Fitness Directors play an important role at our Fitness Centers. In addition to supervision of personal training staff and fitness room volunteers, they oversee fitness room operations and programs. This includes everything from the maintenance of fitness equipment to ensuring that you receive high quality service on a daily basis.
Our Fitness Directors are available by appointment to give you an orientation to the fitness equipment. After you begin your exercise program, your Fitness Director will provide you with feedback, monitor your progress, and will stay in direct communication with you for continual support and encouragement. They truly make our RECenters a place for community interaction AND a great workout!
Joseph Vida (Joe) graduated from Waynesburg University with a B.S. in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training and from Eastern Illinois University with a Master of Science degree in Physical Education and a concentration in Exercise Science/Cardiac Rehabilitation. In his role as a corporate fitness and wellness manager for companies such as AT&T, Lucent Technologies and USA TODAY, Joe worked to improve employee’s physical fitness, health and well-being. As an exercise enthusiast, Joe leads by example. He’s completed more than 50 marathons (19 consecutive at Boston) and is a recreational triathlete and 8-time Ironman finisher. Joe was also a running coach for DC Fit, providing training guidance and support for people looking to complete their first marathon or set a personal record.
Joe holds certifications in Personal Training from ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) and ACE (American Council on Exercise) and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association). Joe is also a Level I YOGA instructor with YogaFit.
As an ACE-Certified Health Coach, Joe empowers individuals to lead healthier lives. He believes most people are one small step away from being healthier or happier, from feeling less stressed or more energized. He understands that making healthy behavior changes can be hard, but that it’s always worth the effort and can actually be FUN!
To contact Joe, email: Joseph.Vida@fairfaxcounty.gov
A Michigan native, Julie Frederickson graduated in 1997 from Grand Valley State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Corporate Fitness. She is currently pursuing her Master of Administration degree with an emphasis in Recreation Administration. She is certified through the National Parks and Recreation Association as a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional, the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, the Athletics and Fitness Association of America in Primary Group Exercise, the National Exercise Trainers Association as a Pilates Reformer Instructor, and EFI Sports Medicine/Total Gym as a Gravity Group instructor.
Julie has worked for private clubs, non-profit fitness centers, and corporate fitness facilities. Julie is an experienced race director and is the director of the Healthy Strides Community 5K and 10K.
To contact Julie, email: Julie.Frederickson@fairfaxcounty.gov
Morgan Buck graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in exercise and sports science. He then moved to the Washington DC area to attend Marymount University, where he graduated with his M.S. in Health promotion and management.
Morgan began playing sports at an early age; however basketball became his true passion. It was through this zeal for sports that he began to become intrigued with how the body moves and responds to certain stressors and activities.
He strongly believes that in order to be truly healthy and well an individual must address all aspects of wellness: emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and social. Fitness is something he believes is achievable for anyone who sets their mind to it! He is looking forward to serving the Lee District area with aspirations that everyone will be able to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.
To contact Morgan, email: Morgan.Buck@fairfaxcounty.gov
Mary Malof has been a personal trainer with the Park Authority since December 2001. Prior to her current position, Mary worked for the Department of Recreation and Community Services as a facility attendant in the Employee Fitness Center. She's currently certified as a personal trainer and nutrition consultant through American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA).
Mary believes in leading by example, "Physical fitness is the key ingredient in reaching your lifetime goals. Begin slowly, maintain focus and attitude and always remember to make it fun." She enjoys working with older adults and individuals new to "working out."
Sports and fitness have always been a dominant part of her life. Mary grew up playing team sports and went on to play NCAA softball in college. She stays active today by cycling, hiking, running or just keeping up with her three dogs.
To contact Mary, email: Mary.Malof@fairfaxcounty.gov
Jennifer Elgas graduated from Lynchburg College with a BA in Sports Management. Jennifer is an ACE Certified Trainer and a Reebok Cycle Spin Instructor.
She has always been involved in sports, playing baseball or softball from the time she was 4 years old. She was also a swimmer for ten years. When not directly involved in sports she coached both softball and swimming. Jennifer's goals are to complete a sprint triathlon by fall, 2006, and then to complete an Olympic length sprint by next year.
Her philosophy is that working out has to be fun for people to stay with it for life. If fitness is not fun then it's just a chore and nobody wants to do chores for life! "I love showing people they can do something they never thought they could do," says Jennifer. "I love to watch their reactions when they see results they've accomplished."
To contact Jennifer, email: Jennifer.Elgas@fairfaxcounty.gov
Kimeshia Junkins an Ohio native graduated from American University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Promotion and a Master’s of Science from California University of Pennsylvania in Exercise Science concentration Health Promotion. Kimeshia has worked for non-profit fitness centers as well as, corporate fitness facilities and has a vast knowledge of community health and wellness programs.
Kimeshia grew up very active in sports mainly playing basketball and a shot put and discus thrower in track and field. Through hard work and dedication she received a full scholarship to play Division 1 basketball at American University. While at American Kimeshia interned for A Wider Circle a nonprofit organization that helps families throughout the DMW with much needed material things, but also improving their health and wellbeing with various forms of physical activity. She was able to make a difference to so many individuals and families that she continued on a path to serve different communities with health and wellness programming!
Her goals are to help everyone find their motivation to stay active, mentally, physically and emotionally one step at a time!
Laurie Strickland is a native of Avon, Ohio. Growing up in the country and having acres of land to bike, ride horses and run worked well for her active personality. Laurie spent two years at Kent State University in Ohio and finished her degree in Developmental Psychology at George Mason University after raising two children.
Some of Laurie’s accomplishments include winning two Washington, D.C.
area body-building competitions, Ms. Novice Metropolis and Ms. D.C. and
placing eighth in my first duathalon (running and cycling).
Laurie is certified by the American Council on Exercise as a personal
trainer and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America as a group
exercise instructor. She also holds specialty certifications as a
Yogafit, Pilates and Reformer instructor, Cancer Exercise Specialist
and a Golf Conditioning Specialist.
I believe everyone can improve their heath and fitness level. My degree in Psychology is useful since many issues related to not exercising can be rooted in other problems. I teach by example and will continue to help as many people as I can. My goal is to help others live a more healthy and active lifestyle.
To contact Laurie, email: Laurie.Strickland@fairfaxcounty.gov
John Bartok is a graduate of the University of Rochester where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Science and graduate-level management certificates. He moved to Fairfax County where he worked for the Federal Government. His environmental efforts led him to a greater interest in human ecology and nutrition. In 1996, he completed the Marine Corps Marathon, his first, and later earned a Personal Trainer certification from bodybuilding-focused Parrillo Performance, along with completing a masters coaching program at Coach for Life.
John combined his education and his passion to support at-risk youth and helped found a local charity that provides mentoring and training to adolescents. With a Youth Fitness Instructor certification from the International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA) and a BOSU Integrated Balance Training specialty certificate, John focuses much of his personal training on enhancing the fitness and wellness of youth at the RECenter.
As Spring Hills Fitness Director, John enjoys sharing his knowledge and sense of humor with the diverse community. "I love helping people strengthen and balance their body, mind, and spirit to create greater health, wellness, and a sense of fulfillment." John often refers to the brain as the strongest "muscle" in the body and reminds patrons that "whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right!"
To contact John, email: John.Bartok@fairfaxcounty.gov
Elizabeth Ittner (Liz) graduated from George Mason University in 2004, with a B.S. in Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources, concentration in Exercise Science and from Ithaca College in 2005, with an M.S. in Exercise and Sport Sciences, focus in Sport Psychology. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Continuing Education Provider for ACE (American Council on Exercise) and AFAA (American Fitness and Aerobics Association). Liz holds certifications as a Group Exercise Instructor, a Reebok Cycle Instructor, Prenatal Yoga Instructor, and Personal Trainer. She has also been a Level-II Coach with USRowing and a Club Coach with USA Weightlifting. Liz has worked as a Sports Performance Coach, Fitness Specialist, and Lecturer over the past ten years, and served as the Fitness Director at Audrey Moore RECenter from 2007-2009. She enjoys sports and fitness endeavors of all kinds, and has been involved everything from running to rowing (crew) to Olympic lifting.
As the Program Coordinator for the Fitness & Wellness Section, Liz manages the Take 12 Steps for Health program, as well as community-based classes, instructor trainings, outreach efforts, and supporting the fitness directors at each RECenter. Always trying to make a difference, Liz serves as the FCPA representative on the Northern Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition, as well as the LiveWell Advisory Council. As a new mom, Liz is always looking for opportunities to improve programming especially when it comes to children’s fitness and encouraging family wellness.
To contact Liz, email: Elizabeth.Ittner@fairfaxcounty.gov