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Our Team


Chuck Gillespie

CEO/Executive Director
[email protected]


Trina Laube

VP of Strategic Initiatives
[email protected]

Kellie Straub

Kellie Straub

VP of Growth & Innovation
[email protected]


Mandy Koch

Director of Programs & Events
[email protected]

Suzanne Hunt

Suzanne Hunt

Director of Professional Development
[email protected]


Alyssa Protsman

Director of Communications
& Engagement

[email protected]


Kelli Miller

Finance & Accounting Lead
[email protected]


Lily Caldwell

Member Support Specialist
[email protected]


Drew Ellery

Technical Support Specialist
[email protected]


Meghan Hedrick

Graduate Intern

Board of Directors

Executive Team

Brian Schroeder

Brian Schroeder, MHA, LSSBB   
Co-Founder & CEO, Preventia Group, LLC

With over 20 years of experience living at the intersection of wellness and health care, Brian Schroeder founded Preventia Group.  Preventia provides a new way for patients to take charge of their chronic disease, or prevent it in the first place.  As CEO of Preventia, Brian leads teams in business development strategies and tactics that leverage technology to increase efficiencies and enhance access from patient to provider.  He serves as the President of the National Wellness Institute and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Wellness Council of Indiana and Jump IN for Healthy Kids.  Brian received his Master’s degree from Indiana University and is a lean Six Sigma black belt with expertise in building business strategies around prevention, population health, coaching, lifestyle medicine, and nutrition.  Additionally, Brian serves as a business advisor to Ares Elite Sports Vision, a local Indianapolis start-up, and is an active leader and member of tech start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Indianapolis.


Mark Pettus MD, FACP, ABOIM  
Former Director of Wellness, Population Health and Community Care, Berkshire Health Systems
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School
The Health Edge Podcast

Dr. Mark Pettus is a triple-board certified Internist, Nephrologist, and Integrative Medicine physician practicing for over 25 years. He received his A.B. from Boston University and his M.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His postdoctoral training was at Harvard Medical School. He completed his renal fellowship at The Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Pettus is also an alumnus of The Advanced Program for Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, and Mediation at The Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Pettus currently serves as the Director of Medical Education, Wellness and Population Health at Berkshire Health Systems in western Massachusetts. In addition, he serves as The Associate Dean of Medical Education at The University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is the author of two books, The Savvy Patient: The Ultimate Advocate for Quality Health Care and It’s All in Your Head: Change Your Mind, Change Your Health. He serves on the teaching faculty at The Center for Mind-Body Medicine based in Washington D.C. and The Meditation Institute in Averill Park NY.

Vice President

Kristi Leonard, EdD, MA, CWP, NBC-HWC  
Assistant Dean of Students, Central College

In 2016, Kristi returned to her alma mater, Central College, as the Assistant Dean of Students, Wellness and Well-Being. Her primary charge is to further Central’s Integrated Learning plan through providing focused vision, oversight, and management of wellness-related initiatives, programs, and services for students. Prior to her return to Central, Kristi served as a faculty member at Waldorf University from 2005-2016. She was a tenured Associate Professor of Wellness, the Wellness Department Chair, and served as the Faculty Chair for three years, where she represented the faculty in many capacities. She was honored with the Waldorf Board of Trustees Outstanding Faculty Award in 2014. From 2000-2005, Kristi worked at Luther College in the areas of wellness, residence life, and student activities. Kristi has been and is very active in her local communities. She is currently a member of the Pella Wellness Consortium and Leadership Red Rock. Previously she collaborated to create and facilitate a Healthy Kids program as well as a 3K3 walk/run/wag event, in which all proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. She was the Chair of the Forest City Wellness Coalition, Vice President of the Forest City YMCA Board of Directors, a member of the Forest City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and a member of the Puckerbrush 5K committee. Globally, she has created, developed, and implemented a study abroad course and experience titled “Exploring Wellness in the Yucatan.” She looks forward to putting this course into action again in her role at Central College.


Stacey Krawczyk, MS, RD  
President/Founder, FoodWell Strategies
Twitter: @staceytheRD

Stacey holds a MS in Public Health Nutrition and a BS in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. A Registered Dietitian for over 25 years, her current expertise centers in evidence-based marketing of foods and wellness. She partners with brands to unlock wellness opportunities by utilizing insights and science to develop marketing tools, communications, and external influencer engagement. She has over 10 years specializing in food wellness commercialization strategies, from small start-ups to large global companies. Her career started in Public Health, focusing on family wellness programs, which continues to influence her work to this day. This foundation drives her passion for mission-driven branding and social causes. A 5th generation farmer and co-owner of a Century Farm, she is literally grounded in the “seed to plate” story. Because Stacey is a passionate believer that food is more than simply nutrients—it is also the compilation of our celebrations, memories, and culture—she enjoys nourishing her husband and 4 teen athletes around the family table.


Lana Saal, EdD, MCHES, CWP, CTTS  
Health Promotion, Wellness & Fitness – Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer, NASA

Lana Saal holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Master’s in Health, and Bachelor’s in Nutrition; Certified Wellness Practitioner (CWP) through the National Wellness Institute and certifications as Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing; and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS). Lana is a speaker, author, and inspirer of happier healthier humans and a lifelong learner with 25 years of expertise in Health Promotion and Worksite Wellness. Dedicated to her profession to positively impact the lives of others, Lana has a passion for leading and inspiring others, through a combination of education and meaningful motivation, to make a positive difference. Lana has held several volunteer leadership positions on many boards within her community. She has been a leader volunteer extensively with the American Cancer Society and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for 15 years locally and at the state level. Dr. Saal has served on the NWI Academic Program Accreditation Council on Wellness Accreditation and Education from 2010 – 2018, holding the position of Chairperson from 2013 on. In 2017 she was elected into the NWI Circle of Leadership, and currently serves on the NWI Membership Committee as well.

Board Members


Tyler Amell, PhD, MSc, BSc  
Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences / Chief Health and Strategy Officer, MediKeeper

Dr. Tyler Amell is an internationally recognized thought leader on the topic of workplace health and productivity. When he is not speaking at events around the world, he is a trusted advisor to organizations, including insurers, service providers, and employers, on strategic and integrated workplace health and productivity. He specializes in the areas of health and wellbeing technology, data analytics, absence and leave management, STD, LTD, occupational rehabilitation, disability management, and disability prevention, workers’ compensation, mental health, musculoskeletal health, chronic disease, wellness & wellbeing, medical assessment, and health & safety. Dr. Amell is Chief Health and Strategy Officer at MediKeeper. He is also an Adjunct Faculty at Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences and Faculty Lead for Work and the Workplace. He has given seminars and presentations at over 200 events. He also serves on the Executive Board of Directors of the Work Wellness Institute, and in the past the Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health (CARWH), and the San Francisco Based Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI). He is a past CRO/CHO at a wellness technology company, a Partner/Vice President at a global HR consulting & technology company, CEO of an HR technology company, and Vice President of a large Healthcare and Rehabilitation company. Dr.Amell has recently contributed to events and publications of IBI, Art & Science of Health Promotion, HERO, the Disability Management Employers Coalition (DMEC), the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the Conference Board of Canada, the Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada (OEMAC), the Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine (CBOM), and the Occupational Medical Society of Canada (OMSOC).


Eirasmin Lokpez-Cobo, MA, MS, ACC   
VP, Cross-cultural Brand Strategist
Founder & CEO, Wellness for Growth Foundation

Eirasmin is a seasoned Brand Strategist with eighteen years of experience building brand equity on the agency and client side in the U.S. and in Latin America. She holds a Master’s degree in Digital Marketing and Marketing Analytics and a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications.

She has a proven record developing insight-driven brand strategies that have yielded effective and award-winning omnichannel campaigns for Fortune 500/Fortune Global 500 brands. Some examples are Walmart, Air Wick, White Claw, Volkswagen, SONY, Bank of America, Kraft, DHL, Hewlett-Packard, and MasterCard among many others.

She is known in the industry as a cross-cultural marketing expert with a deep cultural understanding of diverse audiences. She works with Clients to help them increase cross-cultural proficiency and craft effective culturally relevant campaigns that connect with diverse audiences in the changing U.S. and global cultural landscape.

Eirasmin has dedicated the last ten years of her career to making an impact on the healthcare and wellness industry. She has designed and implemented corporate and community wellness programs, national and local healthcare campaigns, and pharma integrated DTC and HCP strategies, DSA messaging, and activation plans for the total market and multicultural populations. Her client roster includes pharma brands, such as Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur, Regeneron, Amgen, and Merck, and healthcare organizations such as the American Heart Association, Memorial Hermann Hospital and Baptist Health.

She is Board Member at the National Wellness Institute since 2016, where she leads initiatives to increase cross-cultural competence in wellness, address healthcare disparities, and engage younger generations of professionals in wellness. She is also Founder & Director of the Wellness for Growth Foundation since 2012, an organization that has changed the lives of over 700 underprivileged Hispanic families through integral wellness education and skills for economic growth.

Eirasmin strongly believes in empowering younger generations through education and making higher education accessible and engaging for all students. She is an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University Master’s in Marketing Program, where she teaches and mentors the future generations of marketers.


Dr. Anita Mwalui  
Founder & CEO, Community Engagement & Consultation Group Inc.

Dr. Anita Mwalui is a Public Health & Certified Wellness Practitioner with a Community Health Research background. Dr. Mwalui serves on several committees; a Co-Chair on the Multicultural Committee for the National Wellness Institute, Public Education Committee for the Mental Health Association of Maryland and Montgomery College African Diaspora Committee member. Dr. Mwalui has spent over a decade developing strategies to improve community engagement in the hard to reach communities and populations.

Mazouz Oum El Kheir

Mazouz Oum El Kheir  
Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Etihad Airways

Mazouz Oum El Kheir has done remarkable work in worksite wellness, global humanity wellness, and fundraising for charitable causes that support well-being globally. She works across cultural lines and has strong organizational skills. She assists Etihad Medical Services Team with promoting employees’ (and their families’) health, fitness, and wellness; coaches, develops, promotes, and implements wellness seminars; creates publications and presentations; serves on the Sports & Social Committee; and conducts staff health assessment programs. She develops, manages, promotes, and implements well-being in the global community through engagement programs and events requiring her to draw on formal and voluntary resources and networks to deliver initiatives for positive employee engagement and wellbeing through a sports and social framework. In 2015 she helped Etihad raise over $3,000,000 for charity benefitting causes like Syrian refugees relief (Lebanon, Jordan, and Greece), Walk for a Cause (India), Run for a Cause (Kenya), Big Heart Library (Morocco), Earthquake Relief (Nepal), Charity Iftar (UAE Labour Camp), and Yemen We Care. She has spearheaded the following international programs: Rehab Schools (1,700 students, Kenya), Etihad World Aviation Football Cup (28 international teams/ 20 countries), Color Their Lives (Raised 1/2 million dirhams for Children’s Cancer Hospital Foundation, Egypt), and International Women’s Day. Programs in her home country of UAE: Walk for a Cause (5,200+ participants), Run for a Cause (4,500 participants, Abu Dhabi), summer camp (aged 4-14), Inflight Chef’s special needs children cooking workshop, corporate games, Wellness Day, and Fit2Fly.


Bridgette Stewart, MEd, CWP  
Chief Wellness Officer, University of West Georgia

Bridgette Stewart is Chief Wellness Officer for the Health and Community Wellness degree at the University of West Georgia and serves as the Founder and Director of the Wolf Wellness Lab. She is a passionate health and wellness professional with over 15 years of experience in curriculum and wellness-initiative development. She uses her knowledge and experience as a health coach and worksite wellness specialist to develop programs for students, faculty, staff, and the local community to improve their overall well-being. Over the last ten years, she has served in numerous leadership positions and on boards of directors across the Southeast. From 2015-2016, she served as president of her state health association. From 2011-2012, she served on the board of directors for Southern District Shape America. She served as the chair of NWI’s Council on Wellness Certification Excellence and in 2018 was inducted into NWI’s Circle of Leadership. Bridgette continues to educate countless future professionals, organizations, and community members through presentations, initiatives, and service-learning projects. Currently, she volunteers her time as the co-chair of the physical activity committee of the Get Healthy Live Well Coalition in Carrollton, Georgia, which is one of 12 finalists for the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Community award. She also volunteers her time as a lifestyle coach for the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Bridgette looks forward to shaping professional development for wellness professionals across the country.

Ilhiana Rojas Saldana, CPC, CDVC  
Founder & CEO, BeLIVE Coaching and Consulting

Ilhiana has over 20 years of executive experience at corporate headquarters in Mexico and in the U.S. She has played key leadership roles in companies including P&G, Hanesbrands, and Hasbro, acquiring a strong understanding of consumers of all ages, genders, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Ilhiana drove double-digit growth across numerous businesses and returned a business to profitability after years of net losses, As a calculated risk-taker, she spearheaded the development of a new product portfolio, resulting in Walmart’s “Supplier of the Year” award. She was also honored to receive a Marketing Innovation “Inny” Award during her time at Hasbro, that recognized her executive leadership in driving multifaceted marketing plans.


Barbara Zabawa, JD, MPH  
Attorney/President, Center for Health & Wellness Law, LLC

Along with starting her law firm, the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC, almost 5 years ago, Barbara Zabawa has also started the nonprofit Wellness Compliance Institute (WCI). Thus far, WCI has created standards of conduct for wellness professionals as well as brokers. These standards are essential to an ethical and legal wellness practice. Barbara has presented at the National Wellness Conference on workplace wellness compliance issues for the last four years. As a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, she has conducted research on the use of incentives in workplace wellness programs, and whether those incentives are perceived as complying with the requirement that information collection is “voluntary” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Past President

Linda Howard, JD, CHC   
CEO, Alturnative

Linda Howard is the CEO of Alturnative, a healthcare compliance consultancy that helps build people-forward organizations and establish compliance, ethics, and quality standards for the health, fitness, and wellness industries. She is a multi-faceted compliance and ethics consultant with over 30 years of combined experience in law, compliance, and healthcare operations and a passion for wellness, and a believer in social responsibility. She provides thought leadership to esteemed organizations, educates countless professionals annually through board work, national presentations and workshops, corporate trainings, and authorship. As a living example of being the change you want to see, you can find Linda sharing her knowledge and time in various communities. She is committed to using her leadership for good to advance dialogues on changing the wellness and healthcare industries for the better and she encourages others to also reach underserved populations, engage in purposeful dialogue, promote business ethics and values that support individual and organizational wellness. Her prior professional titles include Chief Compliance Intellect Officer; Associate Vice President, Business Ethics; Privacy Officer; Associate (Attorney); and Senior In-House Counsel.