Pictured Left to Right: Mike Koskiniemi, Laura Acosta, Chris Clawson (president, Life Fitness), Jessica Shutters, Linda M. Cook, Nicole Nichols (grand prize winner) and Deborah Plitt (master trainer, Life Fitness Academy)
The call by ACE and Life Fitness to find America’s Top Personal Trainer to Watch elicited hundreds of entries and many truly amazing stories. Yet, in the end, only 10 finalists and one grand-prize winner were selected and the results were revealed at Club Industry 2011 in Chicago on October 14.
ACE was thrilled to honor the following outstanding personal trainers for having gone above and beyond in demonstrating a growing commitment to fitness, helping clients achieve lasting lifestyle change and serving as leaders in their communities:
Grand Prize Winner
Nicole Nichols—As an editor and fitness expert at SparkPeople.com, a lifestyle and weight-loss Web site, Nicoles has reached some 10 million people worldwide. Her most recent boot-camp workout video garnered 70,000 participants, and her workout videos have been viewed more than 14 million times on YouTube.
Nicole Nichols (grand prize winner)
The proud ACE-certified Personal Trainer inspires people from all walks of life to beome physically active and adopt healthier lifestyles. She began her career as a personal trainer eight years ago, and has designed and taught health programs on eating disorders, body image, self-acceptance and strength training for women, exercise for seniors and prenatal exercise.
Along with a $5,000 cash prize, a piece of Life Fitness equipment and an award plaque, Nichols will receive a certification package from ACE that includes all of her study materials and exam fees. She has selected to earn the ACE Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach Certification to further develop her expertise in areas that are critical for any client's long-term weight-management success: nutrition, exercise and lifestyle change.
"I think that having this additional credential behind my name will only add credibility to the features I create for our members and the recommendations SparkPeople.com as a brand provides," Nichols said.
Darren Pangle—Owner of Darren Pangle Fitness
Kathleen Ekdahl—ACE-certified Personal Trainer, founded Personal Best Personal Training
Carol Michaels—ACE-certified Personal Trainer, founded Recovery Fitness® to help cancer patients
Mike Koskiniemi—Created virtual exercise program for kids in local charter school
Irv Rubenstein—ACE-certified Personal Trainer, founded personal training center STEPS, Inc.
Collin Eugene Baldwin—ACE-certified Personal Trainer, set up physical readiness regimen for soldiers in Afghanistan
Laura Acosta—ACE-certified Personal Trainer, created Living Lean: 8 Steps to Success
Linda M. Cook—ACE-certified Personal Trainer, owner/president Your Personal Best
Jessica Shutters—ACE-certified Personal Trainer, program coordinator Health Fitness at Eastman Chemical Co.
Dominique Wakefield—ACE-certified Personal Trainer, director Fitness & Exercise Studies at Andrews University
Find out how you can earn the necessary skills to become a top trainer today!