Salvation Army fitness manager honored as national award finalist
By: Brad Rowland
SilverSneakers, a nationwide program available to more than 17 million Americans at no cost, encourages its members to participate in health and fitness programs through varied offerings. In Greenville, S.C, the face of the program at The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center is Jennifer Perras, the center’s fitness manager. Perras is widely lauded for her work and influence on individuals participating in fitness programming and, this summer, she earned national recognition as one of five finalists for the 2021 SilverSneakers Instructor of the Year award.
As part of the announcement of her nomination as a finalist, the Kroc Center team gathered testimonials from colleagues and participants, lauding Perras’s work. She was described as “the epitome of motivation,” as well as “incredibly enthusiastic, supportive and an amazing instructor.” In addition to her fantastic work in the fitness realm, Perras was praised as someone who “genuinely cares,” an individual with “impeccable values and strong leadership,” and as a dedicated role model for others.
“Jennifer has been an integral part of the Kroc Fitness Team for four years and has been the Fitness Manager for the past year,” said Allen Dill, senior program director. “She has two decades of experience in the fitness industry in both teaching and management capacities. Jennifer’s excitement is contagious, and she pours her heart into her class participants and staff.”
Perras, a graduate of Sheridan College with more than two decades of experience in the fitness field, operates in several roles in Greenville, overseeing the fitness center, Kroc Fit, and group fitness classes. She also oversees personal fitness trainers and group fitness instructors, in addition to influence on event planning and promotion, program development, member outreach, and all aspects of the Kroc Center’s SilverSneakers programming.
2021 marks the fifth anniversary of the SilverSneakers Instructor of the Year award, and nominations are submitted by peers, class members, staff and other instructors.
“My favorite thing about being a SilverSneakers instructor is being part of a community of great people,” Perras said. “Everyone has different fitness and health levels in my classes, but my goal is to help everyone feel empowered to get more activity and social connection in their lives and inspire them to continually work to improve their health and wellbeing. I’m honored to be recognized as a top-five SilverSneakers Instructor of the Year award finalist, and I consider it my calling to help people live life to the healthiest.”