Meet the TRUE Team

Leadership

 

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Christian Elliot  social-linkedin-circle-128

Founder / CEO

Christian has been involved in sports and fitness for over 18 years, and has worked as a nutritional educator and consultant for more than eight years. After overcoming a degenerative shoulder condition that plagued him for too long, Christian found a passion for coaching people and helping them achieve vibrant health, especially people who may have lost reason to hope. Among other interests he enjoys soccer, volleyball, football, racquetball, Lacrosse, scuba diving, reading, nature, travel, and time with family.

  • Certified Personal Trainer - National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • MELT Method, Hand and Foot Practitioner
  • Diploma in Nutrition - Humanitas International Foundation and University of Miami Medical School, Complimentary Medicine Division
  • Certified Member of the American Association of Nutritional Education
contact Christian

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Nina Elliot  social-linkedin-circle-128_copy4

Founder / Chief Marketing Officer / Health Coach / GRIT Coach / Boot Camp Instructor
Nina has been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for ten years. Every department at TRUE is touched by Nina's presence - personal and group training, nutrition, wellness, and food! She is a teacher in every sense of the word - home-schooling her children, leading group fitness and guiding her clients.

  • Certified Personal Trainer - The National Personal Training Institute
  • Elite Holistic Nutrition Practitioner Certification - Tulsi Holistic Center
  • Nutrition Diploma - The National Personal Training Institute
  • Certified GRIT Series Coach - Les Mills
  • Certified BodyPump Instructor - Les Mills

contact Nina

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David "Bull" Gurfein


Founder / President

In addition to being a certified Martial Arts instructor and competitive athlete when he was younger, David has extensive business and large group leadership experience. He was a Managing Partner with a best-in-class business development consulting firm; CEO for a defense technology company; VP at a five-diamond resort in Las Vegas; National Sales Manager for one of the country's largest producers of emblazoned sports apparel; and COO for a hi-tech start-up. David initiated his business career as an Associate with Goldman, Sachs & Co.


As a United States Marine, David executed multinational operational planning and led infantry and special operations units throughout the world to include Afghanistan and Iraq. Prior to retiring as a Lt. Colonel, David represented the Special Operations Command on Capitol Hill.


David received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Speech Communication and Political Science from Syracuse University.


contact David

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Ben Koval

Operations and Fitness Manager
Ben brings valuable industry expertise to TRUE with experience managing gyms of all sizes and working as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Manager since 1999. Ben works closely with TRUE's Founder and CEO on program development, business growth, and responsibilities relating to running the new studio. His main roles also include working with customers, investing in the TRUE staff, and overseeing day-to-day operations.

Contact Ben


Fitness

Craig Barry

Craig Barry

Certified GRIT Series Coach - Les Mills
A former soccer and track and field athlete, Craig’s passion for training and achieving his best has never waned.  As someone who still loves that post exercise “high”, Craig participates in endurance events including various road races, Spartan Races, and the occasional triathlon. In 2013, he travelled to New Zealand where he was selected to participate in a Les Mills Grit Series filming. Craig’s objective is to show others they are capable of achieving higher goals than they previously thought possible, regardless of their current age or fitness level.

contact Craig

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Shari Carlos

Yoga Instructor
As a former gymnast, dancer and cheerleader, Shari finds the best workouts to be the ones where she combines strength, grace and flexibility all while dripping in sweat. She discovered yoga in college which she incorporated into her fitness routine as a cheerleader. She began taking her yoga practice seriously in 2013 after experiencing several years of work-related stress, anxiety and other health issues. Yoga has taught her to incorporate balance, flexibility, and the focus on breath off the mat into her personal and professional life, and is passionate about sharing these skills with her students. Shari is 200-hr certified through the Yoga Alliance and is trained through Village Yoga in Merrifield, Virginia. She is a vinyasa practitioner with interests in acroyoga and power yoga. She has a Masters of Health Administration from George Mason University and a B.S. from James Madison University.

contact Shari

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Alisia Essig

Pilates Instructor
Ali graduated in Communications and Political Science from the University of Utah and completed her Masters degree in Public Administration at The George Washington University. While attending graduate school, Ali starting having knee pain when she would run. She began taking Pilates and yoga classes for cross training and discovered her passion for Pilates. 


Ali originally certified in Mat Pilates in 2008 with over 200 hours of teaching experience, then advanced her training in 2010. Ali strongly believes that Pilates can improve strength and flexibility by creating long, lean muscles. She provides instruction in Pilates Mat, including stretches, breathing and strengthening techniques for participants of varying levels of fitness, skill, and ability.

      • Certified Pilates Instructor (Mat) - Body Arts and Science Institute (BASI) 
      • Pilates Reformer, Chair, and Cadillac Certification - Thrive Pilates
      • Pilates Mat Certification (Expert Level) - Expert Rating Certifications
      • Certified Spinning Instructor - Mad Dogg Athletics

contact Alisia

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Keith Madison

Personal Trainer
Specialties: Muscle building, speed, footwork, boxing, weight loss, toning and sculpting, resistance training, and Endurance Training

I apply motivational strategies to each of my teammates (clients). I make sure I relate exercising to life because the two go hand in hand. All of my clients are different and I treat them as such. Basketball and football are a passion of mine. Recently I have got into Olympic lifts like deadlifts and squats. Soon I plan on doing a powerlifting competition. Agility, mobility, strength, flexibility and coordination play a major role in my style of training. Working on strength and mobility gives my clients a chance to do everyday tasks in life like gardening, opening car doors, or bending down to pick up a small child. As a football player I struggled with flexibility which caused a couple of injuries for me. Over the years I realized how important it was to stretch and now I can make sure my teammates (client) does not make the same mistake or take stretching for granted like I did. I am very passionate about motivating people to live a healthy style. Healthy mind equals a healthy body.

  • Certified Personal Trainer- World Instructor Training Schools
  • TRX Certified
  • CPR/First AID Certified

Contact Keith

 
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Melissa Marazzi

Personal Trainer
An avid fitness enthusiast, Melissa finds her calm either on the trail running up a hill or moving a barbell of her same size. The importance of staying healthy and active was instilled in her after witnessing the degenerative effects of poor diet routines and the sedentary lifestyles within her family. She obtained a degree in psychology and afterwards set off to pursue an education in her other love: exercise science. Melissa’s style emphasizes the importance of resistance training for building stronger bones and joints to face the everyday battles of life, and helping clients realize their inner athlete. She creates individualized programs that center around building a sturdy foundation of education, correcting muscle imbalances, and developing overall strength. With experience in the physical therapy field, each customized program is designed with the safety of the client in mind, including those with past or present injuries. She is currently pursing both a certification with the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a certified strength and conditioning coach as well as a future degree in physical therapy.
  • Certified Personal Trainer - American Council on Exercise
  • BA in Psychology - Christopher Newport University
  • Current Physical Therapy Aid
  • First Aid/CPR Certified
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association CSCS Student
contact Melissa

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Jenna Meyers

Certified GRIT Series Coach - Les Mills

Jenna’s fitness journey started early with her love of running and surfing. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she has participated in a wide range of events including multiple road races, Spartan and Tough Mudder races, the Civilian Military Combine, and numerous Crossfit competitions. She has participated in Les Mills GRIT workouts for several years, winning the inaugural East Coast GRIT Games in the summer of 2014. Jenna then decided to share her passion to help others achieve their fitness goals by becoming a GRIT Coach. A true fitness enthusiast, she enjoys spending her free time trying out new forms of exercise or reading about healthy living.

contact Jenna

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Chris Nogales

Personal Trainer
As a native to Arlington and with over 5 years of experience in the health and fitness industry, Chris has successfully worked with a wide range of clients through various roles, currently as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor (previously as fitness manager). His passion for fitness, learning, and helping others has developed him into one of the top personal trainers in Clarendon. He specializes in weight loss and body transformations as well as working with experienced "gym rats" just looking for some extra motivation and accountability. When he’s not training a client or leading a class, you can find him training his four and a half pound chihuahua for the annual Running of the Chis.

  • Certified Personal Trainer - The National Personal Training Institute
  • Suspension Trainer Certification - The National Personal Training Institute
  • Basic Nutrition Certification - The National Personal Training Institute

Contact Chris


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Natalie Spaniol

Pilates Instructor
Natalie graduated in Interior Design and Architecture from Central Michigan University. Shortly after starting her design career, Natalie began having back pain, which led her to discover her passion for Pilates.

Natalie has been instructing Pilates classes for over five years, and has worked with a variety of clients ranging from marathon runners and heli-skirs to prenatal and rehabilitating clients. Her deep appreciation for mindful movement and desire to cater to her diverse client base drives Natalie to constantly be developing and evolving. Natalie has taken many additional hours of training through Balanced Body including courses in Anatomy, the Pelvic Floor, Pilates based Rehabilitation for Triathletes, and Pilates for Low Back and Knee Pain, among others. 

Natalie strives to offer a warm, upbeat atmosphere with personal attention to her clients.  She is enthusiastic about sharing her love of Pilates, and enjoys helping her clients achieve their goals and seeing their progress. Natalie believes that through the practice of mindful movement that greater flexibility, balance, core strength, coordination, posture, and over all performance can be achieved. For all of these reasons, she believes Pilates is a great complement to many other forms of exercise and training, as it can assist in injury prevention and recovery time.

When not instructing fitness Natalie enjoys being outdoors, snowboarding, and teaching her English Bulldog how to skateboard.


  • Pilates Reformer, Chair, Cadillac, and Mat Certification – Thrive Pilates
  • Fusion Pilates for Pre/Post Natal Training – Balanced Body, Jennifer Gianni
  • Pilates Jumpboard Training – Balanced Body
  • CoreAlign Training – Balanced Body
  • TRX Training – Thrive Pilates
  • Barre Training

contact Natalie

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Lori Zywiak

Pilates Instructor
Born in the mid-west, Lori is passionate about the outdoors and all it has to offer for those who are physically active. Participating in sports her entire life, from swimming, skiing, and tennis in her youth to running and cycling in adulthood, Lori has an affinity for athleticism, and the happiness it brings to her life. During her years of working out and strength training, Lori discovered Pilates as a means of cross training. After two years of Pilates, she discovered how the practice dramatically improved her ability to not only run and ride longer distances but increased her core strength. Pilates has changed her life and body in ways that are vastly different, yet complimentary to endurance and strength training workouts. Lori also holds a BA in Business Administration.

Throughout her career she has had the opportunity to work with a variety of students ranging from children to teenage athletes, new mothers, clients wishing to enhance specific sports related endeavors and the elderly population.

Her mission is to maintain the integrity and excellence of Joseph Pilates Method and to facilitate greater health and well-being in her clients.

  • Certified Pilates Instructor (Mat & Apparatus) - Body Arts and Science Institute (BASI)
  • Member of Pilates Method Alliance
  •  Certified Personal Trainer National Academy of Sports Medicine 
  • PMA Certified Pilates Instructor
contact Lori



Nutrition

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Rachel Abbett

Health Coach 
Rachel received her health coaching certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, following a decade-long career in the construction industry that left her tired and wired. Before moving to nutrition education full-time, Rachel juggled her family's food intolerances and spent her freetime in the kitchen "paleo-izing" favorite recipes. She has expertise with managing digestive health and gut function, food sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, blood sugar and adrenal health.

Rachel provides a warm, judgement-free zone to discuss nutrition goals and cultivate each client's unique healthy balance.

Contact Rachel

 
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Heather Caplan, RD


Health Coach

Heather Caplan RD. is registered dietitian who works with clients to develop intuitive eating behaviors and sustainable daily nutrition habits. She doesn't believe in strict diets or food rules. Instead, she works with you and your food preferences to discover a new way of eating that fits your lifestyle. Heather is an avid runner and yoga instructor and writer, who's work has been featured in national publications such as The Washington Post, Runner’s World, Outside Online, and FITNESS magazine.

Education University of Maryland-College Park Dietetic Internship 2008-2009
Pennsylvania State Univerity B.S Nutritional Science

contact Heather


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Casey Empey


Health Coach

A former sufferer of Celiac Disease, Casey knows first hand how profoundly food and nutrition effect ones quality of life. After her own successful and determined effort to take charge of her health, Casey decided to become a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA). NTA founded its beliefs on the works of Weston A. Price and Dr. Francis A. Pottenger, considered two of the greatest scientific minds ever to research nutrition, food supplies and their effects on modern society. Casey believes that each person is unique and has to discover what foods, exercise and stress management techniques work for them. She enjoys helping client's transition to a cleaner diet and specializes in those suffering from autoimmune diseases.

contact Casey


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Kari Faherty

Cooking Class Instructor
After a childhood of eating a standard American diet of food from cans and boxes, Kari was left with a host of health troubles. Her journey was marked by seasons of severe unhealthiness, rebounds, self-education, experimentation, leaps of progress and ultimately victory over a sugar addiction, blood-sugar trouble, chronic fatigue, and being overweight. Through this journey, and with the help of cooking classes from l'Academie de Cuisine in MD, she become quite the accomplished home cook, using nutrient dense whole foods. Overcoming her own health challenges with food has fueled her passion to teach others that they too can take control of their health and cook confidently in the kitchen.

contact Kari



Wellness


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Aaron Cohen, L.Ac., Dipl.OM.

Acupuncturist 

While preparing to be an MD/DO at the University of Maryland College Park, Yaron Cohen was exposed to the art of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Having always been of holistic philosophies, he changed his pursuit from Western medicine towards becoming a physician of TCM. After graduating UMDCP with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (with Citations in Pre-Med and Jewish Studies), Yaron moved to Los Angeles, California to study at Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Studying under the well-known Ni brothers and the rest of Yo San's premier educators only helped to fuel Yaron's passion for TCM. Not only was there an excellent TCM and Western medicine curriculum, but an integrated and vital Qi Cultivation curriculum as well. Yaron believes that it is difficult to separate the spiritual side from the rest of the medicine as it is holistic in nature. Yaron received his Masters of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine with honors from Yo San University. "I want to promote the wellness of my patients with compassionate care through building a partnership of health, lifestyle guidance, and Traditional Chinese Medicine". Yaron Cohen L.Ac.

Clinical Experience Includes:
  • YSU Community Clinic -- Los Angeles, CA
  • Simms/Mann Wellness Center - Venice Family Clinic, Pain Management Clinic -- Santa Monica, CA 
  • Wise Wellness - Kensington, MD 
Societies / Associations:
  • American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) -- Bethesda, MD 
  • Maryland Acupuncture Society (MAS) -- Takoma Park, MD
Licenses / Certifications:
  • Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) MD-U01980, VA-0121000745, DC-AC500190
  • Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (Dipl.OM.) (NCCAOM) - 127279
  • Clean Needle Technique (CNT) - CCAOM 
  • Blood-borne Pathogens - Stericycle Sterisafe OSHA Program
  • CPR / 1st Aid / Defibrillator - American Heart Association
  • Certified Taoist Meditation Instructor - CHI Health Institiute

Contact Yaron

 

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Dr. Shoshana Loerch, MS, DC, CCSP, CCEP, CSTP

Chiropractor  
She has an extensive background in sports and exercise science, making them a perfect fit for our integrated fitness and wellness facility. Her strong interpersonal skills coupled with holding ourselves to the highest standard of excellence and clinical competence makes the experience even better.

Background:
Doctor of Chiropractic with a Board Certification in Physiotherapy
Certified Spidertech Practitioner
Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner
Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner

Dr. Loerch formerly Dr. Sevel, is a licensed Chiropractor and certified by the Chiropractic board in physio- therapy in the state of Virginia. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of South Alabama where she played NCAA Division 1 soccer. Dr. Loerch was named ADIDAS Women’s scholar athlete in 2006 . She graduated in 2008 with a B.S in Exercise Science.

Dr. Loerch received her Master’s in Sports Health Science with a specialization in Sports Chiropractic as well as her Doctorate of Chiropractic from Life University.

Dr. Loerch is a certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner (CCSP) She has worked with multiple teams at many on-field events. She is certified in both Spidertech and Kinesio taping techniques and is a Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner (CCEP).

Contact Shoshana

 
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Deb Millander, CMT, NCBTMB

Massage Therapist
Deb became interested in massage years ago while trying to relieve the body aches and discomfort her husband put up with while flying. In 1992, she gave birth to premature twins. While the second twin was battling for his life, Deb was asked to let him be a part of a pilot program for massage on preterm infants. By allowing a CMT to work 15 minutes twice a day for seven days, her son went from a 30% chance of survival to 100% and was allowed to be discharged soon afterwards.

Deb enjoys helping clients relieve tension and stress from their daily lives through different massage modalities. She specializes in working with specific soft and deep tissue pain and helping expectant mothers work through some of the physical discomforts that come with pregnancy. Deb is an Air Force spouse (retired) with three sons, and has been homeschooling for the last 18 years. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors, studying foreign languages, traveling with family, and raising French Bulldogs. 

Trained in the following massages: Therapeutic, Deep Tissue, Thai, Swe-Thai, Fijian, Ashiatsu, Prenatal, Infant, Healing Stones, Trigger Point, Reflexology, Sports, Hot Poultice, Raindrop Therapy, 4 handed, Bamboo, and Chair Massage.

  • Certified Massage Therapist
  • Certified Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapist
  • Certified Thai Massage Therapist
  • Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist
  • Certified Infant Massage Therapist/Instructor
contact Deb

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571.800.9465
1058 S. Walter Reed Drive, Arlington, VA 22204

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