The Justice League of Performance

Meet Our Team!

Casey Stutzman, Founder & Director of Movementcasey bio

Let’s meet Performance Locker Founder and Director of Movement Casey Stutzman. Casey is an ACE, AFAA and FMS Certified Personal Trainer and has professionally worked in the fitness industry for more than 10 years.

He is a familiar face around Northeast Michigan as he has led strength and conditioning programs for local athletic teams and has changed many lives through one-on-one and small group personal training. Casey has grown his passion from a point of personal interest into a driven mission to help others live the life they deserve to live with a body that doesn’t hold them back.

A former division 1 collegiate football player, natural bodybuilding and strongman competitor, triathlete, Tough Mudder participant, and distance runner, Casey has experienced the entire spectrum of fitness training and competition. He has learned through his education, training, and personal experiences that traditional training methods don’t properly or safely care for the body as a whole unit. As a result of questioning this status quo he is now a Functional Movement practitioner and shares this transformational knowledge with his hometown clients and fitness professionals across the country.

On the national scene Casey is known for his roles as a TRX Master Instructor, Ignite 360 Master Trainer, and is part of the development team for the new Surge functional performance tool from Headstrom fitness, the makers of BOSU performance equipment. Casey periodically travels across North America to teach certification courses and is a presenter at national and international fitness conferences. What he enjoys most about these roles is the opportunity to educate and connect with other fitness professionals to develop a greater understanding of the importance of functional methodologies in the fitness world. These experiences also give Casey a chance to learn from the best and brightest leaders in the industry. Through these opportunities Casey has had the privilege to work side-by-side with fitness icons Fraser Quelch, Peter Twist, Randy Hetrick, the world class strength and conditioning team at IMG Academies, and many others who have been instrumental in developing Casey’s philosophies on movement, fitness, injury prevention and lifestyle improvement.

As a result, the Performance Locker is a passionate collection of skilled training, life experience, scientific methodologies, and dreams. When Casey began to organize a plan to build the Performance Locker he started with the simple goal of wanting to help people live more active and fulfilling lives with the help of training that is anchored on sound mental and anatomical strategy and education so people understand why and what they are doing so as to inspire positive and lasting lifestyle change. Performance Locker is deeply grounded with 6 core value areas: Personal Training & Nutrition, Mind/Body Awareness & Science-based Education, and Outdoor Recreation & Community Involvement. If it doesn’t relate to one of these 6 value areas, you won’t find it at the Performance Locker. Casey believes that whether you sit at a desk for most of the day, or run marathons (or both), your fitness and nutrition formula is as unique to you as your DNA. Performance Locker provides you the expertise and tools to balance your personal equation and build a life without limits.

You can also bet that Casey has peppered the Performance Locker with his personal flair which will include a few Led Zeppelin-heavy playlists, probably more than a dozen Batman comic references, and a healthy serving of outdoor adventure in our beautiful Alpena. He and his wife Mary Beth enjoy life with their daughter Vesper and son Indiana and Turkish the family mascot dog. To unwind Casey enjoys reading personal development books, archery and hunting, watching James Bond movies, and of course … listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin.


Cheryl Bates, RD & Director of NutritionPhoto Mar 21, 5 55 36 PM

We’d like to formally introduce you to our Director of Nutrition Services, Cheryl Bates, MS RDN.

Although Cheryl is a well-known and loved Alpena local she is actually a native of Grand Rapids, MI. She attended Calvin College for 1 year and transferred to MSU to pursue a degree in Dietetics. Two weeks after graduation she married Richard Bates, a 3rd year medical student at Wayne State University. Cheryl began her Master’s degree program in Human Nutrition at MSU, conducting research in the field of pantothenic acid nutriture. She completed a clinical dietetic internship at Henry Ford Hospital. With credentials in hand, Cheryl began her professional career as a clinical dietitian at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. Along with Performance Locker fun, Cheryl presently teaches at Alpena Community College. The transition from the clinical setting to the classroom required a transition from a disease-treatment mindset to a disease-prevention mindset. This shift has fueled the next chapter in Cheryl’s professional career and has renewed a passion to promote the importance and application of good nutrition in everyday life.

Cheryl brings a wealth of knowledge and real-life professional experience to the Performance Locker table. In addition to her career work, she has been instrumental in developing numerous beneficial programs and endeavors including:

1. University of Michigan, Nutrition Educator – Cheryl’s responsibilities included developing nutrition education programs for students living in the residence halls (as you can imagine, this job did not last long – this Spartan couldn’t adapt to Maize and Blue!).

2. Co-owner of Tender Moments, Maternity and Children’s clothing store – Alpena, MI. This business began as a service to provide breast-feeding women with breast pumps and supplies as this was not available in Alpena at the time. It gradually expanded to its own store front and offered many items for women and children.

3. Creator and Director of Wildcat Training Table (WTT) – this program was developed for student athletes at Alpena High School with a 2-fold purpose. The program provided education to athletes, coaches and parents on the importance of sound nutrition practices within the context of sport and athletic competition. In addition, ARMC provided sport-specific pre- and post-game meals for AHS athletic teams which demonstrated the nutrition principles taught to the athletes. Cheryl’s initial motivation for developing the program was the lack of awareness and education seen in student athletes and the frustration parents faced in trying to provide healthy food for travel to and from games.

Cheryl has been married 28 years and has 2 children, Alex and Kelly. Together, their family has had numerous adventures and hobbies, all of which help to shape the course of their individual lives. Running a 90-acre cattle farm, playing in a Christian rock band, and cheering for a child’s college basketball team were never part of the life-plan, but they happened. Cheryl enjoys cycling (so lucky to live in Alpena where one can ride 100+ miles in 3 directions right out of the driveway), swimming (that covers the 4th direction), and playing beach volleyball. When not exercising or working, Cheryl enjoys traveling, cooking and knitting.

5 things you never knew about Cheryl Bates

1. She had a job cleaning monkey cages
2. She was a cheerleader at a Detroit Lions football game
3. She showed cattle at the Ohio State Fair
4. The pinnacle of her running career was the Turkey Trot in Detroit, Thanksgiving Day 1984.
5. The next item on her bucket list is to ride her bike on the Great Wall of China (since she checked off her last bucket list item at the 2014 Rose Bowl – Go Green!)


Sam Samson, RYT 200HR & Director of Operations12301261_1011042488953547_934710584_n(1)

Sam is an Alpena local and enjoys many of the outside activities Michigan has to offer. Her favorite place is on, in, or near any body of water. Samantha received her associates degree in Liberal Arts from Alpena Community College in the spring of 2012. After graduation she still felt unsure of what her path was and decided to enroll again the following semester. She was looking over the class schedules and stumbled upon, “Yoga for Fitness”.

She had no idea the journey that was about to begin when she stepped onto her yoga mat. A shift began to take place in her life, where she saw sadness, she began to see hope, where she saw darkness, she began to see light, and where she felt lost, she began to feel found. She discovered throughout her practice that, more than just physical postures, yoga is the synchronicity of the mind, body, and breathe.

The experience of her yoga journey, the encouragement of her instructor Desiree Nowacyk and her supportive boyfriend (now fiance) Aaron, inspired Samantha to become a registered yoga teacher. In the fall of 2013 Samantha attended, “Be The Love” Yoga Teacher Training in Petoskey, Michigan and completed the program in February 2014. Samantha’s training also included a Reiki Practitioner Certification. Reiki is a unique healing technique that adds to her ability to connect with others on a deeper level. She is extremely fortunate to have several intelligent, talented, instructors and mentors to show her this yogic path. Yoga has taught her to believe in herself and discover something she had been searching for all along, love. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher 200 Hour recognized by Yoga Alliance and a certified Reiki Practitioner. Learn more about Reiki here.

Samantha has a passion for teaching and invites anyone interested in yoga to try her classes. She strongly believes an attitude of inquiry gives us the ability to observe the effects this compassionate practice has on the mind, body, and emotions. When we have love and compassion for ourselves, we have love and compassion for all others. Samantha provides a safe and sacred environment that allows you to be yourself and discover your yoga! When away from her mat Sam loves being outside and spending time with her fiance Aaron, friends, family, and her very lovable dogs, Rufus and Rex. Learn more about Sam by visiting her website!


Ben Gould, Coach

We’d like to introduce you to Ben Gould. Like any true northeast Michigan native, Ben can often be seen around northeast Michigan kayaking, mountain biking, trail running and occasionally shooting guns (in a safe and respectful manner, of course). Ben joins the Performance Locker as our Movement Coach working with Director of Movement Casey Stutzman to help develop a multi-faceted training program for the community.

Ben is an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer and Movement Coach here at Performance Locker. He thrives on seeing both physical and mental improvement in his clients by assessing their goals and helping them efficiently and successfully reach them. He brings variety, experience, and enthusiasm to the Performance Locker table.

Having played collegiate baseball for Albion College and Saginaw Valley State University, Ben understands the physical demands of sport competition as well as how to maintain conditioning outside of the sports world. After his collegiate sports career, Ben continued his pursuit of personal fitness by studying functional based movement patterns and competing in CrossFit competitions.

Every artist has a signature style and every member of the Performance Locker is an artist of their craft. Ben’s signature style of training includes methods of functional movement with an emphasis on strength and stability. He believes that a body that moves better moves more. Bodies that move more accomplish more and allow for greater quality of life. This inspiration has led Ben to his career field of choice and he has just recently completed his Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science at Saginaw Valley State University.

In addition to his passion for movement Ben also:
• Enjoys all types of war movies as well as anything that Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Jim Carey are in.
• Is a nerd when it comes to learning about the human body.
• Is sometimes excessively patriotic … if that is even possible (he has American Flag shoes).
• Has 2 cats whose names are, Penelope & Marge.
• Owns many leather bound books and his apartment smells of rich mahogany.


Maureen Mead, MD & RYT 500HRmaureen bio

Is there a doctor in the house?? 

Today we would like to introduce another member of Performance Locker’s “Team Free-Spirit,” Maureen Mead, also known as Dr. Maureen Mead, M.D., FACEP (pictured here doing some fancy Yoga moves on the shores of Lake Superior). Maureen joins the Performance Locker family as a Yoga practitioner and brings with her a wealth of knowledge of human movement.

Maureen earned a Pharmacy degree from Ferris State University and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Michigan … (do I sense a game day rivalry brewing with the Nutrition Department?). Maureen has worked in Alpena since 1999 and is an Emergency Room physician, FACEP at Alpena Regional Medical Center. Maureen knows the body inside and out and brings this knowledge and understanding with her to every class for a well-rounded and laser-focused experience.

Maureen has been teaching yoga since 2009 and finished her 500-hr. yoga teacher training in 2012 at Union Yoga in Lake Leelanau, MI. UNION/YOGA is an energy-based therapeutic style evolved over the past 4 decades from interest in yoga and the psychology of wellness, or psychoneuroimmunology. Yoga recognizes the body’s wellbeing as an outpouring of other, more subtle personal realms including emotions, beliefs and state of mind.

UNION/YOGA is a practice by which the physical body is used to engage with and align other parts of being, bringing balance and happiness as is then reflected in the physical self. Becoming a 500-hr yoga teacher is like the equivalent of Maureen earning a Master’s Degree in yoga! She has also served as the Anatomy and Physiology Teacher for Union Yoga Teacher Training 200-hr. in 2012 and 2013. Maureen is also active in the community and served as the Yoga trainer for the Alpena High School girls and boys soccer teams from 2012 – 2014.

Maureen teaches a chakra-based yoga moving energy through the spine by using breath, asanas, anatomy trains and meditation. She combines Western medicine and Eastern philosophy for an unique experience in a variety of yoga styles from restorative to hot vinyasa, and core and balance strengthening in Stand-Up Paddleboard yoga. We are so excited to say that Maureen is a part of the Performance Locker family and look forward to connecting you to her yoga knowledge and experience.

Maureen has four boys ages 16 to 23, a fiancée Steve, and a Pomeranian named Molly (who is a skilled SUP yoga practitioner in her own right), and a mutt named Tige. Maureen loves skiing, snowshoeing, biking, gardening, and playing in the water.


Paula Curtis, Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor12063027_164599523884603_220072136_n

Everyone give a big welcome to Paula Curtis who joins our family as a highly credentialed, albeit humble, Yoga teacher. She is pictured here in the Everglades after a bike ride.

Paula is a proud Yooper hailing from Newberry in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Olivet College and when her children were young she decided to pursue a career in nursing and went back to school to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She worked at Alpena Regional Medical Center as a staff nurse in OB/GYN, ICU, Nursing Management and Patient Advocacy, retiring in 1998.

Turning from her career to her passion Paula began her journey as a student of Yoga after retirement from nursing. She began a weight-training and walking fitness program when she left the hospital and started taking yoga classes because she felt she needed to become more flexible with all the weight lifting she was doing.

In 2004 Paula became an ACE certified Personal Trainer. In 2007 she completed a yoga teacher training at Yoga from the Heart in Sarasota, FL and became a 200-hr. RYT. A Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) is one that has completed a 200-hour training program and received a well-rounded training experience, completed a teacher training with a Registered Yoga School (RYS), and developed knowledge and skills in five areas of teaching yoga – teaching methodology, techniques and practice, philosophy and lifestyle, anatomy and physiology, and practicum. Having a 200-hr. RYT is like having a bachelor’s degree in Yoga. This officially wins Paula the award for being the Performance Locker team member with the most Bachelor’s degrees!

Paula has practiced all types of Yoga including Bikram, Power, and Vinyasa Flow and found she really liked how she felt when she was done with class. In 2009 Paula began practicing Iyengar Yoga exclusively and continues to do so today. In addition to how yoga makes her feel physically, she’s always amazed at what one can learn about himself when practicing yoga.

Iyengar yoga is a specific type of yoga practice founded by BKS Iyengar, who practiced up until his death at age 95. Iyengar yoga helps develop strength, stamina, concentration, coordination, and flexibility. Using physical alignment as a starting point, Iyengar yoga encourages the spread of intelligence throughout the body and the growth of self-awareness. Iyengar yoga is about cultivating health and well-being through the practice of asana (postures) and pranayama (breath control). We practice asana with attention to alignment of body, mind, and breath. We practice pranayama to still the external body and circulate Universal energy within. Through these practices we gain control of the senses and uncover our true Essence.

Paula completed the Iyengar Teacher Training program last year, making her one of only a few people in Michigan that are credentialed Iyengar Teachers!

Teachers she has studied with include Rodney Yee, Manouso Manas, Patricia Walden, Elise Miller, Karin Bannon, Joan White, Stephanie Quirk, and Linda DiCarlo. Her regular teachers are Mary Reilly, Sue Marcus and Suzie Muchnick. Paula studies with a teacher every week, as she will always be a student of yoga. The Performance Locker is truly blessed to be able to connect the community with Paula and her advanced skill and knowledge base.

When not practicing asanas and pranayama, Paula enjoys spending time with family. She met her husband Kevin in college, as he was her farthest ride north to the U.P. Together the have two boys, Cory and Alan. Both are married and both are attorneys. Paula has two grandchildren, Olivia 8 and Jake 4.

Charise Mcclendon, Coach & Certified Pilates Instructorcharise #4

Today we’d like you to meet Miss Charise Mcclendon, an Alpena native and another true example of someone who embodies the Performance Locker philosophy (even before the Performance Locker existed). Charise is our resident Pilates Teacher and joins our Mind/Body team in bringing a level of integrity into the practice that fills the studio. She is pictured here just hanging out … doing epic yoga and Pilates stuff on the beach….

Charise began her Pilates journey while swimming breaststroke in high school. She and her teammates would practice Pilates on the pool deck along with swim practice. In the off season, Pilates accompanied her daily exercise regimen simply because of how it made her feel. She didn’t realize until later the vast benefits the discipline offers beyond the physical aspect.

Having grown up with depression and body image disorders, Charise would weigh herself daily, if not more. She says she was not comfortable in her own skin and hated the girl who looked back at her from the mirror. Through Pilates and Yoga she was able to recognize the beauty and light within herself, bringing it to the surface, making her forever a changed woman. “I can honestly say that I love myself, inside and out, and I am proud of what my body can do,” she says. It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you FEEL and Charise says she feels like superwoman!

Charise has been practicing Pilates for 10 years and counting, but it wasn’t till she found yoga (about 2 years ago) that she incorporated the mind/body focus into her Pilates work. She considers yoga and Pilates her mental and physical therapy. Pilates has a much stronger mind/body aspect than most would think. It is often thought that yoga is more spiritual and Pilates is for abs, which is not the case. Many of the principles of both practices (such as breathing, focus, centering) are shared between the two. Charise is not ashamed (actually proud) to say that she has cried after doing inversions, because of the strong emotional release experienced. She names local practitioner Sarah (Hoppe) Johnson as her inspiration in developing a higher mind/body awareness through the practice of yoga and Pilates.

Charise holds the Traditional Matwork Module 1 through Balanced Body, an organization that focuses on mindful movement and one of only a few Pilates certifications backed by the Pilates Method Alliance. This is a 102 hour certification that includes 32 classroom hours, 45 hours of teaching, 25 personal mat hours. She will finish Matwork level 2 in the fall.

Charise graduated from ACC in 2008 then went on to U of M. When not carrying out the role of ‘Spiritual Gangster’ at the Performance Locker Charise can be found riding her bike or creating beautiful pieces of art. Her experience in the Rehabilitation Services at Alpena Regional Medical Center allows her to see the bridge between rehabilitation therapy and fitness and the benefits that can be realized when proper skill and attention to physical recovery is carried beyond the therapy sessions.

Charise loves being outside, whether that is canoeing or simply going for a nice walk in the sun. Music has always had a special place in her heart, from CCR to Lady GaGa and Rage Against the Machine. She is also a classically trained flutist and has played for over 15 years. She enjoys playing first person shooter games like Call of Duty on Xbox360 (a yogi who likes guns … we like our team members to be well-rounded!). 


Paige Trisko, Registered Yoga Teacher 200hr 

Paige loves rainbows, unicorns, and yoga and tends to bring this into her classes which range from exploring laughter to learning more about your vulnerabilities and self healing. Paige graduated from Be the Love 200 hour yoga teacher training with Tiffany Lenau in March 2017 and cannot believe the incredible journey it was.
Paige’s dedicated yoga practice began in 2008 when her mother insisted she take a yoga class during college to help with anxiety. She had no idea at the time how integral yoga would become to her life. In 2015 she began considering becoming a teacher and found Be the Love teacher training with the help of a dear friend and mentor. With the support of her husband and family, she took the next step. Each day she learned something new about the practice and about herself.
The first few years of her life she spent traveling the world with her family. This built into me a sense of wonder about the rest of the world. After her father retired her family moved to a small farm in northern Michigan which became her roots. Paige considers herself to be a bit silly and she can laugh rather loudly at times. She loves to eat, devour books and she loves playing with her three cats and greyhound.
In addition to her education in yoga, Paige has a masters of arts in anthropology and currently teaches at Alpena Community College. Teaching has always been a passion of hers and each semester she is reminded to stay humble as she often feels that she learns much more from her students than they learn from her. When she’s not in the classroom, Paige works with students through her position at the student services center helping them to find and reach their own goals in personal, academic and career growth.

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