Annual fitness awards announced at 2023 canfitpro Global Conference & Trade Show 

Annual fitness awards announced at 2023 canfitpro Global Conference & Trade Show

canfitpro presented its annual awards to the fitness industry’s top professionals, businesses, and volunteers this weekend at the 2023 canfitpro Global Conference and Trade Show. Some award recipients include fitness enthusiast and dedicated community member, Alison Jackson as Volunteer of the Year, world-renowned fitness equipment provider TRX as the Steve Block Vendor of the Year, and well-known chiropractor and strength and conditioning specialist Dr. Ken Kinakin as Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. 


Details for the following awards are included: the Delegate’s Choice Presenter of the Year Awards, the Fitness Professional of the Year Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Steve Block Vendor of the Year Award, the Volunteer of the Year Award, the PRO TRAINER Awards, and the Women Who Influence Sharon Mann Inspiration Award and Scholarship.

Delegates’ Choice Presenter of the Year

Sarah Zahab
Canadian Presenter of the Year

This year’s Canadian Presenter of the Year is Sarah Zahab, a registered kinesiologist and clinical exercise physiologist who uses her expertise to teach others how to heal injuries and correct bodily imbalances with a holistic approach.

Presenter of the Year

Benjamin Siong was named International Presenter of the Year. Siong is an Australian strength coach and educator with a progressive approach to training that supports a variety of athletes on their paths to success.

Specialty Presenter of the Year

Alisa Herriman was named Specialty Presenter of the Year. Herriman is a nutrition researcher and teacher who specializes in nutrition for cancer recovery and prevention.

New Presenter of the Year

This year’s New Presenter of the Year award was presented to Bianca Cordeiro, a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist who works to build understanding and practical knowledge among athletes and coaches about the power of nutrition for better performance.

“Fitness professionals expect and deserve best-in-class education, and this award celebrates presenters for their commitment and contribution to bringing the latest and most relevant education and training to the fitness industry,” said Maureen “Mo” Hagan COO, canfitpro.


The Delegates’ Choice Presenter of the Year Awards are presented annually at the canfitpro Global Conference and Trade Show to recognize four of the industry’s most distinguished educators and presenters. Winners are selected by the canfitpro Awards Committee and by canfitpro delegates who provided feedback from sessions attended in the previous year.

Fitness Professional of the Year Award

2023 Fitness Instructor Specialist of the Year

Yoga therapist and fitness educator Paul Galloro received the 2023 Fitness Instructor Specialist of the Year award for his dedication to teaching and his unique approach to spiritual wellness. Described as ‘a hug in human form’, Galloro blends modern sciences with ancient practices to help clients optimize their physical fitness and spiritual health.

2023 Personal Training Specialist of the Year

Trevor Pickett was named 2023 Personal Training Specialist of the Year. As a two-time winner of the PRO TRAINER ‘Best in Business’ award, Pickett has shown long-term dedication to teaching and certifying canfitpro trainers and instructors. His passion for learning fuels his passion for teaching and he believes it is his duty to be a resource for other fitness professionals, just as they are for him.

“The Fitness Professional of the Year Awards recognize leaders who dedicate themselves to professional development and community involvement and work tirelessly as certified, respected role models, to promote and build the fitness industry in Canada,” said Maureen ‘Mo’ Hagan, COO, canfitpro.

canfitpro Lifetime Achievement Award

The canfitpro Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to well-known certified strength and conditioning specialist, chiropractor, and certified personal trainer Dr. Ken Kinakin this weekend at the 2023 canfitpro Global Conference & Trade Show.


A long-time leader in the Canadian fitness community, Dr. Kinakin has worked to strengthen the connection between fitness and healthcare, lending his medical expertise to fitness professionals, and setting the standard for weight-training injury specialists. Dr. Kinakin has led his field for more than 40 years and as the founder of the Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists (SWIS), he has dedicated his career on creating a ‘bridge’ for the doctors/therapist, the trainer, and the client, which allows each profession to do the best work they can.


Dr. Kinakin lectures around the world to doctors and personal trainers about the connections between weight-training, rehabilitation, and nutrition. He is also Clinic Director of the AIM Health & Wellness Clinic with a rehabilitation and training centre in Mississauga, Ontario.


“canfitpro is deeply grateful for the commitment and contribution Dr Kinakin has made to improving the quality and credibility of the certified personal trainer role. He has worked tirelessly to build awareness of the benefits and techniques of strength training for overall health and wellbeing.” said Maureen “Mo” Hagan, COO canfitpro.

TRX wins the Steve Block Vendor of the Year Award

trx logo

Well-known suspension training fitness company TRX was recognized this weekend with the 2023 Steve Block Vendor of the Year Award spotlighting the company’s commitment to providing high quality equipment, training, and education.


Inspired by the military training of their founder, Randy Hetrick, TRX has revolutionized suspension training over their decades of operation. Today, TRX provides its versatile equipment and digital training platform to fitness facilities and athletes around the world.


“TRX has supported canfitpro as a sponsor and Trade Show exhibitor for 15 years, providing exceptional education and training experiences. The company and its leaders consistently inspire fitness instructors, trainers and business owners to invest in quality equipment and programming,” said Maureen “Mo” Hagan, COO, canfitpro. “We’re honoured to present TRX with this award for the many contributions and innovations that they have brought to the Canadian fitness industry.”


Established in 2006 in memory of the late Steve Block, fitness industry leader and co-founder of SPRI® Products, theSteve Block Vendor of the Year Award is given out annually to an exceptional fitness vendor whose longstanding commitment to the industry has brought quality equipment, training, education, and innovation.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Alison Jacksoncanfitpro presented its 2023 Volunteer of the Year Award to Alison Jackson this weekend at the canfitpro Global Conference & Trade Show 


Fitness enthusiast and dedicated community member, Alison Jackson has been volunteering with canfitpro for over 10 years. Supporting the organization at the annual canfitpro Women Who Influence event, as an Event Team Lead and in a variety of other roles, Jackson is known and relied upon for her optimism and experience.  


“Alison’s positivity, leadership, and her ability to influence others by being a strong role-model is what we rely on at canfitpro global events,” said Maureen “Mo” Hagan, COO, canfitpro. “Her accomplishments, dedication, and enthusiasm are a constant source of inspiration to our team here at canfitpro.” 


The Volunteer of the Year Award is presented annually at the canfitpro Global Conference and Trade Show to recognize one exceptional member of the organization’s volunteer team for their longstanding commitment and contributions to the organization and the Canadian fitness industry. 

canfitpro announces PRO TRAINER Awards for Best in Business, Industry Impact, Rookie of the Year, and Participants’ Choice

canfitpro presented the PRO TRAINER Awardsthis weekend to recognize some of its top fitness educators at the 2023 canfitpro Global Conference and Trade Show.


“The PRO TRAINER award winners lead the Canadian fitness industry as passionate and qualified trainers. With certified professionals like these in our industry, we’re excited for the future,” said Maureen “Mo” Hagan, COO, canfitpro. “These four recipients are the ‘trainers of the trainers’ and canfitpro is proud to be recognizing their accomplishments this year.”

Best in Business

A Best in Business winner for three years running, Trevor Pickett is a canfitpro and fitness industry veteran. Over his eight successful years as a canfitpro PRO TRAINER, Trevor has consistently provided the highest standard of education and administration in his PRO TRAINER business. Acting as an advocate and ambassador for the fitness industry, Trevor continues to educate and develop the next generation of fitness professionals.

Industry Impact Award

The first ever Industry Impact Award recipient, Marie-Eve Ricard is a multi-talented fitness enthusiast with over 20 years of experience across the fitness industry. Starting as a group fitness instructor, she is also a certified fitness instructor specialist, and a canfitpro PRO TRAINER. Selected for her ability to find success and effect change in a wide variety of roles, canfitpro chose to recognize Ricard for her impact across the many layers of the fitness industry.

Rookie of the Year

Simon Paige, is a certified personal trainer, the founder and owner of Simon Says Fitness, and a canfitpro PRO TRAINER since 2022. To share his passion for fitness, effective and personalized training programs, and pain-free living, Paige seized the opportunity to educate more fitness professionals by becoming a PRO TRAINER. Immediately making an impact with his new business, he was recognized by canfitpro as this year’s most successful new PRO TRAINER.

Participant’s Choice Award

Anastasiya Maryukova, is a long-time educator and nutrition coach who specializes in sustainable weight loss solutions and movement mechanics. Maryukova is known for making genuine, long-lasting connections with her clients and students. As a canfitpro PRO TRAINER, she has inspired and helped so many students to build their knowledge and confidence.

The annual PRO TRAINER Awards recognize four of canfitpro’s top educators for their advocacy and dedication to reliable and standardized certification in the fitness industry.

canfitpro presents Sharon Mann Inspiration Award and Scholarship at Women Who Influence

Jessie Thomas, entrepreneur, fitness coach, and founder of Farm Girl Fitness, received the prestigious Sharon Mann Inspiration Award and Scholarship in front of an audience of her peers at the 2023 canfitpro Women Who Influence event this week.


The Sharon Mann Inspiration Award and Scholarship celebrates the legacy of Sharon Mann, a fitness icon, inspiring instructor, presenter and entrepreneur who worked in every facet of the fitness industry during her 30+ year career. This award recognizes a woman who exemplifies what Sharon Mann stood for, believed in, and lived: personal courage, growth mindset, influence, inspiration, and community impact.


Jessie Thomas founded Farm Girl Fitness in Milton, ON in June 2020 to provide a safe and positive space for members of her community to exercise, socialize, and connect during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has since expanded her group training facility to accommodate more members, better equipment, and year-round training.


“This year’s recipient has shown courage to take risks in her life by starting a fitness business that will reach members of her community with fitness and mental wellness. She inspired so many people to get active during the pandemic and has been able to grow her business steadily over the past few years.  I was honoured to present Jessie with this award and highlight her dedication to community, inspiration, and courage,” said Maureen ‘Mo’ Hagan, creator of Women Who Influence and COO of canfitpro.

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