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Gretchen Carter

Gretchen Carter (B.A. English ASU), worked as an editor and instructional designer before joining up with Janice Jaicks and FitnessFest in 2006. 

She serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO), putting her event planning, organization, and customer service skills to use for more than 15 years.

From Janice:
What can I say about Gretchen? She is loyal, dedicated and puts her heart and soul into our business. 

She thinks of ideas (and they are always good ones) at 4am and brings them to me! Those who have been with FitnessFest for awhile know and love Gretchen.

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Karis Zimmerman

Karis Zimmerman is the owner of ZimmFit Personal Training and has been
passionately educating people in the fitness industry for over 15 years.

From gym management to mobile training to marketing, Karis’s experience shows her continual love for learning. She is an AFAA-Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor and Institute for Integrative Health & Fitness Education Integrative Corrective Exercise Instructor.

From Janice:
Karis has been a long-time FitnessFest attendee, and over the past several years has become a lead staff person at our annual FitnessFest Conference & Expo.

Recognizing her many talents and skills, the FitnessFest team hand-picked Karis to join the FitnessFest Events admin family. She is doing amazing things with our social media presence and has become a crucial part of the team in so many other ways. Karis is an extraordinary asset to the team and her fresh ideas have contributed to the growth of the business since she came onboard.

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Lisa Cargill

Joanna Ferguson has been with FitnessFest Conference & Expo since 2014.

She handles our accounts receivables, customer relations, and leads the team with the logistics of all of our events. 

With a strong customer service background from more than 25 years working in hospitals, restaurants and volunteering with local charities, Joanna is known for her exceptional customer service skills and outstanding attention to detail.

From Janice:
I am always amazed at how quickly and easily Joanna finds files, 
discovers answers and has the ability to learn things (including technology!) that I would never begin to attempt! 

Not only does she have the ability, but she has the desire, and works until she figures it out!

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Janice Jaicks

Janice is the founder and CEO of FitnessFest, AquaCon, and Desert Swim
School, all of which have been in operation and incorporated since 1990.

She has been teaching water fitness and training instructors for nearly three decades, and launched her own Aqua Progressions Certification Program in 2019.

Her newer hybrid version is her favorite way to teach, as it gives a nice mixture of online learning with important in-person pool time. Janice’s certification is the only course of its kind, featuring online modules plus complete in-person water training that helps prove your skills and build your confidence as an aqua fitness instructor.

Janice is certified through AEA, ACE, FitnessFest, and the Arthritis Foundation, and has enjoyed presenting aqua workshops for IDEA, SCW, and her own FitnessFest and AquaCon conferences. She is also the co-creator of Aqua Balance, a SilverSneakers – branded program that was developed over twenty years ago and is still used nationally by the organization.

Janice can also be reached for private business coaching at

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