TEAM BIOS

EJ Henderson

CEO/Chairman

A former All-Pro linebacker and captain for the Minnesota Vikings, EJ Henderson has had a lifelong passion for serving youth. In the midst of a nine-year NFL career, he formed the EJ Henderson Youth Foundation in 2007 to provide opportunities for urban youth through academic, life skills and athletic programming.

Through the foundation, he holds youth football camps for underprivileged student-athletes, an annual turkey giveaway to engage with the North Minneapolis community and assist families who are struggling during the holiday season, a holiday adopt-a-family initiative to assist Twin Cities families in need, and various other community outreach programs.

In addition to his own foundation, he has volunteered his time with organizations such as United Way, Boys and Girls Club of the Twin Cities, ARC of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, and the Police Athletic League. As a result of his enduring commitment off the field, EJ was named the 2009 Minnesota Vikings Community Man of the Year.

EJ has also garnered numerous awards for his work on the field. As a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Criminal Justice, he was twice named as a first-team ACC selection (2001, 2002), twice as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2001, 2002), and a is a two-time consensus first-team All-American (2000, 2001). As a junior in 2001, EJ was honored as the ACC Player of the Year. During his senior campaign in 2002, he was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, as well as the recipient of the Chuck Bednarik Award and Butkus Award, recognizing him as the best college defensive player and best college linebacker, respectively, in America. EJ he holds three NCAA records: career tackles per game (12.5), season unassisted tackles (135), and career unassisted tackles per game (8.8). He was selected in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, where he played his entire pro career.

In 2009, EJ received the Ed Block Courage Award for his comeback from a 2008 season-ending injury. After a devastating leg injury ended his season late in 2009, EJ miraculously returned to peak form the following season and was selected to play in the 2011 Pro Bowl. He attended Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, Maryland, where he played high school football for the Aberdeen Eagles.

Warren Gendel

Senior Consultant & Board Member

An ambitious and versatile leader who started his first company immediately out of college using strong entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills to develop a multi-million dollar business, Warren went on to launch and oversee the expansion of another company that has emerged as a highly-acclaimed, global enterprise.

With over 20 years of successful executive management and business development experience in the health and fitness industry, Warren is a collaborative leader who champions employee satisfaction by staying focused on training and development. He is a visionary entrepreneur with a track record of growing businesses by identifying unique and underserved markets.

Warren prides himself on being a team builder who is able to rally teams around executable and exciting visions for success. Among his accomplishments are the pioneering of one of the fastest-growing and nationally-acclaimed healthy lifestyle centers just for kids, as well as founding a company that provided customized and personalized fitness systems to individuals and large organizations across the Western US.

Warren has a B.S. in Business Management with a minor in Exercise Physiology from San Diego State University.

Brianna Smith, MS/RD

Registered Dietitian/Director of Nutrition

Brianna is a Registered Dietitian and the new Director of Nutrition for Youth Pro Fitness and Nutrition.  With over 10 years of experience in nutrition education and health promotion, Brianna has held positions and led programs where she has been responsible for nutrition curriculum development, marketing, healthy recipe and menu planning, staff wellness initiatives, grant writing, research, and managing diets for children with special dietary needs.

Throughout her career, Brianna has been active in the Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and has been a speaker for numerous organizations and groups for healthy eating, cooking and school nutrition. She is a trainer for the School Nutrition Association and recently served as the Let’s Move!  Co-Coordinator for the Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In addition to school nutrition, Brianna’s background includes clinical nutrition, community health education and sports nutrition. She was born and raised in the Twin Cities, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Seattle Pacific University. She completed her dietetic internship through Washington State University and obtained her Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Central Michigan University in 2009. Brianna, her husband and two kids (Jake & Lilia) currently reside in Seattle, WA. While she loves the local cuisine and vibrant culture that the Pacific Northwest has to offer, she considers herself a true Minnesota girl at heart!

Norman Alston, NASM OPT / NASM PES

Head Trainer

Norman’s journey to the fitness industry started with his athletics in school. While competing was always the driving force, coaches always commented on how he was able to help others understand and learn. That’s why he takes pride in being able motivate those around him to excel more.

Norman has been involved in youth training since 1990, working with organizations such as North High School Wrestling, the Adam Hauser Goalie Camp, Next Level Performance and Minnesota Freeze Volleyball. His group training experience includes Gold’s Gym Boot Camp, Life Time Fitness and Next Level Boot Camp.

Norman believes the solution high obesity rates among adults today is to educate and instill a base for fitness and nutrition in the younger generations. That is why he’s so passionate about the need for YoPro our communities now. His personal hobbies include mountain biking, fishing, wrestling and touch football.

Norman is married with two beautiful kids.