MIAMI, FL – The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) announced winners of its prestigious Global Wellness Awards, which honor outstanding industry leaders in seven categories. Dr. Richard Carmona, M.D., the 17th Surgeon General of the United States and Chief of Health Innovation, Canyon Ranch, received the Summit’s first Leader in Social Impact award for his commitment to expand access to health and wellness to all people around the world.
In a surprise announcement, Susie Ellis, Chairman and CEO of the Global Wellness Summit, introduced Jane Iredale, founder of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Ltd, who presented spa and wellness visionary Deborah Szekely with the first GWS Wellness Award for Living a Well Life. Szekely–who recently celebrated her 95th birthday–co-founded Rancho La Puerta in 1940 and the Golden Door in 1958. Recognized for embodying wellness principles and practices throughout her life, she received a standing ovation from delegates who gathered to honor her renowned contributions to the industry.
“I’d like to congratulate this year’s Global Wellness Award winners and thank the sponsors and the Global Wellness Summit Advisory Board for making these important honors possible,” said Ellis. “These outstanding individuals have made significant contributions to the industry–and their dedication and creativity furthers our goal to bring health and wellness to people around the globe.”
Members of the GWS Advisory Board selected all winners and along with award sponsors presented honorees with their awards at the annual Summit held at The Breakers Palm Beach.
GWS Social Impact Award
The Social Impact Award, which honors a leader who has worked to make it possible for more people and societal groups to live healthier, happier lives, was presented to Dr. Richard Carmona by Dilip Barot, founder of Amrit Ocean Resort and Residences in Riviera Beach, Florida.
"The Social Impact Award is close to my heart,” said Barot. “Giving and sharing what we have with others, especially those in need, has been instilled in me from my childhood.”
In his emotional acceptance, Dr. Carmona–who also received a standing ovation from delegates– said, “I have been inspired to help others by being hungry and homeless as a child. I am humbled, flattered and undeserving of this award, and being part of this team is the best honor I could have received.”
Raised in Harlem, of Puerto Rican descent, Dr. Carmona is a nurse, physician, police officer, public health official, combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, and the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. He has used his position on the world stage to advocate for disease prevention, and for access to health services for the underserved. He is also a member of the board of the Global Wellness Institute, and is working to achieve the recently announced Wellness Moonshot and a world free of preventable disease.
GWS Living a Well Life Award
Jane Iredale, who presented the Living A Well Life award to Deborah Szekely said, “When we think about who was the first person to receive this award, we will say, how appropriate, how deserving, how inspiring that it was given to Deborah.” Szekely remarked, “The award will be on my desk to remind me to deserve it.”
Szekely is recognized for her lifelong commitment to wellbeing and for inspiring others to learn from her example.
All 2017 Global Wellness Award Winners
The complete list of Global Wellness Award winners includes these wellness leaders who received their awards from the presenting sponsors, accompanied by members of the Global Wellness Summit Advisory Board.
Leader in Innovation: Steve Nygren, Co-founder of Serenbe
Presenting Sponsor: Sammy Gharieni, founder and CEO of the Gharieni Group
GWS Advisory Board: Tony deLeede, Founder, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Australia
The award is presented to a global innovator from any wellness sector. Nygren created one of the first wellness communities in the world to protect the rural land just outside of Atlanta known as Chattahoochee Hill Country.
Leader in Sustainability: Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
Presenting Sponsor: Donald Mayer, Global Business Development Manager, UL Environment
GWS Advisory Board: Mary Tabacchi, PhD, RD, Professor Emerita, Cornell University, U.S.
This award honors a leader or innovator in, or advocate for, sustainability in all its diverse forms. Jacobs has combined his creative vision of global hospitality and his passion for sustainability, impacting how people view their destination experiences.
Leading Woman in Wellness: Julie Bach, Founder of Wellness for Cancer
Presenting Sponsor: Miriam Senft, President & CEO, Motivity Partnerships, Inc., U.S.
GWS Advisory Board: Yoriko Soma, President & CEO, Conceptasia Inc, Japan
This award honors a woman who is making a contribution in any of the wellness sectors – whether as an entrepreneur or as a health and wellness champion. Through her organization, Wellness for Cancer, Bach works to bring wellness to those who have experienced or are living with cancer by connecting them with spa and wellness providers who seek to serve them.
Leader in Workplace Wellness: Renee Moorefield, PhD, CEO and Founder of Wisdom Works
Presenting Sponsor: Josh McCarter, CEO, Booker Software, U.S.
GWS Advisory Board: Mia Kyricos, President & CEO, Kyricos & Associates LLC
This award recognizes a leader in the field of workplace wellness and health promotion. Moorefield was honored for helping forward-thinking clients embed wellbeing strategies in the workplace and produce results that matter.
Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness: Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg
Presenting Sponsor: Lauren Wright, President, Debra Simon Family Foundation & Daughter of Debra Simon, U.S.
GWS Advisory Board: Gina Diez Barroso de Franklin, President & CEO, Grupo Diarq, Mexico
This award honors an individual who has achieved excellence in the field of mental health and wellness and has been a leader, advocate or innovator in wellness programs and pathways that help people thrive mentally. Schwartzberg’s inspiring films are used in hospitals and wellness centers to help people deal with stresses and anxieties, and he is a leading voice for emotional and mental wellness.
Leader in Social Impact: Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States and Chief of Health Innovation, Canyon Ranch
Presenting Sponsor: Dilip Barot, Founder, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences, U.S.
GWS Advisory Board: Omer K. Isvan, President, Servotel Corporation, Turkey
This award honors a leader who has worked to make it possible for more people and societal groups to live healthier, happier lives–and whose work in the field of wellness has made a meaningful social impact. (See more about Dr. Carmona above.)
Living a Well Life Award: Deborah Szekely
Presenting Sponsor: Jane Iredale, Founder, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Ltd
GWS Advisory Board: GWS Chairman & CEO: Susie Ellis
The Living a Well Life Award is given to someone who embodies, with fierce devotion, wellness principles and practices throughout his or her life. They lead by example, and their choices regarding mind, body and spirit serve as an example to us all. (See more about Deborah Szekely above.)
The GWS is considered the world’s most prestigious gathering of leaders from every sector of the wellness industry: tourism, spa, education, beauty, fitness, nutrition, finance, environment, medicine, architecture, workplace wellness, wellness communities and technology. This year, a record 600-plus delegates from over 40 countries participated in the three-day Summit.