STAFF

Heather Baker

Owner

Certifications:

  • CSCS
  • Olympic Lifting
  • Crossfit Level 1
  • Youth Training Certified

Heather has been focused on health and fitness ever since 1988 when she read and dog-eared every page in Cory Everson’s book, “Superflex”.  Since then she has submerged herself in literature that has included a wide spectrum of health, fitness and self improvement experts such  as Frank Lipman, James Clear, Brene Brown, Mark Sisson, Rachel Cosgrove, Michael Matthews, Kelly Starrett, and Martin Rooney. She is a strong believer in reading at least 10 minutes every day to improve her knowledge and expertise. 

Her competitive drive took off in college while playing volleyball for Bentley University.  Since then she has coached numerous teams at the collegiate, high school and middle school level, bringing that drive and fierce competitiveness to every team.  

Some of her favorite things include quality family time and activities with her husband Ross and their two children Logan and Grayson.  She also enjoys cooking/baking, reading (especially the morning newspaper while everyone is asleep), Ross’ homemade nut butter, coffee with MCT oil, chocolate, intermittent fasting, receiving letters in the mail, Camden Maine and walking her dog, Waffles.

Her favorite workout would include pull ups, squats, bicep curls, the rower, shoulder exercises and Romanian deadlifts. She has competed in numerous events including triathlons, 5Ks, Adventure Races, 7 Sister’s Trail Race, CrossFit Comps, and her fondest memory: a Strongman Contest where both she and Ross took first place.

Heather LOVES owning and coaching at GH2. She has brought her business and teaching degrees along with her coaching and competing experiences all together for this tremendous opportunity to work with all levels of athletes and gym goers in Central Massachusetts. 

Ross Baker

Ross has been lifting weights since his first basement set from Sears about 40 years ago. Since then it has been a major part of his life which he has loved sharing with his wife Heather for the past 30 years, his children Logan and Grayson for the past 8, and everyone who has walked through the doors of GH2 since Heather and he opened the doors 11 years ago. He has competed in numerous types of contests, including Strongman, Powerlifting, Crossfit, and others.

Ross now makes weights and strength the focal point of a broader view of fitness where longevity, health, confidence and well being are the overall goal. His other main interests are watching his children grow into wonderful people and athletes, cooking (and eating), gardening, and his newest pal Waffles, a young Australian Labradoodle. Ross was a Massachusetts State Trooper for 22 years before retiring in 2015.

Dawn Panarello

Dawn’s passion for health and fitness began while attending classes at Heather’s house; she is one of the “OCD”(original cellar dwellers)! Only after a short time she knew her true passion was health and fitness. She switched gears a bit, from hairstylists to coach and has been coaching at GH2 for over 8 years.

Dawn has two teenage daughters- she loves to workout with them and chase them all around the soccer fields. She has had the privilege to coach FC Boston and FC Stars soccer team during winter training months and continues to encourage all kids to do strive to do their best.

She continues to further herself as a coach by attending classes, reading a variety of books and always putting herself to the challenge. She never stops learning. Some of the fitness books include, Girls Gone Strong, Alwyn Cosgrove, Rachel Cosgrove, and follows John Berarfi from Precision Nutrition, Eat to Perform, and Neghar Fonooni, to name a few. Her favorite CrossFit gal is Camille Leblanc Bazinet. She is a certified personal trainer by AFAA, Level 1 CrossFit, “SPCC” Sports Performance Coach Attended UCanRow seminar as well as KB programming 101 by perform Better.

Dawn is always smiling, encouraging others to become the athlete they can be. She loves attending Met-Con classes with the clients, lifting weights, and buying lots of new sneakers to match her outfits. She doesn’t mind getting sweaty as long as she’s achieving her goals. GH2 and its clients help her do that each and every day. Dawn always says that this is the best job ever, making people smile and be proud of themselves!

Helen Bibeau- “Bibs”

Helen has always been very passionate about sports and fitness. She could always talk the talk but was not always walking the walk, Corporate life had taken over; until 2010 when she drew a line in the sand and decided that she needed to make a change. Fortunately for Helen, a friend introduced her to GH2. Finding GH2 has given her the opportunity and skills to open up a world to a better lifestyle. Her corporate job no longer runs her life!

Being healthy and fit and sharing what Helen has learned is her passion. Through her training at GH2, she has gained strength, conditioning, stamina and an all-around better way of life. Now she is able to pay it forward and wants to help create good habits that will lead to permanent lifestyle changes for all clients. The same positive changes that was instilled in her by my mentor, friend and trainer Heather Baker.

Helen has completed and competed in: 4 GH2 – CMF Competitions (2) Individual and (2) partner; 4 CrossFit Competitions (1) Individual and (3) partner; Tough Mudder; Boxing charity event; Spartan race; 7 Sisters Trail Race; multiple Celtic 5k races; Rowed a Marathon 41,295/m

Helen believes, just as the other GH2 trainers do, in making workouts that are fun, but also challenging, explosive, and rewarding. Helen is AFAA_PFT and CrossFit Level 1 certified. She will continue to improve her teaching and coaching skills by attaining more certifications in the fitness world!

“It is never too late to be what you might have been!”

Denise Agbay

Denise has been on a physical well-being journey since 2011 and has an inside-out approach to loving one’s own body. She believes in and practices personal meditation, stretching, mobility, and yoga; in addition to the more rigorous activities of metabolic conditioning and strength training.

Denise enjoys working with group classes, but also loves her one-on-one private training time, where she gets to see her clients have an “aha moment.” Her best moments as a trainer and as a person have been when that inner athlete-which she believes lies in everyone- has switched their thinking from “No, I can’t to YES I CAN!”

“Whether your goal is to become stronger, become healthier or attain a specific athletic achievement, MY goal is to help you be the best version of that – from the inside out!”

Billy Gibbons

Billy has been involved with athletics and fitness for his entire life. He started his coaching career as an assistant Men’s Basketball coach at WPI when he was 19. His passion for basketball and athletics expanded to fitness, strength, and conditioning. He loved building relationships with his players and coaching them towards their goals in the weight room, in the classroom, and beyond college. He also helped supervise an Employee Fitness Center for a private hospital in Wilmington, NC that his (now) wife worked at; they eventually moved back home to Worcester, MA to be closer to family. His full-time job is a PE teacher at South High in Worcester.

Billy, his wife (Mallory), and their sons (Willy and Welles) live in Shrewsbury, MA and enjoy working out together, staying active with various outdoor activities, and traveling; they have a goal of traveling to all 50 states together.

Billy loves building relationships with the members and seeing the growth and gains from each member. Along with adult group fitness classes, Billy works with middle school, high school, and college students/athletes on technique, speed, agility, injury prevention, strength, and conditioning. He is passionate about teaching, expanding his knowledge, and obtaining more certifications so he can effectively coach and motivate others towards their goals.

Claudia Castellanos

AFAA Certified

Level 1 USA Weightlifting Coach

Power Monkey Gymnastics certificate

Claudia has been  involved in sports her whole life. Born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, she played softball and cross country in school. Claudia began swimming at the age of 7 and became a part of the Honduran National Swim Team and participated in many international competitions all over the world including Pan American Games in Cuba, 1991 and Games of the XXV Olympiad in Barcelona, Spain 1992.

Claudia and her family moved to USA in 1997. She started working as a Dental Assistant then went back to school to become an Aesthetician.

In 2002 she participated in a sprint triathlon where she placed 3rd in Sudbury,MA. It was in 2013 when her friend Jill recommend to try GH2 Fitness and Training,  she decided to go and that was the “best day of her fitness life.”

Claudia fell in love with GH2.

GH2 brought back her competitive drive. She started doing CrossFit competitions, CMF(Central Mass Fittest) and her first Strongman competition.

Her favorite things are dining out in Boston with her family Plutarco, Plutarco Jr. , Ana María and Federico. She likes to read a good book and being at the gym either teaching or working out.

Claudia became a trainer at GH2 and her goal is to make sure every athlete gives 100% in their  workout, just as she gives 100% everyday at GH2. Claudia teaches Olympic lifting classes, Rounds, Strength, Metcon, 30/30.

Working out has always been Claudia’s passion and she plans to stay active for many years to come. In 2004 Claudia finished the Boston marathon- one of her greatest accomplishments . There she realized that the connection between the mind and the body is very powerful and you can do anything you set your mind to! Nothing is impossible!

In her spare time Claudia she likes to take on personal clients and help them reach that connection as well.

photo of personal trainer Claudia Castellanos

Kitren Farrell

Kitren started her athletics at age 3, when her parents got her some skis and a private instructor. After nearly two decades of recreational and competition downhill, she hung up her skis and branched out into some new arenas. She played lacrosse and rowed in college, and was always looking for the next “big challenge”, including the Boston—>NYC AIDS ride, and the Danskin women’s triathlon, among others.

In 2008, after having their third babies, a friend suggested they try a workout in a local woman’s basement, and that was the beginning of Kitren’s love for both GH2 and interval/strength training. In 2012 Kitren was diagnosed with breast cancer and was given an option – long term medication or very regular and consistent exercise. The choice was obvious!

After almost a decade, Kitren remains cancer free and has channeled her passion for fitness into an AFAA personal training certification as well as being MadDog Spin certified. She also is a coach for FitClub, a non-profit to bring fitness to Worcester’s youth. She has competed in several CrossFit competitions across New England, the Central Mass Fittest competition hosted by GH2, and an RPS powerlifting meet.

A high school teacher by day, Kitren would love to see you come crush your own expectations at the gym with her in the evenings and weekends, either in group classes or private or semi-private training!

Tanya Sparhawk

Tanya grew up as a dancer, competing in ballet, jazz, and tap. She began her teaching career during these years, instructing younger dancers. If you’ve ever seen Tanya on the dance floor you know she has some training and background experience!

Later, with a full-time job and two babies at home, Tanya‘s workout routine switched to home. Incredibly self-motivated, she worked out daily to favorites such as P90X, Tae Bo, step aerobics, and running. She sometimes accompanied her husband to lift at the local gym as well.

As a 40th birthday present to herself, Tanya decided to try a new gym, GH2, that was recommended to her by a friend. After her first workout she was hooked! This is what she had been waiting for – fun, community, a good sweat.

Fast forward six years and Tanya now works at GH2. She has competed in several CrossFit competitions, Central Mass Fittest competition, and the infamous Seven Sisters mountain race. Tanya is a serious athlete here in the gym as well, and can be found both morning and night grinding away at the daily workouts!

Seeing people accomplish what they thought they could not do is what drives Tanya to teach at GH2. She loves to help clients achieve their goals and cheer them on all the way.

Meg Paradis

Meg’s passion for fitness and athletics began at a young age while growing up in Shrewsbury where she played field hockey, basketball and softball.  It was this passion that propelled her to earn a degree in Physical Education and Motor Development Therapy from Bridgewater State College, and she received her Master’s degree from Lesley University in Special Education. Meg has been with GH2 Nation since the start as a member in Heather’s basement, as an “original cellar dweller”. She soon realized that she wanted to add personal trainer and spin instructor to her credentials. She is a NASM certified personal trainer, and a certified spin instructor. Additionally, Meg received her Cancer Exercise Specialist certification from the Cancer Exercise Training Institute. Meg is particularly passionate about building relationships with clients and motivating them to reach their goals. She is a firm believer in setting goals, making a plan, and working hard to achieve them. If you don’t hear her singing classic rock songs around GH2, she’s teaching Adapted Physical Education for Worcester Public Schools, or possibly watching the Red Sox or college basketball, or maybe attending a live concert somewhere.

“The difference between possible and the impossible lies in the person’s determination.”
Tommy Lasorda

Julianne Ferron

Julianne grew up participating in competitive gymnastics, dance and cheerleading, all of which require a variety of strength, conditioning, and flexibility training. Once in college, she stopped participating in athletics, where her dedication to fitness moved to the back burner behind work and classes. Her mom brought her to a class at GH2, and immediately her passion for training was back. Over the next few months she continued training at GH2, and that year she competed in the CMF competition. Feeling like she was being drawn to the world of fitness, she decided to intern with Heather, and earned her AFAA certification for group and personal training. 

Although she works full time as an accountant and coaches cheerleading at Anna Maria College, she still makes time to coach here at GH2 because it is something she loves to do. She enjoys being able to help others to maximize their work outs and have fun while doing it! Seeing members reach new goals and realize their potential is incredibly rewarding for her.

She enjoys taking classes with her friends and family at GH2, running 5K’s with her mom, acrobatics with her sister, and doing hot yoga. One of her goals is to participate in more fitness competitions such as CMF, as well as encouraging others to give it a try! There is nothing more amazing than seeing people achieve goals they never thought possible.

Kelly Mahoney

Kelly has over 20 years of experience in health and fitness stemming from an early interest and commitment to physical and mental wellness. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Keene State, Kelly focused her early career in corporate fitness where she directed health and wellness for DCU, leading a team of experts and offering incentive programs, group fitness, personal training, yoga and mindfulness. Through her experience as a wellness director, Kelly developed a specific interest and passion for physical therapy and movement as a way to prevent injury. This led her to return to school where she completed her degree and training as a Physical Therapy Assistant. Kelly’s training strategy emphasizes physical and mental health, incorporating mindfulness programs with strength and flexibility to achieve true balance.
Kelly has completed 2 marathon’s: NYC and Boston, where she ran as a member of the Boston Children’s Hospital team, raising funds for Moya-Moya research. She has completed countless ½ marathons and local 5k’s and Spartan races. Kelly lives in Holden with her husband, Butch, and two daughters. She enjoys watching and supporting them in their sports and also enjoys golfing as a family, hitting the pavement with friends, Hot yoga, friendly competition and reading books that inspire her.
Kelly has a BS in Exercise Science, is a Licensed PTA, NASM-CPT, YogaFit, Stott Pilates, Zumba.
Kelly’s approach to fitness can best be characterized by the famous Debbie Hampton quote,

“Take care of your mind, your body will thank you. Take care of your body, your mind will thank you.”

Nicole Dumas

Nicole Dumas is a Physical Therapist who has more than 15 years experience in the field of physical therapy. She comes to GH2 through a mutual client with Heather. She chose to get into PT as a profession after attending PT herself due to injuries sustained from being a competitive dancer. She grew up watching sports with her dad and after college, she started playing ice hockey and continues to do so with a great group of women. Her passion has always been to help people recover from injuries whether they are acute or chronic and she has a special interest in helping people with hypermobility. Her approach to rehabbing an injury includes specific exercises based on the injury and hands on work through a variety of techniques including dry needling and cupping.

Gianna Belsito

Bachelor of Science – Specialized in Exercise Science
Master of Science 
Enrolled in Precision Nutrition Certification Level 1 

Gianna has been passionate about health and fitness since she developed her love for sports and physical activity. Throughout her middle school and high school years, she invested in the sport of cheerleading where she earned her spot as captain her eighth-grade year, junior and senior year, along with a total of three MVP awards. After being awarded captain, she knew her love and excitement for leading and empowering people to move their bodies and be the best versions of themselves, had begun. There was no greater feeling. 

It didn’t take her long to know exactly what she wanted to study during her time at Keene State College where she began her Exercise Science career. During her studies, she was involved in various science and nutrition classes, but it wasn’t until her senior year where she began incorporating her knowledge into practice. Her senior year she began her practicum which allowed her to gain experience in training personal clients. She was able to write programs and workouts as well as nutrition plans. This led her right into an internship at GH2 where Heather welcomed her, allowing her to shadow and be a part of an amazing community while gaining even more experience. 

She continued to be a part of the GH2 community by joining as a member herself, taking various classes. She was so lucky to continue gaining knowledge and experience from the various trainers here at GH2. By learning from the best, and looking up to the trainers for guidance, she began her career as a trainer in October of 2020. Gianna’s passion for fitness and physical activity is so strong, she decided to add a second career. She is also an Elementary Physical Education Teacher where she hopes to turn her love for fitness and the importance onto her students. She hopes to lead by example and change perspective on health at a young age. 

She continues to learn and wants to further her knowledge by adding a Precision Nutrition Certification. She reminds herself to be the trainer she would want to have while attending a class. She loves working out alongside her clients making it fun and motivational! Her favorite type of training is strength training allowing herself to be pushed out of her comfort zone, challenged, and a better version of herself. There is nothing better than hitting a PR while your colleagues and clients, who have now become friends, are there cheering you on.   

Gianna will continue to be the best trainer she can be by learning, growing, and watching. GH2 is a place where she feels purpose, community, and love. She always says,

“Truly, the most rewarding and fun job anyone could ask for!”

Tim Trainor

Bio coming soon.

Sam Kapacziewski

 Hi all, my name is Sam, and I am a part time trainer here at GH2. I was first introduced to GH2 by my godmother, Helen, when I was in middle school. I started off taking private sessions because I was scared to workout in a class environment. As I became more comfortable, I transitioned to classes such as Met Con and Strength on Tuesday and Thursday nights. This led to my love and passion for fitness and led me to experiment with new classes, such as Rounds, Spin, HST, Cardio Grid and Core Cardio. Now, you will find me teaching these classes I grew up taking. Most often I’m teaching Rounds and Strength classes in the Red Gym, but I’ll occasionally wander over to the Green Gym for a Met Con every now and then. I love being able to share my knowledge about fitness and seeing clients’ improvements day by day, whether that be physically, mentally, or both.

GH2 has allowed me to coach and workout, but most importantly, to join a community of people who are like minded and are in a pursuit to live a healthier lifestyle.

Rich DeStefani

Rich is a professional strongman and a NASM Certified Personal Trainer.  He also holds NASM certificates in nutritional coaching and performance training.

Rich holds his Bachelors in Science in electrical engineering from Western New England College.  After working in engineering and management for 6 years, the opportunity for coaching and hosting his own strong man competitions began.  

He started his career in strongman in 2009 after 2 years of college football. After becoming the 2017 United States Strongman National Champion for the 275lb heavyweight class- earning him his pro status and invitation to the Strongman Champions League (SCL).

Rich competed internationally against some of the strongest men in the world 4 times through 2017 and 2018. During his first international competition he finished 6th overall out of 14 competitors. At this event – DeStefani won 1 event and placing 2nd in another event. 

He has coached many strongman athletes to reach the national level including the 2021 teen  lightweight national champion and 2022 3rd place super-heavyweight.

Rich enjoys bringing the education and training from novice classes to those looking to compete at a competitive level, he also has prepared many training programs for athletes at various stages in their fitness journey. 

photo of weight lifting trainer Rich DeStefani

Cindy Malnicof 

Fitness isn’t solely the desire for health and wellness, it’s the spirit of competition, teamwork, and camaraderie amongst athletes. That statement alone defines my passion for training at Gh2 as a client and now has brought things full circle for me as a personal trainer. I have always been involved in sports as a child and throughout High School. My fitness  journey continued as an adult through competitive running, triathlons, and fitness competitions. I am excited to bring my 30 years in the education field combined with my decade as a member of Gh2 to the community to help clients reach their fitness goals. But more importantly, foster the spirit of friendly competition, teamwork, and community. 

Kelly Trefry

Bio coming soon.

Jamie Henderson 

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer

Jamie grew up in Worcester and was a competitive gymnast from age 5-18. She graduated high school as a two time level 10 JO National Qualifying gymnast and went on to compete for the University of Rhode Island’s Division 1 gymnastics program where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree. Post college/graduation, she coached competitive gymnastics full-time for 12 years, serving as Head Coach and Team Director. Jamie has coached athletes from beginner level to nationally ranked competitors. She has run clinics and classes for athletes of various sports, helping to develop their strength, agility, flexibility and body awareness/physical literacy in a way that is fun, motivating and rewarding. 

Movement and Fitness have always been a part of Jamie’s life. She has a passion for coaching people of all different ages and abilities and finding ways to customize their workouts to fit their interests and personal goals. Jamie loves the welcoming and motivating environment that GH2 provides and is driven in making fitness both enjoyable and attainable for all. She believes that the greatest measure of personal success is an individual’s confidence. She loves that she is able to work with people on reaching personal health goals in a way that is beneficial to their lives physically, mentally and emotionally.

Jamie lives in Holden with her husband and two sons and enjoys watching them explore their own passions in athletics.