MIAMI, FL –The Global Wellness Summit (GWS), the foremost gathering of international leaders in the multitrillion-dollar global wellness economy, today formally announced “The Susie Ellis Scholarship for Equity in Wellness.” The new fund aims to create more inclusivity at the annual wellness event by providing financial assistance to a member of an underserved population to join the conference each year, ultimately empowering recipients to return to their local communities and become leaders in the wellness industry.
The new endowment was unveiled to delegates at this month’s Global Wellness Summit, which took place at the Encore Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, earlier this month, and was one of several special celebrations marking the event’s 15th anniversary. The scholarship will cover the recipient’s travel, hotel and registration. The application process to nominate candidates will launch Q1 2022 for next year’s Summit taking place in Tel Aviv, Israel, from October 30–November 2.
The scholarship is named for Susie Ellis, GWS Chair & CEO, who has been at the helm of the Summit and its sister non-profit organization, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), since inception and is very vocal about her commitment to bringing more equity and inclusion to the wellness industry.
Upon being presented with the new fund, Susie Ellis said, “I believe that the wellness industry can do much more when it comes to fostering inclusion and equity; this is a simple but incredibly powerful step in democratizing our industry. I thank all the donors who have made it possible for us to put our mission statement of ‘Joining Together. Shaping the Future.’ into tangible action.”
Ellis explained, “In May 2020 the world was rocked by the murder of George Floyd and I became personally committed to doing more–much more–for equity and inclusion in the wellness industry.” Ellis rallied the GWS Advisory Board and the GWI Board of Directors, and together they catalyzed ideas and initiatives to address this. As a start, GWS started the “Dr. Is INclusive” webinar series with integrative physician, Nicola Finley, MD. In addition, the GWI is launching a new “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” initiative, with the mission of creating a positive impact on the wellness of global society by promoting innovative wellness-based approaches that elevate and seed greater unity, respect and inclusion for all.
“The Susie Ellis Scholarship for Equity in Wellness grew out of my desire to honor Susie on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the GWS,” said Nancy Davis, Chief Creative Officer & Executive Director. “Susie has been vocal about the disparities in access in the wellness industry and has wanted to do something meaningful about it.”
To establish the scholarship, Davis reached out to a handful of like-minded, influential wellness supporters–Katrine and Bill Formby, Jill and Rick Stollmeyer, Lynne and Victor Brick, and the Szekely Family Foundation–and each contributed $10,000, creating a generous endowment that will fund the scholarship for the next several years.
“What a thrilling surprise to learn that Nancy Davis put together this brilliant scholarship program to promote equity and inclusion in the wellness world. I am so grateful to the first four contributors: GWI board member Rick Stollmeyer and his wife Jill, GWS board member Victor Brick and his wife Lynne, my mentor, Deborah Szekely and her family, and my twin sister, Katrine Formby and her husband Bill. It is my hope that we will be able to grow the fund so that multiple scholarships can be awarded each year and we can help keep the issue top of mind throughout the year to help motivate and inspire others in the wellness arena to do what they can for this important cause,” Ellis concluded.
“I am grateful to our inaugural donors for helping us expand the reach of the GWS and am thrilled to be able to honor Susie Ellis’ leadership, passion and vision in our industry,” said Davis.