TriHealth Fitness & Health Pavilion Member of the Month
Feel inspired by a fellow member? If you would like to nominate someone you feel has a story to tell, contact Member Services today, 513 246 2611.
Ulrike "Riki" Kumar
May 2019 Member of the Month
A member of the Pavilion for more than eight years, Ulrike “Riki” Kumar is committed to her health and wellness. Carrying herself with grace and determination, Riki is a natural competitor and was an avid runner for many years.
When Riki injured her back in 2017, she turned to the Pavilion for rehabilitation in the warm water pool. As her back began to feel better, she took a water aerobics class and fell in love with aquatics. She began swimming laps daily and continued the water fitness classes. “The atmosphere is so welcoming and everyone is so friendly. It is so clean and so organized here.”
Riki was the first member to complete our Manhattan Swim Challenge this year. She completed the 28.5 mile challenge in just 3 days and then continued to swim for a total of 165 miles in 7 weeks!
Born and raised in West Germany, Riki met her husband, Sven at the University of Bonn. Sven, an executive at P&G, was transferred to Cincinnati and the couple decided to stay in the US and become citizens.
Riki and Sven have two children. Nicolas (22, medical school) and Julia (20, undergraduate) are both students at The Ohio State University. Their whole family has spent many hours at the Pavilion. When the kids were young, they regularly went to the KLC and participated in summer camps. “My kids are TriHealth kids,” she says.
Riki’s advice for someone who is just starting out exercising is to make a routine. “Come in everyday at the same time and stick with it. Take a group fitness class, meet members and talk with the staff.”
April 2019 Member of the Month
“I haven’t missed a day at the gym since 2009,” says Nick Powers. Since he started his membership at the Pavilion in June 2017, Nick says that he’s motivated to be here because it’s a “community and family environment – and there’s no judgment.”
At the Pavilion, he does it all. He often starts with a cardio warm-up on the StairMaster and moves to his muscle-specific workout. He utilizes both machines and free weights, also incorporating calisthenics and body-weight exercises throughout the week. “I try to take advantage of this place,” Nick says. “Everyone has a positive attitude and the Pavilion is health-centered.” When the weather is warm, you may find Nick outside running on the Pavilion’s outdoor track. A couple of times a month, Nick will utilize the lap pool and sometimes he’s on the gym court playing basketball.
Nick currently works for TriHealth at Good Samaritan Hospital in the logistics department. He oversees three floors at Good Samaritan working full-time while also taking classes at a local school for a degree in Social Work. Committed to service, he’s been volunteering with various local organizations, including the American Red Cross and the Midwest Regional Black Family Reunion.
He was born and raised in Western Hills, but recently made the move to the Kenwood area. Growing up with a twin sister, three brothers, and another set of twin sisters, his life on the West Side was always busy. He wishes for the opportunity to travel – with his Italian background, he hopes to see South Naples and Rome in the next couple of years. “People tell me to just enjoy life. There’s a world out there to go see – and I want to do that.”
Nick keeps his diet simple with low to no-sugar. He’s motivated to take care of himself and wants to live a long life. For those on a health journey, Nick says it’s definitely important to take it step-by-step. “Start with small stuff and build up. Set goals, get help from experts and find that support network.”
Bill and Pat Huth
March 2019 Members of the Month
When Bill and Pat Huth moved to Glendale six years ago, they looked for a place where they could embark on a healthier lifestyle. As Bill worked with a TriHealth dietitian to manage his Type 2 Diabetes, the pair started attending the monthly cooking demonstrations at the Pavilion. They were so impressed with the staff and the facility that they decided to become members to reap all the benefits.
Shortly after joining the Pavilion, they soon registered for a Pilates Reformer Intro Session led by Group Fitness Instructor, Marie Stitzel. After that class, they were hooked! Bill and Pat both agree that Pilates Reformer has changed their lives. “Marie is just phenomenal. She is so knowledgeable and always knows just how far to push us from week to week,” says Pat.
Before starting Pilates Reformer, Bill couldn’t move his arms above his head and was starting to use a cane for balance while walking. Now, he can walk without the support of a cane and can easily move his arms up and down over his head. “We have seen such amazing progress since we started Pilates Reformer.”
Bill and Pat both turn 70 this year, but they insist they feel twenty years younger than that, thanks to Pilates Reformer! “Joining the Pavilion has changed our lives,” says Bill.
Born just one month apart in the same hospital in Hamilton, Ohio, Bill and Pat were also high school sweethearts. The pair then attended Miami University and even taught at the same school together after graduating. Now retired, Bill and Pat stay busy volunteering at the Glendale Community Library when they are not at the Pavilion. They also love to travel – especially to Boston, Chicago and Las Vegas.
February 2019 Member of the Month
You may not know it from looking at her, but Maria Kretchik has sustained many painful injuries. A lifelong competitive athlete, she has had two herniated discs, ankle reconstruction, shoulder dislocation and a mid-foot bone reconstruction. But after every injury, Maria pushed herself to recover so she could get back to training and competing.
Maria has completed eight marathons, two full Ironman competitions and is now training to qualify for Team USA for her next triathlon. She recently completed a 5k swim in Columbus where she came in first place female for the 5k swim! Her advice is to find something you enjoy doing and start there. “If you want something enough, you will find a way to do it,” says Maria.
Growing up in Cleveland, Maria attended Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA and then moved to Cincinnati where she received her Master’s Degree from University of Cincinnati. She worked in social work until 2012 when she became a full-time mom. In addition, Maria has been volunteering as a coach for Girls on the Run for nine years and loves working with the kids!
Maria and her husband, Simon, have been Pavilion members since 2013. Now that they are busy parents of two young boys, Lee and Miles, they found yet another reason to love the Pavilion – the Kids Life Center! “We can drop our boys off there while we work out and then they can leave tired. They always want to come so we never have to feel guilty about working out,” says Maria.
Maria and Simon love traveling to Mexico, Barbados and the Caribbean whenever they can and usually find a race to compete in wherever they go!
Steve Zitelli, M.D.
January 2019 Member of the Month
When Steve Zitelli moved back to the Montgomery area in 2016, one of the first things he did was to rejoin the Pavilion. Steve had been a member in 2010 when he was working as a Resident for TriHealth at Bethesda North Hospital.
Steve, who played soccer throughout his life, has always been very active and finds that the wide range of offerings at the Pavilion helps keep him healthy and energetic. According to Steve, one of the biggest reasons for his success comes from staying consistent with his workouts.
Steve, who visits the Pavilion at least four days every week, comes to the Pavilion for stress relief. When he’s at the Pavilion, Steve splits his time here between running and strength training. He also likes spending time in the pools swimming with his young sons. His wife, Kris, is also a member of the Pavilion and enjoys the range of group fitness classes offered, especially the spin classes!
Steve grew up in Pittsburgh and, after graduating from medical school, he moved to Cincinnati to accept a position with TriHealth. He is now a physician with Bethesda Family Practice in Norwood.
Steve appreciates the wide variety of services that the Pavilion offers. “The extra classes like the cooking demos and the Physician Speaker Series are great ways for members to get extra information. The Pavilion is truly a one-stop shop,” says Steve.
In his free time, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife and their sons, Michael, age four, and Jacob, age one. They keep busy exploring the city and traveling. One of their favorite places to visit is Disney World!
November 2018 Member of the Month
Ten-year old member, Esma has been a member of the Pavilion since the beginning of 2017. She loves spending time in the Kids’ Life Center while her parents are exercising. When Esma visits the KLC, she enjoys helping with the younger kids. She says that visiting the KLC makes her feel like a big sister because she does not have siblings at home. Esma looks forward to participating in our Pavilion Teens in Training Program when she is thirteen in two and a half years.
Esma attends Mason Intermediate School. Her favorite subject is Language Arts but she loves math, too! Esma is currently a math mentor, teaching math algorithms to her fellow classmates.
Esma’s parents, Jim and Danuta, originally joined the Pavilion because they have back problems and wanted to use the warm water pool. They have since discovered that there is so much more to do here! They now use both pools as well as the indoor track to get regular exercise.
Jim and Danuta are very happy with the Kids’ Life Center. They really appreciate the KLC because it allows them to work out and they know Esma will be having fun!
When she isn’t at the Pavilion, Esma spends her free time playing the piano, hip hop dancing, baking and writing poetry. She also loves playing with little kids anytime she gets the chance. Esma is also a gymnast though she is taking a break from the sport right now so that she can pursue her other hobbies.
October 2018 Member of the Month
Before becoming a Pavilion member, Kerry Grever knew she needed to do more to meet her fitness goals. When she heard about the Pavilion from a few of her friends, she decided to take a tour and immediately knew it was the perfect fit for her.
Ever since then, she has been coming regularly to the Pavilion three to four times per week. “I am so grateful that I found a place where I can feel so comfortable,” says Kerry.
Her mom suffered from debilitating arthritis and Kerry was determined not to get to that point. For more accountability, she began weekly personal training sessions with Pavilion Personal Trainer, Justin Thompson and has lost 21 pounds. “I am very motivated to maintain my weight loss,” says Kerry. And she has the dedication to do just that. Kerry trains with Justin once a week, does HIIT cardio, exercises on the elliptical, and uses weights for strength training. She also just hit her first milestone – lifting 217 pounds on the leg press machine!
Kerry, who has chronic neck pain, also benefits from monthly acupuncture sessions with Diane Kloecker at TriHealth Integrative Health and Medicine Center.
Kerry grew up in Kenwood and studied English Literature at Northern Kentucky University. She now works as an underwriter at Cincinnati Financial and has been there for 17 years. She also works part-time as a Wellness Guide at Weight Watchers.
Kerry lives in Blue Ash with her three cats, Dempsey, Jojo and Maggie. She spends her free time attending performances at the Aronoff Center and going to dinner and the movies with friends.
September 2018 Member of the Month
Bill Laverty has been a
competitive athlete his whole life. He played football at Trinity High School
in Louisville and was involved in many intramural sports at Miami University.
Before he joined the Pavilion, however, he had fallen out of a regular fitness routine. He knew it was time to make a change. “The Pavilion was absolutely instrumental in getting me back in shape,” says Bill. He was impressed by how much the Pavilion had to offer – from exercise equipment, to basketball, pools, the kids’ center and more!
Bill has also taken advantage of several other programs offered at the Pavilion, including nutrition consults, InBody analysis and a therapeutic massage. The Pavilion is, “an entire holistic experience for me.”
After graduation from Miami
University, Bill started his own healthcare IT consulting and staffing company.
A few years ago, he sold the company and now has time to exercise at the
Pavilion four or five days each week. He looks forward to his visits and you
can usually find him lifting weights or running.
Bill recently participated in the Little Miami Triathlon with friend and Pavilion member, Marko Stojanovic, which included a 6 mile canoe ride, 6 mile run and 20 mile bike ride. They completed the triathlon and finished in the top ten!
When he’s not exercising at the Pavilion, Bill enjoys planning and taking active, adventurous vacations. Some of his favorite places include the Grand Tetons, the Italian Alps, Alaska and Iceland.
Bill’s wife, Caren, was an Investment Broker at Fidelity and she recently published her first book called A Woman’s Place is in the Market. They have two children, Char and Joseph. Char is married to Tom Fontanesi and they live in New York City. Joseph lives in Cincinnati where he works as a data analyst.
August 2018 Member of the Month
“I’m so spoiled here!” says almost seven-year member, Christy Braun. She joined in August 2011. I could look for a place closer to home, but I just love it here. Other places “don’t hold a candle to what is offered at the Pavilion, from the group classes, to the pools, and all of the equipment.” Christy averages seven to ten visits to the Pavilion every month; she usually visits after work, completing most of her workouts on the fitness floor. She says she feels better and stronger each and every time she comes to the Pavilion.
When she joined, she was initially enticed by the discount offered to TriHealth team members. “It was certainly an incentive!” She also wanted to set a better example for her then high school age daughter, Lauren, who is also now a member. Christy participated in our weight management programs and has also enjoyed Saturday Zumba classes. Her first experience with the Pavilion was with the Health ONE weight loss program. Since I was not a member yet, the cost of the program included membership to the Pavilion. She then transitioned to the Strides maintenance portion of the program and became a full-fledged member.
Christy also enjoys the cooking demonstrations which she says provide her with new ideas to incorporate into a healthy eating plan. I also appreciate the fitness challenges that the trainers design, such as the Biggest Winner and the Iron Man. “They help to keep me motivated!”
As one of our own team members, Christy has been employed by TriHealth for 30 years and serves as an RN at Good Samaritan Hospital and performs stress testing. She grew up in Bridgetown, and received her BSN at University of Cincinnati. Christy and her husband have four children in their twenties, two of which were married this past year. Her other interests include cooking, craft sewing, and reading.
Christy loves the Pavilion. “It’s top-notch, judgment-free and I just feel more energetic when I come here.”