Transitions Group Fitness Instructors

Nikki Joy

Nikki Joy, Director of Group Exercise
CardioFusion, Step, CardioKickboxing, MuscleFlex, BootCamp, Barre

Nikki attended the University of Akron where she studied accounting and currently works for REM Ohio which is the State of Ohio housing assistance program for people with special needs.  Nikki began teaching fitness classes in 1994 and is certified through BFIT.  Nikki has developed one of the largest followings at RPFitness, specializing in HI/LO, Step Aerobics, and Cardio Fusion.  She is currently working toward her High Intensity Personal Training Certification and provides weight loss coaching and meal planning.

Nettie Adams

Nettie Adams

Nettie Adams
Pilates, Barre
Nettie is a 2004 Graduate from the University of Akron where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance.  She teaches dance to ages 2-adult and that lead her to start studying Pilates.  She has been training in Pilates for more than 10 years and has now transitioned into teaching Barre classes.

Jeanne Berry

Jeanne Berry
SilverSneakers MSROM, Zumba GOLD, Barre
Jeanne doesn’t exactly appear like what you’re accustomed to seeing when you look at photos of fitness instructors.  But don’t let the gray hair and less-than-perfect skin fool you because, this old gal’s got game!  She is a nationally certified group fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates Mat & Reformer and Aerobic Dance.
Jeanne’s Pilates certification is through Balanced Body University, recognized worldwide for excellence in Pilates education.  For the mat certification alone, extensive study in anatomy, plus over 100 hours of course work, and written and practical testing is required before BBU certification is granted.
Jeanne combines Latin dance steps with fitness moves.  We call it Zumba; she calls it “exercise in disguise” because you’re having so much fun you may forget that you’re working out.  

Emily Clark

Emily Clark

Emily Clark
Spinning
Emily graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2010 with a degree in Marketing and Management Information Systems. It was at Miami University where Emily first developed her love of Spinning and in 2013 she became certified through Mad Dogg Athletics. Currently, Emily works at Dental Ceramics Inc., in Richfield, Ohio as the Lab Manager and Director of Marketing and Continuing
Education. Emily lives in West Akron and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, golfing, running, swimming, and skiing.

Jon Fuime

Jon Fiume
Kickboxing, CardioFusion
Jon currently serves as the Vice-President of Retail Operations and Natural Products for Ritzman Pharmacies Inc.  Ritzman has 8 pharmacies located in the greater Akron area.  Besides pharmacy, Ritzman specializes in natural products including vitamins, herbs, and homeopathics.  Currently, Jon oversees the daily operations of the chain.    Jon attended John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio graduating with a degree in Spanish and Marketing.  He is also a licensed Massotherapist in the state of Ohio, the President of the Health Commission for the city of Akron, and a certified group fitness instructor currently teaching kickboxing and cardiofusion for RPFitness.

Jon possesses an extensive background in both retail and natural products.  He has attended various natural health seminars nationally, has participated on industry boards and has spoken on a national level regarding the integration of natural products with traditional pharmacy.  In the past he has assisted with expeditions to the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest to learn more about the medicinal properties of botanicals as well as the culture.  He has been part of the natural products industry since 1990. During that time, he has operated in all facets of the industry from marketing and product sales to staff development and education.  In his spare time Jon enjoys traveling, running, tennis, Pilates, aerobics, kickboxing, writing, and serving on the Board of Trustees of the Akron Art Museum.  Jon currently resides in Akron, Ohio.

JJ Fyffe

JJ Fyffe
Spinning, MuscleFlex
Jennifer Judy-Fyffe (aka JJ) has long been an outspoken advocate for group exercise since the 80’s (when headbands and leg warmers were actually in fashion).  She was always active exercising in a group setting whether it was cheerleading, aerobics classes, or the intercollegiate fencing team at Miami University of Ohio.  After graduating with a B.S. of Science in Business Administration in 1992, she started teaching group exercise professionally at several clubs around Akron, Ohio.  Hi/Lo & weight bearing classes were Jennifer’s primary focus.   She expanded her certifications to include Kwando, step, Yoga, Bootcamp, Urban Rebounding, and hip hop.   She currently holds a certification with A.C.E Group Exercise, YogaFit, and Spinning.   In 2003, Jennifer achieved her M.B.A from the University of Akron.  She continues to expand her fitness knowledge with continuing education classes in exercise physiology and class technique training.

Jennifer’s experience includes two years as a Group Exercise Manager for Bally’s Total Fitness.   While there, she participated as a member of the Bally’s Total Fitness Team for four years.  This team was a group of instructors that took physical fitness out into the community to educate as well as promote a healthy lifestyle.

RPFitness welcomed J.J. in 2007.  Her focus is primarily spinning and muscleflex classes.  She is passionate about the benefits of cross training and staying active.  It would not be surprising to see her running a few quick miles, sneaking into a yoga class or participating in CrossFit boot camp trainings.

As a full time career professional, Jennifer had been with Today’s Bride Magazine & Shows for the past 16 years.  Today’s Bride helps engaged couples plan their dream wedding by connecting them with local wedding professionals.    Jennifer was promoted to Bridal Show Manager in 1998 in which she heads up the largest bridal show in Ohio.    It seemed like fate when her wedding knowledge as well as love of fitness all came together as she married her husband Matt Fyffe in 2004.  Ironically she met him at the gym.

JJ has a way of instilling her three main philosophies to her students:
Practice the power of living in the present.
Do not try to control the uncontrollable; control your reaction to it.
Make a habit of creating change.  If you don’t change something, nothing will change.

The one thing that will never change is JJ’s true passion for what she does.  She will forever be a group exercise trainer.  JJ is proud to see her students push themselves to reach new levels and create positive changes for their life.  JJ is a well respected advocate of the fitness community. Her expertise and love for what she does is truly evident.

Michele Hardman

Michele Hardman
Step, MuscleFlex, BootCamp
For many years Michele was such a fixture at the gym, the manager of the group fitness program suggested that she turn her drive into something more. Michele thrives on helping others to achieve their fitness goals, too. Michele Hardman has been a group exercise instructor for 10 years specializing in Step aerobics. Michele has a national certification through the American Council on Exercise, a Powerball certification and BOSU certification through BTF/Crunch, and has completed a Level One Kettlebell Certification through Kettlebell Concepts.
Michele lives in West Akron with her husband, Kevin, and has 2 children.

Connie Hotchkiss
Yoga
Connie graduated from The University of Akron where she studied languages.  She currently works at 21st Century Financial, a financial planning firm.  Connie started practicing yoga 15 years ago and immediately made it a weekly practice.  She realized right away that yoga not only has many physical benefits but can also be a respite from our hectic world due to its beneficial effects on our nervous system.  When she realized that her original instructor was conducting yoga teacher training, she jumped at the opportunity so that she could share with others what she has gained from the practice.  Connie will earn her 200-hour RYT Yoga Alliance designation from The Yoga Place in North Canton in July of 2014.
Dana Hower

Dana Hower

Dana Hower
Silver Sneakers MSROM, BootCamp
Dana graduated from The University of Akron will a degree in Radiologic Technology  in 1993 and then went  on to further her education  and  career and became a  Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer.

She is currently working towards her High Intensity Personal Training as well as Group Fitness certifications.

When she is not working at the gym she enjoys spending time with her busy family.  She has been married to Walt for 11 years and together they have 4 daughters, Sienna, Olivia, Mya and Eliana.

Sevda Javandideh
Aerobic Dance
Biography coming soon…

Lizzie Jesko
Spinning, Core, Barre
Lizzie joined the RPFitness team as a Spinning instructor in February 2010, and currently teaches SPIN, and Core classes at the club. She is MADD DOGG certified, and has obtained her Group Fitness certification through AFAA.  If not found on the Spinning bikes (or behind the front desk), you will most likely see Lizzie running the roads and trails around Akron or on the treadmills in the cardio room. Since graduating from college, Lizzie has taken an interest in marathon running and has completed a number of races including the Cleveland, Akron, and Boston Marathons.  Most recently, Lizzie finished the 2011 Akron Marathon as the 3rd place overall female. Lizzie always brings a high energy and positive attitude to her classes and tries to show that not only working hard but having fun will bring the best results!  Lizzie graduated from Ohio University in 2009 with degrees in Finance and Management Information Systems, and is currently working at Beacon Financial Group in Cleveland, Ohio.

Kristy Kenna

Kristy Kenna
MuscleFlex
Kristy graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelors degree in History. Prior to attending OSU, she received a partial basketball scholarship to Millersville University, but a knee injury ended her basketball career. She started as a group fitness instructor over 13 years ago and is AFAA certified. She also has certifications for Strength Training from BTF-PowerFlex and a Kickboxing certification from Gorilla Sports. When she is not busy teaching classes, she enjoys marathon running, golf and her four children. She ran the 2008 Akron Marathon in 3 hours and 39 minutes which qualified her to compete in the Boston Marathon. In 2009, Kristy ran and completed the Boston Marathon while she was 14 weeks pregnant.

Marlys Martter
Pilates Reformer, Barre
Marlys holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Kent State University.  She worked at Summa Health System for over 40 years as a Medical Technologist (ASCP) primarily in Immunology. Marlys has taught Pilates for over 16 years starting at the Tom Smith Studio before joining RPFitness. Her training includes seminars with Julian Littleford, J.L. Body Conditioning, San Diego, California,
Alan Herdman, Alan Herdman Pilates, London, England and Troy McCarty, White Cloud Studio, Cleveland, Ohio. When traveling, she has taken classes with notable instructors in Napa, Atlanta and Chicago. Her goals are to help students develop and build flexability, strength and a strong core using a series of exercises that incorporate mind and body through concentration and control.
Marlys offers Reformer and Barre classes customizing routines for students’ needs and personal goals.

Amanda Jesko Miles

Amanda Jesko Miles
Spinning, Core, Barre
Amanda graduated from Mount Union College in May 2007 with a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Sociology and from Kent State University in December 2010 with a Masters degree in Evaluation and Measurement.

Currently, she is working at Sterling Jewelers Inc. as a Training and Performance Improvement Specialist in the Field Training Department.  Amanda is certified in Spinning through Mad Dog and Group Exercise through AFAA.
Kim Read

Kim Read

Kimberly Read
CardioKickboxing, MuscleFlex, Spinning, BootCamp, Barre
Kim graduated from the University of Akron in 1993 with her BS in Elementary Education.  She holds her Group Fitness Certification as well as a Kickboxing Certification and an Indoor Cycling certificate with AFAA.  She is currently working towards her High Intensity Personal Training Certification while leading CardioKickboxing, BootCamp and Barre classes as well as Semi-Private Personal training sessions such as TurboTread, CUTT, RIPPED and HEAT.

When not at the gym, Kim enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She has been married to her husband, Scott, for 17 years and they have two boys, Garrett and Brandon.  Her personal interests are strength training, water skiing, snow skiing, home renovations and watching football.

Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith
Yoga
Lisa began practicing yoga while attending The University of New Mexico in 2001, where on a whim, she took her first yoga class. She instantly fell in love with both the ancient practice and philosophy behind yoga and found the discipline and dedication of sustained yoga habitude to yield profound, life-enhancing affects. She strongly believes in the lasting benefits that consistent practice can offer, and is passionate about passing on her insights and techniques gained from her years of personal yoga instruction. Her style is mostly adopted from Hatha and Vinyasa yoga and the classes Lisa instructs consist of a combination of strength and alignment-based approaches, to which she blends restorative and contemplative elements.
Lisa has an extensive knowledge of Anatomy and Kinesiology, which combined with a certification in Personal Training, helped her to develop an effective yet personalized yoga flow. Lisa also brings an element of joyfulness to her yoga classes, as she believes Life is short and thus, every moment is to be savored.
Lisa adapts her classes to support all individual levels. Beginning yoga students will feel welcome and are both encouraged and assisted throughout their class time, while more advanced yoga practitioners under Lisa’s instruction will feel a sense of refinement and deepening in their practice.

Alexis Walker
ZUMBA
Biography coming soon…

Ron White

Ron White
Yoga
Ron began his yoga practice twelve years ago when he was teaching several other forms of fitness and needed the cross-training for what he thought was only flexibility. He relaized the total value of yoga with mind, breath, body, and spirituality as a holistic approach to fitness and well-being. He was certified through Bally’s and went further to get certification with Expert Rating Global Certification. Realizing the need to teach many different body types in larger yoga classes, Ron egan to practice with as many instructors as possible throughout Ohio and on the East and West coasts. He has studied popular flows developed by main stream yogis such as Baron Baptiste, Manuso, and Rodney Yee, in order to weave a common thread throughout his teaching.

Kerri Conti

Kerri Conti
Spinning, MuscleFlex, CardioFusion
Voted “Most Athletic” of my St.Vincent-St.Mary senior class playing Volleyball, basketball, softball, and swimming in the summer, I was always Active.  In 1993 when I was training to become a group exercise instructor for Bally Total Fitness, I was hit by a car while walking to my Art History class at the University of Akron. The result was a tibia plateau fracture in my left leg supported now with a titanium plate and eight screws. Four months until I could walk again and over one year before I could run, I was determined to be active again.  Despite the negative comments that I would never be the same, I started teaching aerobics in 1995.  In 2003 I started competing in triathlons and, to my surprise, winning. Fast forward seven years later to 2010, dizzy spells, massive head pressure, along with other symptoms called for CAT scans and MRI’s of my head to determine I had aqueductal stenosis with mild to moderate hydrocephalus (partial blockage in the aqueduct causing cerebral fluid to back up in the third ventricle of the brain “water on the brain”). On June 29th 2010 I had brain surgery at the University Hospital in Cleveland, OH. The Neurosurgeon drilled through my skull to create another opening in my third ventricle to bypass the aqueduct that was partially blocked.  Five weeks later I placed 1st in my age group and 2nd woman overall (20 seconds behind the winner) at the Greater Lakes Cleveland Triathlon. The week after I placed 1st woman overall at the Vermillion Triathlon. At the end of August I placed 1st in my age group and 4th woman overall out of 1050 women at the Chicago Triathlon.  I am now gearing up to race in the USA Triathlon Nationals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on September 26th. If I place there, I will go to Beijing, China to compete in the World Championships.