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Copyright 2010,
American Senior Fitness

Who's Who in Senior Fitness

  • C. Jessie Jones, PhD.

  • Kay Van Norman, MS

  • Jim Evans

  • Karl G. Knopf, Ed.D.

  • Jan Montague

  • Laura Gladwin



"Who's Who in Senior Fitness" is a feature of In the coming months we will profile many more individuals and organizations that are helping to define the future of older adult fitness programming.

C. Jessie Jones, PhD.

Dr. Jessie Jones is Chair and Professor in Health Science, and Director of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University, Fullerton, USA. A longtime friend and National Advisory Board member of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), Dr. Jones has an extensive teaching and research background in gerontological health.

Professor Jones is co-author of the Senior Fitness Test Manual, co-editor of the book Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults, has published numerous articles, and has presented at conferences throughout the U.S. and the world.

Dr. Jones continues to focus her research agenda on factors related to health and well-being in later years and on factors associated with the physical and cognitive status of adults with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain disorders.

Kay Van Norman, MS


Kay Van Norman, MS, is an internationally known writer, speaker and wellness consultant. She directed the Keiser Institute on Aging for three years, and serves on both the International Council on Active Aging and American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) boards. She’s written two books, several chapters and scores of journal articles on aging well, and her educational resources won a Best Practice Award from the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Kay is the founder and president of Brilliant Aging, a consulting firm committed to promoting lifelong vitality and inspiring brand loyalty for companies interested in bringing positive lifestyle strategies to senior consumers.

Kay is a thought leader on the topic of ageism and has been a catalyst for action through national and international organizations. She wrote a 2006 issue brief on ageism for NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging, co-authored a chapter for the World Economic Forum -- 2011 Global Action Council on Aging monograph titled Media Portrayal of Aging, and has been instrumental in the International Council on Active Aging Rebranding Aging Movement. Her books, speeches and field-tested wellness resources have helped older adults around the world confront ageism and take consistent action to support well-being, regardless of challenges.

Kay is well known for her ability to translate research findings from multiple disciplines into actionable tools and innovative solutions for diverse industries and audiences. As Director of the Keiser Institute on Aging she worked with world renowned researchers, industry leaders and practitioners to bridge the gap between research and practice in the fields of gerontology, senior housing, fitness and older adult wellness. Her mission and passion is tapping into the universal desire for lifelong vitality and mobilizing it into action -- for both individuals and companies.

Kay believes that each individual should receive the opportunity to reach his or her personal potential. She likes to remind people that “age has less to do with who a person is and what they’re capable of than almost any other single factor.”

“I also encourage people who work with older adults to take a close look at the successes of the disability movement derived from looking at possibilities rather than disabilities,” she says. “Young people with disabilities receive resources, opportunities and social support to overcome disabilities and excel in spite of them. Yet adults who are challenged with a disability later in life are often simply given tools to cope with disabilities. There’s a profound difference between a mindset of coping with, versus overcoming, challenges – one that directly impacts expectations, interactions and outcomes. As individuals and as an industry we can work to change expectations and opportunities for older adults challenged by disabilities and functional limitations.”

Kay elaborated on those principles in an article that appeared in the August 4, 2010, issue of SFA’s Experience! newsletter. To view, click on Senior Living Models Revisited

“I believe the health care crisis is not going to be solved by government programs,” Kay continues, “but instead by individuals inspired into action for their own well-being, and by companies worldwide who mobilize resources to reach out to their customers with healthy lifestyle strategies.”

Kay and her family enjoy living in Montana, where she has seven horses! She can be reached at (406) 587-0786. Learn more at

Jim Evans

SFA author Jim Evans is a 43-year veteran of the health and fitness industry and internationally recognized consultant specializing in fitness for seniors. For seven years he was host of the popular radio talk show "Forever Young" on San Diego's KCBQ 1170 AM focusing on issues of health, fitness, and quality of life for older adults. He is a member of the Visionary Board for the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), focusing exclusively on the health and wellness of adults 50 years and older. Association members include people working within senior housing and retirement communities, recreation, academia, government agencies, and fitness and rehabilitation centers.

For nine years Jim served as chairman of the advisory board for the San Diego Retired & Senior Volunteer Program overseeing the fundraising and volunteer activities of more than 2,700 older adults at more than 250 worksites in San Diego (California) County.

Jim has been published in dozens of magazines and newspapers over the years including Successful Retirement, 55 & Fine, Good Age, Economic Community, Living Better, Men’s Exercise, Motor Home, Under the Sun, Senior Life San Diego, Club and Resort Business, Exercise for Men Only, Iron Man, and many, many more. His editorials have appeared in the San Diego Business Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Des Moines Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and others. He is the author of "Senior Health & Fitness," a monthly column published in more than 750 markets across the country (since 1992) and is a popular and well-known speaker available for speaking engagements through World Class Speakers & Entertainers.

He was the owner and president of the Peninsula Athletic Club in San Diego, the largest health, fitness, and recreational complex in California – a 200,000 square foot facility on 546 acres serving more than 3,500 members and more than 250 schools and community groups. The facility hosted such historic events as the International BMW Dealers Convention and the San Diego Grand Prix and provided lodging and services for the 1999 Mexican Women’s soccer team during the World Cup and the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. The club was sold in 2002 to Multi-Line Fitness International, an international chain of upscale health clubs in the U.S. and Canada. Jim currently works as vice president of sales and marketing for the SIM Corporation dba Bay Area Family Fitness in addition to his consulting and freelance writing.

A former world-class powerlifter and collegiate wrestler, Jim is a charter member of the ABCC Natural Bodybuilding Hall of Fame (1985) and was the sole inductee in the U.S. Natural Bodybuilding Hall of Fame in 2009. He was the founder of the North American Natural Bodybuilding Association (NANBA) -- now NANBF -- in 1984 and hosted the first World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF) pro natural competition -- the Natural Universe - in 1990. He is an alumnus of The Ohio State University in Columbus where he majored in English and served as president of the Ohio State Weightlifting Club. He was a member of the varsity wrestling team at Ohio State on a full athletic grant-in-aid.

Jim and his wife Jacquie grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and currently live in Dublin, California. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

Karl G. Knopf, Ed.D.

Dr. Knopf is a long-time member of the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) National Advisory Board. "Dr. Karl" -- as his students affectionately call him -- has been involved in the health and fitness area for the disabled and for mature adults for more than 30 years. Currently he is the coordinator of the Adaptive Fitness Therapy Program at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California.

In the past Dr. Knopf has been a consultant for numerous grants, including National Institutes of Health grants. He is a frequent guest on the PBS "Sit and Be Fit" television series; has served as advisor to the State of California on fitness for the disabled; and has been featured in the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other major publications discussing the benefits of physical activity for older adults.

Dr. Knopf is the author of more than 10 books, including the following titles published by Ulysses Press: Stretching for 50 Plus, Weights for 50 Plus, and Sports Conditioning for 50 Plus. His latest book is the Healthy Hips Handbook (2010), which is also published by Ulysses Press.

Dr. Knopf can be reached via email at .

Jan Montague

SFA National Advisory Board member Jan Montague is a strong voice for wellness and quality of life among older adults. She is Vice President for Whole-person Wellness Solutions Inc., a for-profit division of Life Enriching Communities in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jan was recruited by Life Enriching Communities (LEC) to further its effort to create a learning, teaching, and consulting whole-person-wellness environment. This environment can impact not only LEC’s residents and staff, but also – through consultations, management, and research with various national wellness partners – throughout the nation.

Jan has devoted her entire professional life to wellness and health promotion. Early in her career, she owned and managed a chain of fitness centers. Continuing to expand the dimensions of wellness beyond the physical to the whole person, she implemented and directed a state-of-the-art wellness center at a senior living community, Maple Knoll Village, in Cincinnati, OH. Knowing that other communities had similar needs, she began a consulting company and worked with more than 100 such communities in their efforts toward wellness. In the process, she collaborated with fitness equipment companies, health clubs, hospitals, physical therapy companies, and large architectural firms, developing wellness centers and programs that truly serve the whole person.

Jan obtained a BS in Applied Sociology from Northern Kentucky University and was honored to be accepted by the Scripps Gerontology Center, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, obtaining her Master’s of Gerontological Studies (MGS) degree in 1992. She has conducted collaborative research with gerontology professors at both of these universities, as well as with researchers at the University of Cincinnati, Ball State Fisher Institute on Aging, Manchester College, Cal State Fullerton, and the Mather Institute on Aging.

In 1997, Ms. Montague received the Professional Achievement Award from Northern Kentucky University. She received the Cottrell Distinguished Alumni Award from Scripps Gerontology Center in 2007. Jan serves on several national and international advisory boards and has authored numerous articles for professional journals focusing on whole-person wellness and optimal aging.

Laura Gladwin

SFA National Advisory Board charter member, Laura Gladwin, MS, MAFP, has a strong record of making things happen in the field of senior fitness.

Laura Gladwin earned her bachelor's degree in physical education from Michigan State University and her master's degree with specialties in gerontology and exercise physiology from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF).

A respected author, presenter and mentor, Laura is the owner of LGA Consulting in Marana, Arizona, specializing in wellness educational program development and implementation. As chair of the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) Education Advisory Board, she oversees all of AFAA's educational programs. She is the editor-in-chief for the AFAA textbooks Fitness: Theory & Practice (3rd, 4th and 5th editions) and Personal Fitness Training: Theory & Practice (1st and 2nd editions).

In addition to serving on SFA's National Advisory Board, Laura is a fellow of the National Board of Fitness Examiners and a coalition member of the National Standards for Preparing Senior Fitness Instructors and the International Curriculum Guidelines for Preparing Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults.

Previously, Laura served as an advisory board member for ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal; associate professor at CSUF; and special advisor to the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She currently teaches exercise classes at Heritage Highlands, an active adult community located in the Dove Mountain community of Marana, Arizona.

On a personal note, Laura and her husband Steve enjoy visiting their son Ken in California -- and, in Oregon, their daughter Lindsay and son-in-law Dave, who are the parents of four-year-old Tyler and two-year-old Lily. Laura says, "I am a grandmother of two fantastic children!"