WASHINGTON, D.C.—June 22, 2023—Liz Clark, president & CEO of IHRSA, the Global Health & Fitness Association, today announced the hiring of new staff members and the promotion of a team member.

Pamela Kufahl joined June 19 as Senior Director of Communications and will lead external-facing campaigns, drive social media content, and produce a wide array of member and industry-facing articles, documents, and resources such as the popular Health Club Consumer Report and Global Report.

In addition to supporting the communications and social media needs of the organization, Pam will help create economic, research, and industry insight tools for both U.S. and international members, suppliers, and federation partners. These tools help promote the industry domestically and to international media, NGOs, and policy organizations. IHRSA will soon announce additional international team members in Asia and Latin America.

Pam joins IHRSA from Club Industry where she was Director of Content and Engagement, and previously Editor-in-Chief, a post she assumed in 2004. Pam is an award-winning writer and industry journalist who earned a graduate degree from the University of Kansas and an undergraduate degree from Washburn University. She resides in Kansas City, MO.

Rubble “Ru” Kazi recently joined IHRSA as Membership Coordinator. He is pursuing a graduate degree in Russian Studies at Indiana University and earned his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University. He resides in Bloomington, IN.

Sami Smith was promoted in May as IHRSA’s Senior Manager of Digital Communications. She initially joined the association’s Public Policy team in 2020 as Communications & Public Relations Assistant. In her expanded role, Sami leads the production of digital content for the association’s website, marketing emails, content management systems, and content optimization and strategy. She is a graduate of Keene State College and resides in Los Angeles.

Saacha Vitalle has joined IHRSA as Global Membership Representative working from Serbia and supporting members where she works alongside longtime IHRSA Europe Director Florian Cartoux, in addition to servicing member firms in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

“I am pleased to welcome our new team members and to promote a hardworking member of our team to an expanded role,” Liz said. “Pam Kufahl is a well-known and widely respected industry veteran who brings a tremendous depth of insight, writing and content production expertise, and strategic vision to support our evolution into an advocacy, communications, and international engagement-oriented association.

“Sami Smith is a vital member of our team whose work helps connect our members, promote our industry, and advocate for the industry at large.

“Ru Kazi will help provide essential support to serve existing member partners and help expand IHRSA’s resources, and Saacha is an important addition to our strong Europe-based team. Ru, Saacha, and Pam help build out our team in important ways, and I am excited to bring them aboard so we can take our member service, engagement, and advocacy to the next level,” Liz added.


IHRSA, the Global Health & Fitness Association, is a not-for-profit trade association representing the global fitness industry of over 200,000 health and fitness facilities and their suppliers. Founded in 1981, IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical for peak health and to fight the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle diseases.

As the world's leading authority on the commercial health and fitness club industry, IHRSA’s mission is to grow, promote, and protect the health and fitness industry, while providing its members with benefits and resources. IHRSA is the publisher of Club Business International, the leading monthly magazine for the global fitness industry. IHRSA's International Convention & Trade Show will be hosted from March 6-8, 2024, in Los Angeles.

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