Club Insider

Stephen Tharrett Passes Away on Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Posted: December 29, 2020 in Other News

Stephen TharrettStephen Tharrett

We are extremely SAD to report to you that industry veteran and good friend, STEPHEN THARRETT, passed away on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. Stephen died of complications from a heart attack he suffered on December 20th. MAY STEPHEN THARRETT REST IN PEACE. Stephen Tharrett, was one of the greatest and most dedicated teachers and educators in the history of our industry. Stephen’s vast depth of knowledge and the vast breadth of his contributions to our industry, an industry that he loved so very much, is rivaled by a very tiny few in our industry. Stephen was partners with MARK WILLIAMSON in a company they called CLUBINTEL. When we say these guys, Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson, working together in their multiple approaches towards industry education and teaching, were true TITANS in our industry, we are not exaggerating.

JOHN MCCARTHY, former 25-year Executive Director of IHRSA, had this to say about Stephen: “I first met Steve when he was the Senior Vice President of ClubCorp where he was instrumental in bringing all of ClubCorp’s athletic and fitness clubs, then about 40 clubs, into IHRSA. Shortly thereafter, he joined IHRSA’S Board of Directors, from which he was ultimately elected to serve as IHRSA’s President. Steve was hugely instrumental in leading IHRSA’s global outreach, especially after he had begun his tenure as CEO of the Russian Fitness Group, which involved him living and working in Russia for several years. A man of prodigious productivity, he found time to write ten books on the fitness industry, some of which are used as textbooks at over 30 major colleges and universities. He spoke to large audiences at numerous IHRSA and other conventions both in the U.S. and abroad. Steve was admired by all for his friendliness, as well as for his warmth, generosity and humility. He has left us far, far too soon…”

We wish to extend our very sincere condolences to Stephen’s family, and to his business partner and friend, Mark Williamson. Sadly, this news arrived at the last moment before our deadline for this edition, limiting our coverage, but we will be producing a complete story for our February 2021 Edition of Club Insider. Stay Tuned, folks!

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