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Conference 2013 Speaker Biographies

Paul Aspinall, BPE, MES, CPTN-CPT

Paul, a Professor at Seneca College, teaches anatomy and physiology, as well as physical preparation courses for the Firefighters program. He is a CPTN certified personal trainer, practical assessor, course conductor, and a medical exercise specialist. His educational background includes a degree in Physical Education with a major in Athletic Therapy and a Diploma in Fitness and Lifestyle Management from George Brown College. For more information, please visit

Darrin Cave, CPT

Darren is an energetic, highly motivated certified trainer, an organized Physical Fitness Specialist with over 20 years’ experience. He has trained with Olympic athletes in Whistler, BC, and also in various forms of mixed martial arts and sports and physical training including boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, taekwondo, karate, military training, weight lifting, hockey and lacrosse. He is a World Kickboxing Association Canadian National Champion, a World Kickboxing Association Canadian Golden Gloves Champion and a Silver Gloves Tournament Boxing Champion. He was named WKA Canadian male fighter of the year.

Michael Chapman, RYT, CPTN-CPT, CPTN-CYS

Michael Chapman, owner and head instructor of Breathe Into Motion Yoga Studios, has studied yoga for over 28 years and taught yoga full time for the last 10 years. Having taught thousands of classes, Mike has developed a unique approach to yoga based on his experiences not only as a yoga instructor, but also as a personal trainer, coach and fitness instructor. He has combined these experiences to offer the Breathe Into Motion Yoga System. Mike has had the good fortune to study with ashtanga yoga masters Danny Paradise, David Williams, David Swenson, Nicki Doane and Ed Modestini, as well as study anatomy under Thomas Myers (author of Anatomy Trains and student of Ida Rolf). For more information, please visit

Maureen Connolly, PhD, CPTN-CPT, CSCS

Maureen Connolly is a professor of physical education and kinesiology at Brock University with over 25 years’ experience in strength and conditioning training, program development, and specialties in disability studies and adapted physical activity. For more information, please visit

Trevor Cottrell, PhD, CSCS

Trevor Cottrell is the Program Coordinator for Sheridan College’s degree program in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and its new Human Performance Training certificate. He holds a PhD in Physiology and is involved in a broad area of research, ranging from cellular signaling to human performance. Trevor has coached and competed in Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, highland games, strongman and tug-of-war for over 20 years. For more information, please visit

George Dintiman, PhD

George Dintiman is cofounder and President of the National Association of Speed and Explosion, a major certification body for team sport coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, personal trainers, and undergraduate and graduate students preparing in the fields of physical education, coaching, personal training, health, AT and PT. He is an internationally recognized authority on speed improvement for team sports, author of 51 books, four videos and over 175 articles on speed, conditioning, fitness, nutrition, weight control and health. He has trained athletes of all ages and consulted at all levels of amateur and professional team sports, and remains active in the research and training of athletes for the improvement of speed in short sprints. For more information, please visit

Kevin Duguay, CPTN-CPRCS

Kevin Duguay graduated from the Athletic Training and Management Program at Sheridan College in 1984, receiving the Cooper Canada Award for Outstanding Achievement. He is a Sports Rehabilitation Specialist and has worked as the Head Athletic Therapist for a wide range of teams in both professional and amateur settings. He has also lectured at Seneca, Humber and Sheridan College in the field of health and wellness.

Reed Ferber, PhD, CAT(C), ATC

Reed Ferber holds a PhD in sports medicine and gait biomechanics from the University of Oregon and he is a board-certified athletic therapist. He has completed post-doctoral research fellowships at the University of Delaware and the University of Calgary, and specializes in the research and clinical treatment of lower extremity injuries. He is the Director of the Running Injury Clinic and an Associate Professor in the Faculties of Kinesiology and Nursing at the University of Calgary. Reed is also a Population Health Investigator through the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. For more information, please visit

Karsten Jensen, MSc, CPTN-CPT.M, CHEK Practitioner L2, CHEK HLC L3

A strength and conditioning expert, Karsten Jensen has trained world-class and Olympic athletes and coaches from 13 different sports for over 16 years. He has taught several certification, college and continuing education courses for novice trainers and European national team coaches. Karsten believes in the unlimited potential of individuals and shares his views as an international speaker. He is also the author of several books, an educator with CPTN and a contributing writer to several online training resources and magazines in both English and Danish. He shares insider principles of world-class strength and conditioning methods through his website. For more information, please visit

Jeff Jensen, BA, CSCS

Jeff Jensen is the owner of Sports Specific Training Milton. He has been a strength coach for 15 years and comes to this industry from an extensive background of coaching minor football. In his spare time, Jeff is an Air Traffic Controller. For more information, please visit

Larry Jusdanis, BPHEd, CPTN-CPT

Larry Jusdanis is the owner of SST – the #1–rated speed facility in Canada. He has been training athletes for the last 16 years and is the leader in Speed training. His athletes include NFL, CFL, NHL, NCAA, CIS and more importantly young athletes! Larry is the Canadian and Northern US Director of the National Association of Speed and Explosion. For more information, please visit

Judi Laprade, PhD, MSc, BSc, BA

Judith obtained her Physical Education degree from University of Western Ontario, her Physical Therapy (PT) degree from Queen’s University, as well as her MSc and PhD in Anatomy. She has held teaching positions for musculoskeletal physical therapy at Queen’s University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Toronto, and currently she is teaching in the Anatomy Department at University of Toronto. Since 2012, she has been the head consultant with Osteoporosis Canada developing and instructing the Bone Fit™ workshops, which teach health and exercise specialists how to conduct safe exercise for osteoporotic clients.

Andre Leitert, BA

Andre Leitert founded National Fitness Products of Canada 11 years ago and owns a successful health-club, Riverdale Fitness Mill. He has held senior management positions with Stanley Works and Moen Canada. Through his consulting company he has helped launch Body Break products and has consulted for Fitness Business Canada. He is a certified spin instructor and holds a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do, and has competed at the national level. He holds a bachelor degree in marketing from York University. For more information, please visit

Mike MacKinnon, MDiv, BComm, CPTN-CPT

By May of 2003, Mike had slowly added 85lbs of body fat to his 5ft 9in, 160lbs frame. It took eight years, but for him, being 245lbs was the final straw. After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, he embarked on a journey that led him to realize that he was addicted to food, and had to treat his recovery the same way an alcoholic did. The only answer for him was complete abstinence from addictive substances: certain foods that, once eaten, he could not seem to control. Today he enjoys a life free from the craving for fattening foods, and – as a personal trainer – his mission is to pass along what he has learned to others who have trouble losing weight and keeping it off.

Cameron Mitchell, MSc, CSCS

Cameron is currently a senior PhD candidate working in the Exercise Metabolism Research Group in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University. He holds a Master’s of Science in kinesiology from Brock University and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. His current research focuses on the roles of exercise and nutrition in the regulation of muscle mass and strength. Cameron has worked with populations ranging from children to athletes to the elderly. Cameron’s work has been published in scientific journals and featured in publications such as Science News Daily and The Chicago Tribute. For more information, please visit

Thomas Myers

Tom has practiced integrative manual therapy for over 30 years in a variety of clinical and cultural settings, including 10 years in London, and traveling practices in Hamburg, Rome, Nairobi and Sydney, as well as a dozen locales in the US. Author of Anatomy Trains and a set of supporting videos, Tom has also penned over 60 articles for trade magazines and journals on anatomy, soft tissue manipulation, and the social scourge of somatic alienation and loss of reliance on kinesthetic intelligence. For more information, please visit

Ross O’Donnell, BA, CPT

Ross is President of Fitness Kickboxing Canada Inc. (FKCI) and oversees operation of the Fitness Kickboxing Certifications programs and continuing education courses across Canada. He is an experienced international fitness and martial arts presenter, a fitness columnist with over 300 published articles, and the author of 15 instructor-training manuals and of the book The Ultimate Fitness Boxing & Kickboxing Workout. Ross is also a certified Boxing Coach and Competitive Club owner through the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association (CABA-Ontario), and a Black Belt Instructor/Certified Coach and Competitive Kickboxing Club owner through CASK. Ross was selected as a member of the Ontario Kickboxing coaching staff for the 2010 Ontario Winter Games. For more information, please visit

Rob Pacas, BPHE, BEd

Rob is a teacher for more than 20 years and is currently the Director of the Birchmount Exceptional Athlete Program (BEAP) at Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute. Rob has trained numerous professional athletes in the NHL, NFL and many Olympians who recently competed for Canada in the latest Olympic Games in London. Rob has taught fitness courses for both the University of Toronto and York, and has instructed at numerous workshops promoting fitness concepts and styles throughout Canada. Rob is the owner of Pro1Fit, a company that promotes and educates through a full complement of programs and products. For more information, please visit

Sheldon Persad, MSc, NCCP, CSCS, SWC©, CPTN-CPT.M

Sheldon Persad is the Co-owner of Personal Best and service provider for the Canadian Sports Centre. For 25 years, Sheldon has coached weekend warriors and athletes from several national team programs including summer and winter Olympians. His focus is the physiological and psychological effects of stress and exercise. Sheldon is also one of the co-founders of the CPTN and as such helped to create the exam process and certification standards. For more information, please visit

Nicholas Smith, BPE, Autism Specialist

Nicholas Smith is a teacher in the Niagara region with five years’ experience in programs specializing in children and youth with autism and mental illness.

Nicole Springle, MAN, RD

Nicole is a clinical dietitian for the Cleveland Clinic Canada and a national leader in sport dietetics. Nicole is the co-chair of the Dietitians of Canada Sport Nutrition Network and is an official provider of nutrition services for the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario and the Coaching Association of Canada. For more information, please visit

Jennifer Sygo, MSc, RD

Jennifer Sygo is the Director of Nutrition for Cleveland Clinic Canada and the nutrition columnist for the National Post. A specialist in sports nutrition, Jennifer has been a service provider for the Canadian Sport Centre Ontario and Coaching Association of Canada since 2004, and routinely provides one-on-one counselling to Canada’s high-performance athletes as well as group seminars to various sporting organizations, including Hockey Canada, Skate Canada and Gymnastics Canada. For more information, please visit

Matthew Verboom, BSc, BEd, HPT, CSCS

Matthew Verboom attended Lakehead University where he played varsity basketball and graduated with a degree in Kinesiology and Education. After graduation, Matt worked as a personal trainer for three years at The Athletic Club in Brantford, Ontario and continued his education through Sheridan College’s Human Performance Training Program and by obtaining his CSCS. He volunteered and worked part-time with McMaster University Strength & Conditioning. This lead to his current full time position as a Strength & Conditioning Coach at Upper Canada College in Toronto Ontario. Matt’s love of this field continue to grow.

Dr. Vera Taraman, MD, MSc, FCFP, CASAM, ABAM

As founder and spokesperson for Addictions Unplugged, Dr. Vera Taraman has focused her medical practice over the past 17 years on addiction treatment and recovery. Along with serving the addiction community through her own private practice, she has been the Medical Director at Renascent since 2006 and the Staff Physician with Salvation Army Homestead since 2004. A specialist in addiction behaviour and treatment, Dr. Taraman is internationally recognized for her education in and publications on various areas of addiction, and more specifically, food addiction. She has been applauded for her speaking at conferences across the globe. For more information, please visit

Heather Westaway, RK, CDE, CPT

Heather Westaway, a Certified Kinesiologist, Diabetes Educator and COPD Educator, has worked within the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation field for over 10 years and is the current Director of Education for First Line Education Inc. She specializes in chronic disease management, facilitating self-management techniques, behaviour modification, and exercise testing, prescription and programming for special populations. She thoroughly enjoys teaching groups of current and aspiring health care and fitness professionals.

Conference Presenter Timeline