Home » Episode #428: Lifting Businesses, Uplifting Lives | How Carol Ann Chambers and Lionel University Are Changing the Game

Live from the floor of the March 2023 IHRSA Trade Show in San Diego, host Pete Moore welcomes Carol Ann Chambers, Director of Workforce Innovation & Community Partnerships, Adjunct Professor at Lionel University

Carol Ann has dedicated the past 15 years of her life to the HALO (Health, Active Lifestyle, Outdoor) space. Although she started as a volunteer coach without any certifications, her passion for fitness and health led her to establish her own nonprofit organization focused on kids' fitness. Working with new and young athletes, Carol realized her true calling was to be a positive and supportive influence in their lives, just as her high school cross country and track and field coaches had been for her.

Inspired by her coaches, Carol aspired to become a coach herself, with a specific focus on young athletes. She aimed to make a difference in the lives of these individuals, paying forward the same mentorship and guidance she had received.

Regarding the Importance of in-person mentorship she states, "You can teach all of that in a classroom, but you cannot replace that human interaction, and especially in this industry. You need to show people by doing you need to be with them, and you need to have that connection in person."

Carol Ann's organization, Lionel University, partners with fitness organizations to provide tailored educational pathways for staff at all levels. They focus on innovation and creating programs that meet the unique needs and desires of their students. With a team of experienced educators and accreditation experts, they ensure the content meets educational standards while handling the accreditation process. If you are in charge of education at your fitness facility, definitely reach out to Lionel and see what they can do for you. 

Some key moments: 

[00:02:33] Passion for fitness, coaching, and serving community.

[00:05:15] Lionel University promotes fitness education at all levels. 

[00:07:43] Partnering with fitness organizations nationwide, mentorship focus.

[00:12:13] 30-year-old startup transitioning to Lionel University. Innovative, student-focused with specialized programs.

[00:13:26] Working with big names, becoming national academic partners, creating tailored programs for businesses.

[00:17:25] Accredited institution providing customizable curriculum and credit.

A few key takeaways: 

  1. Carol is the leader of a division at Lionel University that focuses on reaching students from underresourced communities in San Diego. Through a partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission's Leadership Academy, they have created a scholarship-based workforce program that trains students to become certified personal or fitness trainers, aiming to break the cycle of homelessness and promote overall health and fitness.

  2. Education is a key component of Carol's work. They believe in the importance of continued education for coaches to improve retention and save businesses money. Their organization, Lionel University, offers education for fitness professionals, from certificate level to Master's of Science in exercise science. They are also partnering with fitness organizations to bring their initiatives to communities across the nation.

  3. Carol emphasizes the ripple effect that a great coach and mentor can have on individuals and communities. They believe that starting with one athlete or person and building them up can lead to a positive impact on their immediate family, friends, community, gym, and beyond.

  4. Lionel offers customized educational pathways for businesses and brands, tailoring programs for different models of operation. Their courses provide college credits that can be applied towards associate's or bachelor's degrees, and they handle the accreditation process, making it easier for clients to focus on their own needs.

Click here to download transcript.   

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