Deborah Szekely, founder and creative director of Rancho La Puerta Fitness Resort Spa and the Golden Door spa, is the recipient of the 2010 International SPA Association (ISPA) Visionary Award, ISPA just announced.

“Deborah Szekely is a true visionary leader who pioneered the spa lifestyle revolution,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “She is a champion of many great causes, but the spa experience and lifestyle are always at the forefront of her work.”

In 1940, Szekely and her late husband, Edmond Szekely, founded Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, one of the first destination spas. In 1958 she alone established the Golden Door, in Escondido, CA. With both spas firmly established, she helped to forge the fitness spa as a major service industry, according to an ISPA press release.

She will be honored during the 2010 ISPA Conference & Expo, Nov. 15-18 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the Washington, D.C. area.

The association is celebrating its 20th anniversary at the conference.

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