M. Bauer, JD- Mr. Bauer is the executive director of Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) and is widely recognized as a pioneer of adaptive sports in the U.S. As a disabled Vietnam veteran, Mr. Bauer helps provide sports programs that enable individuals with disabilities, including youth and wounded warriors, to lead active lifestyles. In recognition of his involvement in fitness exercise programs, inclusion initiatives, and adaptive instruction for individuals with disabilities, Mr. Bauer served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from 2006 to 2009 and is the recipient of numerous awards for his work and dedication in his field.
Grandmaster Moo Yong Lee- Mr. Lee is a 9th Degree Black Belt who helped spread the martial art of Taekwondo into the United States. He played a formative role in the establishment of the United States Taekwondo Union—later renamed USA Taekwondo—the U.S. National Governing Body of Olympic Taekwondo, and served as president of the organization from 1985 to 1986. He has been a member of the U.S. Olympic Team Services Committee, and also served on the Executive Council of the World Taekwondo Federation. In 1983, he received the David G. Rivenes Award for outstanding leadership and service.
Emilio (“Dee”) DaBramo- Mr. DaBramo has dedicated his life’s work as a teacher, administrator, and international authority figure promoting physical activity among youth and special populations. He served as a member of the Joseph P. Kennedy Special Olympics Advisory Board, and as a clinician for the Special Olympics and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. As President of the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AHPERD), Mr. DaBramo is also well-recognized for establishing the program called A Place where People Learn Excellence (APPLE), which guided underprivileged students toward a higher education.
Antronette (Toni) Yancey, MD, MPH- Dr. Yancey was a professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, as well as the Co-Director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity. She served on numerous committees and boards, including the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention, the National Physical Activity Plan Steering Committee, and the Board of Directors of the California Public Health Institute. Dr. Yancey authored over 100 scientific publications, including Instant Recess: How to Build a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time, which encourages all Americans to get active during the day.
2012 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Linn Goldberg M.D. is a graduate of George Washington School of Medicine (with Distinction), Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine at the Oregon Health Sciences University and the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory. He is a practicing physician, teacher and research scientist. Dr. Goldberg has co-authored three books including the textbook, Exercise for Prevention and Treatment of Illness, F.A. Davis, 1994, and the popular book, The Healing Power of Exercise, John Wiley & Sons, 2000. He has over 200 publications and has received more than 30 research grant awards. His work has been highlighted in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA-Today, the LA Times, NBC Nightly News, the Today Show, CNN, ESPN, PBS, National Public Radio and other news outlets.
Thomas L. McKenzie Ph.D. is Emeritus Professor of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University and former Adjunct Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego. He is a former school physical education and health teacher, coach, and administrator. In addition to having served as a member of the Science Board, President's Council for Physical Fitness and Sports from 2006-2009, Dr. McKenzie has authored or co-authored over 150 scientific papers and chapters, developed numerous assessment and curricular materials, and presented over 300 papers at state, national, and international conferences.
Jacki Sorensen is the originator of Aerobic Dancing – the complete fitness program that combines the health and toning benefits of jogging with the fun of dancing, and developer of StrongStep, which uses a step to increase lower-body resistance. For six years, she served as a clinician for the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, now the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. She has also been an elementary school teacher. Jacki is the author of two best-selling books, Aerobic Dancing and Jacki Sorensen's Aerobic Lifestyle Book. She has also choreographed and produced several Aerobic Dancing records and three best-selling aerobic videos.
Charles Sterling Ed.D. has served as the Executive Director of the renowned Cooper Institute for over 25 years. His leadership resulted in international acclaim for both organizations. In 2001, he founded eStealth, Inc., a health information portal for physicians, plus Cool Zebra, a movement education DVD for school-aged children. Charles is best known professionally as the founder of the widely-used FITNESSGRAM®, a health-related testing and feedback system for youth. Since it began, FITNESSGRAM® has become the test of choice in the U.S., being used in all 50 states and 20 countries. It is currently in 85,000 school districts and mandated for schools in California, Texas, Georgia, and New York. Over 14 million students were assessed in 2009.
Pat Head Summitt, a native Tennessean, is the coach emeritus of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball team. Pat has been coaching since 1974 with the Lady Vols, where her coaching record has made her the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history of either a men's or women's team in any division, Summitt is the only coach in NCAA history, and only one of three college coaches ever, with 1,000 victories. Summitt has written two books: Reach for the Summitt, which is part a motivational book and part biography, and Raise the Roof about the Lady Vols' 1997–1998 undefeated and NCAA-championship winning season.
2011 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Sihak Henry Cho – S. Henry Cho is a 9th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is recognized as a pioneer of American martial arts. 50 years ago, he opened the first permanent Korean Karate (later to be known as "Tae Kwon Do") school in the U.S. Grandmaster Cho has been a leader in promoting sharing and cooperation in the martial arts community, staging and producing the All American Open Tae Kwon Do-Karate-Kung Fu Championships for 46 years. Cho was inducted into the U.S. Tae Kwon Do Grandmasters' Society Hall of Fame (Pioneer Award, 2006), inducted into Black Belt Magazine's Hall of Fame (Man of the Year, 1971), and awarded a People's Honor Decoration from South Korean President Park Chung Hee in 1970.
Robert "Bobby" Dodd, Ph.D. – As President and CEO of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Bobby Dodd leads one of the largest non-profit sports organizations in the United States. His vision of the "Sports for all, forever" mentality for the AAU has grown their membership to over 600,000 athletes participating in 34 sports programs each year. Bobby was instrumental in forging a unique partnership between the AAU and Walt Disney World, which now plays host to over 200 AAU events at their ESPN Wide World of Sports® venue in Orlando, FL. Under his direction the AAU has also served as the co-sponsor for the President's Challenge, a program of the PCFSN, since 1988.
William G. McNamara – Mr. McNamara has been at the leading edge of international health and amateur sports for over 60 years. In 1958, he was appointed the first Director of Armed Forces Sport and Fitness Committee Secretariat, a position created for him by the Secretary of Defense. From 1961 through 1985, McNamara worked as a consultant to the President's Council under four Executive Directors, providing technical assistance on a variety of Council initiatives including the Presidential Sports Award program and Regional Fitness and Sports Clinics. McNamara was instrumental in negotiating the agreement that led to the United States Olympic Committee's locating their headquarters and national training center in Colorado Springs. Additionally, Mr. McNamara was responsible for establishing the first center for orienteering in the United States.
James F. Sallis, Ph.D. – Dr. Sallis is a Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and Director of the Active Living Research program for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His primary research interests include promoting physical activity and understanding policy and environmental influences on physical activity, nutrition, and obesity. Dr. Sallis' health improvement programs have been studied and used in health care settings, schools, universities, and companies. He has authored over 500 scientific publications, co-authored several books, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. Dr. Sallis has received awards from the American College of Sports Medicine, Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the American Psychological Association Division of Health Psychology. His current focus is using research to inform policy and environmental changes that will increase physical activity and reduce childhood obesity. Sallis is a frequent consultant to universities, health organizations, government agencies, and corporations worldwide. Time Magazine has identified him as an "obesity warrior."
Judith C. Young, Ph.D. – Dr. Young is the Vice President for Programs at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) where she facilitates and coordinates the program work of the organization's five national associations, the research consortium, and the six district associations. She has facilitated the development of National Standards for Physical Education, National Standards for Beginning Teachers (of Physical Education), and National Standards for Sport Coaches including the development of a program review for coach training and certification programs. Dr. Young serves on numerous committees and boards related to physical activity, health and education including the National Coordinating Committee for the National Physical Activity Plan, the Board of Directors of Action for Healthy Kids, and the Board of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. Her active efforts to advocate for public policy in support of physically active lifestyles at local, state, and federal levels included such efforts as promoting the establishment of the initial PEP Program providing first time grants for local physical education and physical activity programming.
2010 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Darell Hammond – Darell Hammond is the CEO and Co-Founder of KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play and creating play spaces for America's children. Darell learned about the importance of volunteerism and giving back to the community through his upbringing at Mooseheart: The Child City and School, a group home outside of Chicago. Darell co-founded KaBOOM! in 1996 and in the past 14 years the organization has directly led the building of more than 1,900 playgrounds, skate parks, ice rinks and sports fields which serve more than 1 million children across our nation every year. KaBOOM! has raised more than $170 million to support the cause of play among children. For his tireless efforts to promote play for our nation's youth, Darell has received the President's Volunteer Service Award, the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, the NARSAD Children's Mental Health Award and the NYU Stern's Satter Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Barbara Jones "BJ" Slater – As an athlete and educator, Barbara Jones Slater has spent her life promoting physical activity and fitness. At the age of 15, Barbara became the youngest athlete to participate in the track and field events at the XVth Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. As a member of the legendary Tennessee State Tigerbelles and the United States Olympic Team, Barbara captured a gold medal and broke the world record in the 4 x 100-meter relay with her teammates. She also earned gold medals in 1955 at the Pan American Games and at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy. Additionally, Barbara was a teacher for over 47 years and retired from the DeKalb Alternative School in Stone Mountain, Georgia in 2009.
2009 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Asahel "Ash" E. Hayes, Ed.D. – In a career spanning more than six decades, Dr. Ash Hayes has worked tirelessly to promote physical activity, fitness, sports and the importance of leading an active lifestyle. As a former executive director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition during the Reagan administration, Dr. Hayes worked at the national level to further the programs, initiatives and messages of the PCFSN. Additionally, Dr. Hayes has worked with the San Diego Unified School District, as well as at the university level, to teach physical education and as a coach and athletic director. Dr. Hayes continues to work to encourage healthy lifestyles through his work as a physical education, fitness and sports consultant.
George P. Nissen – As an athlete, businessman and inventor, George Nissen has spent his life promoting physical activity and fitness. Nissen invented the trampoline at the age of 17, and has promoted his invention and life's passion by bringing the device to college and national competitions and making the trampoline a worldwide sport. During his college years Nissen was a competitive gymnast and diver at the University of Iowa. In 2000, Mr. Nissen's life-long dream became a reality when trampoline became a discipline of gymnastics, debuting at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. At 94 years old George Nissen continues his life's work of inventing innovative sports and fitness equipment designed to make being active fun for individuals of all ages. He is still active, with a daily exercise regimen that includes swimming, table tennis, and of course bouncing on a trampoline.
Betty Perkins-Carpenter, Ph.D. – Dr. Betty Perkins-Carpenter, founder and president of Senior Fitness Productions, Inc., has used her auspicious career to teach people of all ages to swim and dive. Dr. Perkins-Carpenter was a diving coach for the 1976 Olympics and has also coached men's and women's diving at both the high school and college levels. She started Senior Fitness, Inc., Perkins Swim Club, Inc., and the internationally known Fit-by Five, Inc., a fitness program for pre-school aged children. Perkins-Carpenter has authored many books and articles, including How To Prevent Falls: Better Balance, Independence and Energy in 6 Simple Steps, an innovative system to help seniors reduce injuries and the fears associated with falling. Dr. Perkins-Carpenter continues her work as a consultant, lecturer, teacher and advocate on issues related to fitness and safety for senior citizens.
2008 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Dr. Richard O. Keelor, Ph.D. – Washington, D.C. Leading health and fitness authority Dr. Richard O. Keelor, Ph.D., is the winner of the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS). The award honors his 50 years in creating change in health promotion and physical fitness and improving lives around the world. Dr. Keelor is admired for his dedication and focus on health advocacy and leadership training.
The President's Council's Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, or sports nationwide. Winners are chosen by the members of the PCPFS based on the span and scope of an individual's career, the estimated number of lives they have touched, their legacy, and the additional awards or honors received over the course of his or her career.
"We are honored to present this award to Dr. Keelor," Council Chairman John Burke said. "We want to recognize him as someone who has made a great impact on many lives and has served as a great role model with passion for others."
Dr. Keelor is CEO of Health Designs International, a company specializing in developing and implementing science-based health and fitness educational systems and equipment for schools, business, industry, and government agencies.
In 1972, Keelor was selected to serve as the Director of Program Development for PCPFS and held this position for 10 years. During that time, he participated in public service radio, TV spots, and testified at congressional hearings on matters related to the role of physical activity in health promotion and disease prevention.
Beyond PCPFS, Keelor has conducted more than 200 regional and national fitness clinics and has been a keynote speaker at four White House Sports Medicine Symposiums. He also served as consultant to the governments of Japan, Germany, Norway, Portugal, and Guatemala. Keelor was also a co-founder and executive director of Be Active America!, a national physical activity advocacy campaign.
This award was presented to Dr. Keelor at the PCPFS Council meeting on May 14 held in conjunction with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
2007 Lifetime Achievement Awardees
Ken Cooper, M.D. – Considered the Father of Aerobics, Dr. Ken Cooper started a fitness revolution with his 1968 publication, Aerobics. His publications have been translated into 41 languages. In his professional career, Dr. Cooper developed a cardiovascular fitness test and Aerobics point system that continues to be used today to assess physical fitness levels among military and law enforcement personnel, among others, and helped NASA develop programs to condition astronauts preparing for flight. Dr. Cooper opened the Cooper Aerobics Center, a clinic and nonprofit research facility, in 1970.
Jack LaLanne – At 92 years old, Jack LaLanne is considered the Godfather of Fitness and has been impacting lives for over 70 years. He opened one of the first health studios in 1936 and hosted the "Jack LaLanne Show", a health and fitness TV series that ran nationally from 1959-1985. He has been recognized with the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness Lifetime Achievement Award, Dwight D. Eisenhower Award, and the Academy of Body Building and Fitness Award.
Bonnie Prudden – Bonnie Prudden is one of the founders of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which was established in 1956 as the "President's Council on Youth Fitness." She utilized the fitness test developed by Drs. Hans Kraus and Sonja Weber to test the fitness of children in the United States, Europe and Central America, which ultimately led to a report that was presented to President Eisenhower and the establishment of the President's Council. She was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame in 2006 and has dedicated more than 60 years of her professional career to improving the health of women, men, and children.
Bud Seretean – At 83 years old, Bud Seretean still finds the time to lecture on health and wellness and practices what he preaches. He changed his own health habits in 1975 due to a health scare and in turn, changed many other lives. In 1990, through a gift from Mr. Seretean, the Oklahoma State University/Sereatan Wellness Center was built. In 1997, Emory University dedicated the M.B. Seretean Center for Health Promotion, where Mr. Seretean saw an opportunity to serve and educate. He recently wrote a book, "Living Healthy to 100," which conveys the message of healthy living for seniors. He has also served as President of the Atlanta Hawks.
Judi Sheppard Missett – Ms. Missett is the Founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Inc., a company with 6,800 instructors in 30 countries. She has been promoting physical fitness and health for almost 40 years. She continues to lead classes and spread her fitness enthusiasm through community-based projects, including raising $26 million for charity, her Kids Get Fit program, and the CyberStretch School Giveaway Program. She has received numerous awards for her entrepreneurial efforts, including induction into the Enterprising Women magazine Hall of Fame, Small Business Administration, IDEA Lifetime Achievement Award, and Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement in Business.
Joe Weider – At 87 years old, Joe Weider has been promoting strength and fitness since 1936. He oversaw a publishing empire that included Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Flex, Men's Fitness, Shape, Fit Pregnancy and Natural Health. He and his brother formed the International Federation of Bodybuilding in 1946. He created the Mr. Olympia contest, which Arnold Schwarzenegger won seven times. There are 170 countries affiliated with the IFBB, and it ranks as one of the world's top seven international sports federations. Mr. Weider is considered by many to be one of the pioneers in the field of strength conditioning.