Valorie Ness was named the PFP Personal Trainer of the Year on Friday at the Club Industry show in Las Vegas.

Ness of Catalyst Fitness Midtown, Atlanta, was one of 600 applicants and 10 finalists for the award. She won for her exemplary commitment to her clients, career and community and for her embodiment of the spirit of fitness and health, according to PFP.

In accepting the award, Ness described herself as a Minnesota farm girl whose father does not understand exactly what she does but who is still proud of her. Her mother helped instill a love of fitness in her by exercising with her as a girl to exercise shows on TV.

Ness says that she never let detractors keep her from doing what she wanted. She ran the 100-meter high hurdles at 13 years old, despite being just 4 feet, 11 inches tall. She then ran on the track team for Minnesota State University, Mankato. She earned a bachelor’s of science degree in food and nutrition with a minor in athletic coaching from that university.

She is a master trainer for the American Council on Exercise and holds personal training certifications through ACE, NSCA and NASM. She is currently pursuing an additional certification through PTA Global.

Ness not only works with athletes, but she also works with people who have experienced a loss in their mobility due to injuries, people who are rehabilitating, and people who suffer from various diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, breast cancer, Parkinson’s and diabetes.

The other finalists were:

Elijah Bishop, FITLife Personal Training, Louisville, KY
Kyle Brown, Strive 4 Fitness, San Diego
Frank Campitelli, Nitroforce Industries, Medina, OH
Lisa Coors, Coors Core Fitness, Cincinnati, OH
Jolie Glassman, South Florida Boxing, Miami Beach, FL
Astria Goolsby, VERVE Health and Wellness Consulting, Abbeville, MS
Mike Koskiniemi, Motions Personal Training, Marquette, MI
Grant Roberts, Unified Lifestyle, Santa Monica, CA
Joe Vennare, Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio, Race Day Domination, Pittsburgh, PA

Sponsors of the event (and the prizes they presented Ness) were:

Precor — Free Precor AMT with Open Stride; winner's choice of either the 835 or 885 console (Value up to $11,495)
Power Systems — $500 Power Systems gift certificate, free flight to Las Vegas for the Club Industry show and $200 in spending money while there.
BodyMetrix
— Free BodyMetrix Professional System - Ultrasound Body Composition ($1,895 value)
NFPT — Free NFPT Personal Trainer Certification, Premier Package or Master Trainer Course ($500 value)

Club Industry also partnered with PFP on the event. PFP gave Ness its 2013 PFP Trainer of the Year trophy and will feature her on its cover and in its Journey to Success spotlight in an upcoming issue.