Catherine Dempsey Lecturer a Former Gymnast, Now Fitness Specialist Coast to Coast

AAOHN's annual Catherine Dempsey lecture takes place tomorrow, from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. in Panzacola G/H on the first floor of the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel. This year's distinguished lecturer is Melissa Johnson, MS, delivering an address entitled "Physical Activity: Overview and Workplace Strategies." As the executive director of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, a position charged with managing all of the Washington, D.C.-based council's activities and operations as well as those of an advisory committee to the president and the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is a topic on which Johnson is particularly well-equipped to speak.

Johnson's more than 20 years of leadership experience include positions as executive director of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (1997-2002) and as vice president and western regional chair of the National Association of Health and Fitness, formerly the National Association of Governor's Councils on Physical Fitness and Sports. From 1992 to 1997, Johnson was director of operations for National Fitness Leaders Association (NFLA), a national not-for-profit organization formerly based in Washington, D.C. She coordinated and directed NFLA's Healthy American Fitness Leaders Awards program, in partnership with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She also worked in corporate health promotion, designed wellness programs, and served as spokesperson for a variety of fundraising events for the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.

A native of Newport Beach, Calif., Johnson has a Masters of Science degree in health/fitness management from American University in Washington, D.C., where she taught as an adjunct professor, and a B.S. degree in kinesiology from UCLA. Formerly a competitive gymnast, she leads an active lifestyle as an avid weight trainer, cross trainer, and yoga and pilates enthusiast.

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