IRONMAN and Life Time, ‘The Healthy Way of Life Company’, have confirmed the appointment of 12 women to its founding Women For Tri Board of Advisors.
Long recognized for their profound impact upon the sport of triathlon, the two organizations recently launched the Women For Tri initiative with a vision to welcome and empower new female triathletes to be part of the sport’s continued growth.
A board selection committee led by IRONMAN and Life Time reviewed more than 650 applications and narrowed the field to 12. The team of appointed influential women, who collectively represent an impressive wealth of professional and personal achievements, were selected to develop a five-year strategy and action plan for the movement.
“We are very pleased with the tremendous outpouring of interest in this initiative, choosing just twelve women for the board was certainly not easy. I would like to thank all of the applicants for sharing in our passion to develop female participation and grow the sport of triathlon,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN.
“Women For Tri will play a very important role in the future success of triathlon and we look forward to collaborating with Life Time and the Board of Advisors on this initiative.”
The new board will work to unite and empower female athletes of all ages and fitness levels by breaking down barriers to entry and helping more women accomplish their fitness goals in a sport that continues to thrive internationally.
Both IRONMAN and Life Time consider the recent and continued growth of female participants in triathlon of vital importance to the sport and the wider endurance industry. Recently, Life Time powered by IRONMAN held an Indoor Triathlon Hour at 77 Life Time destinations nationwide across the US that saw a female participation rate of 54%.
“The Iron Girl series (owned and operated by IRONMAN) and the Esprit de She series (owned and operated by Life Time) both continue to see enormous growth among new triathletes,” said Kimo Seymour, Senior Vice President, Life Time Media and Events.
“The goal of Women For Tri is to mobilize greater interest in the sport and provide an approachable, accessible and meaningful platform for women to achieve their fitness ambitions through triathlon.”
One of the areas of focus for this initiative will be the creation of a Women For Tri Ambassador Team to develop and lead a networking and social community for women in triathlon. The Ambassador Team will mentor and help cultivate new athletes, while providing support to first timers throughout their training all the way to the finish line.
The community will remain connected via social media through the #womenfortri hashtag.
Information on how to join the Women For Tri Ambassador Team will be announced in the coming months.
The inaugural Women For Tri Board of Advisors includes:
Meredith Atwood, Roswell, GA
Attorney, Blogger, Author
Meredith authored Triathlon for the Every Woman, a funny, informative book that empowers women of all backgrounds to become triathletes. She’s an attorney as well as a USAT Level 1, Youth and Junior certified triathlon coach, and contributor to Triathlete Magazine. Meredith completed her first IRONMAN triathlon in 2013 and blogs at SwimBikeMom.com.
Hillary Biscay, Tucson, AZ
Professional Triathlete, Owner Smashfest Queen
Hillary is a professional triathlete and coach with 66 full distance finishes under her belt, including a win at IRONMAN Wisconsin. She’s also the first person to record six top 5 IRONMAN triathlon finishes in one season. Hillary is the Co-Founder of Smashfest Queen, a women’s sport and casual apparel company.
Bonni Brooks, Fairbanks, AK
National Director, Team In Training
Bonni is a National Director for Team In Training at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, providing coaching and team support for participants in a variety of athletic events across the world. Team In Training athletes, in exchange for training and support, raise money towards cures for blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. In total, Team In Training has trained more than 500,000 runners, walkers, triathletes, cyclists and hikers, raising more than US$1.4 billion to fund lifesaving research.
Casey Cortese, Denver, CO
Vice President Marketing, Transamerica
Casey is a marketing expert with several strategic ties to the active lifestyle and business communities. She’s also responsible for the creation of several award-winning sponsorship programs, most notably the Janus Charity Challenge, a national US triathlon-based fundraising initiative which raised nearly US$55 million for charities throughout the US. In February 2015, she’ll be working to complete a half marathon on every continent.
Leesa Eichberger, Encinitas, CA
Leesa has over 20 years of experience in consumer marketing, and was most recently the CMO of Jenny Craig. While at Jenny Craig, she was named one of the Top 100 CMOs on Twitter. She has a passion for health, wellness and fitness, and has been an active triathlete since 2007. Leesa also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Avocado Commission.
Moira Horan, Spring Lake Heights, NJ
Co-Founder, Jersey Girls StayStrong Multisport Club
Moira has participated in countless marathons, IRONMAN, IRONMAN 70.3 and other triathlons since 1993. Her focus over the past several years has been on sharing her experiences and training others as a USA Triathlon Coach Certified Level 1 and Level 2 Total Immersion Swim instructor. She founded the Jersey Girls Triathlon in 2010 and started the Jersey Girls StayStrong Foundation in 2012.
Cris Howard, Reston, VA
Global Project Director, Covance
Cris created the Well Steps program providing turnkey wellness solutions such as individual health coaching to companies large and small. Johnson & Johnson awarded Well Steps program with its Chairman Award and implemented the program in a series of clinical trials spanning 41 countries. Cris has eight years of triathlon experience.
Katherine Kelly Lang, Hollywood, CA
Emmy-Award Winning Actress
Katherine is an Emmy-Award winning producer, actress, spokesperson/ambassador of Breakaway from Cancer and an avid triathlete. Her love for the sport and extensive social media following will help the Women For Tri initiative reach a new audience, empowering a large group of her supporters to try the sport. Katherine has competed in two IRONMAN 70.3 events and plans to do an IRONMAN triathlon this year.
Brooke Mallick, Chicago, IL
Marketing Manager, Gatorade
As a part of the Gatorade team, Brooke was charged with running G-Feat, an initiative Gatorade implemented internally to encourage its employees to be more active. G-Feat’s main pillars of focus: education, training and competition, and athlete outreach, are seen as synergetic with the work the Women For Tri board will be tasked to carry out. She has participated in multiple triathlons, including the IRONMAN 70.3 Racine triathlon.
Julia Beeson Polloreno, San Diego, CA
Editor in Chief, Triathlete Magazine
Julia is the Editor in Chief of Triathlete Magazine, and is deeply rooted in the sport of triathlon. She will be instrumental in content development and education for both beginner and elite athletes. Julia, a mother of two children, is a multiple-time IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 finisher.
Kyrsten Sinema, Phoenix, AZ
US Representative, Arizona – 9th Congressional District
Kyrsten is the first sitting Member of Congress to complete an IRONMAN triathlon. She also enjoys competing in Life Time Tri and Esprit de She events in her home state of Arizona. Kyrsten has previous experience bringing women into the sport and is passionate about the opportunity to use her influence to drive the Women For Tri.
Dr Karen Smith, Newport Coast, CA
Senior VP Global Head, R&D, Allergen
Karen is a frequent speaker at Women in Business, and sits on the Board of Advisors of the California Chapters for Girl Scouts and the Susan G Komen Foundation in Orange County. She won the 2014 Orange County Women in Business Award, and is known as a respected leader in the community with an extensive background in business and the health/medical field. She recently completed her seventh IRONMAN triathlon.