Augustine (Augie) Nieto, a prominent leader in the nation's fitness industry for nearly three decades, received a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease) in March 2005. Augie, 55, approaches his role as co-chair of MDA's ALS Division with the same ironclad will and determination that catapulted him to entrepreneurial heights in the fitness world.
Family and Fitness
Augie and his wife, Lynne, live in Corona Del Mar, Calif. They have four children: Nicole, Danielle, Austin and Lindsay. Augie is a 1980 graduate in economics from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.
He says, "My first priority is to spend time with my family. What I learned later in my career is that it is not the quantity but the quality of time you spend that matters."
Augie was co-founder and former president of Life Fitness and is now chairman of Octane Fitness. In September 2005, he received the fitness industry's top honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lynne is a 1980 graduate in accounting from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She worked for more than 20 years in her family's business. She retired in 2000, and both Lynne and Augie enjoy spending time together and traveling with their children.
MDA Involvement and Augie's Quest
The Nietos work closely with MDA staff to coordinate fundraising events that will benefit MDA's worldwide ALS research program. In his campaign called Augie's Quest, Nieto has raised millions for MDA's ALS Division and Augie’s Quest initiative.
Augie also serves MDA as a national vice president, and is chairman of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), a nonprofit biotechnology and drug research company that has partnered with MDA in launching the largest privately funded ALS drug development project in history. This multimillion-dollar collaboration combines the passion and dedication of nonprofit-fueled research with the entrepreneurial spirit and scientific resources of a biotechnology company.
As co-chairs of MDA’s ALS Division, the Nietos help raise awareness through public appearances, speaking engagements, media interviews and public service announcements.
"We're thrilled and honored to be working with MDA. We're going to help put a face on this disease and raise money for research in a fast-track format."
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