President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Announces 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients


The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition (PCSFN) is proud to announce the five winners of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Presented annually since 2007*, the Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, sports, or nutrition nationwide. Recipients are selected by PCSFN Council Members and staff based on the span and scope of their career, the reach of their work, and the impact of their legacy.

*Awards were not distributed in 2017 and 2018 based on the timing of Council member appointment and swearing in.

About the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees:

James R. Andrews, MD – Dr. Andrews is a physician and leader in Orthopedic Sports Medicine, blazing a path for future generations through his use of minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. He is a founding member of the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Center and the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI). He has made major contributions to baseball and throwing athletes of all ages though the STOP (Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention) Sports Injuries campaign, Pitching Guidelines, and MLB/USA Baseball Pitch Smart program. Dr. Andrews currently serves as an orthopedic consultant for the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).

Donna de Varona – Ms. De Varona is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming and Co-Founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation, serving as their first President. She went on to become the first female sports broadcaster, debuting on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, prior to a five decade long career as a consultant to the U.S. Senate and advisor for five Presidential Commissions.  She was a driving force behind critical legislation such as Title IX, the 1978 Amateur Sports Act, and the creation of the U.S. Anti-Doping agency.  She currently serves on the International Olympic Committee’s Women and Sports Commission and the Executive Board of Special Olympics International.

Dean Karnazes – Mr. Karnazes is an acclaimed endurance athlete, hailed as one of the fittest men on the planet by Men’s Fitness and named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World” by TIME magazine. He ran 3,000-miles from California to New York City, stopping to speak to students about the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a frequent contributor to health and running related publications and is a columnist for Men’s Health. Mr. Karnazes serves as a U.S. Athlete Ambassador and his non-profit organization, Karno Kids, promotes youth fitness by encouraging kids to get outside and active.

Debra Kibbe – Ms. Kibbe is a Senior Research Associate at the Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University. For over 20 years, she has worked on the advancement and promotion of physical activity, fitness, and nutrition for children. She led the development of TAKE10, a classroom-based physical activity program. Ms. Kibbe was a leader in the Georgia Shape Initiative, which led to passing of the Georgia Student Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Act. Ms. Kibbe is former Director of the Physical Activity and Nutrition (PAN) Program for the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation and assistant volleyball competition manager for the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Atlanta.

Jill Vialet – Ms. Vialet is the CEO and Founder of Playworks, the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of inclusive, safe, and healthy play at school, serving more than 900,000 students in 1,800 schools, chiefly for low-income students in urban schools. For over 25 years, she has empowered youth to be their best, improve their behavior and attitudes towards school, and achieve physical and emotional health through increasing daily physical activity. Ms. Vialet authored the book Recess Rules, a novel for kids 8 to 13 about making recess fun. Prior to Playworks, she founded two additional non-profits, and combined with Playworks they impact over four million youth in 23 states.

Read full bios of each of the recipients here.