Our Coaches & Staff

Photo Credit: DBThump.com

Paris Vannata – Co-Owner & General Manager

Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer,  CrossFit Movement and Mobility Trainer, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sport Performance Coach

Olympic Lifting Seminar – Led by 2-time Olympian and 9-time National Champion, Chad Vaughn.

Paris participated in a variety of sports throughout his life including, Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, Beach Volleyball and Mountain Biking to name a few.  He started weightlifting around the age of 15 and by the age of 20 he developed an increasing interest in Bodybuilding.  Throughout this time, he immersed himself in the gym and read all he could about Bodybuilding and Powerlifting techniques.  As time went on and as he started his career and family, workouts became few and far between.  After so many years of doing the same thing over and over, he just got bored with “going to the gym”.  That is, until he discovered CrossFit.  He was hooked from day one and never looked back.  The challenge and variety of the WoDs means it’s never boring and that’s what kept him coming back.

Paris genuinely enjoys helping others to accomplish “firsts”, push through barriers, perfect their form and to ultimately become better athletes.

Favorite WoD: “Isabel” – Snatch 135 lbs, 30 reps for time

Why? It has a barbell in it.  It’s a benchmark.  It’s short, but brutal and I love to snatch.

Least Favorite WoD: “The Seven” – Seven rounds of: 7 Handstand push-ups, 135 pound Thruster – 7 reps, 7 Knees to elbows, 245 pound Deadlift – 7 reps, 7 Burpees, 7 Kettlebell swings @ 2 pood, 7 Pull-ups.

Why? It seems like a good idea on paper until you get to about round 3 or so.  It’s also a very heavy and very long WoD. 

Photo Credit: DBThump.com

Beth Vannata – Co-Owner & Head Coach

Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Olympic Lifting Trainer, CrossFit Kids Trainer

All her life, Beth struggled with her weight and did not have an athletic bone in her body. At 15, she ballooned to a whopping 225 pounds. After years of living a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle, Beth decided it was time to make a change…for good. She traded fast food and soda for vegetables and lean protein and slowly incorporated exercise into her daily routine. Within a year and a half, she lost over 100 pounds, and continues to work every day at keeping it off.

On June 18, 2012, Beth walked into a CrossFit box for the first time. This was definitely the toughest workout of her life, but she has been addicted since. Gone are the days of Spin and Body Pump classes. Beth thrives on the challenges that each WoD brings and the feeling of accomplishment upon completing them. CrossFit has allowed Beth to do far more than she ever thought possible, and she looks forward to helping others bring out the very best in themselves.

As a survivor of the 9/11 attacks on New York City, Beth truly understands how short life is and does not take one moment for granted. CrossFit is a daily reminder that she is capable of anything she sets her mind too and that no matter what life throws your way, you can get through it.

Favorite WoD: “Eva” (5 Rounds for Time: 800 meter run, 30 kettlebell swings @ 2 pood, 30 pull ups).

Why? Eva is long and painful. I have to go to my happy place to finish her, and I like being in my happy place…not to mention the running.

Least Favorite WoD: “Griff” (For time: 800 meter run, backward 400 meter run, 800 meter run, backward 400 meter run).

Why? As a lot of Hero WoDs are, it doesn’t look horrible on paper, but running backwards is no joke. My quads hurt for days after.

John Lay– Coach

Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sport Performance Coach, CBT, CABI

John is an avid CrossFitter and has been coaching CrossFit and Bootcamp classes for several years.  His experience as a boxer and as an avid runner also contributes to his expertise.  John is also a Certified Boxing trainer and has been active in boxing from the early age of 8.  He has raced in 2 full marathons, multiple half marathons, a variety of road races, numerous 5 and 10k runs and sprint triathlons.

John is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps where he not only served his country but also set a record for the fastest obstacle course run in 1994.   He also earned the boxing championship title in the Marine Corps boot camp in 1993.  Continuing his martial arts education, John has earned his Brown Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate. John continues to take on new challenges outside of the gym and finished in the top 5% at the Tampa Bay Tough Mudder in 2012.  He also qualified to compete in the Worlds Toughest Mudder competition scheduled in 2013.

John has been married for 15 years to his lovely wife, Jennifer and is the proud father of two children.

Favorite WoD: “Elizabeth” or anything with running

Least Favorite WoD: Anything with Burpees or rowing.

Jason Cross – Coach

Certifications: CrosFit Level 1 Trainer, Dr. of Chiropractic, CCSC, Certified Zone Diet instructor

Jason was not always the athlete that he is today.  He had to work hard to get where he is, but throughout his childhood and teen years Jason worked his way up to becoming the MVP and Captain of the varsity swim and volleyball teams as well as competing in triathlons.  He was also a Division I NCAA swimmer for Colgate University.

Jason was also a practicing Doctor of Chiropractic in Sarasota for 11 years before selling his practice to further the growth of his natural health publication Natural Awakenings magazine which he has since sold to start Fit941 Magazine. A Fitness and Weight Loss magazine serving Sarasota and Manatee Counties. He managed to maintain a decent level of fitness until a knee dislocation put a halt to exercise for 3 years. Thirty five pounds heavier and two surgeries later, Jason was ready for a change.

In February of 2013 life changed dramatically when an article on CrossFit was published in Natural Awakenings.  After reading the article in proofing, Jason was impressed by the constantly varied functional movements. It not only made sense, but fit the recommendations for fitness he would give to patients. It just took that first trial workout and Jason was hooked.

After a year of CrossFit at 3-5 times per week and amazing progress despite his leg disability, Jason decided to further his education of CrossFit by receiving his CF-L1 certification. He continues to constantly grow by taking additional seminars and trainings. He recently attended the first Power Monkey Fitness Camp taught by world class gymnasts like David Durante and Olympic lifting champion Chad Vaughn. Jason has a passion for working with beginner CrossFitters and non-athletic people who are ready to unleash the warrior within.

Favorite WoD: Anything with EMOMs.

Least Favorite WoD: Fran or anything with Thrusters.

Photo Credit: DBThump.com

Mike Mallette – Coach

Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Mike grew up in Smithfield, Rhode Island playing a variety of sports including Baseball, Soccer and Hockey; which was his favorite sport where he played Left Wing.  He helped his team to win 4 consecutive State High School Hockey Championships while there.  Mike continued to play Hockey in college while attending Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.

His passion for fitness started after the realization that he was gaining a lot of weight after college and was a natural at CrossFit from early on.  He loves to compete and push his limits. Mike wanted to become a coach because it meant that could spend more time at the gym, helping people, instructing them on proper tecnique and continuing his own education.

Favorite WoD: Fran & anything with Burpees

Jamie Gregorich

Photo Credit: DBThump.com

Jamie Gregorich – Coach

Least Favorite WoD: Anything with Running

Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Gymnastics Trainer, CrossFit Scaling Course

Jamie grew up right here in Bradenton, FL.  She played soccer at a competitive level for many years.  In 2002, Jamie tore her ACL and had reconstructive surgery.  She came back strong and continued to play with passion for her junior and senior years, graduating from Manatee High School in 2004.

Being an athlete her whole life, Jamie was always aware of her health, but, after ending her soccer career, she had nothing to fill that void.  She found a friend in alcohol and it wasn’t until 2012 that she decided she had to fill the loneliness of that evil with something healthy.  Crossfit came on the radar and after the first WOD Jamie was hooked.  In 2013, after two more ACL surgeries, the doctor informed her that there would be little chance she would ever again be able to do the crossfit movements she loved.  Being the hard-headed determined girl Jamie is, she took it as a challenge, working one day at a time, never looking back.  Now, Jamie and her left knee enjoy all of the crossfit movements again.

Jamie believes happiness in life is about finding balance.  She feels most grounded when the physical, emotional, spiritual, professional, and personal aspects of her life are in balance.   Keeping this balance is a constant struggle but Crossfit gives her the outlet she needs.  By staying in the struggle, Jamie feels she is able to relate to athletes and help them adapt and overcome.

Favorite WOD: Grace (30 Clean & jerks for time)

Why? Short and heavy, I call it my “angry wod” when I have a bad day I can grab Grace and forget everything.

Least Favorite WOD: Couplets and anything with running.

Why?  Because I can’t seem to find my motivation when running, and bouncing between 2 movements bores me.

Chris Schale – Coach

Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Chris is originally from the Dallas, Texas area.  He is a single dad with three beautiful girls, Chloe, Lily, and Bella. Chris spends all of his time, working as a Patrolman and SWAT Operator with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, spending time with his girls, and working out with his CrossFit family at CrossFit Bradenton.

Chris had always been involved in sports and fitness. In high school he played Football, Soccer, Track, and Cross Country. Chris has ran one full marathon, 2 half marathons, and multiple “sprint” triathlons.  After graduating high school, Chris join the Marine Corps.  He served 5 years in the Marines including a tour in Iraq and Kuwait.  At the age of 35 with numerous past injuries from sports, military, and police work, Chris was looking for something to take him to a higher fitness level so that he could be effective as a Law Enforcement Officer and SWAT Operator.  CrossFit was the answer for Chris’ fitness needs and it catapulted him forward in his ability to function at his highest level as a SWAT Operator.

Favorite Wod: Helen

Why? It has my two favorite movements, running and pull-ups.

Least Favorite WoD: Karen

Why? Wall balls….Enough said!

Hannah Winner

Photo Credit: DBThump.com

Hannah Winner – Coach, Kid’s Coach

Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Certifications: USAG Certified Coach, AAU Certified Coach, USA Swimming Certified Coach

Hannah grew up in Annapolis, Maryland with a fairly athletic childhood. She had tried every sport that her local youth club offered. In high school she participated in gymnastics, swimming, softball, soccer and cheer leading. In October 2012, Hannah moved to Florida and one short year later joined CrossFit Bradenton to begin her ultimate fitness journey.

Being “fit” means many things for Hannah. In addition to being underweight, she suffered severe PTSD, depression and anxiety as a result of her father passing away in 2008. CrossFit has helped both her physical and mental fitness. Working out is what she looks forward to everyday and every time she reaches one goal, she creates a new one. Hannah got hooked because she believes CrossFit is an outlet that gives you endless chances to progress and better yourself.

Hannah is now in school to receive her Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine. Once she graduates, she hopes to open an integrative wellness center. Her main focus in the practice will be fertility and pediatric care.

Favorite Movements: Snatch, Box Jumps and Sledge Hammer Strikes

Least Favorite Movements: Rowing, Wall Balls and Rope Climbs

Liza ZonaLiza Zona – Kid’s Coach

Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Kids Trainer, CrossFit Movement and Mobility Trainer, Former CrossFit Affiliate Owner

Liza grew up in Plymouth MA, and is a Master’s Athlete at just 46 years young. She is also a certified Ophthalmic assistant and owned GaleForce CrossFit with her husband Mike before selling their gym and moving to Bradenton in August 2015. A Mom of 4 kids who found the love of CrossFit after having her twin daughters and getting bored at the local gyms. Both she & her husband wanted a more family friendly box so they opened their own. Liza had a thriving CrossFit Kids program, and Mike turned his knowledge of CrossFit into becoming the strength & conditioning coach at Silver Lake High School for their boys football teams. She loves being a Mom, really enjoys kids & CrossFit. To her, there is nothing better than watching kids push themselves, gain confidence, strength & speed. She is continually amazed at what they can do with a little guidance. We are looking forward to taking that journey together with the kids here at CrossFit Bradenton!

Favorite WoD: Victoria

Why? It’s one of the few female Hero workouts. She was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary who used her own body to shield her students from gun fire. DT & Grace are tied for 2nd.

Least Favorite WoD: Clovis

Why? Have you seen it? Never done it & never will!

Mallie Shirk -Dietitian / Nutrionist

Certifications: Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist

Mallie has always loved sports and had a passion for health and fitness. She received a BS in Biology and Nutrition and completed her dietetic internship in Florida to become a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist. As a collegiate soccer player, she learned how important nutrition was to performance and overall health. After graduating and no longer playing soccer, she began to train for marathons and half marathons. Through these experiences she has gained greater insight to how big of a role nutrition plays in performance. After several years working in clinical nutrition at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, she began to follow her passion by taking a position as the Dietitian for the Sarasota YMCA. She loved working at the YMCA and helping athletes, children, and seniors achieve their health goals by eating the proper foods, but after she had her first son, she decided that she wanted to be stay at home mom. At that time, she helped mothers with proper eating for pregnancy and post pregnancy and also became a Lactation Counselor. She and her husband John have four beautiful and full of life children. Mallie enjoys being outdoors, relaxing on the beach, playing recreational soccer, and thrift shopping, but lately if she’s not at home taking care of the kids she’s with her CrossFit Bradenton family pushing hard to finish the WOD of the day. She loves being part of the CrossFit Bradenton family and pushing her body to its limits while gaining strength and letting her inner competitiveness come alive.

To learn more about our nutrition counseling for members, click here —> Nutrition Counseling

Our Coaches are Red Cross Adult CPR/AED Certified