S.C. Health and Fitness Association will serve health, wellness and fitness professionals across the state

CHARLESTON, SC— Fitness professionals from across South Carolina are banding together by creating the South Carolina Health and Fitness Association with the aim of improving the health and wellness of our communities, promoting and upholding high professional standards for the industry, and providing continuing education and training for its members.

The South Carolina Health & Fitness Association (SCHFA) held a launch event at O2 Fitness in Charleston today. This networking and advocacy organization will serve health, wellness, and fitness professionals across the state of South Carolina.

“The South Carolina Health & Fitness Association is the first of its kind, and we are going to elevate the fitness profession,” Ashley Reese, the group’s executive director and founder said to the trainers and fitness professionals before the kick-off workout. “Our goal is to help individuals and business owners connect with others in the industry so we can share knowledge, better serve our clients and customers, and raise the standards of the industry. This group has been developed with YOU in mind. You have put in the long hours, the hard work, and the determination to be the best that you can be. Now, let us lead the charge to elevate the fitness profession as a whole.”

One of the key objectives of SCHFA is to equip members with the representation, resources, and education necessary to excel in the field, including representing its members on a state level for lawmakers, rules and regulations, and standards of the industry.

“We want consumers to see membership in SCHFA as a mark of excellence,” Reese said. “By seeking out a trainer or a gym with the SCHFA seal, they will know they can expect the highest professional standards and knowledge in the areas of nutrition, physical therapy, massage therapy, specific training and more.”

Membership benefits of the Association will include ongoing education and training, networking opportunities, and business benefits such as insurance program, including:

  • Education on best practices
  • Business and personal development
  • Career growth and opportunities
  • Opt-in to liability insurance
  • Opt-in for health/medical insurance
  • Reduced cost on supplements through Association partner Thorne.
  • Quarterly FREE CEUs through a nationally accredited platform
  • Free CPR certifications
  • Representation on laws and regulations affecting the industry

“We believe that activity and exercise is a building block for a strong community,” said Melissa Griffin, South Carolina Vice President of O2 Fitness. “The SCHFA was created to align and propel the greater good of our industry’s overarching mission of building a healthier South Carolina. We are thrilled to play a small part in advancing that significant goal.


Ashley Reese, the founder and executive director of SCHFA, owns and operates Defining Moment Fitness in Mt. Pleasant. He has been a personal trainer for 13 years and is accredited by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). His personal fitness journey began in 2003, when he lost 115 pounds (not the right way, as he says) and found a passion for helping others realize their goals in a safe and effective way. Reese also holds a degree in Business Administration & Management from the Citadel Graduate College.

Membership is open to all certified health and fitness professionals. For more information on membership and the organization’s mission, visit schealthandfitness.com.