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Bios

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Hillary Hess MS, LPC, RYT

Areas of Interest: Mental health and wellness education and skills; trauma and healing integration; mindfulness based strategies

Hillary E. Hess, is a licensed professional counselor with a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.  She has since worked for different non-profit organizations counseling children, families and adults who have experienced trauma, anxiety, depression and other stress-related difficulties.  Hillary has been in private practice for the last 7 years specializing in cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness based strategies and somatic movement and yoga.  She has continuing education and certifications in trauma informed expressive arts, trauma sensitive yoga facilitation, mindfulness based stress reduction and psychedelic assisted therapies and research.  Hillary believes in living a mindful life and enjoys slowing down, being in nature and spending time with her son Mekhi and large dog Ranger.

Hillary
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Dida Gazoli

Areas of Interest: Memoir/creative nonfiction writing coach, editor, and publisher

Dida Gazoli is a family life author, creative nonfiction coach and

editor. She additionally publishes essays and editorials related to

mental health, women’s issues, and current events. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, Microsoft News, yahoo!life,

Psychology Today, SHE Media’s SheKnows, and the internationally

syndicated show Tales from the South on NPR, in addition to other

digital and print publications.

She began her Braving Veracity project in 2019 at the onset of the

pandemic, making the decision to build an anthology series in 2020 to support the voices and work of women and non-binary writers

interested in memoir and creative nonfiction. For more information on

the project and its platform, how to support the authors featured

in Braving Veracity, or how to submit your own work for consideration, please visit www.bravingveracity.com.

Dida
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Stephanie Sudjian 

Areas of interest: Functional medicine and nutrition related to fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, hormonal health, perimenopause and menopause

Stephanie Sudjian, MS, RD, LDN, CLT, IFMCP, is the founder of FPH Wellness, and a seasoned Integrative & Functional Registered Dietitian specializing in women’s health. Her expertise lies in creating meaningful connections with her clients to help them harness their bodies’ potential using food as a key functional medicine tactic. Stephanie’s empathetic nature and commitment to an evidence-based, whole-person approach helps women better understand and trust their bodies’ healing abilities.

Drawing from personal experience with unrelenting GI issues, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue dismissed and ignored by conventional methods, Stephanie deeply values advocating for her clients. Her journey, marked by a 15- year struggle for accurate diagnosis and treatment, fuels her dedication to functional medicine’s role in whole-body healing. With over a decade of advanced education and specialized functional training, Stephanie is committed to guiding you toward the health outcomes you deserve, with a focus on genuine care and comprehensive wellness solutions. Her mission is to promote self-confidence, individuality, and personalized care for every patient at FPH Wellness, and to change the dialogue and outcomes surrounding women’s health.

Stephanie
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Areas of interest: Creativity Positivity & how gemstones can remind you to remain mentally & physically hopeful 

Hello Beauties,

I’m Marinella and my mantra is ‘Accessorize with ease & intent.’ I truly believe living this in all aspects of life, from what I wear, to worthy causes & people I cherish.

Life for me is about family, community, love, peace and positivism, which is demonstrated through my jewelry designs, especially in my small batch, curated, Protection Bracelets. Each stone, crystal, charm and medal included holds a symbolic significance.

Bracelet Workshops are a new favorite, and I look forward to guiding you through creating your lovely, meaningful & truly unique designs at EmpowHer!

Kristen
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Kristen Wilson PT, DPT

Areas of interest: Pelvic health, strength training for women, Women's health, Prenatal/postpartum care

Kristen began her therapy career at Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital after graduating from Ithaca College with her Masters Degree, and subsequently completing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Temple University. She quickly developed a passion

for treating clients with neurological conditions, prompting her to pursue an advanced certification in Neuro-Developmental Technique, a hands-on technique for the treatment of individuals with hemiplegia. Understanding that the older adult has great potential in improving their health and fitness, Kristen became an American Physical Therapy Association Geriatric Certified Specialist in 2009. Kristen also excels at treating conditions like pelvic floor dysfunction, pre/post natal care, back and shoulder pain, and

rehabilitating balance and walking problems. 

In addition to her clinical skills, Kristen loves to lecture in the classroom which allows her to “nerd-out” with doctorate-level physical therapy students. Kristen is an active

member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Private Practice Section, serving as Editor of the national publication Impact Magazine and participating in the mastermind Peer 2 Peer Networking group. She enjoys writing for a variety of publications, as well as conducting public speaking educational programs throughout the community on a variety of health-related topics. She has presented at many community events including Health on Tap Kennett Square, Mill Summit Health in High Heels, and various community health fairs. When not wrangling her three incredibly active sons, Kristen enjoys sharing good wine and food, cooking Bon Appetit recipes, and dancing like no one is watching.

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Michelle Vahey

Areas of Interest: Overall nutrition, health and wellness, Functional Fitness CPT, Functional Aging Specialist, Yoga

Michelle’s passion for fitness started at a very young age, as a gymnast and dancer she was always worried about her weight and what to eat, that led her into seeking a Culinary Degree and minor in Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University.

After dealing with her own struggles with Health and Wellness, It was clear that she wanted to help others find Joy in life and help them become a better version of themselves.  We are all born with a special gift, Michelle will make it her personal goal to help others find what ignites their soul.

Michelle is a Certified Health Coach with IIN (Integrative Institute of Nutrition in New York City), Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) Certified TRX Instructor, Certified Personal and Group Personal trainer with AFFA, a 200 Hr. Registered Yoga Instructor,  Certified Aqua Fitness Instructor and VBarre Instructor.

She is the co-founder and owner of VIDA Performance where she applies all of her passions (studies) in helping others achieve the life they are meant to have.

Michelle strongly believes that adding healthy foods, movement (exercise) and purpose to your life, will help you become the Best Version of Yourself.

"Believe in yourself. Take time to become a healthier and happier YOU, doing so will make everyone around you happy too."

Michelle
Ashley
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Ashley Respress

Areas of Interest: Cancer (Prevention, Education, Statistics), Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

Ashley Respress is a dedicated nurse with extensive experience at renowned cancer hospitals such as MD Anderson Cancer Hospital and US Oncology. Her commitment to ensuring equal access to care for all patients, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status, was shaped during her time in Texas. Ashley also worked with Optum - United Health Group, assisting patients in understanding their insurance benefits and locating resources. In her role as Executive Director of Patient Engagement at Acellus Health and Head of Health Equity, Ashley focuses on developing and implementing strategies to enhance patient experience and access to quality care, with a particular emphasis on promoting health equity. She is also dedicated to forging crucial partnerships with institutions aiming to integrate technology into their cancer programs.

Ashley's personal journey, including her mother's battle with AML leukemia, fuels her determination to advocate for everyone affected by cancer. Ashley's work in the field of oncology is a testament to her dedication to improving patient outcomes and promoting health equity.

Jen
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Jen Evans

Areas of Interest: Mindset, intentional habits, sobriety

Kathryn
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Dr. Kathryn Ellis

Areas of Interest: Sexual Pleasure, Sexual Desire & Arousal, Sexual communication

Dr. Kathryn Ellis is an occupational therapist and American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists Certified Sexaulity Counselor, but most importantly she is a pleasure advocate and enthusiast. Kathryn started the Military's first OccupationalTherapy Sexuality & Intimacy Clinic at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where she worked for 10 years before starting her private practice in Wilmington, DE.  She's an author, speaker, and consultant on all things sex, intimacy, and pleasure. Kathryn absolutely loves working with women to help them strengthen their relationship with their bodies, their desire, and their pleasure because good sex makes for an empowered woman!

Leslie
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Leslie Mariani 

Areas of Interest: Incapacity Planning, Estate Plan Creation

As a resident of Kennett Square for more than 40 years and a licensed attorney for the last 27, I enjoy connecting with members of our community who are looking for a trusted legal advisor. I’m thankful that I’ve been afforded the opportunity to raise my kids in Chester County, surrounded by curious and kind individuals and families.

Allie
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Allie Mazza

Areas of Interest: Senior Care and Housing, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Allie Mazza founded Brandywine Concierge Senior Services in 2019 after working for years in the Senior Care industry and seeing a need, locally, for someone who could truly help guide families through the options and resources available. Today, Brandywine Concierge serves hundreds of families each year as they approach the incredibly challenging task of finding the best solution for their aging loved ones.

Allie’s first taste of senior care came when she answered an ad during graduate school for an older man who needed companion care. After her first time with him, she decided to shift her focus from Training and Development to the senior care industry.  After college, Allie started her career as an Activities Director for an Assisted Living and Memory Care community. From there, Allie worked as a Sales and Marketing Director for many years for various communities. Once she moved to Pennsylvania and began working locally for several communities, she saw a need that she decided to fill.

Allie has a BA in Psychology and MA in Communications from West Chester University. She is also a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner.

Karen
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Karen Wallace-Braun, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LSW 

Areas of Interest: Relationships, Mental health, Anxiety, Mood Disorders

Karen Wallace-Braun holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with a minor in Psychology from West Chester University.  Her passion for understanding human behavior led her to pursue a master’s degree in social work from Widener University.  She is Licensed in the state of Pennsylvania for clinical social work.  

She is a seasoned therapist bringing over 15 years of experience in private practice to her clients.  Karen is dedicated to providing compassionate and effective support for individuals and couples who are navigating life’s challenges.  She values high-quality care tailored to each individual’s unique needs.  Her training includes certification as a Gestalt therapist and training in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR).  Additionally, she is proficient in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which she frequently utilizes in her work with couples.  

Prior to establishing her private practice, Karen shared her expertise as an educator for 12 years at the college level, nurturing future professionals in the field of therapy.  Her teaching experience has allowed her to blend theoretical knowledge and practical insights into her therapeutic approach to lead to healing and growth for her clients.  

Outside of her professional endeavors, Karen enjoys spending time with her husband of 23 years and her 21 year old daughter, Isabella, and her 17 year old son, Donovan.

Jennifer
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Jennifer Sonson , CFP

Areas of Interest: Financial Planning, Working With Women To Make Them Fit and Sassy 

With over 13 years of experience in the financial services industry, I am a passionate and dedicated Financial Advisor at Raymond James, where I hold the CFP® certification. My mission is to help my clients achieve their financial goals and dreams, by providing them with personalized and comprehensive financial planning and

investment advice. I value building long-term and trusting relationships with my clients, and I strive to deliver exceptional client service and satisfaction. I am proud to be a part of Raymond James, a leading independent financial services firm that values integrity,

independence, and client-first approach.

Emily
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Emily R. Woodson, CFP®, CDFA®

Areas of Interest: Financial Planning, Investing, Insurance Planning, Retirement Planning 

I deeply believe in the impact that a good financial advisor can have on her clients. I love that I help people pursue their financial life goals, attain a sense of security, make purposeful decisions, and create and build wealth. I love building relationships with my clients, getting to know about their desires and goals, their families and what is important to them. My client’s success is my goal.  I truly feel that this is my calling!

I serve women, and their families, who are nearing retirement, working with them to build a lifelong relationship. Financial planning can be very overwhelming and having an experienced professional who can help to prioritize, organize, and simplify the various aspects of it is essential. With ten years of teaching experience, I can take complex financial concepts and break them down into understandable and relatable parts – allowing my clients to gain an

understanding of topics that can be overwhelming and confusing. With over 15 years of experience in the financial planning world and a very high level of emotional intelligence, I provide professional acumen with a highly personal touch. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two children and stepson, our dog and our extended family and friends. I am an avid snow skier and love to spend time in nature.  As a family, we enjoy playing tennis, traveling, and exploring new places. We live in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Hen
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Hen Hellman

Areas of Interest: Financial Planning, Investing, Insurance Planning, Retirement Planning 

Hen has practiced yoga since 2012, after her first experience sparked intrigue. Following years of personal practice, and feeling drawn to the warmth of the community, she completed her 200hr YTT at Yoga Secrets in 2022. She began teaching soon after completing her training and now holds regular evening classes on Mondays (Yin) and Thursdays (Slow Flow & Yoga Nidra). In her classes, she shares asana (physical poses) and pranayama (breath work) to balance movement and stillness in a safe and caring space. She aims to grow your practice by encouraging personal curiosity, connection, and care; by first caring for ourselves, we can care for our wider community and environment. Through the commitment of personal practice, she believes we can achieve deeper self-awareness, understanding towards others, and celebrate the vibrancy of life.

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Marianne Viceconte

Marianne believes that being present on the mat is one of yoga’s greatest challenges but, when achieved, results in greater consciousness and inner peace. In class she will encourage you to cultivate your awareness of your inner experience. Each class is an opportunity to breathe, connect to an intention, and to develop mindful movement and thoughts. Marianne’s wish for her students is that the clarity and insight they gain about themselves while on their mat extends into their daily life.

Marianne’s own yoga journey began with the hope of alleviating joint pain from years of running as well as improving her flexibility. She has taught yoga for 9 years, is an ERYT 200 and enjoys teaching and practicing different types of yoga. Her favorite pose is Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose) because it creates balance and strength, while challenging students to ground and to expand. She enjoys running, meditating, cooking, reading a good book, and watching documentaries. She lives in Wilmington with her husband and two children.

Marianne
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Cassie Plumb

Cassie sees yoga as a means by which we can change our own lives and become more aware of the ways in which we treat ourselves and others. The practice is not specific to personality, body type, or religion. It is an accessible way to heal, strengthen, humble, grow and learn to get through life with the least amount of worry or distress. Maybe you learn something new about yoga or yourself. Practicing and teaching gives Cassie the opportunity to help you do this. She is grateful to share her love of yoga and life with those around her. Cassie’s classes are high energy and challenging, with emphasis on linking breath with movement while flowing to a fun soundtrack! Come ready to breathe, sweat and flow!

Cassie
Elizabeth
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Elizabeth Gehrt, C-IAYT, ERYT500, Co-Owner Yoga Secrets - Kennett Square

Elizabeth Gehrt is a Certified Yoga Therapist, (C-IAYT), Yoga Instructor (ERYT500), Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT), and Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist (AYS). She is a Co-Owner of Yoga Secrets in Kennett Square, PA. Elizabeth teaches weekly yoga classes at Yoga Secrets, including Warm Slow Flow & Yoga Nidra, Gentle, Chair and Prenatal as well as offering monthly workshops and special events. 

Elizabeth’s passion is helping clients feel and move better using yoga’s proven therapeutic benefits at whatever level a client is able and willing to engage.  With deep compassion for the experiences that shape an individual’s journey through life and in their body, Elizabeth strives to provide an experience that meets a client where they are and opens the door to health and healing through addressing all dimensions of their being. Her teaching style awakens awareness, curiosity, and exploration of breath and movement all while being playful, loving and mindful.

Cara
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Cara Lehman

Cara has been teaching at Yoga Secrets since 2013, and is an ERYT 200 & Reiki Master. Her vinyasa classes encourage you to sweat as you move mindfully and rhythmically with your breath. In 2015 she completed a 30 hour certification in Yin Yoga, which enlightened her to the beauty of surrender and balance. Cara enjoys sharing her love of yoga, music and the healing power of touch. You can count on a warm welcome, thoughtful playlist, hands-on assists (with permission), and maybe a few giggles or tears, depending on the day!

Lexa
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Lexa Chernin

Lexa Chernin is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist, Sanskrit teacher, and co-owner of Yoga Secrets in Kennett Square, PA. She teaches weekly yoga classes, is a lead teacher for the Yoga Secrets Yoga Teacher Trainings, and has a clinical Ayurveda practice at Yoga Secrets in which she helps clients address health concerns and find radical wellness.

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Kara Gibbons - Health Coach

Kara Gibbons is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She has been educating children and adults for the past 20 years. Kara grew up in Massachusetts and has lived in England and California prior to finding her roots more than a decade ago in amazing Kennett Square, PA.

 

Kara wants YOU to become an expert on YOU. Her passion is creating long-standing, powerful connections with clients, listening and understanding each person’s truth.

 

Kara has been an athlete all her life, from playing three sports in high school and collegiate-level soccer. She found a love of clean eating and running as one of many modalities of therapy after the loss of her sister to colon cancer.  Kara is also a runner; striding the 26 miles of the Philadelphia Marathon and completing more than 10 half marathons across the country. While continuing to explore her own path of health and wellness, Kara discovered her passion and dream job in health coaching.

 

Through Health Coaching with Kara, you will navigate your mind and align your body to be true to you and exploring what may feel impossible. Kara will help you create new lifestyle and nutritional goals and hold you accountable to the priorities in your life. Once you accept the balances and imbalances in your life, you can then create goals that will allow you to begin to see the beautiful transformations that will happen along the way, as long as you are true to you.

 

So, what speaks to you today? Bootcamp or yoga? Or both? Journaling or self defense?  Meditation or Crossfit? TRX or 5k? Massage or connecting with other women? Eating for health and wellness? Whatever it is, in this moment you are the expert on aligning your body with your mind. It may also be stepping out of your comfort zone and learning something new and all the while supporting UNITE FOR HER. 


Kara coaches you to be true to you.

Kara
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CROSSFIT Kennett Square

“The coaches at CrossFit Kennett Square come from diverse athletic backgrounds and experience, but they all have one thing in common, they care. Their passion and commitment to helping you achieve your personal fitness goals is what separates us from other gyms. We know every member and their fitness goals, and strive to provide the training, education, support and motivation to meet these goals. As a coaching staff, we are committed to pursuing excellence and pushing you to thrive, not just survive. We are invested in taking care of you and take pride in helping you to enjoy life. We are in the business of getting you prepared for any obstacle or task life may throw at you.”

 

Everett Gordon

CFKSQ Head Coach - General Manager / CrossFit Level 2 Trainer / CrossFit Mobility

 

Annie Osborn

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

 

Brian Neely

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

 

Kelly Neely

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer / CFKSQ Administrative - Membership Coordinator

 

Michael Pickel

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

 

Sharon Iacoangelo

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

CFKS
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