West Cook YMCA




Frank Russo
Fitness Programming and Services Manager

Growing up as an athlete, I found my passion intersecting within the sports and wellness fields. This led me to pursue my BA in Sport & Wellness Management. Upon graduation, I grew my passion by becoming a certified ACE Personal Trainer. I was fortunate to grow as a professional working in the North Shore, training high performance tennis athletes from junior high to the collegiate level. Additionally, I had the opportunity to work with the YMCA in Mount Prospect as a Trainer and Fitness Director, which allowed me to train a diverse demographic. I've learned along the way that everyone has a different purpose for improving their health and wellness, my goal is to make a positive impact throughout their journey. The Y has made a positive impact on my personal life and I'm excited for the opportunity to give back.

Certifications: ACE CPT- certified personal trainer, FMS1- Functional Movement Screen Level 1, PN1- Precision Nutrition Level 1


anu kantora

Anu is a Yoga teacher who was born and raised in India. He started practicing yoga in 2014 and fell in love with how good it made him feel. Before yoga, he was stuck in the prison of his own mind, always living someone else's life and never being his authentic self. A consistent practice helped set him free from the prison of his own mind. He truly believes in the quote, "Stretch your body, the mind will follow."

In 2017, he followed his heart and left his Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering to share his love for yoga with the world. He travelled from Canada to India to get his Yoga teacher training from Rishikesh (Yoga Capital) and then moved to the US. In 2021, Anu started his company, America Needs Yoga. He helps his clients develop a consistent yoga practice to help them transform and free themselves from their limiting thoughts.

He believes in the YMCA's dedication to developing the spirit, mind and body of all persons, and joined the YMCA family to bring yoga to its members. It is Anu's goal at West Cook YMCA to serve a community where every individual feels included and nurtured through yoga.

Certifications: RYT-200, Corrective Exercise Specialist


Kaitlyn Kooyers

I started my fitness journey as a dancer, but became a certified Spinning® instructor in 2009 and started teaching at local gyms after I moved on from my dancing career.  In 2011 I trained for my first ever road race and got bit by the running bug.  In 2015 I became a certified running coach and have helped folks conquer everything from their first 5K to their first 50K, myself included!  Most recently I was a co-leader for November Project Chicago, a global grassroots free fitness community that aspires to human development and community building through empowering group workouts of body weight exercises mixed with cardio.  My cycling classes will combine all of the lessons I’ve learned over the years into a fun and challenging ride.  My fiancé and I are new homeowners in Oak Park, and we’re excited to connect with our new city.  Joining the YMCA was the first step, and now my goal is to inspire and assist our new neighbors in achieving their fitness goals.

Certifications: Mad Dogg Athletics STAR Level 3 Spinning Instructor, Road Runners Club of America Certified Running Coach, CPR/AED Certification


Nicki Pieart

I have been a certified athletic trainer for 11 years and teaching classes at the YMCA for 1.5 years. I moved to the area 9 years ago. I was looking for a gym where the focus was on community. The Y fit the bill perfectly. I enjoy all of the people at the Y, from the front desk staff to the class members to the residents. I have enjoyed having the Y as a part of my daily routine. I started at the Y as a member and quickly felt at home. I was challenged by the classes and made many fitness friends who were pushing me to reach new fitness goals. As I got more ingrained in the WCY, I decided I wanted to contribute to others success! So I started teaching group ex classes and have loved taking my class participants on their fitness journeys.

Certifications: MSEd--Exercise Physiology, Certified and Licensed Athletic Trainer   


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