Category Archives: Testimonials

Testimonial Wednesday – May 22

Community Banking
If you have discovered that your bank is actually the devil, you might consider divesting your hard-earned dough out of those multinational financial institutions – you know, the ones who kind of destroyed our economy – and start investing in a local bank. Two you might consider checking out are Self-Help Federal Credit Union in West Oakland and Torrey Pines Bank in downtown Oakland. People’s provides financial education to the local community and savings accounts for those who need to build their credit. In addition, during tax season, they set up a tax site and process hundreds of tax returns for low income earners. Torrey Pines Bank offers many more services and accounts. I personally have a business account with them and am thinking about shifting all my accounts to this bank. Their customer service is fantastic, and I never have to wait to talk to someone or make a deposit. And they provide free parking, yay.

Self-Help Federal Credit Union
“Community development credit unions provide all the services one would expect from any other credit union. What sets them apart from traditional credit unions is the emphasis placed on serving underserved populations.

CDCUs offer low-balance, interest-bearing accounts and low-interest loans to members. They position themselves as alternatives to predatory lenders and check cashing stores that drain communities’ capital resources and promote dependence on a cash-based economy. CDCUs reinvest member and non-member deposits into loans and services that preserve and expand a community’s assets.

Community development credit unions also provide financial education services to their members and community residents. CDCUs view these services as crucial in their efforts to break the cycle of dependence and increase self-sufficiency within the low-income communities they serve.”
Torrey Pines Bank
“At Torrey Pines Bank, you’ll find all of the products and services of a large bank, with the personal attentiveness of a community bank. When you approach a large national bank with an unusual need or a complex challenge, you often run up against organizational bureaucracy that gets in the way. If you take that request to a typical local bank, they may have more leeway to find a creative solution but lack the necessary resources.

Our unique advantage is that we have resources that surpass most community banks while we preserve the ability to adapt our offerings to each customer. For example, in the area of commercial real estate loans, our individual lending limit is three to five times higher than a typical local bank. Our lending practices have always been thorough, methodical and designed to reward established, well-qualified borrowers. So while other community banks find themselves constrained by a lack of capital, deteriorating loan portfolios and lending limits, we’ll often provide financing others can’t.” Ask to speak to Dale Marie Golden. Tell her your trainer sent you!!

Here are previous testimonials and blog posts.

Testimonial Wednesday – May 15

What does a graphic designer and a custom slipcover maker have in common with fitness? Ceci Bowman and Teal Major were coming to my circuit training class at the Berkeley YMCA long before I made my move to become an independent business owner. I loved that at each workout, they gave their very best and left the gym feeling great. They are both highly skilled in their respective fields and I learned a lot from them. I certainly would not be doing what I do without their encouragement, ability to brainstorm, and creative solutions. Ceci and Teal and I formed an informal networking group a few years ago to help motivate each other in our respective businesses. They gave me the idea for Urban Agility as a business name. Ceci designed my business logo and has been instrumental in helping me achieve success. I have a few of her beautiful ceramic pieces which I’ve managed to keep intact in this crazy house. Teal reupholstered my sinking couch cushion that my children still haven’t destroyed. Teal and Ceci are spectacular, strong, funny, talented women, and they are my friends. They also collaborate with each other. Here’s the work they do together: Doggy Disks

Ceci Bowman
“Ceci Bowman combines wit and whimsy in her fine art and illustrations. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a Fine Art degree, Ceci is a versatile artist who has illustrated children’s books, designed children’s fabrics, and crafted unique designs for nonprofits, businesses, and publications throughout California. Her fanciful illustrations are printed on wrapping paper and greeting cards sold in boutiques nationwide.”

Teal Major
“Although I appreciate the clean lines of upholstered furniture, I have become a proponent of slipcovers. I like the idea of recycling old furniture and transforming a shabby, tired chair into something fresh and inviting. But mostly I love that slipcovers can be washed or dry cleaned whenever necessary. Honestly, how likely are you to have your couch or chair steam cleaned? When you wash your couch and chair covers in addition to dusting, vacuuming the floors, and cleaning the cobwebs from the corners, the whole room is fresh and ready to be lived in.

As the years have gone by I have added curtains, roman shade, cushions, pillows and bedding to my custom design and sewing work room.

I enjoy helping people choose fabrics and helping them to make their house into a home. And I am thankful for each and every one of my clients who has asked me into their lives. Being a results oriented person; seeing a project through to the end and enjoying the results of change is what I was born to do for my life’s work.”

Thank you, Ceci and Teal, for inspiring me to be better at what I do!

Testimonial Wednesday – May 8

Testimonial Wednesday: Holistic Health
I have been developing great relationships in the past year with 4 gifted professionals who often collaborate with each other to create a plan of action for people who want to improve their lives. They are all highly qualified in their fields and have been an inspiration to me.

Naturopathic Doctor: Teray Garchitorena
Please meet my colleague, Dr. Teray Garchitorena. Dr. Teray has 4 spots open in her naturopathic practice and asked me to think about people who might benefit from improving their health and addressing health issues with her support. I thought you might be interested in checking them out.

Dr. Teray herself is an experienced naturopathic doctor and part of Berkeley Naturopathic Medical Group. She is uniquely qualified to work with people like you because she has expertise in treating the underlying cause of health issues with natural methods. She is also especially gifted in working with healthy people to help them achieve a greater level of health. Here is a link to her website and qualifications:

Her clients consistently feel better and have increased energy and better sleep. I thought you might be interested in one of these spaces.

ADHD Coach for Adults and Teens: Sydney Metrick
Do you…
get lost
get distracted
lose track of time
worry excessively
get over-stimulated
have memory problems
have a learning disability
have a strong nagging inner critic
try to do things perfectly or not at all
avoid paperwork, billing, reports, etc.
make impulsive or compulsive decisions
often stay late at work to get the job done
have a high IQ, creativity and under-achieve
have a respectable career, yet do not feel successful?

My friend and colleague, Sydney Metrick, can help. Artful Coaching works with people who have ADHD and other non-linear thinkers providing unwavering support and enthusiastic encouragement, along with practical tools and resources. Together she helps her clients target their most challenging areas developing strategies and habits which create ongoing accomplishments.

Ask about a complimentary session.

Relationships: Craig Toonder
I would like to introduce my colleague and friend, Craig Toonder, MFT. Craig is a psychotherapist who specializes in couples counseling. Craig is running a couples communication skills class. The class teaches couples to recognize deeper issues behind their arguments, and how to communicate more effectively with each other. A friend of mine took his class and said that “after more than 21 years, it’s as if [her] and [her] husband had a whole new relationship.”

I thought I would help spread the word. Here is a link to his website.

Craig was recently interviewed on Dr. Lori-Ann Gertonson’s Self Health Movement Teleseminar Series. The interview, The Gift of Love: Exploring Connection and Understanding, offers information around what makes a healthy relationship and what gets in the way.
To listen or down load it for free, go to:

Holistic Chiropractor: Lori-Ann Gertonson
Dr. Lori-Ann Gertonson is the founder of The Gertonson Institute, and the developer of The Quantum Alignment Process™-a consciousness based healing system that incorporates her expertise in lifestyle management, personal development and well-being. For 30 years she has been helping people to find the underlying cause and lasting solution to their health problems, to release pain, anxiety and overwhelm in their lives, to create happiness in their daily life, and to navigate life transitions with ease while connecting to a deeper sense of self and higher purpose.

She is dedicated to providing the knowledge and tools for people to take charge of their own health and healing, live a healthy life, and connect to their inner truth. She has been a speaker, workshop leader and consultant to companies such as United Airlines, Kaiser Permanente, and Whole Foods. After years of helping people manage personal transformation she is bringing a new perspective to healthcare through the self-health movement.

Testimonial Wednesday – May 1

Testimonial Wednesday:
This is a new series I’m starting to highlight some of the amazing businesses that have shaped me as a person and a trainer, and helped me wear all the other hats I wear in my life. Some may be more personal than others, some are based on professional relationships I’ve established. Some weeks, I might bunch a few together. Take a few minutes to look at the testimonial below and see if you or someone you know might need this particular person or service. It’s great when I can help make your life better in some other way than just bringing totally awesome workouts. I chose this first one specifically because I would not be doing what I do without the help of this amazing person.

Katie Mink, Bancroft Center for Chinese Medicine
At the Bancroft Center for Chinese Medicine the other day, I laid down on the treatment table and took a big breath. Katie Mink and I had been talking for some time and now she was ready to give me an acupuncture treatment. I suddenly realized that of all the things I told her, I didn’t mention any physical pain at all.

Twelve years ago at my first appointment with Katie, I was living with pain so debilitating that it truly crippled my body and my spirit. I had been diagnosed with tendonitis in both arms. The pain traveled from my fingers up to my neck with a burning sensation searing across my shoulders. I stopped being able to work or sit for any length of time. I wasn’t physically active and certainly wasn’t inspired to exercise. Still, I was desperate to change my life. I remember how scared I was at the first appointment, and I’m not talking about the needles, which I don’t actually mind. I was brought up to believe that anything “eastern” was evil and to be avoided. This meant yoga, meditation, and most especially acupuncture. I must have been in a lot of pain to put that aside and give Katie a call.

After our first session, my pain went away for a few hours. It eventually came back. But for the first time, I felt hope I hadn’t felt in a long time, hope that things could be different. We worked together a lot in the first year. Each time, the relief would last a little longer, a littler longer. Days, then weeks, then a couple of months would go by, and the pain was less and less. I’m not cured by any means. I may always have some level of trouble with my hands and arms. But here’s the miraculous thing: I am a different person than I was 12 years ago. The hope she instilled in me helped me reach a little further into myself and discover that I was stronger and more resilient than I gave myself credit for. I started to exercise: run, lift weights, and even – Oh Lord! – practice yoga!! Two years after those first sessions, I became a certified personal trainer. Now, I’m also a level 5 Acutonics sound healer. I use the sound forks regularly in my training practice, on my body, and with my family.

Both Katie Mink and Laurie Heron, have given me so much in these past years. They have skills and compassion as healers, and they have wisdom to impart as mentors. I highly respect them as guides and love them as friends.

Contact Info:
1720 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94703