Let's get personal.
Owner / Personal Trainer
BS, MAT, NCSF, NESTA, IYCA, BLS, Co-founder and Owner/Director of Pyramid Youth & Adult Fitness and Wellness Center of West Orange. Franco graduated from Nutley High School in 1996, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education & Health from William Paterson University in 2001 and a Masters degree in Teaching (MAT) in 2006. He currently holds certifications from (NCSF) National Council of Strength and Fitness, (NESTA) National Endurance and Strength Trainers Association, (IYCA) International Youth Conditioning Association, Youth Fitness, Speed & Agility Specialist, High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist and is a Basic Life Support (CPR/AED) Instructor with the American Heart Association.
Since 2004, Franco is a respected Physical Education teacher and personal trainer who has taught and trained hundreds of children and adults in the community. He is a hard worker, honest, organized, self-motivated and is great with kids and parents. His emphasis is on inspiring, educating and motivating his clients to achieve their personal goals which are obtained through hard work and consistency. Franco believes in teamwork, positive group support, cohesion and he builds self-confidence and self-esteem in his clients. He has also worked at the West Essex YMCA as an after-school program instructor and sports counselor. Franco was also the Head Baseball coach in West Orange at the Junior Varsity level (2009-2010), Roosevelt Middle School (2010-2011) and the Head Softball coach at Golda Och Academy (2011-2013).
Eric Gudz is a certified trainer through International Fitness Association. He is currently a junior at Montclair State University majoring in exercise science. After graduation he hopes to continue his education and becoming a physical therapist. Eric has been an athlete all of his life. He is a Livingston high school graduate where he was on the soccer team and was on the track team. Personal fitness is very important to him. He incorporates exercise and healthy living as well as nutrition in his personal life. He makes it his goal to inspire his clients as well.
Eric has 7 years of experience working with children. He has been a counselor at willow lake day camp as well as a counselor and recently the assistant to athletic director at The New Horizons camp. He has also been an active volunteer for the past 7 years at The Friendship Circle where he interacts and guides children with special needs. Eric believes that physical fitness is a very important part of one’s life. Physical fitness can be a fun and rewarding experience.
Darrell has always been active in sports since the time he began walking. Judo and gymnastics were his first loves where he greatly excelled. He looked for more opportunities to fuel his passions. He began to play drums and changed gears from Judo to Karate, where he quickly moved up the ranks. In Karate received his first of four Black Belts at the age of 17, while making a name for himself in the martial arts world as a world champion competitor in all Categories. He later went on to become a Hall of Famer all while teaching and training others and becoming a successful, well sought-after fitness and group exercise instructor, personal trainer, and motivational speaker.
Experience: Over 30 years in sports and fitness
Education and Certifications:
Pace - Kickboxing Certification
AAAI - Sports Nutrition Certification, Personal Training Certification, Group Exercise Certification, Master Training Certification
TRX - TRX Certification
Master Martial Artist
Three-time World Karate Champion
Hall of Famer
Work: Started teaching Karate classes at local Newark, Plainfield, Westfield, and Montclair YMCA’s in the 90’s. Exercise classes soon followed after becoming certified. By this time the “buzz” was out about this dynamic and creative instructor who had built a strong following wherever he taught. Soon corporate companies were seeking out his services as well. PSE&G, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey, Goldman Sachs, and Steel Workers Union of New York hired him to be their onsite group fitness leader. Having garnered experience, attention and a following, Darrell moved away from corporate gigs in 1997 and started his own business. Darr-Tech Fitness was created for training clients one-on-one, motivational speaking, seminars, and workshops. Very shortly thereafter, Darrell landed a contract with the Newark after school extended program, where he and his team visited all the city elementary and middle schools to speak to the students and perform martial arts shows for a record of 7 years. After that he spent two years with the St. Peter’s Funded Program in the Jersey City Public School System. Darrell continued to manage his business alongside these opportunities while winning awards, trophies and Hall of Fame inductions. After teaching classes and conducting personal training sessions for Spa Lady, Lucille Roberts and the Retro Fitness franchise for many years, Darrell has joined the Pyramid Wellness Center family in West Orange where he is a master trainer. Darrell also currently works for the City of East Orange, NJ as their Fitness Coordinator.
Exercise Physiologist, MA, CSCS, USAT
With years of cardiac rehabilitation, performance coaching and personal training experience, Eliot Bank is a student of the human body and understands the art and science behind what it takes to perform and achieve fitness, wellness and performance goals. He has been the Lead Performance Coach at West Essex Wellness and serves as an Exercise Physiologist in hospitals across Essex County.
Through his career he’s worked with a wide base of clients in both hospital clinics and private settings across NJ. Patients on the road to recovery, athletes working towards achieving new goals, adults changing old habits, and teenagers learning about healthy living all benefit from his balanced, achievable and invigorating approach to fitness and well-being. With each individual client, Eliot works one-on-one to assess client needs, movement patterns and capabilities, to design and monitor plans, and to achieve results.
He is particularly passionate about working with high-risk cardiac patients, for whom a monitored exercise regimen can make a functional difference in risk levels, overall health and day-to-day life. He maintains a large network of both cardiologists and registered dieticians as advisors to his practice.
As a dedicated professional, endurance athlete, father and husband, Eliot gets the importance of training smart, and is committed to making the most of the time his clients invest in themselves.
He has also served as a basketball and hockey coach in High Schools and Middle Schools across NY and NJ.
Eliot holds a MA in Exercise Physiology, and is an NCSA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and USAT Level 1 Triathlon Coach. He is currently a candidate for the American College of Sports Medicine Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist certification, and holds certifications in Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.
Registered Dietitian at the ShopRite of Livingston
ShopRite dietitian Elle Bernardo works with customers to educate them about making healthy choices while food shopping, as well as carrying out these choices by preparing well-balanced meals. At ShopRite, she conducts one-on-one consultations, shares delicious recipes, holds weight loss seminars, and conducts tours for shoppers who are looking to improve their health.
Among other services, Elle is available to answer customer questions regarding their nutritional needs, educate shoppers about reading labels and assist them in making healthy food choices. She is also responsible for health and wellness education and outreach to our ShopRite associates, customers and community partners through a variety of programs such as supermarket tours, workshops, free consultations, and year round culinary demos.
A native of Fanwood, NJ, Elle graduated with a bachelor of science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware and completed her Dietetic Internship at Rutgers School of Health Related Professions in Scotch Plains, NJ.
In her spare time, Elle, a resident of Fanwood, loves to cook and try new recipes and foods. She also enjoys reading and weight training.
Registered Dietitian at the Shoprite of West Orange
Jackie Philbin, is the Retail Dietitian at the Shoprite of West Orange and works with customers to educate them about making healthy food choices while encouraging them to meet their wellness goals. At ShopRite, she conducts individual nutrition counseling sessions and shares tips and recipes toward leading a healthier lifestyle.
Jackie, originally from Lincoln Park, NJ, attended Sacred Heart University and played two division I sports, ultimately graduating from Montclair State University with her Bachelors Degree in Biology and her A.N.D Nutrition Certificate. Jackie completed her Dietetic Internship with Sodexo in New Bedford, MA.
In her spare time, Jackie, enjoys a balance of enjoying life while staying healthy. She loves playing hockey and working out as well as exploring new cities, finding the best taco spot and listening to live music.