Chris Clawson, president of Life Fitness, Schiller Park, IL, has been elected as the national vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

The MDA board elected Clawson in July to the ranks of the association’s national volunteer leadership. Clawson has worked with the MDA for the past seven years.

According to an announcement by Life Fitness, the national vice president’s role serves a broader group of MDA vice presidents nationwide to provide expertise, guidance and advice to the MDA’s leadership on matters that ensure the organization continues to meet its goals and to fulfill its ultimate mission of finding treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases.

Clawson’s association with the MDA is tied to his mentor, Life Fitness founder Augie Nieto, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2005. Nieto has worked with the MDA’s ALS division to coordinate the Augie’s Quest fundraising campaign, which to date has raised more than $33 million.

“Augie’s passion for the MDA spurred my interest in the organization, and I’m proud to support the cause in a more formal capacity this year at a national level,” Clawson said in a statement to Club Industry. “Our business approach and Life Fitness company culture is elevated by its connection to this inspiring organization, and it’s my pleasure to continue my involvement.”

Last year, Life Fitness introduced a special edition Augie’s Quest Lifecycle exercise bike in Nieto’s honor. A $500 donation to the MDA is made on the sale of every Augie’s Quest Lifecycle sold.

“Chris Clawson’s leadership skills and experience will be a valuable asset for the Muscular Dystrophy Association,” Nieto wrote in an email to Club Industry. “As both a friend and colleague, Chris has been committed to the fight against ALS since my diagnosis over seven years ago when I started Augie’s Quest with MDA. The fundraising initiatives Chris created as CEO of Life Fitness help us continue to fund research that will lead to treatments and a cure for this disease. We are lucky to have Chris as a resource as we work together to achieve our mission.”