Celebrating canfitpro’s 2021 Award Recipients! 

Every year I am always MO’tivated and inspired by the incredible stories and achievements of our canfitpro Award Winners. It is encouraging to see so many fitness professionals stepping up and choosing to pour themselves into their careers and re-invent, re-imagine, and re-define themselves. Every single one of these influential fitness professionals has a unique story to share and they inspire us as well as remind us that you need to put in the work and time and, pour your passion (love) into the purpose behind the work itself—this is what I mean by ‘labour of love’.   

We need to not only witness others succeeding but also recognize their efforts and hard work, whether we know them personally or not.  Doing so elevates us all and MO’ves us to dream bigger, reach higher and have the courage to go after the goals that are most important to us.  Their success reaffirms that – if they can reach their goals and make their dreams happen – we can too!   

Here is our opportunity to recognize the achievements of our outstanding 2021 canfitpro Award recipients and congratulate them on their commitment and contribution. 

The Delegates Choice Presenter of the Year Awards is chosen by canfitpro based on the feedback from our delegates from the previous year. There are four award categories: New Presenter, Canadian Presenter, Speciality Presenter, and International Presenter.   Here are the 2021 canfitpro Delegates Choice Presenter of the Year Awards: 

  • Kim Basler – New Presenter
  • Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas – Canadian Presenter
  • Samantha Montpetit-Huynh – Specialty Presenter
  • Dr. Len Kravitz – International Presenter 

Photo credit: Dawn Bowman 


The Fitness Professional of the Year Award is the industry’s highest award given to a Fitness Professional who works activity in the industry as a certified Fitness Instructor Specialist (FIS) and Personal Training Specialist (PTS) and, one who holds an active certification and membership with canfitpro.  This award recognizes a FIS and PTS who has succeeded in creating their brand, building a network and or a business and helped to shape the industry through their influence and impact, online, in-person or both, a person who is a leader or mentor for others and is dedicated to professional development and community involvement.  All nominees are required to go through a detailed application process and are judged by a diverse group of leaders from within the fitness industry and canfitpro. This year canfitpro received a record number of applications for Fitness Professional of the Year (85) and the competition has never been closer. Congratulations to our Finalists:  Kathryn McKenzie (PTS), Trevor Pickett (PTS), Vyshnavi Sivakumaran (PTS), Jessica Takimoto (FIS), Sue Staresinic (FIS) and Suaad Ghadban (FIS).    


CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2021 Fitness Professional of the Year

  • Vyshnavi Sivakumaran – canfitpro Fitness Professional of the Year (PTS)  
  • Suaad Ghadban – canfitpro Fitness Professional of the Year (FIS)

Photo credit: Dawn Bowman


The Canadian Fitness Industry Leadership Award is an award presented by the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) and for the first time, it was presented right here in Canada at canfitpro. This year’s recipient of the Canadian Fitness Industry Leadership Award is David Hardy


At canfitpro we are very proud of our PRO TRAINERS who work at the front lines of the fitness industry They are the face of canfitpro around the country and the first point of contact for many of our members. We have some incredible and outstanding individuals on our team recognized this year for their outstanding performance in various areas of business delivery and development:  

  • Sue Staresinic – Social Media Superhero 
  • Simon Liang – Astonishing Associate 
  • Ron McPhee – Engaged and Energized
  • Trevor Pickett – Best in Business
  • Fyonna Vanderwerf – Jedi Master
  • Louise Vigneault – Participants Choice Award

Goal Setting Advice from Award Winners 

September is a great time of year for goal setting and revisiting your goals for 2021. It’s a new season and a fresh start so I encourage you to pause and take time this holiday Labour Day and days/weeks following, to reimagine work and redefine commitment. Here is what some of this year’s award winners had to share about how they view working hard and how passion and commitment to their goals and professional development have served them in levelling up their careers:

Investing in myself and my business is non-negotiable. Surround yourself with people who are real and willing to share what they have gone through and grown through to be where they are today!“
Kim Basler, New Presenter of the Year
IG: @kimbasler_foodfreedom
FB: https://www.facebook.com/kimbaslerfoodfreedommindstgoach


Once I get “there…….” - There is no “there”.  We don’t take courses and up-level our skills to get “there”. We do it because it is our passion and part of who we are. “
~Nathalie Plamondon-ThomasCanadian Presenter of the Year
IG: @nathaliepthinkyourself
FB: https://www.facebook.com/nathalie.plamondonthomas


“Levelling up is facing my fears because when I go for what scares me, growth is (always) on the other side of my comfort zone.”
~ Samantha Montpetit-Huynh – Specialty Presenter of the Year
Twitter : @SamCoreTrainer
FB: https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaMontpetitHuynh


I try to follow some powerful foundational concepts with my goals and life. To start, I always feed my mind with positive information, fabulous education, and cutting-edge science. When dealing with student issues, I always strive for the outcome to be a WIN WIN. As a coach for many years, I realized that a major aspect of success is the willingness to prepare for it, on a daily basis, as best you can. And lastly, it is important to realize you are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
~Dr. Len Kraviz, International Presenter of the Year


“To me, labour of love means to be agile and adaptable, you also need to learn, do, be passionate, be curious and be committed to your career.  When you become a lifelong career learner and focus on continual levelling up of new, in-demand skills, you claim the power to face the future of your work industry. I always found it very useful and  important to always show employers that you are coachable and willing to learn new skills as part of meeting the job requirements, That’s how you succeed personally and professionally.”
~Suaad Ghadban – canfitpro Fitness Professional of the Year (FIS)
FB: https://www.facebook.com/suaad.ghadban


The career path I chose isn’t just for me, it’s for others — I seek to serve the health and wellness of others. Hard work works hard for others. I build myself up to build up others.”
~Vyshnavi Sivakumaran – canfitpro Fitness Professional of the Year (PTS)
FB: https://www.facebook.com/vyshnavi.sivakumaran


Kathryn McKenzie (PTS)
IG: @surefirefitness
FB: https://www.facebook.com/kathryn.mckenzie.7
LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/kathryn-mckenzie-aa50381a


Trevor Pickett (PTS)
IG: @offbeattrainer


Jessica Takimoto (FIS)
IG: @shinewithjesstakimoto
FB: https://www.facebook.com/jessica.takimoto


Sue Staresinic (FIS)
Fb:  https://www.facebook.com/sue.gibbens.1


David Hardy
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-hardy-4ba0826


Simon Liang – Astonishing Associate
IG: @simonprotrainer


Ron McPhee – Engaged and Energized
IG: @ronmcphee


Fyonna Vanderwerf – Jedi Master
IG: @fyonna_vanderwerf1
FB: https://www.facebook.com/fyonnavanderwerf1


Louise Vigneault – Participants Choice Award
IG:  @louysevigno
FB: https://www.facebook.com/louise.e.vigneault


Work and Love

Sigmund Freud said, “Love and work are the cornerstone of our humanness”. This is an appropriate reminder for all of us in the work we do. How many times have you heard it said that working as a fitness professional is more than a job? Work is personal and we are all on individual journeys, but your work also affects other people. Give the best that you can in service to others. Contribution to community comes back to benefit you. You not only benefit yourself but also make the community a better place to live in. All these award winners show that the award they received was secondary. Our work is more than just to put food on the table or see a hefty number in our bank accounts. The reward goes far beyond the award in someone’s hand. What are the little things you do every day to build a better world for yourself and others? You are part of a bigger picture and can create a cycle of endless empowerment and continuous MO’mentum.

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