Management Team

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Mike Alpert

Mike Alpert has been the President/CEO of The Claremont Club since 1997.

Located in Claremont, California, The Claremont Club is a multi-use athletic, aquatic, tennis & social facility encompassing 19 acres, with a staff of 271 and servicing over 10,400 members and working on an $13,000,000 operating budget.   During his time in Claremont he has created a dedicated team with a sense of ownership and accountability; developed a club culture of a passionate and value-based entity and created a focus on making a difference in people’s lives.

Mike has served on the Northwest Athletic Club Association Board of Directors and is a Past President & Board Member of California Clubs of Distinction.  He is also an Advisory Board Member of the Medical Wellness Association.  Mike is a recipient of the Richard S. Kirkendall Award: one of only two non-educators to receive this award from the Claremont Unified School District, The REX Ben Franklin Award and The Medical Wellness Association Distinguished Community Service Award.

Because his passion is for the chronically injured and the chronically ill, Mike has been presenting “Exercise is Medicine” to universities and organizations internationally including Israel, Italy, Madrid and Ireland. He believes that now, more than ever, the health care industry and the fitness industry must join efforts in combating and preventing the progression of disease and the effects of injury. 


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Hal Hargrave

“The Perfect Step is one that is taken by the individual who is suffering. It is deemed the perfect step because it is one that is taken in the right direction down a path that might seem long and grueling, but the only thing that matters is that, that individual is moving forward and not stopping.”

Hal Hargrave is the owner and founder of The Perfect Step and presently serves a role as the Facilities Manager as well as the Educational and Marketing Director. Hal became a part of the team back in 2007, shortly after he sustained a spinal cord injury in an auto accident. Hal was approached by Mike Alpert and the Claremont Club, in an effort to try and provide treatment to Hal and be a part of his ongoing therapy regiment and recovery.

What started in a small converted racquetball court for paralysis recovery, has now transpired into something far greater than what both Hal and Mike probably ever anticipated. With now a 7000 square-foot facility, which treats many different neurological ailments and illnesses, The Perfect Step, the Claremont community, The Claremont Club, the Hargrave family and Mike Alpert are making a tremendous impact in the lives of many. Hal is excited for what the future may hold with the incredible tripod partnership between The Be Perfect Foundation, the Claremont Club, and now The Perfect Step.

Hal hopes that with his collaboration with The Claremont Club and Mike Alpert, that they will able to take The Perfect Step nationwide and provide services of paralysis recovery to every major region of the United States. What started as a tragic accident has turned into one of the greatest blessings of all. It’s The Perfect Step in the right direction.


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Denise Johnson

“My goal is to get anyone desirous of exercising moving more and utilizing all the services accessible to them at the club and in the community.”

Denise Johnson has been a part of the Claremont Club family for more than 20 years. She has an education that is backed in a Masters of Exercise Science with certifications pertaining to the fitness field in: ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor, NSCA-CPT, TRX Certified, Power Plate Certified, Kettlebell Trained, Bulgarian Bag Trained, Heart Rate Zone Certified, AFAA-CPT, Rope Trained, Queenax Trained, CPR/AED Certified. Denise has been in the fitness/wellness industry over 30 years and has worked as a Corporate Fitness Director, College Professor and currently in Commercial Fitness. Denise wants to provide the TPS clientele with the most knowledgeable Specialists and be on the cutting edge of research and fitness. No matter the goal, Denise wants everyone to dream big and she wants to deliver. Denise aspires to, “Make ALL clubs accessible to the disabled,” and to help clubs in the industry provide services that benefit paralysis and special populations. While Denise is very passionate about what she does, she also has other passions outside the building as well; her husband, her two children, her two Basset Hound dogs, working out and hiking.


Specialist

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Tanya Slusser

“Paralysis is an undeserved population that most people are naïve to. I would love to see more individuals educated in the field and becoming advocates in order to change the typical approach toward paralysis recovery.”

Tanya joined the paralysis recovery team at the Claremont Club, prior to TPS even being in existence, in 2012. Tanya was drawn towards the exercise-based therapy approach towards paralysis recovery because of her previous knowledge, expertise, and education in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Clinical Exercise Science that she obtained from Cal State Fullerton. As a level III TPS Certified Paralysis Recovery Specialist and Educator, Tanya is in a position at TPS to train and educate new specialist on a variety of different topics. She has other certifications in both Total Body Board and Interactive Metronome.

With more than 7,000 hours of hands-on experience in the field, she would tell you that she has come from humble beginnings as she initially broke into the fitness field as a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness, only then to become a recipient of the “2015 World Trainer of the Year” award by IHRSA. With much credibility now to her name, she has developed a very unique philosophy towards training where she believes, "Individuals are more than a body, and it is as equally important to train their minds and nurse their spirit on their journey of recovery as well."

Tanya intends to be a mainstay at TPS, as she would love to continue to educate new specialists in paralysis recovery throughout the world. There is no doubt that her pursuit to make The Perfect Step’s theories and methodologies an industry standard for paralysis recovery, are within her grasp.

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“The greatest thing we can do in the world is to help others, because all we have is each other!”

Skye joined the TPS team in 2013 after he completed his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis on Exercise Science from St. Mary’s University in Texas. Skye maintains an important position within the TPS facility as a Level III TPS Certified Specialist as well as an Educator to future Paralysis Recovery Specialist. As one who educates, Skye understands it’s important to continue his own education within the field, as he has additional certifications in Interactive Metronome for pediatrics and adults, as well as a certification in Total Body Board.

With now more than five years of experience in the field, Skye’s knowledge, skill set, and ongoing education continues to expand before his eyes. Skye has taken his educational background as well as his athletic mentality post college baseball and put it into a well-rounded philosophy towards training. He believes the human body is meant to be in motion and that exercise is the best form of medicine. He tries to live his life as a living testament that individuals can use exercise as medicine as a way to improve physical, mental, and emotional health. Skye’s style and approach is well rooted in his belief in TPS’ methodologies and his personal program design for his clients. Skye hopes that someday insurance companies will start to see eye to eye with what TPS is doing to serve the paralysis population and he intends to make tremendous strides in the field to bring light to this pivotal talking point.

Beyond being involved with TPS, Skye wants to continue to make a difference within the field by continuing his education in the field of paralysis, by continuing his education in the latest and greatest studies and technologies that are being introduced to the field and then passing this information on to his successors. If you do not find Skye giving top quality treatment to his clients inside TPS, then you might find him golfing, hiking, exercising, or spending time with his dog and his friends.

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Ashton Wray

“I want to show as many individuals with paralysis that they still have a purpose, they still have something to strive for, and they can do more than they believe.”

Ashton became a member of the TPS team in 2014, soon after obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. As a Level III TPS Certified Paralysis Recovery Specialist and Educator, Ashton is one of the leaders of the TPS staff at many different levels. Now qualified educate, she is taking her outside the box approach and style to the drawing board where she can now educate others who are up-and-coming in the field. Her knowledge and skill set is not only rooted in her education, but also in her ongoing certifications that she has received in CPR, Total Body Board, and Interactive Metronome. She was committed to the field of paralysis recovery long before her tenure at TPS, as her father is a recovering C-5 quadriplegic who has overcome his injury and 30 years later is walking and living a near able-bodied life.

Ashton will tell you that her exposure to the paralysis recovery field since starting at TPS, has really opened her eyes to her dad’s recovery. Through this exposure, she has developed a unique identity and style that pertains towards pushing her clients to their fullest potential. Her style is very serious, yet very fun, but her workouts are challenging, but manageable. She takes deep pride in learning from her peers, because it not just helps them, it helps to continue testing her knowledge.

Ashton’s aspirations within the field reside in wanting to implement different TPS facilities throughout the country, giving her the opportunity to spread TPS’s methodologies to other specialists wanting to learn about the paralysis recovery field. If she’s not already an advocate for the facility, then the fact that she is on her pursuit to show insurance companies that what TPS is doing is worth them jumping on board to pay for therapy, should give you a clear indication of where her heart is at. Ashton is always one to practice what she preaches, so you might find her lifting weights, cheering for her beloved Colorado Buffaloes, Broncos, or Angels teams. She does this while spending time with family and staying strong in her Jewish faith.

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Shawn Gutierrez

“You have to put in the effort, but ultimately you will get more out than what you put in.”

Shawn joined the paralysis recovery team at the Claremont Club, prior to TPS even being in existence, in 2012. Shawn became fond of the approach towards recovery for those living with paralysis upon becoming a personal trainer at the club many years ago. Shawn’s approach towards training and recovery is rooted in the idea that an individual’s results are a direct reflection of one’s drive, focus, and action pushing to fitness aspirations. This approach is back in the knowledge and skill set he obtained from Cal Poly Pomona and Western University. He received a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with an emphasis on Human Performance, as well as a Masters of Science in Health Sciences with an emphasis in Health Professions Education. As a Level II Certified TPS Recovery Specialist, Shawn has an extensive background in the fitness world with other certifications in NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, Functional Movement Screening Certified, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach, CPR-First, Total Body Board, and Interactive Metronome.

Shawn has much job experience within the field as he has trained clients ranging in ages from 9 to 71; from athletes, to individuals with paralysis. Shawn is a true believer in the fact that “Exercise is Medicine” and he believes that the biggest difference that he can make in the fitness world is through providing education to others. He intends to do this by pursuing his aspirations in undergraduate teaching, in an attempt to try and create positive changes in people’s health and longevity through his teaching.

When Shawn is not at the TPS facility you can most likely find him at home playing with his daughter, watching Netflix, playing video games, and of course reading to further educate himself.

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“My greatest passion is helping people, and as long as I can do that here or in any other career, I will be happy.”

Kristen Lockett has been a part of the TPS team since 2013, after she graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a concentration in Lifetime Fitness. Kristen is presently a Level II TPS Specialist and has other certifications in Long Term Care Nursing Assistant and Acute Care Nursing Assistant, American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers, American Red Cross Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR/AED, Total Body Board, and Interactive Metronome. Kristen has worked in the paralysis recovery field for over four years and has worked her way up in the ranks at TPS, as she previously started as a Recovery Aide and eight months later was promoted to a Recovery Specialist. Kristen’s goal for her clients is to make them feel better physically and mentally than when they first came in.  She likes to help her clients reach and maintain their goals inside and outside the facility.

Aside from wanting to work as a Paralysis Recovery Specialist as long as physically possible, Kristen wants to help her clients physically, emotionally, and mentally achieve their goals. Aside from her passions for TPS, Kristen loves to spend time with her husband and her 8-year-old stepson, who are her two best friends.

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Nicole Pires

“I love my job and the people I work with and I hope that shines through every time I step into the building.”

Nicole became a member of the TPS team in 2016 shortly after getting her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Cal State Monterey Bay. Nicole is presently a Level II Certified Paralysis Recovery Specialist for TPS and has other certifications in ACSM CPT, SCI, Total Body Board, and Interactive Metronome. With now over 2 years of experience of working with those with paralysis, she has gained exposure to clients who suffer from SCI, MS, Cerebral Palsy, TBI, Stroke, and Parkinson’s. Nicole’s approach towards her training is that she believes a sense of positivity and a hard-working attitude is key in recovery.

Positivity not only inspires but motivates individuals to push themselves to a whole new level. Nicole also believes that having a supportive community is pivotal in both a physical and emotional recovery. With an open mind and a student of the game mentality, Nicole aspires to gain as much knowledge as possible within the field, as she believes knowledge is power. She intends to continue to work hard to set an example to all people living with paralysis, so that they can do more than they ever imagined.

She feels that the best way that she can do this is by providing a place and platform where her clients can come and feel accomplished by chasing their dreams and attaining their short and long-term goals. Aside from her commitment to TPS, Nicole loves going to the river, bowling, going to concerts, watching sports, and playing softball.

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“I want to bring more support services to the paralysis recovery field in the form of mental health therapy.”

Jenna Hardy has been a member of the TPS team since 2013. She has an education backed in a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Physiology and is currently working on finishing her Masters in Clinical Psychology; Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. As a level I TPS Specialist with five years of experience in the paralysis recovery field, Jenna’s well-rounded nature is also rooted in certifications in Certified Yoga Instructor and CPR/AED. Jenna’s work in the fitness field started long before her tenure at TPS. She started working with the paralysis community during college where she volunteered for an exercise therapy program, which helped disabled people in the community get free exercise therapy while gaining experience towards her bachelor’s degree. Her philosophy towards training is rooted in how todays society wants fast results in everything that they do.

She believes a strong foundation is key to a long-lasting success. She wants to work alongside her clients, brick by brick, to build a stronger foundation, and a better version of themselves. Jenna’s aspirations lead well beyond what happens within a physical work out, she intends to affect the paralysis community by providing psychotherapy practices and mental health treatments to her clients that are in need.

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Steven Frazer

“Get ready to work your tail off and have fun while doing it!”

Steven has been a part of the TPS staff since 2015,  after he received his Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Fitness Specialist from San Diego State University. He is a level I TPS Certified Recovery Specialist with additional certifications in CPR/AED, Total Body Board and Interactive Metronome. Steven has worked his way up the ranks within TPS, as he began as a Recovery Aide, and eventually transitioned to a Recovery Specialist after a year of working at the facility. Steven also had experience within the field prior to being on the TPS staff, as he worked at San Diego State’s Paralysis Fitness Clinic working with people with spinal cord injuries and other forms of paralysis. Steven believes it’s important to listen to his clients goals and do the best to help accommodate for reaching them. He takes a unique approach towards recovery by creating custom exercise prescriptions for his clients in order to take them to heights they never thought they would reach.

He believes that he will continue to be a student of fitness for life, as research and learning never stops. His aspirations within the field reside in the fact that he wants to continue to grow as a trainer and continue to work hard and dedicate his life to this field, so he can help his clients and himself achieve their milestones.

Steven believes that nobody should let what they cannot do interfere with what they can do, and he takes this approach to life outside the building as well. He is a huge San Diego State Aztec fan, in addition to loving traveling, wine tasting, and playing/watching sports.

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Joshua Herrara

“I want to be apart of providing more evidence backing the importance of exercise in all populations and the positive benefits it has.”

Joshua Herrera started treating clients at TPS as a Paralysis Recovery Specialist in January 2018. Josh graduated from California State University San Bernardino with a Bachelors of Science in the field of Kinesiology. As a Level I Paralysis Recovery Specialist, Josh has a unique educational background that is also backed with education in CPR, AED, Total Body Board and Interactive Metronome. Josh’s mentality and philosophy towards training has evolved over his time of working in the field and he has a strong belief in The Perfect Step program. He believes that a consistent workout regiment accompanied with TPS’s methodology can have positive effects on the client. By keeping clients active he believes that clients will increase daily living activities and reduce secondary complications.

Josh aspires to help his clients reach their short and long-term goals and would like to pioneer different studies and provide more evidence to the benefits of exercise for all types of populations. Josh is helping the TPS facility make a big splash now and well into the future.

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Nathan Lozano

“I want to help others succeed by meeting their short and long-term goals. Along with their goals, I want to lead clients to a healthy lifestyle throughout their recovery.”

Nathan Lozano became a part of the TPS team in 2017 as a Paralysis Recovery Assistant. As of June 2018, Nathan became The Perfect Step's most recent Certified Paralysis Recovery Specialist after he passed his Level I exam. Nathan graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science in applied exercise and is currently fulfilling his Masters of Science in Kinesiology at A.T. Still University. With over a year of experience in the field of paralysis recovery, Nathan is also certified in Interactive Metronome and NASM Corrective Exercise.

Prior to working at The Perfect Step, Nathan worked as a physical therapy aide at several rehabilitation clinics and has developed expertise in designing rehabilitation programs for patients. As an up-and-coming specialist inside the facility, Nathan aspires to gain as much knowledge as he can in the field of paralysis recovery, so he can help others succeed. Nathan truly is a student of the game and has humble beginnings and foundations to fall back upon within the TPS.

If you were to find Nathan outside the facility odds are he would be traveling, hiking, reading, spending time with friends and family, or watching romantic comedies.

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Assistants


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Ben Arrue

“Improving people’s quality of life and making a positive impact is important to me. I am very thankful for having a fulfilling work environment like The Perfect Step with amazing clients and coworkers.”

Ben became a part of the TPS team in 2017 after completing his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Minor in Physiology from Cal Poly Pomona. Ben has received other expertise and certifications outside of his education and involvement with TPS, as he is National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certified, as well as AED/CPR certified. Ben has worked outside the facility as a nurse assistant, an adapted physical education assistant, as well as a trainer at a functional sports performance and training center.

He aspires to move up the ladder inside the TPS facility and work his way up to being a Recovery Specialist. Ben believes that the most important thing to do when training is to never limit yourself and always to try to fill your potential.

Ben aspires to continue helping people throughout the course of his everyday life and he wants to continue to gain experience and knowledge in the field of paralysis in order to help improve himself as well as others. If you were to find that an outside the facility, odds are he would be on a baseball field, on the rugby field, in the gym, at the beach, or at a music festival letting the music captivate his soul.

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Alysia Trejo Paralysis Recovery Assistant Since 2018

“Trust the process, and believe in yourself!”

Alysia became a part of the TPS team in June 2018 as a Paralysis Recovery Assistant. She joined the team shortly after she received her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology at the University of La Verne in January of 2016, and currently is pursuing receiving her teaching credential in Physical Education from Brandman University. Alysia has previous experience in the field of rehabilitation and recovery for a variety of neurological ailments because of her two years of volunteer service at local rehabilitation hospital, Casa Colina. With more than 100 hours of prior observation and experience, she is ready to tackle and take on the field of paralysis recovery. Alysia already has her own style and approach towards training, which is rooted in her previous job experience of working as a trainer at LA fitness. She believes that a positive outlook and remembering why one is working out to rehabilitate themselves, will provide positive benefits and will change their long-term outlook on life for the better. While Alysia hopes to motivate every client that sets foot through the TPS door, she also would like to grow to be the best that she can at her position and would love some-day to move on to a Recovery Specialist and on up to an Educator because of her passion for teaching. Alysia hopes to continue to spread knowledge and awareness about the field of paralysis recovery with every bit of what she learns. If you are not to find her within the TPS walls, odds are she would be spending time with friends and family, Olympic lifting, playing and watching sports, and trying out new restaurants.

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Daniel Rampen

Certified Paralysis Recovery Assistant Since 2018

“I would like to help clients in paralysis recovery become more independent to help improve their quality of life.”

Daniel Rampen joined the TPS team in 2018 after he graduated from Cal State University Fullerton with his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Daniel has a background in the field of Kinesiology as he is a NESTA Certified Personal Trainer and has five years of personal training experience, a year of being a boot camp instructor, and additional experience with training at private gyms in both Chino Hills and Anaheim Hills. Daniel’s philosophy towards training is a slow and steady approach. He believes in taking the time to teach his clients proper form and technique before they can lift heavier weights or participate in more intense progressions. This sets up his clients for long term success and lowers their chance of injury.  This hard-nosed approach towards training and recovery is rooted in his mentality that was instilled in him at the age of 14 when he earned his 2nd° black belt in Kenpo Karate. With this type of discipline, it should not surprise you that a couple of Daniel’s hobbies are both powerlifting and weightlifting. His aspirations within the field of paralysis recovery are to learn the exercises and techniques that are beneficial to all people and incorporate those exercises into his own training regiment and his own training style on others. Daniel strives to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from paralysis by helping them improve their quality of life, so they are able to become stronger and do things that they never thought they could before. If you were to find Daniel outside the TPS building, odds are you would find him playing guitar or the bass guitar, going to metal concerts, and hiking. TPS is excited for Daniel’s future as a member of our family.

 

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Administrative Staff

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Juana Rodriguez

Juana has been part of The Claremont Club family since 2003. She started working as a Receptionist in the Ambiance Day Spa and Salon. Her passion for customer service and hard work gave her the opportunity to take a leadership role and work in different departments around the club. Juana has been recognized for her communication skills and having many responsibilities. Although she was happy with her former line of work, her true calling came when she was given the opportunity to be part of The Perfect Step team. Juana has had many personal situations that had help her understand how important it is to treat everyone with respect and kindness.


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Brandon Rayburn

“I want to help be a part of center that provides a positive mindset for every client that sets foot in our facility, through my uplifting interactions and influential guidance towards them.”

Brandon Rayburn has been a part of the TPS team since 2013. As a graduate from Mount San Antonio College with a degree in Fire Science, Brandon has been a lifelong learner of the paralysis field, as every day he battles his own challenges of living with a spinal cord injury. Brandon is a true testament of what it means to overcome an injury, not just because he has the ability to stand up and walk. His hard work and incredible recovery is a testament to his positive attitude. Having lived with a spinal cord injury for the past 17 years of his life, he has become an ambassador for the spinal cord injury community as he travels around to speak and provide education to any listening ear in his grasp.

Brandon’s approach towards his own recovery is “A man never fails unless he fails to get up.” His hard-working and selfless mentality has not only got him to where he is in his recovery, it is now affecting others recovery as well. Brandon is also an advocate in the non-profit sector as he continues to raise awareness in the paralysis field. Brando aspires to raise more money for people who cannot afford therapies like TPS or even the basic necessities of living with paralysis.

While Brandon is well committed to the TPS facility, you may also find him spending time with friends and family, watching sporting events, and spending time with his girlfriend, while trying to be a positive influence on their kids together.