The 2022 Global Wellness Summit Award Recipients & Contest Winners Announced
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), the most prestigious conference on the $4.4 trillion business of wellness, celebrated industry creators, visionaries and thought leaders at its 16th annual conference in Tel Aviv last week. Each year, the GWS and its advisory board members bestow Global Wellness Awards on individuals who have made a significant and unique contribution to the Summit’s goal of positively shaping the future of wellness worldwide, making the wellness of both the planet and its people central to their personal missions.
Please join us in congratulating the impressive recipients of the 2022 Global Wellness Awards and the winners of the “Shark Tank of Wellness” and “Call for Innovation: Wellness in the Metaverse” contests.
New! The Bennett Family Award for Collaboration in the Science of Wellness
Endowed and presented by Bija Bennett, chief wellness officer of YubiHealth, the new award recognizing individuals working to merge science and wellness for the advancement of human health went to Professor Alon Chen, president of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and Juan de Pablo, executive VP for science, innovation, national laboratories and global initiatives at The University of Chicago. With recently published research, their collaboration and findings have significant implications for improving the treatment for mental health conditions such as depression.
The Leader in Innovation Award
Industry visionary Rick Stollmeyer, CEO of Inspired Flight and founder of MindBody, was the recipient of this year’s Leader in Innovation Award sponsored by Natura Bisse. Stollmeyer created MindBody, the leading experience technology platform for the fitness, wellness, and beauty industries, in his garage, ultimately selling it for $1.9 billion. Presented by Josanna Gaither, the executive director of spa channel and education for Natura Bisse, Stollmeyer emotionally accepted the honor saying, “This conference has helped remind me who I am and is truly changing the world. I’m honored to be part of it.”
Leader in Sustainability Award
Gaining international recognition for his transformation of an abandoned elevated railway line in Manhattan into an iconic and beloved urban park, the co-founder former executive director of Friends of the High Line, Robert Hammond, is the recipient of this year’s Leader in Sustainability Award. Presenting the award, GWS Advisory Board Member Hannah Messerli, PhD, economic development specialist, said, “What this visionary made possible gives us all hope about how we might, in our own cities and towns, reimagine what public space is really all about, and what it was meant to be.” Hammond is now turning his innovative thinking to urban wellness in his role as president and chief strategy officer of Therme Group US.
Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness
Freddie Moross, managing director of myndstream, was the youngest award winner, receiving the Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness. Presented by GWS Advisory Board Member C. Victor Brick, the CEO of Planet Fitness Growth Partners, LLC, and the co-founder of the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation, on behalf of Lauren Wright, Brick said of this next-generation wellness leader: “Freddie has… approached music as a tool for healing, a bridge to help people feel included and respected. His impact on neurodiverse communities, especially children, has already rippled through the wellness landscape and is destined to powerfully impact how we see and treat certain mental illness.”
The Leading Woman in Wellness Award
The Leading Woman in Wellness Award went to industry luminary Sue Harmsworth, founder of one of the most iconic global spa brands, ESPA. “Sue’s extraordinary vision and purpose has shaped the modern-day spa industry, something she continues to do to this day,” said Ömer Isvan, the president of Servotel, presenting the award. Harmsworth is an inspirational and visionary leader who over the past 50 years has shaped the spa and wellness industry as we know it today. She is responsible for the design of over 500 award winning spas in 65 countries and for creating groundbreaking products, treatments and wellbeing programs globally.
Call for Innovation: Wellness & the Metaverse
This year’s Call for Innovation focused on wellness and its place in the metaverse. Seven finalists from seven countries (chosen from 70 applicants) were invited to present their innovations to a powerful lineup of judges at Meta’s offices in Tel Aviv. The winner was Virtuleap, a health and education startup with a mission to elevate cognitive assessment and training using virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Virtuleap CEO and Co-founder Amir Bozorgzadeh accepted the award, explaining the evolution of their technology involving game developers and neuroscientists working side by side. The award, co-sponsored by Welltech Ventures and Meta, was presented by Amir Alroy, co-founder of Welltech Ventures.
Shark Tank of Wellness Global Student Competition
First Place Honors ($5,000)
Anvisha Vora, from Atlanta, Georgia’s Savannah College of Art and Design, took first place honors ($5,000) for Heare, a portable wand that uses micro-vibrations on targeted areas of the ear to manage mental well-being and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. A problem-solver with an eye for design, Vora is an international graduate student from Mumbai, India, pursuing a Master’s in Advertising.
Kay McCalla, also from the Savannah College of Art and Design, took second place honors ($3,000) with Aurb, an energetic art piece designed to elevate meditation with color therapy and healing crystals; while third place ($2,000) went to Cornell University’s David Austin Jones for Sol Sauna, a floating sauna business concept that will bring a true sauna experience to urban hotspots and natural settings across the United States.
The Shark Tank of Wellness awards were presented by Frank Pitsikalis, Vice President, Strategy at Agilysys; and founder of ResortSuite and fellow judges Amir Alroy, co-founder of Welltech Ventures; Karen Campbell, Business Development Consultant, Chiva-Som International Health Resort; and Aldina Duarte Ramos, Global Director of Well-Being at ACCOR