Staff

Joe Montgomery, BS, NSCA-CSCS, NASM-CPT

Owner, Head Personal Trainer
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Joe has nearly 20 years experience as a personal trainer. He created Industrial Strength Fitness with the goal of helping people of all ages and fitness levels achieve a healthier lifestyle.  Joe fought his own weight-loss battle for more than ten years, beginning in middle school.  Realizing that knowledge would be his best weapon, he attended UNC-Charlotte and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion and Kinesiology, graduating Summa Cum Laude.  Joe earned his Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and his Personal Trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.  Joe is a Master Personal Fitness Trainer through the IDEA Health and Fitness Association. He works with clients of all ages and fitness levels and specializes in functional conditioning and corrective exercise for seniors and orthopedic post-rehab clients.

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Ellen Thomas, BS, MBA, NASM-CPT, WITS, FMS Level 2

Lead Personal Trainer
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As an Olympic Development Program athlete and 2-time all-conference Division I college soccer player, Ellen experienced and played through significant injuries that resulted in three knee surgeries during her career. To say she understands the value of corrective exercise protocols, functional movement patterns, and rehabilitation-based training would be an understatement. She uses her experience as an athlete as well as her expertise in corrective and functional movement exercises to develop effective programming for a wide-range of clients, ages 30 to 80+. In addition to her work with clients, she also leads all new staff training for Industrial Strength. Ellen has been a personal trainer since 2010 and boasts personal training certifications from both the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the World Instructor Training School. She also holds a Functional Movement Screen certification (Level 2 training) from Functional Movement Systems. Additionally, Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Davidson College and a Master of Business Administration degree from The Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNC-Greensboro.

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Katie Divito, BA, MAT, NASM-CPT, Health Coach – AADP

Personal Trainer, Health Coach
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As a Health Coach, Katie has witnessed firsthand the value of fitness in creating a healthy and satisfying lifestyle, leading her to earn her personal training certification as a natural complement to her coaching. Prior to personal training, Katie was a middle and high school Spanish teacher. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Secondary Education from Clemson University and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching Spanish from Rutgers University. She earned her Health Coach certification in 2010 through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and The American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Katie earned her Personal Trainer certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

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Leah Grace, BS, NASM-CPT, ACE-GFI, FMS

Group Exercise Director – Myers Park Country Club, Personal Trainer
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Leah is a former college All-American field hockey athlete and coach at Temple University. She learned early in college the value of staying healthy and fit and being fully committed to physical conditioning. This deep value of a healthy lifestyle led her to a profession in the fitness industry, where she has been teaching group exercise classes since 2008. She added personal training to her skill set in 2013. Leah’s experience as a premier athlete, personal trainer and as one of Charlotte’s most sought-after GroupEx Instructors makes her a perfect fit for her role at Myers Park Country Club. Leah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Temple.  She earned her Group Fitness Instructor certification through the American Council on Exercise and her Personal Trainer certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She holds an FMS level one certification from Functional Movement Systems.

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Andrew Grant, BA, NASM-CPT, TRX, CrossFit, YWCA-GroupEx

Personal Trainer
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Andrew has over 7 years of experience in the fitness industry as a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. As an English student at UNC-Charlotte, Andrew became an avid competitor in endurance challenge courses. After graduation, Andrew went on to pursue his love of fitness by becoming a group exercise instructor, receiving certifications from YMCA and TRX. Andrew later added Certified Personal Trainer to his skill set by earning his certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He rounded out his expertise earning his certification with Crossfit Level 1.

With an upbeat attitude and the desire to see clients succeed, Andrew is able to work with clients ranging from 10-79 years old and see fantastic results. Andrew thrives on accountability and has his clients do the same while fostering a relationship conducive to success. With a background in endurance running and functional training he has pushed himself mentally and physically past barriers and helps clients do the same.

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Susan Hoover, STOTT, AFAA-GEI

Pilates Instructor, Group Exercise Instructor
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Susan is an accomplished dancer who performed through college. Perhaps, given Pilates’ origin from this performing art, becoming an instructor was a natural progression for her. Susan began teaching Pilates in 2008, earned her Pilates Instructor certification through STOTT Pilates and specializes in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels. Susan also offers a limited number of group fitness classes, having earned her Group Exercise Instructor certification through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and has also completed coursework in Active Isolated Stretching. Susan is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Textiles.

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Cynthia Lucas, BS, MA, NASM-CPT, LPCA, NCC

Personal Trainer, Mental Health Counselor
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Cynthia has been a personal trainer since 1996 and is a competitive runner and cyclist. In 1991, Cynthia was struck by a moving vehicle while she was out on a training run. This event and the painful recovery that followed created a deep sense of empathy for clients who come to her in need of corrective and/or rehab-focused exercise protocols. In addition to being an outstanding personal trainer, she is also a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Barriers to health and chronic pain are typical issues she might address with her clients and her dual professions work quite well together. Cynthia understands deeply the inextricable connection between mental and physical health, and we are excited to have this expertise added to the Industrial Strength menu of services. Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from Stetson University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from UNC-Charlotte. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor and an LPCA. Her personal training certification is through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

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Courtney Market, BBA, NASM-CPT, WITS

Personal Trainer
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Courtney has always had a strong interest in health and wellness and is passionate about getting people moving and involved in their own health and wellness, regardless of age or fitness level! Courtney’s philosophy is “we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Courtney received her Bachelors in Business Administration from Montreat College. Courtney completed her WITS personal trainer certification in 2010 and then followed that with her CPT from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Courtney is also a Senior Fitness Specialist through NASM. Courtney loves working with seniors and comes to Industrial Strength Fitness with solid experience working with this population gained from her time at the Carriage Club (Brookdale Senior Living).

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Laurie Reid, BS

Fitness Center Director at Myers Park Country Club

Laurie is responsible for managing the overall member experience at Myers Park Country Club. She keeps the fitness facility running smoothly by studying exercise trends and developing programs that keep the club members happy and healthy and the staff on top of their game. Laurie’s professional background in marketing and communications coaching makes her an ideal person to serve as a liason between membership and staff and she cherishes that aspect of her duties. As a result you see her on the floor often chatting with both members and colleagues. If you see her, please stop by to say hello!  Laurie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Bentley University.

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Franky Riley, BA, NASM-CPT, AFAA-PFT, FMS, TRX

Personal Trainer
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Franky’s love of helping others and living a healthy lifestyle prompted her to become a personal trainer. She is known for her challenging workouts that appeal to both youth and adult clients. She graduated from the National Personal Training Institute in 2006 and earned her Personal Fitness Trainer certification from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Franky maintains a Certified Personal Trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is Level One FMS certified through Functional Movement Systems. Also, Franky is a TRX Certified Trainer and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science from UNC-Charlotte.

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Josh Thomas, BA, NSCA-CSCS, TPI Certified Professional

Sports Performance Coach, Marketing Director
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Josh, a former collegiate football and baseball athlete at Davidson College, has more than twenty years experience as a player and coach of baseball, football, softball, and soccer. In 2009, upon growing tired of watching too many young athletes with poor movement patterns, he began integrating strength and conditioning programs into his team practice plans to address the issue. Seeing the value of those programs in his own players led Josh to devote his career to this segment of the fitness industry, becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Josh is excited to share his experience and expertise in the field of strength & conditioning and youth sports performance with Industrial Strength’s young clients.

In an effort to increase his knowledge and value to potential clients, Josh earned his Level 1 TPI certification through the Titleist Performance Institute to help adult and youth golfers improve their on-course performance via movement assessments, improved mobility and targeted strength training. Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Davidson College.

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Melissa Wilson, BA, Balance Point Pilates, YMCA

Pilates Instructor, Group Exercise Instructor
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Melissa has been a Pilates Instructor since 2007, and she loves the mind-body connection, clarity of thought, and internal balance that Pilates creates. Melissa earned her Comprehensive Pilates Instructor certification through Balance Point Pilates Studio and is a Pilates Member Alliance Certified Teacher. She holds a Foundation of Group Exercise certification from YMCA of USA. Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Family Development from UNC-Charlotte.

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