As general manager of Charlotte’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Peter O’Donnell is no stranger to big time shows. Still, the Concord resident has never been part of a production quite like the one he’s directing this weekend.Outside of his full-time gig in the entertainment business, O’Donnell has spent part of the last 12 months preparing for the first Greater Charlotte Health and Fitness Expo, a venture coordinated through his one-man operation, PFO Enterprises.A product of his personal passion for health and fitness, the Expo is at the Cabarrus Arena and Event Center in Concord. Over 100 vendors will be present, plus national and local wellness experts will be speaking and holding demonstrating in their areas of expertise. “I’m not a dietician,” said O’Donnell. “I’m not an exercise and physiology major. I’m just someone who takes care of his body who looked to create an event for our community that brings in the tools and resources for people to do the same.“Looking at the New Year, people are focused on health and fitness resolutions. Coming up with one show that gives them the education and opportunity to participate in different health and fitness exercises can help them kick-start 2013.”The feature events will be those being presented on one of several stages inside the facility’s Event Center.Starting with Saturday’s Burn Boot Camp, The Get Moving Stage will host a rotation of health and fitness classes. With adjacent floor space ready for attendees to join in, yoga and Zumba demonstrations will follow over the two days. The Take the Ball stage is for health and fitness education. “How to avoid injuries due to the overuse of your body,” and “how to care for an organic garden” are among the topics.Five dollars covers admission for both days. Children under 12 are free. Youth may enjoy the Kid Zone, in which the Charlotte Hounds lacrosse team will participate, and health and fitness video gaming will be on display.O’Donnell, who is also the general manager of Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion in Raleigh, has recruited some of the industry’s heavy hitters.Among the nationally renowned names scheduled to attend are Gunnar Peterson, who trains Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes. A Duke graduate, he is also an accomplished author and fitness equipment developer.On a regional level, Huntersville resident Emily Joy will be providing inspiration to those especially aspiring to lose weight. A finalist on season 13 of the television show The Biggest Loser, Joy lost more than 100 pounds during the competition.Joy’s life as a contestant spanned from October 2011 to May 2012. Once she came back to reality from her reality TV spot, Joy found it difficult to keep off the weight that she lost.“Anyone can lose weight on that show,” said Joy. “You’re working out and eating limited calories. But it’s maintaining your weight loss at home that is difficult. I’m still going through the ups and downs. That’s the game show. That’s the challenge.”Kannapolis resident Jesse Stilwell has his own story of inspired weight loss. Three years ago, Stilwell was a self-described 538-pound agoraphobic. Once he discovered the advantages of a healthy lifestyle, he shed over 250 pounds.Stilwell will be representing Vitality Medical Wellness Institute, with whom he is employed as a health and wellness advocate and IT specialist. The company is based in Concord and focuses on health optimization through nutrition, fitness, and medical regimen.“Growing up, my diet was terrible,” said Stilwell. “My parents told me it was genetics. The epiphany I had in 2010 was that I wasn’t broken, the food I was eating was broken.”
Wednesday, Jan. 02, 2013
Expo evolves from his personal passion
Promoter provides the tools to take care of your body
Want to go? The Greater Charlotte Health and Fitness Expo will be held 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 5 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center4751 N.C. 49 N., Concord. $5; children younger than 12 free. Details: www.ncfitnessexpo.com.