Abbie Appel

Abbie Appel is a recreational therapist and the owner of AbbieFit Consulting. As a fitness education specialist, she collaborates with organizations including YMCA, Crunch, and Equinox. She is an author and program developer who created the SCW Pilates, SCW Barre Education Certification, and the new SCW Stretching & Flexibility Certification.  She also contributed to the ACSM Group Exercise Manual and Schwinn Indoor Cycling Certification Manual. Abbie is an acclaimed presenter for ACSM, IDEA, IHRSA and SCW, among others. She delivers fitness education for world-class brands including Nautilus, Schwinn and TRX.  Abbie was awarded SCW Fitness Presenter of the Year.

Dr. Aaron Aslakson, Phd

Aaron Aslakson is the Director of Exercise Science and Assistant Professor at Crown College, St. Bonifacius, MN., overseeing the Human Performance Lab. He previously directed fitness centers for Walker Methodist, supporting 11 locations focused on older adult fitness. He is active in the American College of Sports Medicine, serving on the CCRB Exercise Physiologist sub-committee, and was on the International Council on Active Aging’s conference committee from 2020-2022.

Gail Bannister-Munn

Gail is the Flexibility Specialist and Core, Yoga, & Pilates Coach with the New York Jets football team. She is the owner of The Bannister Method Studio out of Long Island, West Babylon, New York & is the Regional Group Ex Manager of Crunch Fitness Locations (Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn). Gail teaches several different class formats at national conferences and is a Fitness Consultant for professional athletes in the NBA, NFL, NHL, & MLB. She holds numerous certifications in several disciplines, including NASM, AFAA, FST L3, Thai Massage Specialist, Yoga Fit 500+ hrs., and is a NASM & AFAA Continuing Education Provider.

Leslee Bender

Leslee Bender 2020 IDEA Personal Trainer of the year ACSM,NASM,FAFS,NCPC, with over 3 decades of experience in the fitness industry. Creator of the Bender Ball method of safer core training 2007 informercial of the year. Director of education for Ageless Training Academy. Author, international speaker. Director of Pilates Sports West Athletic Club.

Kelly Bullard

Kelly has been an international fitness educator and a Zumba® Education Specialist (ZES) since 2009. She holds degrees in Exercise and Sports Science (Health and Physical Education) and a Master’s degree in Sports Administration. She shares her enormous passion, enthusiasm, and experience in fitness/dance with people of all ages. Kelly specializes in many Zumba® Fitness programs and has presented in over 36 countries. She is in several Zumba DVDs, including being featured in Aqua Zumba® Vol. 6. Kelly holds a variety of certifications in fitness and is a continuing education provider for AEA, AAAI/ISMA, AFAA, & ACE.

Jackie Carroll

Jackie has been teaching in the fitness industry since 1998. Formerly, a Body Training Systems and Les Mills instructor, she is now focused on classes geared for the Active Agers. Jackie has a true passion for aqua fitness and is WATERinMOTION®, certified, AEA certified, and S.E.A.T. certified and also holds certifications in Aqua Basics and Aqua Advanced, ZUMBA and SCW Active Aging. She teaches WATERinMOTION®, Original, freestyle Aqua Fitness, S.E.A.T. and Senior Boot Camp formats at the YMCA of Southeast Florida.

Christine Conti, MEd

Christine Conti, holding a Master’s Degree in Education, is a best-selling author, international chronic disease and fitness educator, motivational speaker, podcaster, and ultra-endurance athlete. She has spent over two decades researching alongside leading doctors, exercise scientists, and nutritionist to prevent and battle disease through healthy lifestyles. Her signature book, SPLIT-SECOND COURAGE, was released in 2022.

Sohailla Digsby, RDN, LD

Sohailla is a registered dietitian, author, and international speaker. She has been a group exercise instructor since she was a teenager. She partners with fitness pros to help them launch 8-week challenges so their clients get the results that workouts alone won’t deliver. Sohailla is a voice of reason – bringing clarity amidst the nutrition fads and myths that abound in the fitness space. She and her husband have 3 teenagers, and live in Evans, Georgia.

MaryBeth Dziubinski

MaryBeth is a highly respected global fitness industry leader with over 30 years of experience in group exercise programming. She is currently a Senior Fitness Specialist and was a former National Trainer with the SilverSneakers® Fitness Program. MaryBeth was honored by AEA as Global Aquatic Fitness Professional of the Year. MaryBeth is an R.Y.T. and the co-creator of YOQUA™. As a skilled health and wellness professional, she inspires others to commit to long-term health and fitness goals.

Apy Figueroa

Apy is a LaBlast Master Trainer holding a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science, and is a former national synchronized swimmer for Puerto Rico who loves dancing whether in water or on land. She went to a LaBlast® master class, and instantly fell in love with this exceptional program. LasBlast is a ballroom dance format created by Emmy-nominated choreographer & Dancing with the Stars pro, Louis van Amstel.  LaBlast is ballroom-based, partner-free dance exercise program including all components of fitness, and uses music from every era & genre. Apy feels it’s the best dance format where you can learn the true skill of dance while blasting calories.

Lauren George, MS

Lauren George serves as the Co-Owner of Fit Pro Programming, a fitness education company dedicated to supporting instructors and club operators through comprehensive education and consulting services. With over 16 years in the fitness industry, she has created multiple fitness formats, trained thousands of instructors, and launched several successful businesses, including Clemson Fitness Company, The Fit Biz Club, Pulse Pointe Barre, and LG Fitness Virtual Studio and app. She’s the program creator of Pumped Up Strength, Human Reformer, & The Musicality Method, Co-Creator of Barre Above, and consults on numerous fitness projects for other companies.

Ann Gilbert

Ann Gilbert is the fitness industry’s premiere educator on exercise and aging. A successful owner and operator of FIT-HER: Fitness For Women, she oversees 50+ Personal Trainers and Group Fitness Professionals, coordinating an extremely successful facility including group exercise, personal training, functional training for older adults and aquatics. As an ACE / IHRSA Personal Trainer of the Year, Ann is a featured, sought-after, and popular speaker for the Health & Fitness Association, FBA- Succeed, Club Industry, SCW MANIA®, and IAFC Conventions. Ann is an industry leader and education expert helping to develop and teach the following SCW Certifications: Active Aging, Aquatic Exercise, Group Fitness, WATERinMOTION®, and S.E.A.T. (Supported Exercise for Ageless Training.)

Elian Haan

Elian is a Bestseller Author, TV show host and Speaker and spent most of her professional life in the fitness and wellness industry. As Certified Professional Coach with a yoga-fitness studio and private practice in Texas, she is specialized in Executive and Transformation Coaching and known for her straightforward “Coach Approach” presenting and sharing her life lessons with a good dose of joy, humor, and energy. She has developed many fitness programs and is bringing body & mind together through her trauma informed expertise.

Maureen (Mo) Hagan, BScPT, BST, BA

Maureen (Mo) Hagan is an international award-winning fitness professional, recognized as Canada’s Top 10 Women of Power and a Top 100 Health Influencer. Mo is Chief Operating Officer for canfitpro – Canada’s leading fitness education authority. Mo’s passion for moving people extends beyond the fitness industry as a licensed physiotherapist and her work on the Canadian National Board of Directors for Prescription To Get Active.

Michael Hughes

Founder of Gymnazo & Gymnazo EDU, holding a degree in Kinesiology, Michael is a Fellow of Applied Functional Science and certified as a Multidimensional Movement Coach, a Functional Manual Reaction Coach, a Female Chain Reaction Coach, a 3D Movement Analysis & Performance System Coach, plus several more.  He is also a Precision Nutrition Coach and Post Rehab Conditioning specialist. He’s spent the last decade pioneering a more sustainable model of training that blends his heart for restoration with the energy of fitness training. Michael’s mission is to elevate the industry’s standards for what quality looks like as a trainer through scientific knowledge and application.

Sara Kooperman, JD

Sara Kooperman, JD, CEO of SCW Fitness Education, WATERinMOTION®, and S.E.A.T. Fitness , Founder of the MANIA® Convention, sits on the canfitpro Advisory Panel and the Gold’s Gym Think Tank and was a founding board member for the Women In Fitness Association (WIFA). Recently nominated for the IDEA Fitness Leader of the Year Award, Kooperman won the Most Innovating Fitness Pro by FIT-C (Fitness Industry Technology Council). Sara is the best-selling author of FIT FOR BUSINESS, an inductee into the National Fitness Hall of Fame, an Illinois State Businesswoman of the Year, esteemed panelist for multiple Webinars & Podcasts, and sits on the ACSM Communication & Public Information Committee.

Cheri Kulp

Cheri Kulp has been a certified fitness professional for over three decades. She holds a degree in Special Education and is the Co-Founder of the successful aqua dumbbell program, WATERinMOTION® Strength. Cheri is currently the choreographer for WATERinMOTION® Original and a marathoner, triathlete, and winner of two national bodybuilding competitions. Cheri has starred in over 100 Fit Pro videos and shares her vast experience and passion for teaching by presenting at SCW MANIA® conferences nationwide. She holds certifications in numerous land-based and aqua programs, including AEA, NASM, WATERinMOTION®, ARC, and Les Mills.

Melissa Layne, MEd

Melissa is a Kinesiology Department Faculty Member at the University of North Georgia. She has been a well-respected and well-loved fitness and nutrition leader for over 35 years.  Having created the SCW Nutrition Coaching for Fitness Professionals Certification, the SCW Nutrition, Hormones & Metabolism Certification, and contributed to the SCW Active Aging Certification, Melissa has consistently sold-out educational seminars.  Melissa holds a Masters of Education in Exercise Science, a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and an Associates degree in Medical Technology.

Rosie Malaghan, MS, ERYT-200

Rosie Malaghan, MS, ERYT-200, has over 15 years of experience teaching and counseling, virtually and live, fitness, yoga, leadership, and organizational development. Rosie holds a Masters of Science degree in Human Development and served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Rhode Island. She is an ERYT and C-RYT, ACE CPT, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and holds several SCW certifications. Rosie currently serves on the Fitness Team at Trilogy Orlando, an active aging community in central Florida.

Roberto Melani, MBA

Roberto has been a leading presence in the fitness industry for over 3 decades, working for major national fitness companies, and has been a featured presenter at national and international fitness conventions. He is the Regional Group Fitness Manager for In-Shape Family Fitness providing education, training, and development for 300+ coaches. Roberto has an MBA in Sports & Fitness Management and holds fitness certifications through NASM, FAI and EBFA.

Andrea Metcalf

For more than three decades, Andrea Metcalf has been a prominent figure in the fitness industry, empowering individuals & business alike. Featured on NBC’s Today Show, Steve Harvey,, and USA Today, Andrea owns Heat 3.0 Pilates, The Pilates Experience, and FLX Stretch Training. Specializing on recovery, mobility, and instructor training, she’s authored a best-selling book and is revered by prestigious health organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Chest Surgeons. Join Andrea today to elevate your fitness  and business journey!

Patrick Mummy

Patrick earned a baseball scholarship to San Diego State University & graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree  in Athletic Training. He founded  Symmetry for Health & was awarded a patent on a measurable system for postural assessment and corrective exercise – AlignSmart Technology. Patrick has written three books, the latest – “The Physics of Pain; becoming Pain-Free”. He has spoken on the subject of postural assessment at multiple conferences & corporations.

Tricia Murphy Madden

Tricia Murphy-Madden is a highly respected 30 year veteran of the fitness industry.  She was honored with the prestigious Fitness Leader of the Year award by IDEA and is the Co-Founder of FIT PRO PROGRAMMING (formerly Savvier). Formerly the on-set Director for Amazon Halo, Tricia successfully directed a multitude of workouts across various modalities. Tricia is renowned for her gracious energy and ability to motivate individuals at any stage of their fitness journey. 

Dr. Erin Nitschke, MS, EdD

Dr. Erin Nitschke is an industry writer, presenter, and tenured Exercise Science Professor. She holds certifications including NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Therapeutic Exercise Specialist, and Pn1. Erin is an editorial author for IDEA, NFPT, and ACE where she writes and speaks regularly on topics related to personal training and health coach skill building, behavior change, and career success.

Michele Park

Michele Park has been a mentor in the health and fitness industry for over 35 years. She has owned her own personal training company, worked with large fitness corporations on program development, trained and mentored thousands of fitness professionals around the country, developed a virtual teaching course and created her own fitness formats, SOULfusion, SOULstrength, BARREfusion and the newest addition to the SOUL family, SOULkickboxing. Michele creates a class experience that allows movement and music to come together bringing magic to the room. She has been teaching and training virtually for over 8 years and has an online fitness studio with over 300 active members. Mentoring and creating programming are 2 of the things that she loves most about the fitness industry.

Jeannette Pyle

Holding a degree in Dietetics and Human Performance, Jeannette has been working in the fitness industry for over 30 years and is currently the Director of Wellness & Fitness at the SaddleBrooke TWO HOA. Jeannette has a passion for working with the 55+ population creating programs and classes to improve their active daily lifestyles helping them to lead fun, energetic and fulfilled lives.

Irene Pluimmentz, PT

Irene PluimMentz became a licensed physical therapist in the Netherlands before immigrating to the United States. She is the co-owner of One Step Beyond, Inc. Physical Therapy. Irene’s passion for anything “water” led to becoming an AEA certified instructor. She integrates her knowledge of hydrodynamics with physical therapy into all of her sessions. Irene is the inventor and developer of the Aqua-Ω adjustable drag resistance water exercise equipment.

Gusti Ratliff, MEd, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT

Gusti Ratliff, Med has worked over a decade with her late business partner developing chair yoga protocols for seniors, the physically challenged, as well as therapeutic adaptive yoga applications for multiple sclerosis. In addition, Gusti is a recovering studio owner where she facilitated 200, 300, and 500 hour YTT programs and one of the first recognized yoga therapy programs in the country. For over 20 years, Gusti continues to blend humor and lightheartedness with the work of transformational yoga.

Dr. Dan Ritchie, MS, PhD

Dr. Dan Ritchie is the Co-founder and President of The Functional Aging Institute and has a broad background in the fitness industry including training and management in commercial, for-profit, not for-profit, and educational facilities. With expertise in personal training for special populations including athletes, stroke recovery, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s, he worked on state-funded research on exercise for severe dementia, Alzheimer’s type. He is an international speaker and expert on fitness and aging and has developed certifications and continuing education for training in the areas of balance, power, strength, cognitive health and more.

Keli Roberts

Keli Roberts was named IDEA International Fitness Instructor of the Year award, awarded the SCW Best Female Presenter, Lifetime Achievement OBOW Award, and was inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. Keli was also honored as Presenter of the Year, as well as the Inspiration Award winner for Empower! Conventions. Keli is an ACSM EP, an ACE Senior Fitness Specialist and is FAI CPT Certified, an SCW Faculty Member, and a Schwinn® Senior Master Trainer.

Leslie Roberts, MS

Leslie Roberts has over 20 years experience in teaching group fitness, 15 of those years have focused on the 55+ demographic. What began as a last minute sub request turned into a passion in working with active agers. She teaches yoga, strength, stability, barre and cardio classes to active agers. Leslie is a Master Trainer for the SOUL brands and believes that movement combined with music + community creates magic!

Kylie Ross, MS, MBA

Kylie Ross is Owner of VK Professional Services, VRoK Fitness and a Tax Manager with TurboTax. VK Professional Services offers tax planning and preparation, bookkeeping, notary, website design and business consulting. Kylie Ross is a Certified Personal Trainer from SCW, Nutrition Coach and Bariatric Health Expert. She has been in both industries professionally for almost 6 years. She’s a Gastric Bypass recipient of 11 years and works hard to stay healthy and fit now she assists others to prevent obesity-driven conditions via virtual and mobile fitness and nutrition guidance

Deborah Rothschild, MS, NASM-CPT, ACE-CPT, AFAA-CGFI

Deborah Rothschild, MS, a fitness professional since 2003, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her presentations. She has worked as a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Pilates Instructor, Lead Trainer, Group Fitness & Pilates Manager, Fitness Director, and Sports & Wellness Director. Her specializations, including ACE-Senior Fitness Specialist & Brain Health Trainer, NFPT-Cancer Recovery Specialist, BHOF-BoneFit Instructor, and Parkinson Wellness Recovery-PWR!Moves Instructor, demonstrate her commitment to continuous learning and staying at the forefront of the industry. She is the proud owner of Tough Agers, LLC, a virtual and on-location fitness company that caters to older adults of all fitness levels and capabilities.

Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM, MS

Dr Emily Splichal, Functional Podiatrist and Human Movement Specialist, is the Founder of EBFA Global, Creator of the Barefoot Training Specialist® Certification, Author of Barefoot Strong and CEO/Founder of Naboso Technology. With over 20 years in the fitness industry, Dr Splichal has dedicated her medical career towards studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to barefoot science, foot to core integration and sensory integration.

Kimberly Spreen-Glick

Kimberly has been a leader in the fitness industry for over 25 years, presenting workshops on fitness, yoga, wellness, leadership, and personal growth at conferences around the world. She was the group fitness director for Lifetime Fitness for over 10 years and was the IDEA Program Director of the Year. Kimberly stepped away from her corporate role to create The Inspired Life University which she focuses on helping fitness professionals elevate their careers and become wellness leaders.

Amber Toole

Amber Toole is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Health from Georgia Southern University. She has 30 years of experience in the Fitness Industry and loves to share her expertise with other Fitness Professionals. It is her life’s mission to spread the truth about fitness and nutrition through education. She is the owner of The Training Toole – a Fitness and Nutrition Studio in Ocala, Florida, an SCW Educator and Fit Pro Mentor.

Manuel Velazquez

Manuel Velazquez is a WATERInMOTION® Platinum program choreographer and the Faculty Leader of the SCW Yoga 1 & 2 Certifications, as well as the SCW Tai Chi Certification. With over two decades of experience in the fitness industry, Manuel has been recognized as “All Around International Presenter of the Year”.  He is also an RYT-200 Yoga certified instructor and is the Head Instructor at Rancho La Puerta Resort & Spa in Tecate, Mexico (outside of San Diego).

Billie Wartenberg

Billie has over 28 years of experience in the fitness industry and is currently the Fitness and Wellness Director at the Trilogy Resort 55+ Community and Resort in Orlando, FL. Managing almost 100 sessions per week focused on healthy active aging, Billie has authored the SCW Aqua Barre certification and is also a master trainer for SCW’s WATERinMOTION® and S.E.A.T. (Supported Exercise for Ageless Training) programs. Drawing on her experience as a former competitive cheerleader, Billie brings high energy, enthusiasm, and encouragement to everything she does.

Ruston Webb, MS

With over 20 years in the fitness industry, Ruston Webb is a luminary in Human Movement, holding a master’s degree in the field. He founded The Mobility Recipe, a revered certification for fitness professionals, and developed transformative programs targeting knee, back, and shoulder pain, enhancing client well-being and performance. Leveraging his expertise as a former college instructor in exercise science, Ruston owned a successful gym for 11 years, solidifying his legacy as a trailblazer in promoting holistic fitness solutions.