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2018 CPTN Personal Trainer Summit Speaker Biographies

Paul Aspinall, BPE, MES, CPTN-CPT

Paul is a Professor at Sheridan College where he teaches Business for Fitness Professionals as well as Nutrition and Workplace Safety. He is a CPTN Certified Personal Trainer, Practical Assessor, Course Conductor and a Medical Exercise Specialist. His education 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

Graham Brown, MSc, NCCP, CPTN-CPT.M

Graham Brown is the owner of New U Studio in Listowel, Ontario. He holds a bachelor degree in physical education and kinesiology and a Master degree in coaching and sports psychology. His qualifications in fitness, and ability to teach, have given him several opportunities within the fitness industry as an educator, conducting courses for people wanting to become personal trainers and a presenter for conferences and seminars. For more information, please visit

Maureen Connolly, PhD, CPTN-CPT, CSCS

Maureen Connolly is a Professor of Physical Education and Kinesiology at Brock University. A university and national teaching award winner and a 2009 Erasmus Mundus scholar, Maureen’s teaching and research include curriculum, stressed embodiment, dance & movement education, and Freirian approaches to teaching and learning. Her theoretical dispositions are semiotic, phenomenological, post/anti-colonial, irreverent and quixotic.

Kevin Duguay, CPTN-CPRCS

Kevin Duguay graduated from the Athletic Training and Management Program at Sheridan College, 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.

Emily Everett, RMT, RYT-200

Emily Everett started her career in 2007 as a massage therapist. Through her knowledge of muscle, connective tissue, and fascia – she can create unique sessions with her clients, incorporating functional movement, yoga and tissue work. In 2014 Emily completed her yoga teacher training certification with the Yoga Alliance, and in 2015 onward has been teaching the CPTN Certified FPTS course alongside Melissa Putt. She works full-time as the resident massage therapist at Healthy Habits Nutrition and Fitness Consulting, combining massage therapy with fascial yoga and posture therapy for sustained client results.

Heather Harrison, MEd, BKin, NCCP Certified, CEP, CPTN-CPT

Heather is a Certified Coach, Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer and CPTN Course Conductor and Practical Assessor, as well as a Professor within the Fitness and Health Promotion program at Durham College. For the last 12 years, Heather has been purposefully infusing Internal Control Psychology / Choice Theory into her coaching and teaching. In so doing she has supported fitness professionals, clients and students to reach new levels of self-evaluation and subsequent behaviour change to bring them closer to what they want out of life. For more information, please visit

Jennifer Hintenberger, BKin, MEd

Jennifer is a seasoned veteran of the fitness industry, having held the positions of a personal trainer, facility owner, international speaker and kettlebell competitor. Successful in overcoming the challenge of excessive weight, Jennifer channels her energies into kettlebell training and education. She is an EGSA Master Coach; Level 3 Certified KETACADEMY Coach and a World Kettlebell Club (WKC) Kettlebell Sport Coach. A kettlebell skills expert and kettlebell sports competitor, she holds multiple kettlebell world records including 2x16kg Long Cycle - 110 reps, 63kg Weight Class, 2x16kg Jerks - 150 reps, Absolute World Record, 2x16kg Biathlon - 270 points, Absolute World Record.

Karsten Jensen, MSc, CPTN-CPT.M

A periodization coach and expert, Karsten Jensen has helped world-class and Olympic athletes from 26 different sports since 1993. Many of his athletes have won Olympic medals, European Championships, World Championships and ATP Tournaments. Karsten is the first strength coach to create a complete system of periodization, The Flexible Periodization Method – the first complete method of periodization dedicated to holistic, individualized and periodized (H.I.P.) training programs. For more information, please visit

Irina Kazakevic, MEd, AYS, E-RYT 200, CRYT, YACEP, RCYS

Irina Kazakevic is a certified Yoga and Children’s Yoga Teacher and an Elementary School Teacher. She is the founder of Yoga Break for Children™ and creator of the online and in-person training programs. For over a decade, Irina has been training yoga teachers, school teachers and administrators on how to do yoga and mindfulness with children to support their mental and emotional well-being. Utilizing yoga, meditation and self-inquiry, Irina provides personal and group coaching on how to identify and achieve your goals and create a life of purpose, happiness, prosperity and freedom.

Ken Kinakin, DC, CSCS

Ken Kinakin has competed in bodybuilding and powerlifting for over 30 years, and regularly lectures across Canada, the United States, and Europe to doctors and personal trainers on weight-training, rehabilitation, and nutrition. He is the author of Optimal Muscle Training and is the founder of the Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists (SWIS).

Judi Laprade, PhD, MSc, BSc, BA

Judith obtained her Physical Therapy degree from Queen’s University and went on to complete her Master’s and PhD in Anatomy. Currently, Judi teaches in the Division of Anatomy at the University of Toronto. In the past few years, she has been a project manager and consultant on programs about osteoporosis early screening and education, culminating in taking on the development and coordination of the Bone Fit™ program and workshops. For more information, please visit

Andrea Leonard, BA, CSCS, CPT, CES, PES

Andrea Leonard is the President of The Cancer Exercise Training Institute (CETI). Her extensive fitness background and personal and professional experiences dealing with all forms of cancer placed her on a focused path to spearhead the CETI. She also founded The Breast Cancer Survivors Foundation in Oregon; wrote and developed The Cancer Exercise Specialist Advanced Qualification (Editions 1-11) and the Breast Cancer Recovery BOSU® Specialist Advanced Qualification (Editions 1 & 2). She is also the Chairperson of the Medical Fitness Network Advisory Board.

Kennedy Lodato, CPT

Kennedy Lodato is a 26-year veteran of the fitness industry with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for teaching. Before pursuing the role of fitness educator, he occupied the positions of personal trainer, personal trainer manager and mentor. Kennedy is a three-time recipient of a Pro Trainer of the year award, co-founder of the Canadian Fitness Education alliance and master presenter for various industry companies including Triggerpoint Performance Therapy and the Education Based Fitness Academy.

Ed McNeely, MSc, CSCS

Ed McNeely is a 30 year veteran of the strength and conditioning industry. He is the Strength & Conditioning lead at the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario and has been a consultant to 17 Canadian National and professional sports teams, including 40 Olympic medalists. Ed is the author of five books, Power Plyometrics, The Resistance Band Workout Book, One Hundred Strength Exercises, Training for Rowing, and Skillful Rowing.

Jessica Milne, CPT, RYT-200

Jessica has been a Certified Personal Trainer since 2005 and has worked as the head instructor at Healthy Habits Nutrition and Fitness Consulting for the past eight years. With a background in Martial Arts and swimming, fitness has always been a big part of her life. She specializes in posture and alignment which contributed to her obtaining her Registered Yoga Teacher certification. She has various fitness certifications and specialties and assists in teaching Fascial Posture Therapy Systems courses.

Ross O’Donnell, BA, CPT

Ross O’Donnell is president of Fitness Kickboxing Canada Inc. (FKCI). He is an international fitness and martial arts presenter, a fitness columnist with over 300 published articles and 15 instructor-training manuals to his credit, and author of The Ultimate Fitness Boxing & Kickboxing Workout. Among the many leadership roles he plays, Ross is also a professional MMA coach. For more information, please visit

Melissa Putt, BA, MES, RNCP, CPT, DO(C)

Melissa Putt started her fitness company in 1989 while competing internationally as one of Canada’s elite-ranked distance runners. Since that time she has completed degrees in Nutrition and Public Health and is currently completing her degree in Osteopathic Medicine. Melissa is a published author of a lipid biochemistry book, The Last Tango with Butter. She operates a busy practice in downtown Toronto where client programs focus on posture, alignment and pain patterns coupled with nutrition counselling. For more information, please visit

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

Sheldon is a certified coach in several sports and a certified Stress and Wellness Consultant. He has been coaching for over 30 years and has coached athletes who have competed at world championships, the Pan-American games, and the Olympics from over two dozen national team programs. He is a co-founder of the CPTN and spent the year leading up to the Rio Olympics as the Director of Sport Science & Sport Medicine at the Canadian Sports Institute in Ontario.

Debi Pillarella, MEd, MES, FAS, CPT

Debi is an award-winning professional with over 30 years experience in the fitness industry. Currently, she serves as the Director of Bariatric and Medical Fitness Services for The Community Healthcare System in Northwest Indiana. She is the creator of the F.L.E.E. program (Functional Living Exercises for Everyone) which targets the active aging population. Additionally, she is an adjunct faculty member at Purdue University Northwest, and an Advisory Board member and master trainer for the Functional Aging Institute.

Conference Presenter Timeline