2017 Global Wellness Awards winners revealed

The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has announced the winners of the 2017 Global Wellness Awards.

The annual Global Wellness Awards honour leading industry professionals who have made a significant contribution to the international spa and wellness sector.

The 2017 awards span seven categories, with the winners announced at the 2017 Global Wellness Summit in Palm Beach, Florida, last week.

The winners, who were selected by the GWS advisory board, included Deborah Szekely, the recipient of the inaugural award for Living a Well Life. The 95-year-old Szekely co-founded Rancho La Puerta on 1940 and the Golden Door spa in 1958.

She was honoured for “her lifelong commitment to wellbeing and for inspiring others to learn from her example”.

Also new for this year was the Leader in Social Impact Award, presented to Dr Richard Carmona, 17th surgeon general of the United States and chief of health innovation at Canyon Ranch.

Carmona, who was also one of the summit speakers, received the award “for his commitment to expanding access to health and wellness to all people around the world”.

Other winners included Steve Nygren, co-founder of US wellness community Serenbe in Atlanta, Georgia, who received the Leader in Innovation” award for the pioneering project.

Neil Jacobs, chief executive of Six Senses resorts and spas, received the Leader in Sustainability award for “combining his creative vision of global hospitality and his passion for sustainability, impacting how people view their destination experiences”.

Julie Bach, founder of the global Wellness for Cancer initiative received the Leading Woman in Wellness award.

Bach was presented with the award for “working 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”.

The Leader in Workplace Wellness honour was awarded to Renee Moorefield, chief executive and founder of Wisdom Works, for “helping forward-thinking clients embed wellbeing strategies in the workplace and produce results that matter”.

Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg was presented with the Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness.

The summit explained: “Schwartzberg’s inspiring films are used in hospitals and wellness centres to help people deal with stresses and anxieties, and he is a leading voice for emotional and mental wellness”.

GWS chairman and chief executive Susie Ellis said of the winners: “These outstanding individuals have made significant contributions to the industry.

“Their dedication and creativity furthers our goal to bring health and wellness to people around the globe.”