Gord Hobbins, Gord’s Running Store, Calgary, AB
Gord Hobbins, the owner of Gord’s Running Store, maintains a reputation as a leader in new, innovative technologies in footwear and performance gear. For the newbie runner or the elite athlete and everyone in between, the one-on-one fitting experience at Gord’s will guide you in finding the ‘right fit, right shoe’ or the perfect gear and apparel to meet your personal fitness goals.
Gord is an avid fitness expert who runs his popular store in the community of Crescent Heights. Gord’s Running Store has been a pillar in the running community for more than three decades, offering incredible service and product.
Gord believes a customized fitting process and personalized service leads to better advice in helping customers achieve their athletic pursuits, which is why his store is so trusted amongst the running community.
Besides offering quality service and innovative technologies in footwear and performance gear, Gord has sponsored countless races and charities over the years and has offered support to coaches, athletes and runners of all levels.
Gord’s Running Store has been built on hard work, personalized service and trustworthy advice. The store is home to a wonderful, qualified team with a true leader at the helm, and the community of Calgary is lucky to have them.
“The lifetime achievement award for business resilience resonates with me and all the staff at Gord’s Running Store, especially at this time, on the heels of the Covid pandemic. We were all set to celebrate our 30-year anniversary in March 2020, just as businesses were being shut down due to Covid restrictions. Not exactly the celebration we had planned! But after initially feeling somewhat terrified and unsure how to operate when ‘business as usual’ was anything but, we were surprised and then encouraged by the enormous support we received from customers, community business neighbours, local running clubs and our suppliers. The advice, encouragement, support and genuine care that Gord’s Running Store has given the running and fitness community for over 32 years came right back at us during this unpredictable time when we truly needed it. Resilience requires the support of your community, and we are humbled to be given this award and proudly share it with all of the Gord’s Running Store community.”
Susan Simpson, S2 Fitness Studio, Calgary, AB
Since 2007, S2 Fitness Studio has been based in Calgary, Alberta, in the beautiful community of Altadore, offering a variety of class formats, personal training, and private group bookings in Susan’s studio.
Susan has been in the industry for over 30 years. People feed off of her energy. Her passion, dedication, perseverance, motivation and attitude inspire others to be better every day.
She has been a mentor in fitness for many years. Susan is highly experienced in many aspects of fitness and doesn’t cut corners to sacrifice quality. Her energy and the time she puts into her workouts and training is well thought-out and choreographed personally – and it shows.
Susan eats, lives and breathes fitness.
“I am extremely honoured to be receiving such a prominent award, that being the Individual Lifetime Achievement Award. After four decades of working in the industry as a fitness trainer, group exercise instructor, presenter, and educator, I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my hard work, passion, and positive contributions, as I am certain that every other nominee for this award was as capable if not more, of receiving this award.
For myself, and I may speak on behalf of all incredibly inspirational individuals within this field, fitness plays an integral part in our lives. Essentially, fitness acts as a coping mechanism. Although occasionally, fitness can transform your life, whether it helps pull you out of an emotional pit, provides a stress outlet, or helps you learn something new about yourself and/or your body. Therefore, our mental and physical health are inseparable entities; we may not work on one without positively impacting the other. With this, I can appreciate how much fitness has reinforced my mental strength and self-confidence throughout my life. For instance, losing both of my parents to major heart disease, has helped me further appreciate the fundamental importance of maintaining physical health and mental wellness. With that being said, I made a lifelong commitment to myself that if I could make a difference in people’s lives under their unique circumstances and in whatever capacity that may be for them, I would do so through sharing my expertise and love for health and fitness.
Fitness binds people together. Creating a strong sense of community regardless of age, fitness level, or physical limitations is what lays the foundation for building supportive relationships and lifelong friendships. Moreover, the multitude of things you can do that count as physical activity are broad, as there is something for everyone of all demographics.
The fitness niche is unique in the sense that individuals with similar goals and ambitions who have different life backgrounds and have a unique story to tell, can coexist as one entity in a supportive and caring environment. Hence, for this exact reason, exercise and fitness mean different things to different people in this field.
Has this always been easy? Not a chance.
I became an entrepreneur as a single mother when my daughter was 3 years of age. This was a time full of uncertainty as to whether I could make it on my own or what was in store for me; and this degree of uncertainty was overwhelming at times, especially over the past 2.5 years. Living with this feeling of uncertainty is uncomfortable. Thus, discomfort is the catalyst for growth. Everything in life that involves struggle consequently involves progress. The struggle and discomfort are what makes your aspirations and goals worth every drop of blood, sweat, and tears in the long run. Through having faith in yourself that you are capable of conquering anything, tenacity, and putting in the hours and work, all while accepting challenges/failures, and taking uncertainty for what its worth, is the only way to learn, develop, and achieve success.
For those struggling with the same, my advice is focus on the process rather than the outcome; great results take a great amount of time. Don’t rush it, embrace every minute of it (good or bad).
This Individual Lifetime Achievement Award really hit close to home and truthfully means the world to me; in 2022 perhaps more than ever. As a young entrepreneur in the fitness industry, I have always believed that fitness is attainable – that fitness is a lifestyle that everyone is capable of achieving. Here I sit about to celebrate a 65th milestone birthday and thankful that I still get to wake up everyday and continue to do what I love. That is, helping people live healthier and happier lives both physically and mentally.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the amazing souls and meaningful connections within our fitness community, Impact Magazine and Panelists, YOU have given me a purpose and reason to keep me going for the past 40 years – and I don’t plan on hanging up my boots anytime soon. Thank you again to everyone who made this award possible.”
Louis Stack, Fitterfirst, Calgary, AB
Louis Stack is the founder of Fitterfirst, Calgary. Since 1985, Fitter International Inc. (Fitterfirst) has been offering customers functional equipment available for clinics, studios, offices and homes.
Louis has been a living embodiment of perseverance his whole life, overcoming challenges growing up.
In his early 20s, he underwent a double foot and knee surgery that left him teetering on crutches and unable to wear shoes, let alone enjoy his passions of skiing, biking, running – moving.
This experience led Louis to want to change the conventions of health and healing. It was also the birth of ‘SAM,’ Louis’ fundamental belief in the theory of increasing stability in daily living to improve agility at play and maintain mobility for life.
Louis hired his brother to help build the first four Pro Fitter machines. He packed up his van, sold the machines out of the back and slept in it in between.
He challenged convention, pushed forward against all odds and found a growing tide of confidence, belief, endorsement and business not only from athletes and coaches but countless physical therapists across Canada and the USA who, like Louis, were perched on the leading edge of the budding sports medicine industry.
Louis started Fitter on a loan from his mother to help him recover from his injuries. After introducing the Pro Fitter to PT clinics in Canada and the USA, Medical professional and athletes alike loved the concept and Louis began to expand his market and his product offering.
Today, he and his wife Margaret run their family company where they design and manufacture many of their products in-house. They offer over 200 functional products to help folks worldwide become healthier and live better lives.
Louis and Fitterfirst have won many awards over the years, including small business of the year in Calgary in 2002 and EY Entrepreneur of the year 2026 Health and Wellness.