Meet the Trainers
Get started on your path to a better you! Contact any one of our personal trainers below for a complimentary consultation to discuss your fitness goals and we will develop a training program around your individual needs.
Get to know Denise:
Born and raised in Tucson, Denise focuses on specific needs for each of her clients. Her programming builds off foundational movement patterns, core strength work and weight training exercises. With over seventeen years of experience, Denise has worked with a wide variety of clientele that include young athletes to senior adults. Her intent is for her clients to gain confidence and strength to be able to perform everyday activities adequately. Outside of the Tucson JCC, Denise is a mother to Diego and Santi as well as a wife to Alejandro.
Certifications + Education:
- AFAA and ACE Personal Training
- AFAA Group Fitness
- AFAA Senior Adults Certification
- Back and Neck Ergonomics Certification
- Matrix Cycling Certification
- TRX Group Fitness Certification
- Barre Certified
Get to know Patty:
As a lifelong athlete, Patty found strength and fitness training to be key to her health and happiness. She appreciates how much her dedication to fitness has paid off. As she has gotten older, she sees how adapting to limitations that come with aging is important going forward.
She enjoys working with clients who want to be challenged as we ll as those who are challenged. She has enjoyed working with memory care clients and those with developmental disabilities. For all her clients she likes to keep her workouts interesting, effective, and fun!
Patty owned a gardening business since moving to Tucson in 2000 but felt she wanted to share her passion for health and fitness with others. In 2012 she returned to school at Pima to enroll in the fitness professional program certification and is certified by ACSM. She’s been a trainer at the J since 2 014. She has continued her education and has added several certifications.
Certifications + Education:
- ACSM TRX Suspension Training. ACE Corrective Exercise Specialist.
- Senior Fitness Specialist. ACE Orthopedic Exercise Specialist
- Graduate of Pima Community College
Get to know Liz:
Liz was a police officer in Tucson for over 20 years and during that time she was able to work at the academy for 4 years training recruits in physical conditioning and nutrition. She loves the strength and conditioning aspect of training and love to use kettlebells, ropes, dumbbells, barbells, and other equipment to see you be at your best! She also loves to work on balance and flexibility.
She has been interested in exercise and fitness since she started running at the age of 11. After many years of CrossFit and working out on her own she decided to share her skills as a trainer.
Certifications + Education:
- American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified
- Master’s degree in nutrition
Get to know Rhina:
Clients of all ages and abilities work with Rhina. With over 35 years in the Health and Fitness industry, and well-known for her in-depth knowledge of Functional Movement, Rhina is committed to helping clients, including the active ager and older adult, improve balance, strength, flexibility, mobility as well as cardiovascular, cognitive, and mental health.
Rhina’s credentials include working alongside physicians, nutritionists, behaviorists, and physical therapists at her own Wellness Clinic, Canyon Ranch, and Proactive Physical Therapy. This experience is invaluable particularly when addressing more specialized needs including chronic conditions, neurological disorders, weight loss, joint replacement, and brain health, including dementia.
An accomplished athlete (52 marathons and 41 half-marathons), avid community volunteer, and fluent Spanish speaker, Rhina was voted Top Instructor (AZ Daily Star) and received the JCCA Zahav award For Excellence in Elder Rehab.
Certifications + Education:
- BS, and Master’s coursework Business/Public Health
- Functional Movement Specialist
- ACE, TRX, Schwinn & Matrix Cycling, CORE/Resist-a-Ball, Barre Above
Vanessa Hansen Helms
Get to know Vanessa:
Vanessa has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is trained in motivational interviewing and behavior change. Vanessa has worked in the helping professions for over 20 years. From case management, to counseling to crisis intervention, her focus has been on working with individuals to identify their biggest concerns and empowering them to make positive changes in their lives. She has now transferred those skills to work with individuals interested in improving their health and wellness. She is a certified nutrition coach and a group fitness instructor.
Vanessa believes in “approach” goals not “avoid” goals. She thinks adding things to your life and your routines is easier and more realistic than being restrictive. She will meet you where you are NOW and will work with you to make changes you are comfortable with.
She is excited to get to know you and your goals and help you establish habits that will create a lifelong and deep health!
Mary Teachey Maher, MS
Get to know Mary:
Over the past 26 years Mary’s practice has matured into inclusive fitness for everybody; from Ironmen, Senior Olympians, new moms, and great-grandparents! As a Corrective Exercise Specialist, she also trains clients in post-operative recuperation, chronic pain and illness, Osteoporosis, cardiac rehab and movement disorders.
Beginning with the study of dance at age 5, a love of science, and extreme outdoor adventures starting in her teens, Mary promptly transitioned into Fitness and Research careers in college and beyond Graduate School. Her continuing education includes nutrition for Cancer prevention and intermittent fasting for insulin resistance.
With an Interdisciplinary MS in Physiology and multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals, Mary easily applies the Scientific Method and critical thinking to program design. Her mission is to create optimum health through integrative wellness for her clients.
- MS, University of Arizona
- Corrective Exercise Specialist, National Academy of Sports Medicine
- National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) graduate, Alaska Mountaineering
Get to know Gabe:
Gabe was born in Tucson but raised in Tubac, AZ. Gabe’s experience with weight lifting goes back a long time. Gabe is a graduate of PCC as a fitness professional. He enjoys working with young, aspiring athletes looking to excel in their specific sport and with seniors who may have trouble doing general activities of daily living. Gabe loves being a dad to his young baby boy, collecting fitted caps, riding ATVs, and watching football!
Get to know Clive:
Clive was born in Georgetown, Guyana in South America. His family immigrated to Toronto, Canada when he was ten years old, then relocated to the United States for college and came to Tucson in 2022.
Clive has succeeded the last 20 years in developing NCAA athletes at the Division 1 level. He has coached a World Silver Medalist in the 200m dash, a European championship competitor. Clive strives to make his clients a healthier, happier, stronger version of themselves.
Clive’s responsibility is to develop a program to meet your needs and positively impact your life. He wants to equip you with the tools to be able to go out and conquer each day. This includes the 65-year-old grandfather that yearns to have the strength to pick up his grandson AND the 16-year-old emerging elite athlete that wants to take the next step in reaching her athletic goals. Loving husband and father of two children
Certifications + Experience:
- BS in Finance
- Master of Arts in Physical Education
- USA Track and Field Level 2 Coach
- US Strength and Conditioning Specialist
- Landmine University Specialist
- Career Highlights include coaching 50 NCAA All-Americans, 29 Big Ten Champions, and a 2019 IAAF World Champion Silver Medalist (Women 200m)
Get to know Veronika:
Veronika obtained her teaching degree in Sports and Fitness from The Gym Sports & Dance Academy KNS at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Veronika has been working for the JCC since 2004 and is a certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a Silver Sneakers Fitness Instructor, a Senior Fitness Specialist, and a certified TRX Suspension Instructor.
Veronika has been teaching fitness for over 40 years and enjoys the excitement of an exercise session and the camaraderie of her attendees. Veronika has extensive experience in training older adults and believes workouts should be fun and improve fitness and health. She will steadily guide you to achieve your fitness goal by developing safe, effective, and fun workouts that are personalized to your needs and modified for each session. When she is not at the JCC, she enjoys playing the Cello, going to Concerts and Dance performances, swimming long laps, or cycling in the desert.
- American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer
- Silver Sneakers Fitness Instructor
- Certified TRX Suspension Instructor.