CEO: Pam Carter
Pam has been involved in traditional sports all of her life – track, gymnastics, swimming, softball, etc. She has always liked cross training. Pam’s career started in medicine in the late ’70s working as an EMT, paramedic and nursing. She worked in emergency, critical care, and rehabilitation. In the early ’90s she decided on a change and moved into law enforcement, becoming a coroner Investigator. She kept her hand in medicine doing quality assurance for a fire department paramedic program for 6 years until 2008. There she met Steve Bishop and Juan Colorado who were paramedic firefighters who also made and manufactured rescue equipment at Fire Innovations in Petaluma, CA. The men at the Fire Innovations department would play a pivotal role in helping to design and manufacture the unique and versatile SAFE Fly Gym equipment; all up to the highest standard safety codes!
In 2007 Pam discovered the beauty and challenge of pole dance as a form of fitness and opened her own pole dance studio in 2008. It was around this time that she met with Aruna about creating a system to help beginning pole dancers develop the strength and flexibility they needed to succeed at their art….and thus the brainstorming for what was to become “Fly Gym” began!
Creative Director: Aruna Karen Andes
Aruna was born the year of the Fire Monkey and has loved to hang on things (Fly Gym swings, poles, monkey bars) ever since. Diagnosed with scoliosis at 14, she was given a choice between a complete spinal fusion or “exercising more than most people.” It was an easy choice. She also discovered that her spine straightened out when upside down, so using gravity to her advantage has been a lifelong driving force.
Aruna believes that Fly Gym is more than a piece of exercise equipment. It’s medicine for the soul. A fitness professional for nearly 35 years, she has published five books, countless magazine articles and produced over 20 video-DVDs (including Body Confidence with Cher!). Certified by NFPT ACE, and AFAA, Aruna is an ongoing experiment in agelessness.
Head of Education: Jehan Izhar
Jehan, or “J” joined the Fly Gym team to lend her expertise in strength & conditioning and physical activity program design. J is a certified fitness coach, yoga teacher, Tae Kwon Do black belt, and aerial circus performer. J holds a Masters Degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelors degree in Theatre Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
J used her research in creative human movement and her expertise in working in various facets of the fitness industry to create Fly Gym’s teacher training program, aerial fitness education workshops, and design progressive Fly Gym exercise programs for beginners to professional athletes.
J’s fitness philosophy is “empower your body, empower yourself!”
Fly Gym-Pole Research, Development & Instruction: Karol Helms
As a pioneer in the early days of the pole fitness movement, which took place mainly on YouTube, Karol gained popularity by sharing her progress through her own videos as well as inspiring and encouraging others to find their own pole prowess. Karol’s pole dancing obsession began in 2006 when she purchased an X-Pole and began self teaching herself and helping others through videos on YouTube. She started competing in 2008 and currently holds the titles of Charlotte’s Poleapalooza 2008, USPDF East Coast Champ 2009, USPDF Miss Sexy 2010, and 3rd Place in USPDF 2012 Pro Championships. Now, teaming up with Fly Gym, and sponsored by X-Pole, and a Brand Director of the Pole Fit line by Bad Kitty, Karol loves traveling around the world performing and teaching others to find confidence and strength through the art of pole dance and is excited to now have a conditioning apparatus like Fly Gym to aid in building strength, improving body awareness, increasing flexibility, and learning proper technique on the pole.
Chief Operating Officer: Patti Fincher
Patti joined the Fly Gym team as the company’s COO. She holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California State University, Northridge. She was a controller for a 3 Billion Dollar Development firm in California for 25 years. She was responsible for the accounting, finance, and revenue operations. Her expertise includes design of short-and-long-term financial plans, investment management, financial problem solving, corrective action plan implementation, Material Control and compliance…
The most important thing to her is her customer. “We always listen to our customer and provide good customer service”. “Customer service is the most important thing about your business”.
Patti is so excited to join the Fly Gym team, and who loves making customers happy, provided great product and build great teams.