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2011 press releases

“Rebranding Aging” movement to launch May 9 in Washington, D.C.

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Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), and fitness expert Kathy Smith announce major initiative to reposition 50+ market

VANCOUVER--A ground-breaking movement aimed at shifting society’s perceptions of aging and countering aging stereotypes will launch on Monday, May 9 in the Washington, D.C. area. The “Rebranding Aging” initiative is spearheaded by ICAA, led by CEO Colin Milner with support from fitness expert Kathy Smith, who will serve as a spokesperson for the movement. “Rebranding Aging” will leverage the numbers, needs, desires and purchasing power of the 50+ market to win the attention of marketers and the media.

According to Milner, “The untapped human potential of this market is enormous. It simply does not make sense to ignore it because of aging stereotypes,” he asserts. “We chose the term ‘rebranding’ because it resonates with marketers and the media—key drivers of society’s perceptions about aging. Recent research shows they are off the mark: The majority of adults over age 55 feel today’s advertising does not reflect their current lifestyle, and they are turned off by marketing messages targeted to them. With the Rebranding Aging campaign, we’re launching a new movement across North America aimed at shifting those perceptions, and maximizing opportunities at every age. By changing these views and expectations,” Milner continues, “society will not only manage population aging better, but also promote a new way of aging. This is the overarching purpose of ICAA.”

Smith, who turns 60 this year, adds that “the concept of active aging is a major focus for me now, both personally and professionally. In this new era of my career and my life, I’m more passionate than ever about helping people of all ages experience life to the fullest.”

Research supports both the challenges and opportunities associated with a burgeoning older-adult population. Insights into these important issues will be explored during the briefing/webcast.

Growing a movement
In the coming months, as part of the Rebranding Aging movement, ICAA will create and share new communications guidelines; create a clearinghouse for best practices, guidelines, resources, images and references for use by the media and industry; and launch the ICAA Champions program. ICAA Champions are individuals who will visit schools and community-based organizations to demonstrate that rethinking the way we age will help everyone age better.

One of the ICAA Champions deliverables will be charging individuals to earn their Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). ICAA Champions will also participate in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move! initiative," which provides opportunities for intergenerational events that build relationships between youth and older people. For more information on the PALA, please visit:

The media briefing/live webcast will take place at 1 p.m. Eastern time at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland. To access this live webcast, register ahead of time at An email with further details will be sent to you.

Speakers will include:

Harry Lodge, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, Columbia University, and co-author of Younger Next Year and Younger Next Year for Women. Lodge will present the science behind positive aging and the benefits of maximizing older adults’ “untapped potential.”

ICAA CEO Colin Milner will provide details on the Rebranding Aging movement and its implications for media, marketers, families and individuals throughout North America.

Fitness expert Kathy Smith will introduce the ICAA Champions program and explain how organizations and their older-adult customers can participate in the endeavor.

Neil Knox is a 90-year-old resident of Atria Darien in Darien, Connecticut. This ICAA Champion will talk about why he decided to get involved and his expectations of the program.

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
The International Council on Active Aging® is the professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry. ICAA supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging—an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness (i.e., physical, social, environmental, vocational, intellectual, emotional and spiritual)—and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools.

As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport.

About ICAA CEO Colin Milner
Colin Milner, founder and chief executive officer of the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), is one of the world’s visionaries on the health and well-being of the older adult. For the past three years, the World Economic Forum has invited Milner to serve on its Network of Global Agenda Councils, recognizing him as one of “the most innovative and influential minds” in the world on aging-related topics. Milner has been involved in the health and fitness industry since 1982. He managed large and small fitness clubs before founding Canada’s first national fitness trade magazine, Club Direct, in 1990. Milner went on to become vice president of sales and marketing at Keiser Corporation, where he also served as chief operating officer of the Keiser Institute on Aging. Prior to establishing ICAA in 2001, he was president of IDEA Health and Fitness Association.

About Kathy Smith
Kathy Smith has been a leading force in the wellness industry since 1980, and her diverse capabilities cover all aspects of fitness. Today, she continues to shape and inspire the lives of millions around the world. A mother of two teenaged daughters, she is a trusted motivator that has sold more than $50 million in infomercial products and over 16 million workout videos worldwide (inducting her into the Video Hall of Fame). As president of Kathy Smith Lifestyles, Smith continues to develop and lend her signature to a wide array of fitness equipment, apparel and nutrition/health products. She also serves on the boards of the USC School of Gerontology, International Council on Active Aging and the Women’s Sports Foundation. Most recently, she was awarded the IDEA Lifetime Achievement Award from IDEA Health and Fitness, the largest professional fitness organization in the world.

For interviews please contact:

Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595

Contact: Marilynn Larkin
Communications Director, ICAA

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