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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: 202 257-6727
National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity Appoints
Melissa Merson Executive Director
Washington, DC, September 26, 2011 — The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, charged with implementing the nation’s first National Physical Activity Plan, today appointed Melissa Merson as its Executive Director.
Ms. Merson previously served for more than a decade as the associate director for communications at the Congressional Budget Office, leading the non-partisan agency’s public affairs operations. She represents the United States on the executive board of the International Triathlon Union, the federation that governs triathlon in the Olympic Games, and also serves as a director for USA Triathlon, the sport’s national governing body.
“This Coalition is at a crossroads in its history as the nation becomes increasingly aware of the importance of physical activity in maintaining good health, avoiding preventable diseases and effectively allocating health care resources, “ said NCPPA President Laurie Whitsel in announcing the appointment. “Ms. Merson is a passionate advocate for physical activity and brings with her decades of experience on Capitol Hill, and in the international sports community. We are excited to have her to lead us in the next stage of our development.”
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help the Coalition renew and refine its mission to be the central force bringing together the many interests working to promote physical activity across the country,” Merson said.
“This position gives me a remarkable opportunity to collaborate with our partners and help lead the important work to bring physical activity into the lives of all Americans by making sure everyone has the opportunity to participate in physical activity throughout their lives,” she added.
Prior to her work for the Congressional Budget Office, Ms. Merson worked as a journalist on Capitol Hill and in the National Tax Office of Deloitte in Washington, D.C. She is a USA Triathlon certified triathlon coach and is the founder and coach of the Arlington (Va) Triathlon Club. She has competed in dozens of triathlons and other endurance events, including the Ironman World Championship.
Ms. Merson is married to Harry Ellison, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police. They reside in Arlington, VA with their two sons.
NCPPA represents a diverse blend of associations, health organizations and private corporations and is a leading force in promoting physical activity and fitness initiatives and advocating for policies that encourage Americans of all ages to become more physically active. The coalition is responsible for implementing the nation’s first National Physical Activity Plan aimed to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population.
For more information about the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, please visit www.ncppa.org or find us on Facebook.