Augustine L. "Augie" Nieto II (born 1958) is the founder and retired chief executive of Life Fitness, as well as the current chairman of the ALS Therapy Development Institute. He and his wife, Lynne, live in Corona Del Mar, California and have four children and seven grandchildren.
He is noted for fighting against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by creating "Augie's Quest", which has raised over $45 million in funds for research into the disease. In 2016, it was announced that a documentary, titled "Augie", would premier in late 2017 about Nieto.
In 1977, Nieto founded Lifecycle with an exercise bike of the same name. In 1984, he sold the company to Bally Total Fitness, but was soon named President of the combined company, Life Fitness. He left as an executive of the company upon its acquisition by the Brunswick Corporation. In 2001, Nieto became an Operating Advisor for North Castle Partners, a private equity firm. As part of his position, he serves on the boards of Curves International, Jenny Craig, and HydroMassage, all North Castle investments. Additionally, he is a former board member of Octane Fitness, Quest Software and DynaVox. As a board member of Quest Software, he was part of a committee that helped to negotiate the sale of the company to Dell in 2012.
In March 2005, Nieto was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. After diagnosis, he partnered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and created "Augie's Quest" with the sole purpose of finding a cure for ALS. Funds he raised went completely to research, as administrative costs were covered by MDA. In 2014, Augie's Quest officially transitioned from MDA to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, a non-profit biotech at which he was already funding research at through MDA. Since 2006, Augie's Quest has raised over $45 million in funds for research into the disease.
In 2009, Five for Fighting wrote a song in Nieto's honor on his album Slice to help raise funds for Augie's Quest.
Corporate sponsors of Augie's Quest have included Orangetheory Fitness, Zumba, Shea Homes, ClubCorp, Life Time Fitness, LA Fitness, Curves, Safeway, Oakley, Jenny Craig, Life Fitness, and Equinox among other companies.
Nieto received the EY Supporter of Entrepreneurship Award for the Orange County Region in 2007.
In 2008, he was given the President's Award by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). Then NAHJ President Rafael Olmedia cited Nieto as someone who put a "Latino face on an American story."
In September 2015, he received the fitness industry's top honor, the Club Industry Lifetime Achievement Award.