Maria is an attorney and has a Masters in Counseling, which is the basis for her exceptional problem solving and communication skills. She has extensive experience in the operations and administration of the gymnastics business and frequently utilizes her law degree to create and implement legal documents and policies and procedures.
Maria’s strength lies in her communication skills and human resources experience. She also has significant sales and marketing experience within the private gymnastics industry. Maria will be heading up the operational/administrative and human resources aspects of the business. Maria brings a wealth of business and direct gymnastics experience to the ownership team. She is also USAG and safety certified.
Samantha Baltierrez (“Sam”) Sam@ImpactGymAz.com
Samantha is an Arizona native and grew up in North Phoenix. Her love for gymnastics began at the age of 18 months when she began taking gymnastics classes. Samantha competed for a local gym up through Level 8. She has been a coach for 12 years and is a certified USAG Gymnastics Judge.
Samantha’s passion for children is what makes her a successful coach and life trainer. She heads up the coaching aspect of the business and brings a tremendous amount if gymnastics experience to the gym. It is her unique perspective as both coach and gymnast that makes her an amazing coach. She is also USAG and safety certified.
Leadership & Coaches
Nikos Kentimenos, Girls Team Department Leader & Head Coach – Coach Nikos was born and raised in Greece. When he was a young boy he began his gymnastics training. He was very talented and eventually became a member of the Greek Men’s National Team. He was the Greek National Champion many times over on various events but his specialty was pommel horse. He was a two time National ALL AROUND Champion for his country.
After he finished his competitive career he began coaching women’s gymnastics and excelled in that as well. He rose through the ranks and eventually became the Women’s National Team coach for Greece. He has coached and competed all over the world and is truly a world class coach.
We are blessed to have him leading our Girls Team program and as part of our Impact family. The Impact philosophy was designed with Coach Nikos in mind. Nikos is married and has two young daughters who are both in gymnastics and part of the competitive team at Impact.
LaShawn Benson Malvido, Girls Team Choreography Department Leader – Coach LaShawn was a former JO gymnast and competed through Level 9. She loves to dance and has been featured on “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Soul Train” and has opened for various artists at their concerts. Her main focus is coaching beam and floor and creating unique music and routines.
Coach La Shawn has been coaching for 15 years and combines her passion for dance with her passion for gymnastics. She is married and is the mother of two beautiful children.
Katie Chapin, XCEL Team Department Leader – Coach Katie is the head coach for the Xcel Team. She grew up in the gym her parents owned and began gymnastics at 15 months old. She competed in the JO program up through Level 7. She has been coaching for 12 years and has her Masters in Healthcare Administration and is currently working on her Doctorate. Coach Katie also masquerades as Punky Bruizer for her Roller Derby team.
Bella Lawrence, Birthday Party Department Leader & Coach – Coach Bella is a former member of our JO Team at Impact. She has been doing gymnastics since she was a baby and has been coaching for 3 years. She coaches Devo, Rec, Summer Camps and Birthday Parties. Bella is a total goofball and the kids love her! Bella is also our Birthday Party Department Leader.
Alissa Scott, WOW Coordinator & Coach – Coach Alissa has over 12 years coaching Kinder Kids, works at our Hospitality Desk and is our WOW Coordinator. As WOW Coordinator she is in charge of the student experience. She brings a wealth of experience to Impact and her daughter is a member of the Impact JO Team.
Giota Kladau, Hospitality Staff – Giota was born and raised in Greece and came to America in 2012. She is married to Nikos and they have 2 daughters. Both of her children are members of our JO Team.
Rachel Harkenrider, Hospitality Staff – Rachel joins our Hospitality staff with many years of customer service experience. She is married and has 3 children.
Your IMPACT Gymnastics Academy training begins with and is built on World-class coaches.
Milena Brnovich – Coach Milena is a former student of Coach Sam’s. She coaches Rec classes and loves teaching the kids new skills.
Jesse Castro – Coach Jesse is one of our Camp counselors and coaches in the NINJA Zone. He is a soccer fanatic and loves being around kids.
Sean Dean – Coach Sean coaches the NINJA Zone and has 10 years of Martial Arts experience and is currently 2nd Degree Black Belt. He is very active in his choir program at school and loves to sing and dance. Coach Sean is a CF Warrior (Cystic Fibrosis) and has had the disease since birth. He is more than an overcomer and he loves coaching the kids in the NINJA Zone and teaching them that they too can be overcomers!
Micah DeCleene – Coach Micah comes to us from Hawaii where she competed in the JO program. She was a 6 time State qualifier and a 2009 Western Regional Qualifier. She attends Grand Canyon University and is studying electrical engineering. Coach Micah coaches Rec and Kinder Kids classes and has a sunny disposition making her a favorite
Steve Edwards – Coach Steve Edwards comes from a tremendous gymnastics background and was a collegiate athlete winning Academic All-American status and participating as a member of the California State University at Chico NCAA Division II National Championship second-place team in gymnastics. Steve has a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in both Physical Education and Biology. Steve brings his wealth of experience to our Team program.
Kaitlyn Fleming – Coach Kaitlyn has significant gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do experience. She was a member of our JO competitive team and she coaches Rec and Kinder Kids classes.
Rachel Goettl – Coach Rachel is a former gymnast and was coached by Coach Sam. She is currently a college student and primarily coaches Recreational gymnastics. The kids love Coach Rachel.
Tim Hesman – Coach Tim coaches the NINJA Zone and has a wealth of experience with tumbling, trampoline and parkour. He is often seen in the gym throwing super cool tricks. He hails from Missouri and is working on getting his Bachelor;s Degree from Grand Canyon University.
Brooke King – Coach Brooke grew up competing in the JO program. Her love and passion for gymnastics make her a great coach. Coach Brooke coaches in our Xcel and Rec programs and is one of the Xcel Team Coaches.
Abrianna Lawrence – Coach Bri, as she is referred to throughout the gym, has been doing gymnastics since she was sixteen months old. Bri was trained as a gymnast by Samantha Baltierrez from the age of four until she was 10 years old. She competed through Level 7 in the JO Program and retired at the age of 14 as the Regional Vault Champion. Bri has been coaching for years and coaches Team, Recreational and Developmental gymnastics at Impact and on occasion helps at the Hospitality Center. Bri is a valued member of our Impact family!
Gabby Lawrence – Coach Gabby started gymnastics when she was 15 months old. She was trained by Samantha Baltierrez and at the age of 6 was named the Arizona State Level 4 Beam Champion. Gabby was also a member of the 2013 National Team and had the opportunity to train at the United States Olympic training facility in Texas. Gabby competed through Level 8 and was training Level 9 when growth plate injuries caused her to retire from gymnastics. She loves coaching the “littles” and is a valued member of our Impact family!
Chrislyn Perry – Coach Chrislyn has been coaching for six years and coaches in our Team and Developmental programs. She loves working with the competitive team and enjoys working with children. She is currently in school working to become a dental hygenist.
Cara Redding – Coach Cara coaches in our Kinder Kids program and loves the little ones! She has a wealth of experience with kids and has taught children for several years in Vacation Bible Schools. Her fun personality and the fact that she is also small, make her a big hit with the kiddos.
Joy Rimel – Coach Joy coaches in our Kinder Kids program and loves being part of their learning process. She is a student at Grand Canyon University and is studying to be a Pre-Physicians Assistant. She is from the Big Island of Hawaii and studied dance for several years. Coaching the kids has become one of her favorite things to do.
Kaler Smith – Coach Kaler coaches Rec and Ninja Zone. She has 4 brothers and really enjoys the tough skills required to be a Ninja.
Zoey Waxman – Coach Zoey was a gymnast for 13 years and competed in the JO program through Level 10. She enjoys playing the violin and diving. She is going to school to become a physical therapist.
Jordan Zeller – Coach Jordan was a gymnast for 10 years and competed in the JO program through Level 8. Her favorite event was bars. She is currently attending college where she is studying Exercise & Health Sciences and hopes to enter the Corporate Wellness field after graduation.