Our vision is to be a diverse, highly trained team that is recognized for positively and proactively impacting the health and well-being of the community.
Our mission is to educate and instruct the community through the delivery of comprehensive quality fitness & wellness programs for a strong, healthy Virginia Beach.
Diane Benner, Fitness Unit Supervisor
AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor & Personal Trainer, AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional, Les Mills' Certified Instructor, TRX Level 1
Diane has spent 30 years in the fitness industry designing, developing and implementing fitness and wellness programs. She has worked for several not-for-profit organizations, private sector gyms and within the medical community as a rehabilitative exercise specialist. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies, with an emphasis in corporate wellness from Shepherd University and completed graduate level coursework in Exercise Science and Wellness at Old Dominion University. Diane loves to be outdoors whether she is gardening, biking or camping. After playing disc golf since the early 1990’s, she has finally received a PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) number.
Diane's Personal Fitness Philosophy: “I am a lifelong learner and ever-evolving wellness professional. My goal is to inspire others, and provide opportunities and tools to help them find their own state of well-being.”
Birgitt Kishbaugh, Recreation Specialist II
AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, AEA Aquatic Fitness Professional
Birgitt comes to the fitness unit with 18 years of experience teaching group fitness classes and managing group fitness programs in the private sector. She has training in a wide range of fitness formats that include Yogafit, SilverSneakers®, Turbo Kick, Bodypump™, Bodystep™, BOSU®, and Drums Alive®. Birgitt’s passion for group fitness carries into her personal life. When she isn’t teaching classes, she takes classes to stay fit. She admits that she has never been a fan of the treadmill; instead, she finds that group fitness classes and learning from other instructors help her meet her fitness goals and keep her motivated.
Birgitt's Personal Fitness Philosophy: “Staying fit can be challenging, but there is no reason why you can’t make it fun and a lifetime commitment. No matter how experienced you are in fitness, you can always learn something new.”
Erin Hackney - Bayside
| (757) 385-5930ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, AEA Aquatics Fitness Professional
Erin recently moved from Richmond where she was a fitness manager. She earned a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science from Longwood University. She is certified as an ACSM personal trainer with a specialty in pre-natal and post-partum exercise design. Erin is an AFAA certified group fitness instructor and teaches a wide variety of group fitness classes including Boot Camp, TRX®, Spinning, Aqua, Barre and Pilates. She has a passion for motivating and challenging her clients to work hard to achieve an active and healthy lifestyle. Erin enjoys being outdoors and is always on the go either running, paddle boarding, fishing, riding her horse or spending time with her dogs.
Erin’s Personal Fitness Philosophy: "A lifestyle of wellness means having a healthy mind and a healthy body. Create this through having fun and working hard at getting better every day!"
Esther Matus - Great Neck
| (757) 385-5940ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Esther has a B.S. in Exercise Science from Boston University and has been a certified personal trainer since 2006. She is also certified as a Healthy Behaviors Coach, Life Coach, TRX® Suspension Trainer Group Instructor, and pre- and post-natal personal trainer. She has experience in a variety of fitness settings, including large corporate gyms and private training studios. Esther enjoys working with a diverse clientele, but particularly those new to exercise or looking to make positive changes to their lives. She loves seeing the impact that a healthy lifestyle can have on a person and understands that there is more to health and well-being than just what happens in the gym. Esther's Personal Fitness Philosophy:
"Make small, sustainable changes and recognize the importance of indulging in moderation."
Lisa Yancey - Bow Creek
| (757) 385-5960AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer
Lisa has more than 20 years of experience teaching group fitness classes and personal training clients. She also has experience managing group fitness programs with over 100 instructors at multiple locations. She has taught and trained in many group fitness formats with a focus on incorporating Les Mills programs into the Hampton Roads area over the last 14 years. Lisa is passionate about helping others achieve their goals. This passion was fueled even more so after the birth of her son, William, who wakes up every day challenging Cerebral Palsy. He serves as a reminder that the joy of life is in the journey.
Lisa’s Personal Fitness Philosophy: "Fitness and nutrition is a choice."
Karen LeRette - Princess Anne
AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
Karen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in group fitness, personal training and aquatic fitness to her new post at Princess Anne Rec Center. As a navy wife and mother of three, she understands the hectic pace of life and the challenges it can bring to staying in shape. She prides herself on getting to know her participants, encouraging them, and helping them achieve their goals. Outside of work, Karen enjoys gardening, boating & fishing with her family and walking her dogs.
Karen's Personal Fitness Philosophy: "Discipline – inside and outside of the gym - for a balanced whole being. Motivate yourself to do well and others will follow your lead."
Tony Lighthart - Williams Farm
AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
Tony’s long career with the department has taken him to a variety of recreation centers where he has always excelled in programming for youth, adults, and seniors. This continues to be his focus with the Fitness Unit. He uses his training in SilverSneakers®, BOSU®, and Aquatic fitness to develop programming for all ages and puts his personal talents and interests to work teaching youth skateboarding and women’s surfing clinics. In his time away from the rec center, Tony enjoys cycling, swimming, and studying nutrition.
Tony's Personal Fitness Philosophy: “Use it or lose it.”
Ronnie Miller - Bow Creek
IFTA Certified Personal Trainer
AAAI/ISMA Certified Group Fitness Instructor,
Ronnie grew up loving to dance and participated in all types of sports including track, swimming and even becoming a majorette in high school. Outside of school, she would sometimes attend Jazzercise class with her mom and sister. On occasion, the instructor would allow her to assist with leading classes. The instructor saw the fierce talent and passion that Ronnie had for fitness, so to her surprise, she paid for Ronnie to get her group fitness certification as a Christmas gift! Over the past 20 years, Ronnie has been fortunate to meet and change many lives through her dedication and drive to helping others achieve their goals.
Ronnie's Personal Fitness Philosophy: Coming soon!