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2021 CPTN Personal Trainer Online Summit Speaker Biographies

Mai-Linh Dovan, MSc, CAT(C)

Mai-Linh Dovan holds over 20 years of experience in clinical rehabilitation and strength and conditioning, she has developed a comprehensive and unique functional training approach with integrated rehabilitation. She uses this approach with a diversity of athletes and clients from various sports. She is the head therapist of Académie Baseball Canada where she oversees the rehabilitation and reconditioning of Québec’s baseball elite. Mai-Linh is also the founder of Rehab-U. For more informaiton please visit

Karsten Jensen, MSc, CPTN-CPT.M

Karsten Jensen is a periodization coach and expert who has helped world-class and Olympic athletes from 26 different sports, many of whom have won Olympic medals, European Championships, World Championships, and ATP Tournaments. He is the author of two books, The Flexible Periodization Method and Performance Optimization With Periodization. Karsten has also published over 160 articles, 19 instructor training manuals, and conducted hundreds of live, 8-hour workshops. For more information, please visit

Jim Kielbaso, MS

Jim Kielbaso is the President of the IYCA and Owner of Impact Sports Performance in Novi, MI. He has authored multiple books, articles and training products and has spoken at events around the world. He holds a BS in Exercise Science, an MS in Kinesiology and has gone through multiple certifications through the IYCA, NSCA, NASM and more. Jim is a former college strength & conditioning coach and has trained thousands of athletes at every level of competition. He runs a successful NFL Combine training program in Michigan and has been hired as a consultant for major sports programs like the University of Michigan Football Program and the University of Kentucky Basketball Program. For more information, please visit

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). For more information, please visit

Steven Kotler, MA

Steven Kotler is a New York Times–bestselling author, an award-winning journalist, and the Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective. He is one of the world’s leading experts on human performance. He is the author of nine bestsellers (out of thirteen books total), including The Art of Impossible, The Future Is Faster Than You Think, Stealing Fire, The Rise of Superman, Bold and Abundance. His work has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes, translated into over 40 languages, and appeared in over 100 publications, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Atlantic Monthly, TIME and the Harvard Business Review. Steven is also the cohost of Flow Research Collective Radio, a top ten iTunes science podcast. Along with his wife, author Joy Nicholson, he is the cofounder of the Rancho de Chihuahua, a hospice and special needs dog sanctuary. For more information, please visit

Deanna Lawson-Langford, BA, CCF-CMCP, CPTN-CPT.M, OFC-TFL

As a CPTN course conductor, practical assessor, and professor at Sheridan College, Deanna has been educating and assessing candidates for certification as fitness leaders and personal trainers for 20 years. She has experienced being a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and coach practitioner. She has since founded Deanna Langford Coaching in which she dedicates her passion for creating classes and programs in which people feel successful, seen and safe. For more information, please visit

Susan Lee, PhD, CPTN-CPT

Susan Lee, is the president of the Certified Professional Trainers Network (CPTN) She led the development of the CPTN personal trainer and specialty workshops and certifications, and continues to partner with leaders and organizations to build the personal training and fitness fields. As a CPTN-CPT, certified pilates instructor, and Thai bodywork practitioner, she specializes in post-rehabilitation training, sport specific conditioning, and active aging. She is the co-author of Business Strategies for Personal Training and Start Your Fitness Business (book and online course). She lectures at the college and university levels on leadership, business and equity studies; presents at international conferences; and publishes in peer-reviewed journals and educational platforms to share her research, practices and passions. For more information, please visit

Kieran Knock, BComm, CAIB

Kieran is an Insurance Advisor at APOLLO responsible for helping individuals and business owners navigate the nuances of insurance. He is a full Canadian Accredited Insurance broker, managing member insurance programs on behalf of several national organizations and associations. He is deeply passionate about adding value to individuals and businesses through mitigating their risk. With a personal love for sports, nutrition and fitness, Kieran practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and hits the gym multiple times per week. For more information, please visit

Frances Michaelson, ND, BA, PTS

A pioneer in the fitness field, Frances competed in the 1990s, opened a personal training studio in 2001, and introduced a line of exercise products to Canada, branded Muscleup. In 2008, having recognized the need to go deeper into studying the science of human physiology and chemistry she entered a school of naturopathy. Since graduating in 2011, she has counselled hundreds of people, providing them with the tools and support to lead a vibrant and healthy life. Her first book, Let ’s Practice Health: Learn Why Your Gut is the CEO of Your Health tells the tales of clients who turned symptoms of discomfort and disease into true health and vitality. As a trainer and naturopath, she truly loves seeing people transform themselves by trusting their bodies instead of getting caught up in the medical system. Practicing health is the only way to live the gift of life well! Based in Hudson, Québec, Frances is a frequent conference speaker, author, and blogger. 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

Dan Ritchie, PhD

Dan Ritchie is a sought-after expert and speaker at national and international events on topics like balance for older adults, the global aging phenomenon, and functional aging training models. With over 20 years of experience, he has extensive knowledge on training the mature adult market and has equipped people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond to achieve their goals and enhance their functional longevity. Dan was the 2014 Personal Fitness Professional (PFP) Trainer of the Year, and then shortly after he and Cody Sipe co-founded the Functional Aging Institute. For more information, please visit

Emily Splichal, DPM, MS, CES

Emily Splichal, Functional Podiatrist and Human Movement Specialist, is the Founder of EBFA Global (formerly Evidence Based Fitness Academy), Creator of the Barefoot Training Specialist® Certification, Author of Barefoot Strong and Inventor of Naboso Barefoot Technology. With over 19 years in the fitness industry, Splichal has dedicated her medical career towards studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to barefoot science, foot to core integration and sensory integration. For more information, please visit

Cody Sipe, PhD

Cody Sipe has an extensive background in the fitness industry with 20 years of experience as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, program director, exercise physiologist and club owner. He is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Research in the physical therapy program at Harding University. He has spent his career researching, developing and practicing the most effective training strategies to improve function in older adults. His secondary area of expertise is in the prevention and management of chronic disease conditions, especially those that accompany the aging process such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. For more information, please visit

Nick Tumminello, CPT

Nick Tumminello is known as the “Trainer of Trainers.” He’s the owner of Strength Zone Training - TRUE Full Range of Motion Strength Training. He has worked with a variety of clients, from NFL athletes and professional MMA fighters to bodybuilders and figure models, to everyday exercise enthusiasts. Nick is the 2016 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year, and the editor-in-chief of the NSCA Personal Training Quarterly journal. He’s the author of three books: Building Muscle and Performance, Strength Training for Fat Loss, and Your Workout Perfected. Nick is also the developer of the NT Loop bands: The #1 tool for hip and glute training. For more information, please visit

Ross O’Donnell, BA, CPTN-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

Jodi Robinson, BSc, RD, CDE

Jodi Robinson is a consulting dietitian and fitness professional who operates her business, Craving Health Dietitian & Wellness Services, in the Niagara region. She specializes in helping busy people find simple and realistic healthy lifestyle solutions with an emphasis on nutrition for weight management, physical activity, disordered eating, and diabetes. As well, Jodi teaches nutrition to fitness students at Humber College, and regularly consults with media and the food industry. For more information, please visit

Alwyn Wong, DC, BSc, ART, Med Ac

Alwayn Wong is a 20-year veteran of the health and fitness industry. As author of The Kick Acid Diet®, he has provided nutritional services for individuals and teams, focusing on long-term fat loss and improved athletic performance. Clinically, he has combined his experience with professional athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts with the latest in scientific research to present a non-biased view of health and performance.

Conference Presenter Timeline