Jackie Sanca, Lead Trainer

I have had the pleasure of being a trainer at AHFC since their doors opened. Holding a BS in Speech and Language Pathology and a Masters in Exercise Science, Physical Education and Health, I’m currently working as an elementary PE/Health Teacher. My passion is to make physical activity, movement and health available and attainable for all. My hobbies include walks and hikes with my dog Calvin, and cooking and spending time with friends and family. I played rugby in college and enjoy recreational sports now. My inspiration for working here at the fitness center is watching clients grow and be able to attain goals they never thought they would. There is a sense of community; everyone who walks into the facility belongs and will achieve goals that will set them up for a life full of health and wellness.

Nadia Wilson, Trainer

I am a graduate student studying speech-language pathology. I have experience in a public school and a specialized school. I have served as a one-on-one paraprofessional and hope to continue working in an educational setting. Here at AHFC, I started an inclusive track team, which I enjoy being a part of. Helping my clients enjoy exercising and finding preferred methods of staying active has inspired me at the gym and beyond. Outside of work, I love staying active by running, biking, hiking, and doing yoga. When I am not exercising, I love traveling and trying new foods. I am CPR and NASM-CPT certified.

Tracey Linke, Adapted PE Instructor

Tracey Linke has been working in the fitness and wellness industry for over 15 years. She most recently worked as a Wellness Director for 8 years with the National Institute for Fitness and Sport before joining our team here. She has an academic background in natural health studies and exercise science, specializing in neurology and those living with a variety  of physical abilities. She is a Therapeutic Exercise Specialist and an experienced yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi instructor and loves working with people of all ages. Tracey lives in Clinton with her husband and two children.  She loves running and hiking with her family or being out on the boat fishing for the day. A fun fact: Tracey was ranked 16th in the nation as a power lifter with the American Drug Free Powerlifting Association.

Michael Wight, Trainer

I’ve worked for the EXERT study with elderly populations at the YMCA, Personal Training at Planet Fitness and the YMCA with all populations, and have worked independently with personal clientele for about six years. My current certifications include ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Online Coaching Certification, as well as Functional Movement Screens. As far as my personal interests - I’m a Christian praise and worship singer and bassist for KLCC. I’m a martial artist who’s dabbled in boxing and BJJ and thoroughly loved it. I’m a hilariously big fan of Star Wars, and as for strengths, I’m a powerlifter. I have a long way to go in that sport, but for how far I’ve come I really enjoy it. The goal of any personal trainer is to help people. Working at Autism Health and Fitness Center, I believe I’m positioned to do a lot of good in a facility that is beautiful and filled with kind and dedicated people.

Briana Vizcaino, Trainer

I have been working as a second grade teacher for the past 6 years in California! I recently moved to Connecticut. I am excited to be working at the AHFC and with Milford Public Schools. I graduated with my Bachelors in Liberal studies from CSUSB and my Masters in Teaching and Learning from the University of Redlands.  

Growing up, I spent many hours and summers at my mother’s hospital that is for developmentally disabled or delayed children who are unable to be cared for at home. Her long-term care facility instilled a love for working with children and people with special needs. 

When I am not working, I love hiking, yoga, playing basketball, going to the gym, and exploring Connecticut!

Steve Freitas, Trainer

Steve’s mission is to provide the utmost personal/professional training experience. He aims to encompass a holistic health approach in achieving a mobile, strong, and pain-free performance based lifestyle of vitality and happiness. Steve is a Certified Personal Trainer, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, NSPA Certified Speed and Agility Coach, and ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist. He has been personal training since he was 19 years old. He obtained his B.S. in Exercise Science with a concentration in Human Performance from Southern Connecticut State University in 2017. Notably, in that same year, he worked as SCSU’s president Joe Bertolino’s personal trainer. Steve has trained athletes, general populations, and special populations ranging from 16 years old up to 90 years old.

Through his current 8 years of experience, Steve has worked in collegiate settings, private sectors, commercial gyms, rehab facilities, and non-profit wellness centers. He is primarily a basketball and football fan, but enjoys all sports. His hobbies include basketball, dance, music, food, and traveling.

He enjoys working at Autism Health and Fitness Center because it gives him a chance to use his expertise in a fun and rewarding setting. Empowering this population to have a good time and improve their functional ability is an experience he’s very thankful to be able to provide.

Karyn Gallagher, Trainer

Karyn earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA, K-12 Special Education Certification and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Southern CT State University, and a 6th year degree in Educational Leadership from Sacred Heart University.  Since a young age, Karyn has had a passion for sports and fitness and is eager to help others improve their fitness.   In college, she joined the crew team and continues to row with the New Haven Rowing Club.  Karyn is a Special Education Teacher in North Haven Public Schools and has taught at both the elementary and middle school levels.  Prior to obtaining her certification, Karyn worked at ACES and Benhaven School as a paraprofessional.  Karyn is a certified ISSA Trainer.

Melissa Gambardella, Trainer

I have worked with kids with autism for 7 years in both school and home settings, and am currently working on obtaining my BCBA. I graduated from UNH with a Masters in Psychology and am attending FIT for my ABA certification. I love helping kids reach their full potential to be the best they can be! I am also very passionate about fitness, and in the process of getting my NASM certification so I can branch out even farther to help others to reach their physical goals. I have always loved fitness. I am a competitive powerlifter, and have run 5 half marathons. I love the outdoors, hiking, jogging, and walking the beach. Some fun facts about me: I love trying different types of foods, reading, hanging with my niece and nephews, and traveling. I also have 2 rescue cats who I adore. My dream is to travel the world one day.

I’m so excited to be a part of the AHFC team and share my love of fitness with others. My greatest passion in life, outside of faith and family, revolves around anything and everything related to health and fitness. Being physically active has so many benefits including improving brain health, help in managing weight, reducing the risk of disease, and strengthening bones and muscles. I love to help people learn to love and enjoy exercise and movement,  and overcome obstacles to improve their overall healthy lifestyle.

Dan Robinson

My name is Dan and I am from Seymour, CT. I've played sports my entire life and currently spend my free time focused on powerlifting. Outside of here, I work in a physical therapy office aiding in injury rehabilitation. I have been involved in the Special Olympics for the last 12 years helping coach in track, swimming, croquet, golf, and bowling and have volunteered with numerous other inclusive organizations throughout my life. I also love listening to music, going on runs with my dog, and eating lots of carbs. My main focus is to have fun and get strong in the process!

Miriam McMilleon, Cardio Dance Instructor

Miriam has been a part of the Fitness Center team since 2016. She is our very energetic Cardio Dance Instructor and has a knack for getting the entire room moving and dancing to music. Her dance routines are fun and very accessible to our members which makes it a really engaging class and a favorite activity for many. Miriam has many talents and also helps out at summer camp and at the front desk.  When she is not at the gym she is a child care provider at a daycare and very busy raising two awesome sons.