DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
Heather comes to Team GUTS as an experienced professional in the non-profit sector, working directly in the Adaptive Fitness community. She has strong ties to the community, its social services and has a passion for working with those in need. With a degree in marketing, her experience extends to building highly successful adaptive fitness, social, sports, and camp programs. Heather has always been involved in outdoor recreation, health and fitness and followed that desire for being fit and healthy to the YMCA. During her time at the YMCA, she obtained numerous certifications for Group Exercise Fitness, Kickboxing, Yoga, Strength and Conditioning, Senior Fitness and more. She found her true calling when she began working with those that have special needs, spurred from her own personal experience of having a son with cerebral palsy and cognitive impairments.
TRAINER / INSTRUCTOR
Ashley graduated in 2010 from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science degree. Additionally, she is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and Certified Massage Therapist.
From 2010 to 2016, Ashley found work at mental health hospitals, camps, and community centers, gaining extensive and invaluable experience working with individuals with disabilities. One such organization was Leaps n Boundz in Los Angeles, a company that provides adaptive sports and recreation programming. While there, Ashley taught one-on-one swimming, gymnastics, and fitness sessions. Needless to say, Ashely has a passion and love for fitness and nutrition.
Now back in Michigan, Ashley is excited to bring her skills to Team GUTS as an Inclusive Fitness Trainer. "I love working with individuals of all ages and abilities, and can't wait to help our clients achieve their health and fitness goals!"
Laura Beelby has an amazing talent for working with those with special needs. She has a background in Early Childhood Education/Special Needs with a minor in Sign Language and Music. From 2000-2008, she worked for Holly Area Schools as a Special Needs Job Coach and Music/Art Therapist. Laura worked as the Lead for the Adaptive Needs Teen and Young Adult Social Club at the Birmingham YMCA. Currently she is an Employment Specialist with New Horizons Vocational Rehabilitation and is certified in Gentle Teaching. Laura is the instructor that can make any student smile and she says, "I am passionate about assisting and advocating for people who have a disability and, most importantly, I want to help them find their voice and express themselves through music and movement."
MARTIAL WAY INSTRUCTOR
Neil Simon has been involved in the Martial Arts/Ways for nearly 40 years. Neil is also a trained special educator. He has blended his background in judo, karate, and education to help individuals develop/evolve their relationship between mind, body and spirit.
MARTIAL WAY INSTRUCTOR
Karen is an experienced martial arts instructor dedicated to the overall fitness of her clients. Karen’s skill set and enthusiasm have been invaluable to the success of the Team GUTS martial arts program. Karen has thoroughly enjoyed working with the Team GUTS students; “The martial arts are for everyone interested in physical conditioning, self-defense techniques, and having fun!” Outside of class, Karen works full time in the IT field and is the proud mother of two grown children.
MARTIAL WAY INSTRUCTOR
Jessica has always enjoyed being active; whether it’s doing cardio and weight training at the gym or outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking and riding her bicycle. In addition, she’s been studying martial arts for nearly three decades. Jessica has taught martial arts to students of all ages and abilities and is now sharing her knowledge, experience and passion with the wonderful people at Team GUTS! Her parents taught her to treat others the way she would like to be treated and she uses this golden rule to help others around her to grow and feel loved, respected and accomplished.
Katie McGowan is an experienced special education teacher in Birmingham Public Schools and she currently teaches in the Adult Transition Program; students aged 18-26 with various disabilities. Along with her passion for teaching special education, Katie is a certified Zumba instructor and she has been teaching Zumba for nearly five years. Katie strongly believes that Zumba is an ideal exercise to help individuals with special needs get much-needed exercise and reduce stress. "Regardless of skill, experience, and coordination, Zumba is a type of dance that allows my students to let go and have fun. I’ve always found that students love music and dancing. Whenever I bring Zumba into the classroom, it is always a good time!” Besides instructing at GUTS Training Center, Katie teaches a high school and adult Special Needs Zumba class through Birmingham Community Education.
While raising her two children, Kathy has gained insight into the value of starting young to create a path for a lifetime of health and fitness. Kathy graduated with an Associates Degree in Exercise Science and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist. Pilates is her favorite method of exercise and has received formal training in it as well as other exercise programs. She has worked within our public schools as a para educator, personal trainer for those within the special needs community at the YMCA and as a physical therapy technician in a clinic setting.
Chandra Floyd has been leading group fitness classes since 2009 and enjoys working with youth and the special needs community. Her specialties include Zumba® Fitness, Cardio-Toning, and general group fitness classes. Chandra is uniquely qualified to help her students learn routines and fundamental basics while getting a comprehensive aerobic exercise.
Dave Zoltowski has dedicated his life to helping people improve their quality of life through physical fitness. To that end, Dave’s repertoire includes certification in multiple disciplines including Yoga, personal training, kettle bell training, CrossFit training, FitWall training, wrestling and firefighter training. Dave’s objective is to address the specific needs and goals of each individual through an appropriate workout regimen.
RD / INSTRUCTOR
Anne-Marie studied nutrition at Wayne State University and became a Registered Dietitian in 1996. Prior to that she earned a Bachelor degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Anne-Marie is also a certified Zumba instructor and a full-time mom of four children – she intimately understands the personal challenges of raising a family and trying to fit in exercise.
Mike Croy is a father, husband, runner, and yoga teacher (RYT 200) who serves as a high school principal for students with emotional impairments. In addition to teaching yoga to his students at school, Mike has taught yoga for South Oakland Shelter, Team RWB, Macomb Community Mental Health, Lakeview Public Schools and the Macomb Intermediate School District. His background, skill set and, most importantly, his empathy and compassion make him a perfect fit for Team GUTS.
Rachel first connected with yoga when she was seeking relief from her own anxiety and depression. Several years after first stepping onto her mat, Rachel completed a yoga therapy program, learning to integrate modern medical knowledge with the ancient practice, and earned her 200 hour teaching certification. Rachel has been a coach for an adaptive baseball league for six years, and owns her own business adapting yoga for adults and children with disabilities. With her passion, knowledge, and experience, Rachel is uniquely gifted in her ability to make yoga accessible to everyone.