STAFF

CAREER INSTRUCTORS

Bakari Taylor

New Member Manager
Career Instructor

  • Master’s in Fitness Management
  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder
  • Functional Movement Screen Certified

Bakari earned his Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Tourism Management from Hampton University in Hampton Virginia before heading to Indiana University Bloomington to earn his Master’s degree in Fitness Management. At Hampton University, Bakari was a well-rounded student athlete where he played for four years on the University’s basketball team.

Bryan Munoz-Leon

Career Instructor

  • Bachelor’s in Exercise Science
  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder

Bryan earned his degree from Liberty University in the spring of 2015. During his time at Liberty, Bryan was an assistant Strength and Conditioning coach for multiple athletic teams. During this time, Olympic Weightlifting and CrossFit became a part of Bryan’s exercise regime. After graduation, Bryan came to CrossFit RVA as an intern, and while here he earned his Level 1 CrossFit certification. Bryan is an energetic coach with a real passion for becoming a National Olympic Weightlifter while improving his own and others’ CrossFit skills.

Brandon Leary

General Manager
Head Instructor

  • Bachelor’s in Exercise Science
  • CrossFit Level 2 Certificate Holder

Brandon has coached VCU athletes from all sports and has worked with weightlifters and CrossFitters for nearly five years. His passion for strength and conditioning started in high school, where he quickly outgrew the globo gym scene and sparked an interest in Olympic Weightlifting. After training with strength and conditioning coaches at VCU, he knew he wanted to work in the field. As an active coach, athlete and programmer for CrossFit and Weightlifting at CrossFit RVA, Brandon continues to work on and improve his personal goals, while helping others reach their own personal fitness goals.

OWNERS

Jake Rowell

Owner

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder
  • NAS National Competitor 2010 and 2011
  • Bronze medalist coach 2015 USAW Nationals

Jake came to CrossFit while he was still a student at VCU looking for new and more effective methods of training. Along with a couple of friends, he started CrossFit RVA out of the backyard of his Fan house in 2007. Jake quickly became enamored with all things strength, and the new training possibilities that CrossFit opened up. He competed in the Strongman from 2008 to 2013, including two appearances at the NAS Nationals (‘10 and ‘11). Most recently Jake has started the RVA Weightlifting team to promote the sport of weightlifting in Central Virginia. He coached the 63KG bronze medalist at 2015 USAW Nationals.

Kat Rowell

Owner

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder

Kat has played a variety of sports throughout her life, but she found CrossFit in 2007 while pursuing a Masters of Social Work degree at VCU. Since then she has trained and competed in strongman, olympic weightlifting and Regionals in 2010 in the team division. She also has experience CrossFitting during pregnancy. Her passion at CrossFit RVA are our female members – encouraging them to push themselves, try new movements and overcome their fears in the gym. She loves watching our members’ confidence grow over time as they become healthier and stronger.

INSTRUCTORS

Jamie Sulc

Instructor

  • M. Ed. in Physical Education, exercise physiology (UVA)
  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder

Jamie has worked in the fitness industry since 2003. After obtaining his M.Ed. in Physical Education with a specialization in physiology, he worked with and trained hundreds of individuals across various specialities and sports. Although Jamie is a lifelong athlete, he began CrossFitting in 2011. Shortly thereafter, he received his Level 1 CrossFit coach certification in 2012. Since then he has enjoyed training other CrossFitters and helping them reach their athletic and fitness goals while using his educational background and years of experience to allow people to safely and effectively train, strengthen and condition their bodies.

Clay Farnsley

Instructor

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder

Clay found CrossFit in 2010 after researching how Gerard Butler was able to get so strong for the movie 300. After finding that Butler had used CrossFit, Clay joined CrossFit Manayunk in Philadelphia. Soon after joining, he became a part of their coaching staff. Clay is passionate about health and fitness, and about creating meaningful connections to the atheltes he trains. Knowing and understanding the day to day needs of his athletes is paramount to helping them reach their goals safely and effectively.

Brandon Roberson

Instructor

Bio coming soon.

Charlie Bonet

Endurance Instructor

  • Attended CrossFit Endurance Trainer Course

After a shoulder tear cut Charlie’s drumming career short, he began running. He trained for and ran his first marathon for his 40th birthday, calling it his “race to a mid-life crisis.” That day lead to many more races. Charlie started CrossFit to overcome limitations from older injuries, and since then he has dedicated himself to training others on how to prevent those same injuries. Charlie heads up our endurance group at CrossFit RVA and is an excellent instructor for anyone dealing with past injuries.

Case Thompson

Instructor

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder

Case’s Love for training began in High School, where he wrestled and ran cross-country.
After after graduating from VMI in 2011, Case spent 4 years in the United States Army. While in the military, he competed in multiple endurance races and ruck marches. Case received a major injury during an Airborne Operation, in which he found Crossfit to help him recover and get back into shape. During that time, he earned his Crossfit Level 1 Trainer and started a training regiment in his battalion. At CrossFit RVA he brings his military endurance to bear on his classes while also being an excellent instructor for anything dealing with injuries and training.

Maggie Kennedy

Instructor

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder

Maggie came to CrossFit in the fall of 2008, when she was looking for a way to lose about 60 pounds and nothing else had worked. She began working at RARE CrossFit while earning her Classical Civilizations degree at the University of Mary Washington. Maggie moved home to Alexandria for a year, where she coached at her original CrossFit gym, CrossFit Old Town. Maggie moved to Richmond in August of 2015 and is excited to get back on the floor as a coach. Maggie loves quick, sweaty workouts and believes CrossFit has given her a healthier relationship with food, and can do the same for you.

Kat Black

Instructor

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder

Kat loves being around all fitness levels and watching members reach their fitness goals. She also loves the undeniable results that CrossFit provides and the independence that comes with being strong. Her background in human nutrition and her experience as a registered nurse make her an excellent instructor for anyone looking to pair strength and conditioning with nutrition and dietary goals.

Jose Casado

Instructor

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Holder

Jose has been involved in Crossfit since 2012, and he has been coaching since early 2015. He is passionate about helping others meet their goals, in and out of the box. Jose has an athletic background, earning three varsity letters in high school in both football and track. He also played club football at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Courtney Egan

Instructor

  • Bachelor’s in Exercise Science

Courtney’s degree in Exercise Science has given her a solid background in analyzing human body movement in relation to exercise training. As a member, she previously interned for 300 hours with CrossFit RVA throughout the course of her undergraduate degree in 2015. Courtney’s goal is to continue to grow in her coaching abilities. She hopes to one day be able to box jump with both feet in synchrony.

Jaci Alberts-Long

Gymnastics Instructor

  • USAW Nationals 2015 Bronze medalist (63kg)
  • Former Level 10 gymnast

Jaci is an olympic weightlifter by training, but comes from a 15 year gymnastics background where she competed both nationally and internationally. Her professional coaching experience includes five years of competitive gymnastics coaching, making her the go-to person for any of your gymnastic issues at the gym. Her personal fitness goal is to compete on an international level in weightlifting and professionally to become a CrossFit level 1 trainer.

Elizabeth Sobka

Creative Director
Yoga Instructor

  • RYT 200 Certified Yoga Instructor
  • VCU School of Arts Graduate

Elizabeth completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2010 and graduated from VCU’s School of the Arts in 2011. She began teaching Power Yoga at CrossFit RVA in August 2011 as a way to provide a dynamic alternative to traditional stretching and mobility. Elizabeth believes the flexibility, breath work, and focus that comes with a regular Yoga practice can prove tremendously beneficial for CrossFit athletes. Elizabeth is also a part of RVA’s creative team and is responsible for much of the gym’s t-shirt, print, and digital design.