The United States Registry of Exercise Professionals® is operated by the Coalition. The Coalition has a volunteer Board of Directors composed of individuals representing qualifying member organizations. The Board and two non-voting Advisory Directors are elected to a specified term. The two Advisory Directors represent elected individuals from the Commission for the Accreditation of Exercise Science (CoAES) which accredits two-year, four-year and graduate level programs in Exercise Science and the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which works to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of a variety of certification programs/organizations that assess professional competence.
PRESIDENT, CREP® Board of Directors ('13-'16)
American Council on Exercise (ACE)
4851 Paramount Dr.
San Diego, CA 92123
With more than 25 years of experience in the fitness industry, Graham Melstrand is the Vice President of Corporate Affairs for the American Council on Exercise where he is responsible for developing and managing opportunities and relationships that advance public policy positions and industry standards that support active, healthy lifestyles and advance the role of the exercise professional. He currently serves as a member of a variety of advisory boards and committees including: the board of directors for the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA), commissioner for the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) where he sits on the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (COAES), and the Medical Fitness Association Outcomes Committee. He is also a former member of the Joint Committee on Health Fitness Facility Standards for NSF International.
VICE PRESIDENT ('13-16)
Richard Cotton, M.A.
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
National Director of Certification
P.O. Box 1440
Indianapolis, IN 46206-1440
Richard Cotton has worked in the health and fitness industry for nearly 30 years. Throughout his career he has been a service provider and promoter of the exercise movement.
The majority of Cotton’s career has been in the development and management of fitness professional certification programs. In his current position as National Director of Certification Programs with the American College of Sports Medicine© (ACSM), Cotton utilizes the vast expertise of the ACSM membership to provide a state-of-the-art certification program that is in direct support of the mission of the College.
In mid-career Cotton served as the Chief Exercise Physiologist with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Over the course of eight years, he was the organization's spokesperson, appearing on "Good Morning America," "Dateline NBC", and CNN. He was also the editor of five highly regarded health and fitness professional training manuals.
As Chief Exercise Physiologist at both the Sharp Healthcare System and the world-renowned Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation from 1980 to 1991, Cotton worked with both obese and underweight patients, and people with heart disease, diabetes, cancer and hypertension.
Cotton has a B.A. in Education from Wayne State University, Detroit, and an M.A. in Exercise Science from San Diego State University. He holds two ACSM certifications, the Preventive and Rehabilitative Program DirectorSM and Clinical Exercise Specialist®.
Brian Biagioli, EdD
NCSF Board for Certification
5915 Ponce De Leon Blvd
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Dr. Brian Biagioli currently serves as Executive Director for the National Council on Strength and Fitness Board for Certification and as the Graduate Program Director for Strength and Conditioning in the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Science at the University of Miami. He is very active in the fitness industry, presently serving on four national committees related to standard setting, education accreditation and population engagement in physical activity. Dr. Biagioli has authored three college text books and most recently is the primary editor for a new book on advanced sports performance. He has presented internationally at Universities and for different sport conferences, including lectures in Argentina, Turkey, Ukraine and at the Olympic training center in Korea. Formerly, Dr. Biagioli was the Program Director for the Department of Exercise Physiology at Florida International University.
Francis Neric, MS
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
Exam Development Manager
1885 Bob Johnson Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Francis Neric is currently the Certification Development Manager at the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). The majority of his career at the NSCA has been in the development and management of NSCA’s four certification programs. Most recently, Neric managed the strategic planning and development of certificate courses for the Association.
Prior to working at the NSCA, Neric coached swimming at the age-group, collegiate, and master’s level for over 12 years. Beyond the day-to-day operations of Exam Development, Neric has presented for the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE) on the following: Certification vs. Assessment-based Certificates: Navigating the Fine Line and Key Considerations: In-Person Versus Virtual Item Development.
Neric has a BS in Exercise Science from California State University-Long Beach and an MS in Clinical Exercise Physiology from California State University-Fullerton. Neric is currently working on his MBA in Management at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and is anticipating to graduate in 2016.
ADVISORY DIRECTOR ('13-'16)
Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, FAACVPR
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research
College of Education
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3980
Atlanta, GA. 30302-3980
Dr. Walter R. Thompson is Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research and a tenured Regents’ Professor of Kinesiology and Health (College of Education) and in the Department of Nutrition (Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions) at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia State University in 1994, Walt was a tenured Professor of Exercise Science and Director of the Laboratory for Applied Physiology at the University of Southern Mississippi and Program Director for the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Health Enhancement Center at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago. He has published over 100 research-based articles on health-related topics and has received over $20 million in funding for his various initiatives. He has authored or has edited 13 books. Because of his personal interest in at-risk kids living in the inner city, he serves as the Executive Director of After-School All-Stars Atlanta, a comprehensive after school program now serving nearly 3,000 middle school aged children every school day.
ADVISORY DIRECTOR ('13-'16)
Denise M. Fandel, MBA, CAE
3315 N 124 Street
Omaha, NE 68164
Denise is the Executive Director of the NATA Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) a position she has held since she was hired by the BOC in 1997 to establish a national headquarters and full-time staff. Throughout her almost 30 year professional career she has served as a volunteer in local, state and national organizations. In athletic training and credentialing she has experience as both a chief elected officer and chief staff officer. Most recently Denise completed her term as Chair of the Board of Director of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, or ICE. ICE is a professional membership association that provides education, networking, and other resources for organizations and individuals who work in and serve the credentialing industry. ICE is a leading developer of standards for both certification and certificate programs and it is both a provider of and a clearing house for information on trends in certification, test development and delivery, assessment-based certificate programs, and other information relevant to the credentialing community.
Director Government Affairs
PO Box 14473
Lenexa, KS 66285-4473
Katherine Hughey, GFI
PO Box 14473
Lenexa, KS 66285-4473
For more information, contact the office.
Newly certified exercise professionals are added to the Registry once vetted through the member organization. The Registry represents qualified professionals from member organizations only and therefore should not be considered a comprehensive resource to identify all exercise professionals with NCCA-accredited certifications. For a comprehensive list of NCCA-accredited exercise certification programs please visit: www.credentialingexcellence.org