About FitnessFest

If you are exploring the exciting field of fitness and wellness, congratulations! What a rewarding experience it is to make a difference in people’s lives through fitness and wellness training! People have been coming to FitnessFest for over twenty years for quality education, new ideas, motivation, inspiration, and for guidance to be the best that they can be in the industry. Whether you are looking to become a personal trainer or group exercise instructor, or you need continuing education credits to renew your personal training certification or group exercise certification, you’ve come to the right place.

FitnessFest was created in 1997 to give instructors and trainers a chance to get their continuing education credits in one place at one time. Since its inception, our original 66 participants have grown to over 500 attendees. What was once a mostly locally-attended conference now boasts approximately 25% out-of-state attendees. We attribute our growth to our friendly atmosphere and “everyone fits in” approach, the organization and structure of our events, the amazing variety of workshops available, and our top-notch (yet down-to-earth) presenters.

We hate to brag, but our attendees love FitnessFest, our presenters love to speak at our conferences, and our vendors love our expo!


FitnessFest Conference and Expo is the largest fitness and wellness conference in the Southwest, attracting novice and veteran group exercise instructors, personal trainers, aquatic instructors, mind/body practitioners, and healthcare professionals.


As we grow, we never want to lose the motivation that prompted us to begin our mission in the first place; to inspire the fitness community to be the best that we can be. Our workshops and lectures tend to be small enough in size to keep that personal touch and networking feeling, but our presenters and workshop topics are the hottest, most current in the business. FitnessFest IS your premier source for fitness and wellness training, certification and education.


Where Land and Water Meet

Meet The Team

Meet Janice Jaicks

Janice has been teaching water aerobics since 1985 when she was asked to teach at the Mesa YMCA. She has worked with all populations (athletes, older adults, special populations) at health clubs and resorts since that time. Her sense of humor, motivating attitude and caring nature make her one of the most sought-after instructors in the valley. Janice has also managed and trained hundreds of aqua instructors over the past 20 years. She is the creator and presenter of Aqua Progressions, a training designed for new and veteran water aerobics instructors to learn choreography tools, review safety and contraindications for all populations, and understand the principles and properties of water for a safe, effective workout. Janice has presented for several national organizations such as IDEA World, SCW Mania, and her own FitnessFest and AquaCon conferences. 

Meet Gretchen Carter

Gretchen Carter, B.A. English, worked as an editor and instructional designer before joining up with Janice Jaicks and FitnessFest. Gretchen has been the conference coordinator, office manager and jack-of-all-trades for FitnessFest for thirteen years. Putting her writing, editing, planning, organization and customer service skills to use, Gretchen sees FitnessFest and our other events through from start to finish each year.

“Anyone who has communicated with or has had contact with Gretchen knows, she is the foundation of this company. Gretchen has the attention to detail that is needed to keep everything organized, and she is the true definition of a self-motivator, which is hard to find! She is also always looking for creative ways for us to grow. Loyal, dedicated, and truly kind-hearted, Gretchen is my right and left hand “man” and we would be lost without her.”  - Janice

Meet Joanna Ferguson

Joanna Ferguson has been with FitnessFest Conference & Expo for the last year, serving as a jack of all trades until finding her niche in sponsor/vendor relations. After focusing on her family and being a stay at home mom for ten years, FitnessFest coerced Joanna into rejoining the workforce as part of the team. With a strong customer service background from more than 15 years working in hospitals, restaurants and volunteering with local charities, Joanna is known for her exceptional customer service skills and outstanding attention to detail. Joanna has also organized numerous charity golf tournaments, parties and other functions throughout the past ten years, which fits perfectly with her new job here!

“It amazes me how many people who have been in the workforce for years have no follow-through, no pride in their work, and no loyalty to their employer. Being a boss for over 25 years, I have met and hired (and had to fire) my share of personnel. When you have a small company, you need loyalty, dedication, and people you can trust. You also need an employee that cares about more than just a paycheck. I am truly blessed to have someone like Joanna as part of our team. She has all these qualities, as well as the skills that our team needs!” -Janice

Meet Amber May

Amber May comes to FitnessFest with over 10 years of event management experience and a proven track record of planning and facilitating trade shows, conferences, meetings and special events. Her career encompasses the medical, advertising specialty, and software development industries. Amber holds a B.S. in Mass Media Arts, Journalism, and Communication Studies, and her CMP certification. She is also a certified Zumba Instructor. Being able to combine her love of fitness and events makes her a great fit for FitnessFest. She manages a lot of the promotional efforts for the team, performs important industry research, and has a knack for finding new attendees and vendors. Amber also assists with the social media efforts across multiple platforms.

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663 W. 2nd Ave. Ste. 14  •  Mesa, AZ 85210  •   480-461-3888   •  info@FitnessFest.org