Fitness Ambassadors

Bill Sonnemaker

  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Personal Trainer
  • Educator
  • IDEA master trainer
  • strength and conditioning coach

Bill Sonnemaker MS, is an internationally sought after Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer, and Educator.   Bill’s impressive credentials, first-class scientific education, and numerous national and international awards distinguish him as a cutting edge leader in the fitness industry. In 2007, Bill received both the IDEA International Personal Trainer of the Year and the NASM Pursuit of Excellence Awards.  He is recognized worldwide by his peers in the health and fitness industry as a highly motivated and committed leader and advocate for the advancement of fitness professionals’ training and competence standards.

Bill holds a MS in Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention. His superb ability to train and educate stems in part from his academic background in Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, along with his prior professional experience as a CDC Research Scientist.  He has obtained advanced specializations and certifications as a Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  He earned these and additional certifications through PTA Global, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).  Bill is an IDEA® Master Trainer and spokesperson.  He is the Director of Training and Development for Redcord, the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Georgia Team, an Examiner for the Medical Fitness Association (MFA). Bill also contributes content and teaches as a Master Trainer for Trigger Point, Indo Board, Core Fitness Roller, Redcord, ViPR and HaloBells.

Bill’s scientific foundation, superior understanding of functional anatomy, chemistry, and the composition and ultimate potential of the human body provides the platform for his ongoing quest to reach the masses.  Whether he is working with Professional Athletes or General Population his passion is to help motivate, educate and train others to achieve their optimal level of health by reaching and maintaining their fitness goals. As the Founder and CEO of Catalyst Fitness, Bill thrives on using his world-class knowledge and skills when training clients and professional athletes and when designing Corporate Wellness Programs at Catalyst Fitness in Atlanta, Georgia. Catalyst Fitness is Georgia’s only fully accredited and medically recognized Personal Training and Performance Enhancement facility.


Ilaria Montagnani

  • Powerstrike – martial arts
  • kickboxing
  • Forza sword training

Ilaria Montagnani is an internationally acclaimed fitness expert who founded Powerstrike in 1995. Inspired by the idea of pushing physical limits to ignite inner strength, she combined her martial arts background with contemporary choreography to develop a groundbreaking approach to group fitness.

Media outlets from around the world have taken notice. Ilaria’s workouts have been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart Show, The Dr. Oz Show, The Tyra Show, and CBS and ABC Evening News, among many others. The Wall Street Journal called her a “leading force” in the fitness world and New York Magazine labeled her one of the city’s top fitness gurus. In 2010, ECA voted Ilaria Best Female Presenter.

Ilaria’s journey to the top of the fitness world began over 20 years ago. On a mission to learn English, she came from her native Italy to New York in 1987 and quickly discovered more than just a new language. One of her most meaningful discoveries was Karate, which she began studying with intense determination. After pursuing her first black belt, she devoted several years to learning kickboxing and continued studying to perfect Iaido sword training. Ilaria also has been deeply committed to strength training for over 20 years and still challenges herself to break new barriers.

When she’s not teaching to packed studios in New York City, Ilaria travels the world sharing Powerstrike’s inspirational workouts. She has trained instructors and developed programs for facilities in the U.S, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy, and throughout South America. She stars in the Powerstrike DVD series and has written a book on her popular Samurai sword workout, Forza—aptly named: In Italian, it means “strength.”


Abbie Appel

  • Fitness educator
  • program developer for SPRI
  • master trainer for TRX
  • jumpsport
  • Resist-a-ball

Abbie Appel is an internationally recognized fitness educator and motivational speaker. As a consultant for JumpSport, Resist-A-Ball, SPRI products and TRX, she specializes in developing unique fitness programs and in transforming basic movements into something fresh and exciting. Abbie is an AVIA ambassador and contributes material to fitness publications, including Self, Shape, Prevention and IDEA Journal. She stars in numerous fitness videos and most recently was chosen by Canadian Fitness Professionals as “Best New Presenter of 2012”. She can be seen presenting for ECA, IDEA, SCW and IHRSA.