Elizabeth Pongo

President & Owner
Certified Personal Trainer & Corrective Exercise Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine

Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College with a major in psychology and a minor in education. Having studied psychology and education, in addition to kinetics and physiology, Elizabeth places a strong emphasis on life-style coordination when training clients and teaching proper form and technique.

Our Valuable Team Members

ELIZABETH PONGOCEO & Founder
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, Barefoot Training Specialist by the Evidence Based Fitness Academy

Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College with a major in psychology and a minor in education. Having studied psychology and education, in addition to kinetics and physiology, Elizabeth places a strong emphasis on life-style coordination when training clients and teaching proper form and technique.

After he suffered a stroke, Elizabeth was her 78-year-old father’s primary caretaker at the age of 29. During that time she discovered how important it is for everyone in life to be physical. Elizabeth resigned from her corporate job in order to become a Certified Personal Trainer upon realizing that proper exercise prescription, truly saves & improves lives.

“I’ve always felt great joy when being physical. From learning how to ride a bike or go downhill skiing with my Dad; to training for the NYC Marathon and the NYC Triathlon: I’ve elevated my spirits and improved my health through solid program design and exercise science. I take great pride in teaching other people how to cultivate that lifestyle, truly.”

JUDY JEROMEVice President
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, & Pre/Post Natal Certified

As a personal trainer, dance teacher, and choreographer; Judy focuses on proper alignment, flexibility, and core strength. She strives for her clients to work to their full potential; creating challenging programming, in a safe environment.

Judy has a passion for running and functional strength training. She successfully completed the New York City Marathon in November, 2014.

“My favorite part in a training session is when there is an, ‘Ah ha!’ moment: a client’s discovery about his or her body, and what it is capable of, when a piece of the puzzle is placed. Very satisfying!”

DESI MULCAHYGeneral Manager & NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Women’s Fitness Specialist, & Corrective Exercise Specialist

Through education and attention to detail, Desi promotes weight loss through strength and cardiovascular training. She has seen much success in keeping pre-natal clients fit throughout their pregnancies, and thereafter.

Desi enjoys tailoring her workouts to each client’s specific goals, while focusing her workouts on core strength. Postural correction is very important to Desi, as well. When applicable, she works speed, agility, and quickness training into her programs for fun!

“Correct your posture, and correct how you and others perceive you. The benefits are limitless!”

GARDY REGLASMedical Exercise Manager, Core Conditioning Specialist, & ASCM Personal Trainer
Certified by the American College of Sports Medicine, Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and Certified by National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association

As a Medical Exercise Specialist, Gardy designs exercise programming for the clients with medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, lower back disorders,joint replacements, stroke patients.

As a personal trainer, his favorite aspect is working one-on-one with clients using functional tools such as Stability and Medicine balls, and tubings

He believes that this way of training is critical and essential for helping his clients to ”move the way they were meant to move.” Gardy is also a big believer that continuing education a must for the fitness professional

“The fitness industry is always revolving, so it is essential that as a fitness professional, I keep abreast of the latest trends in health and exercise science.”

RYAN FARRELLNASM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Personal Trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine

Being Canadian, naturally, Ryan grew up playing ice hockey, and has been exercising at a high level most of his life. The basis of his training was formed during his seventeen year ice hockey tenure, and now plays a primary role in his training approach.

Ryan is a firm believer in the science of systematic progressions and periodization. Through applying this practice, he utilizes science that ensures goals are met, and results are achieved.

“I believe in meeting and exceeding client goals through smart, systematic progressions, all while keeping workouts fun and engaging.”

KARIN MEESSENFitness Director, Senior Fitness Specialist, & NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Personal Trainer and Senior Fitness Specialist by National Academy of Sports Medicine, Medical Exercise Specialist

Karin has been a long-time health and fitness enthusiast. She knows what it takes to go the distance, having completed two NYC marathons and numerous long-distance, multiple-day road cycling events.

She believes strongly in the connection between mind and body to promote overall well-being. Pairing an emphasis on balance and stability, with development of core strength; Karin helps her clients to improve all areas of their lives, through safe and enjoyable workouts.

“I became a personal trainer to help people create lasting changes in their lives. Seeing a client discover the emotional, mental, and physical strength derived from exercise, is extremely exciting and rewarding.”

BRIE HELMUTHOperations Manager, Medical Exercise Specialist, & NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Personal Trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Clubbell Yoga Instructor and Lead Eastern Regional Ambassador

Brie Helmuth, a Brooklyn resident, originally from Boulder, Colorado, grew up on organic food grown in her mother’s garden, yoga, hip hop, and physical fitness. These early influences shaped who she is today and her outlook on life and overall wellness. Brie is an experienced and certified NASM Personal Trainer, Circular Strength Training (CST) Instructor through RMAX International, Lead Clubbell Yoga Ambassador, Elite Personal Trainer at Pongo Power, and Member of Brooklyn’s dance crew’s Mastermind Rockers and NYC’s only all female breakdance crew, Ladies Adios.

Dedicated to the progression of fitness and wellness, as well as hip-hop dance culture, she seeks opportunities to teach movement based workouts to any-body. Brie is enthusiastic to teach what she knows and aims to improve the way people move for their sport and lifestyle, become a catalyst for positivity in people’s lives, and improve people’s perception of themselves through physical movement.

“Take a moment to appreciate your body, your machine, and recognize your movement patterns. Now ask yourself, where am I going and what am I trying to accomplish? That’s where it all begins.”

RALPH ST. JUSTENASM Certified Personal Trainer
National Academy of Sports Medicine, Certified Personal Trainer & Corrective Exercise Specialist

Ralph is a certified personal trainer and a certified strength conditioning coach who holds a degree in Health Promotion & Science. He is also a corrective Exercise Specialist who has worked with people ranging from Division 1 Athletes to the elderly population.

Ralph believes that a life full of joy and bliss consist of the strengthen of the physical body, the spirit, and the intellect. His beliefs have ultimately lead him to doing public speaking events in schools and non-profit organizations.

“As a personal trainer my duty is not only to help my clients strengthen their body, but to help them take the virtues that are learned through training (discipline, courage, confidence, self-esteem) and apply it in everyday life.”

JULIE PETRUSAKMarketing Manager, Pre/Post Natal Certified, & NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Personal Trainer & Corrective Exercise Specialist, by the National Academy of Sports Medicine

Julie is a certified corrective exercise specialist, who holds a B.FA. in Dance from the Alvin Ailey-Fordham University Dance program. She is a certified kettlebell instructor, and has taught extensively in barre fitness and high-intensity interval training.

Julie believes that moving body is a happy body. She pursues her passion for human movement practically, by training clients and instructing group fitness classes, and artistically by choreographing and directing her dance company JP Dance Group. Julie’s dance background and fitness experience allows her to offer her clients a well-rounded, diverse offering of expertise. She takes a holistic approach to training and strives to help her clients transform not just their bodies, but also their mind-body connection, positive self-image, and overall well-being.

JAMECE GREYCommunity Outreach Director & NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Personal Trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine

Jamece is a NASM certified personal trainer with 7 years of experience as a physical therapist assistant. She has a Pilates Mat and TRX certification. Currently she is training for her second Brooklyn Half Marathon coming up this May.

“I find it very satisfying when clients finally have a breakthrough during a session, busting through a mental or physical block.”

SHANNON KIM WAGNERMedia Director, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified NSCA Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Certified Yoga Instructor by Yoga To The People

Shannon is passionate about empowering others to love their body and to understand all that it is capable of.

She got her start as a yoga instructor, encouraging her students to find optimal alignment and power through technique. In addition to having years of experience as a teacher, she loves strength training and sharing her knowledge to help trainees become stronger and fitter. The combination of these two passions leads to creating bodies free of muscle imbalances with the necessary lean body mass to continuously push through strength plateaus.

“Everyone deserves to love their body; everyone deserves to be given the tools necessary to do so.”

JESSICA STONENASM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Women’s Fitness Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine

Jessica is a Buffalo, NY native who can find the sunshine in any snowstorm. She is a seasoned Personal Trainer who has experience training clients ranging in ages from 14 through 76; all with varying levels of fitness and goals ranging from peak performance to being able to properly stand up from a chair. Jessica is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, a competitive Olympic distance triathlete and martial artist, with experience training in Judo, Shotokan Karate, and Thai boxing.

Jessica is a firecracker of personality who, through the discipline of martial arts and triathlon training, understands the importance of focus, commitment and the will necessary for an individual to effectively attain their goals. Her training sessions can be high-energy and funny, or mellow and meditative. Either way, Jessica’s training sessions involve developing our clients’ knowledge and understanding of their own bodies, the exercises and the science necessary for each client to achieve and maintain their goals.

“You provide the focus and commitment; I’ll provide the expertise for you to achieve your goals.”

ALYSSA NASTASIANASM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine

Alyssa is a firm believer in providing her clients with a strong foundation in diaphragmatic breathing, spinal alignment, and overall bodily awareness. Each exercise that she teaches inside of the gym has it’s purpose, and ultimately leads to healthier movement patterns outside of the gym.

She is currently working on her Precision Nutrition Certification and cannot wait to add Nutrition Coach to her list of credentials. Her interest in nutrition started at the young age of 16, when Alyssa fought her own weight loss battle and lost over 50 pounds. She has kept the weight off for over 10 years, and understands the challenges involved. This personal journey has inspired Alyssa to become a Certified Nutrition Coach, so that she can offer higher-level information about nutrition science and coaching to her clients.

“My favorite part of Personal Training is the moment when a client’s progress inside of the gym translates to his or her daily life. When clients can run after their kids without getting out of breath; carry their groceries without feeling fatigued; or, just simply feel more energized, I realize how much I love being a Certified Personal Trainer!”

BEN KENNEDYNASM Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Personal Trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Registered Yoga Instructor (RYT 200hr)

Exercise has always been an integral part of Ben’s life, providing an outlet for both stress relief and fun. As a winter sports enthusiast, he played 12 years of competitive ice hockey. He also snowboards, and isn’t afraid to go for a run when its 10 degrees out. In his twenties he became bored with traditional weight lifting, so he tried Yoga. He so loved the practice that he decided to become a registered instructor. His workouts combine his different experiences and skill sets. They emphasize building both balance and strength.

In addition to being a lifelong athlete, Ben is also a dedicated musician. He has a bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music, and plays guitar. The common thread in all of Ben’s interests, pursuits, and passions, whether they be learning music, practicing handstands, or deadlifting heavy weight, is focus and precision.

“My goal as a personal trainer is to help others stay active, feel good, and be prepared to live a fuller, longer life.”

CAITLIN COOKDirector of Creativity
Musician, comedian, designer, illustrator, photographer, and world traveler. Always seeking creativity and empowerment.

Growing up in Los Angeles, California with a chef for a father and a choreographer for a mother, Caitlin was raised with a respect for the mind and body. She trained for 10+ years in various forms of dance (primarily ballet but also modern dance, jazz, and tap) before diving into yoga, pilates, and zumba. While earning her bachelor’s degree in art history and studio art from Kenyon College and her master’s degree in maritime archaeology from the University of Oxford, she also became an avid rugby player and still enjoys a good game of rugby, soccer, and intramural sport from time to time. Exercise and mindfulness has always been a part of everyday life for Caitlin, but she has learned that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is less a goal and more a continuous journey of education and exploration.

An avid world traveler who has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Chicago, Caitlin has finally settled in Brooklyn to pursue music, comedy, and design. Touring frequently for music and comedy and regularly performing in the city with her band Frankly Benjamin, Caitlin thrives off immersing herself in happy, creative communities, all while continuing to maintain a healthy lifestyle and mindset. Caitlin was drawn to Pongo Power for precisely these reasons and is excited to be an integral part of the Pongo Power community as it continues to grow and flourish.

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

IZZY DEVLINOffice Manager
As the Office Manager for Pongo Power, Izzy helps oversee and manage ongoing projects in all departments. Her knacks for organization and administration help Pongo Power implement the much needed systems for a growing small business!

She brings over 10 years of administrative, client-oriented and managerial experience as well as a personal passion for health and wellness! During her free time, Izzy is often at the gym/yoga studio, on a long walk through the city or searching for a new vegan restaurant!

“My passion in life is to make things as simple as possible. I believe we can achieve anything as long as we truly understand it. We can understand anything if it’s broached to us in a language we comprehend. My goal is to speak YOUR language!”

CLAUDIA JOUConsultant
Exercise Physiology and Adult Fitness Master’s Degree, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) and Barefoot Training Specialist.

Born and raised in Barcelona, Claudia has lived the life of an elite track and field athlete. While getting her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she was also preparing for the world championships in the High Jump. She decided to pursue the Olympic dream in the USA and after two years of hard work she earned her masters in Exercise Physiology and Adult Fitness and the honor of being a four-time All-American in the Division 1 NCAA league.

Still a professional athlete, she is currently balancing her training hours with research on the neurobiological basis of learning and memory. Ideally, she dreams of bringing the two worlds together and investigating how the brain can improve human biomechanics through motor control and learning. It is not surprising, then, that she focuses on the neuromuscular components of training.

“It’s the teaching part what makes me love what I do. I could be the most knowledgable athlete or researcher out there, and still not make the most of it if I don’t share what I get to learn day after day. I really enjoy seeing clients being able to transfer the knowledge they acquire on the floor to their daily activities!”

CHELSEA BEASLEYNASM Certified Personal Trainer
Chelsea Beasley is interested in the ways that movement can transform lives and communities. Having spent time training with and learning from athletes around the world—from Prospect Park to the mountains of Mexico to the streets of Berlin—she understands that wellness is a valuable tool of self expression just like other cultural pursuits. After close to a decade in corporate social marketing creating digital content around lifestyle, fashion and travel, the gymnast turned subelite endurance athlete made the shift to share her passion for training with others. It’s personal: her own journey has brought firsthand insight to the importance of prehab, individualized nutrition, stress management, and recovery for peak performance and energy. She has logged over 6,000 miles in the past 4 years and has run 5 marathons and 2 ultramarathons, including qualifying for and racing the 2018 Boston Marathon. She has also trained extensively in bodyweight HIIT training, Kettlebells, TRX, Pilates and Yoga. She graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School, is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and studied at the Nutritious Life Studio in New York, completing her nutrition education in 2015. Chelsea currently trains with an NYC-based running collective and is passionate about the value of teamwork for individual results.
KIERAN BRENNANNASM Certified Personal Trainer
KENDRA KACZMARSKINASM Certified Personal Trainer, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200-HR, Precision Nutrition Sports & Exercise Nutrition Certified
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200-HR, Precision Nutrition Sports & Exercise Nutrition Certified

Kendra originally began her fitness journey as a dancer. She practiced ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance styles for many years throughout her childhood and early adulthood. In college she developed a secondary passion for running and strength training. In 2016 she completed her 200-HR yoga teacher training certification with Wanderlust Yoga.

Kendra is passionate about wellness and living a balanced lifestyle. She places emphasis on looking at her clients from a variety of angles, encouraging them to address all aspects of their lives in order to become healthier and happier humans. She is currently preparing to begin her Master’s program in Nutrition & Dietetics to become a Registered Dietitian.

“I really enjoy making an impact on the lives of others, helping people to identify and overcome their obstacles, and then watching them succeed at the things they never thought they could accomplish!”