Team NiaHQ

Debbie

Debbie Rosas, CEO

Debbie Rosas is the CEO, founder, and co-creator of Nia. Dedicated lifelong to self-healing and self-mastery, Debbie has been a pioneer in the body-mind fitness industry since 1976. Credited with establishing the mind-body fitness category, she is a leading fitness innovator, teacher, author, choreographer, performer, healer, and artist whose work greatly influences the lives of thousands of women and men worldwide. Debbie travels worldwide, offering workshops, master classes and Nia training to communities across the globe, stopping regularly to teach and train in Portland, Oregon, home of StudioNia and Nia International Headquarters.

 
andy

Andy Price, Web Director

Carrying two titles is no easy task, but Andy does it flawlessly. And to be honest, we don’t know what we’d do without him. He’s a computer wizard and graphics guru – but really reminds us of a Roman god because of his tall stature and curly brown hair. Like Allison, Andy is originally from Ohio. Previously, he’s worked as both a graphic designer and web designer. At the time he found Nia, he was employed at a moving company ironically called “Amazing Moves.” We’re very glad he decided to make the trek to the west coast. His creative energy and calm demeanor keep everyone inspired and focused. On the rare occasion we get distracted, we’re probably admiring his photo blog - visualpause.com.

 
jessica

Jessica Sarantakis, Director Intensive Sales + Faculty Coordinator

Whenever Jessica walks into a room, she is followed by a small yet vocal ball of fur known as Lily. The two of them go on lots of walks together, and keep everyone at headquarters on task and smiling. Jessica is a California girl at heart, and doesn’t really get the whole “rain” thing in Portland. She’s an organizing queen who can schedule anything faster than you. In fact, by the time you’re done reading this bio, she will have planned, booked and confirmed a trip to head south towards the sunshine. Oh yes, and Jessica wears fabulous shoes – sandal-y ones made for walking in 85-degree weather.

 
kat

Kat Sardoch, Nia STAR + Livelihood Membership Coordinator

Kat has an affinity for sparkly clothes and doubles as a life-size disco ball when she stands in the sun and shimmies. Her passion is dance, and you’ll catch her doing everything from Nia to modern to improv. Currently, she's on an aerial kick and is putting together her own routine. Born in Portland, Kat moved to Texas when she was two years old. Since then, she’s lived in Utah, Idaho, Hawaii and Denmark. Her favorite thing about being at Nia Headquarters is her coworkers, who she describes as amazingly creative, motivated and passionate. Kat also loves having a standup desk and working with her shoes off while putting her management and customer service skills to good use. Kat is a self-dubbed "Sudoku nerd" who loves meeting new people. Come in, say hi, and revel in the floating rainbows bouncing off this lovely lady.

 
karri

Karri Winn, Chief Visionary Officer

Like the wind, Karri enters the room and immediately stirs up a new current of creative energy. She is an abstract thinker who translates complex concepts into tangible steps we can take to achieve our greatest potential. As Nia's CVO, she interacts at the highest level between the interface of material and symbolic realms guiding strategic vision for the company where she has the pristine opportunity to integrate her MBA in Sustainable Management (Bainbridge Graduate Institute) and a Master's Degree in Community Development (UCD). Karri's higher purpose is to  “live into [her] greatness in cosmic harmony with the greatness of all beings.” As a conviviologist, she is extremely passionate about whole system health and vitality for human beings, human cultures and planet Earth. Prior to working with Nia, Karri spent years cultivating the green movement working with reknown thought leaders and civil society organizations promoting the triple bottom line and imagining a world wherein business creates the conditions for all life to self-actualize.

 
lily

Lily Sarantakis, Yorkshire Terrier

Likes: fuzzy blankets, pickles, attacking her mom’s hand, and playing with Pearl.
Dislikes: early mornings.

 
paul

Paul Sardoch, Creative Director

Born in Silicon Valley, Paul grew up in the salad bowl capital of the world, Salinas Valley. Paul's known for managing complex communication vehicles (as well as off road vehicles) and creating artistic manipulations of imagery for both print and web. Diversity and adaptability make Paul invaluable to the artistic aspect of Nia's image and brings a multi-faceted approach to each project. He has a knack for figuring out what’s on trend and has a powerful eye for graphic design. Prior to landing at Nia, Paul worked for clowns and zombies, then switched gears to Freelance Design, Post-production with Columbia Sportswear, and was a Communication Specialist & Graphic Designer at HSBC. Some of the highlights of Paul's year include lying on tropical beaches, attending and participating in Burning Man, kayaking and hiking. He also loves writing fiction and creating art from leather and steel. A true renaissance man!

 
pearl

Pearl Jam, Australian Kelpie

Likes: Yummy Chummies, costumes, squirrels, hanging out with her dad, playing with Lily, getting babied by Karri, and sleeping on the couch.
Dislikes: vegetables and rock concerts that don’t allow dogs.

 
philip

Phillip "Axel" Navarre, Shipping Manager

Nicknamed Axel, Phillip has been playing rugby for 26 years. For such a tough guy, he has a surprisingly soft side too. In fact, he admits to soaking in the tub every morning; he’s not big on showers. Phillip is originally from Bellevue, Washington. He digs beer, Portland food carts, rock concerts and being Pearl’s dad. In addition to his impressive ability to handle all of our shipping needs, we appreciate his informative news updates on politics, celebrities, music and local happenings. When asked what he likes most about his job, Phillip concludes, “The global reach of Nia and being able to meet people from all over the world.”

 
sam

Samantha Michael, StudioNia Manager

Although she was born in Flint, Michigan, she calls Portland her hometown, making it no surprise that nature is one of her true loves. So, she says, “I love that in Oregon I can go to the mountains, the country, or even the beach!” She also likes to hike with her dog and boyfriend. She was raised by her grandmother who adopted her and she has an ongoing love affair with details. Plus, she says, “I love to smile and I am a very upbeat person.” Prior to Nia, Samantha worked as an event coordinator planning and executing weddings and corporate events, with clients that included Providence, Intel, OMSI, Dress for Success, OPB, and MTVN. Samantha considers herself very fortunate to work at Nia Headquarters “with such inspiring, unique, and creative beings! I love that a fitness technique as amazing as Nia brings together just as amazing people. Nia is an awe inspiring fitness technique that brings together people from all walks of life and really makes them feel like part of the community.”

 
yamuna

Yamuna Benedict, Executive Assistant to Jeff Stewart

Conceived in the Hare Krishna Temple, Yamuna is named after a sacred waterway in India, which translates to “the river of life.” We think it’s quite fitting because Yamuna is the vivacious pulse behind NiaWear, as well as the StudioNia manager. She is warm, welcoming, and brilliant with materials, cuts, and designs; we thank her for all the fabulous new outfit options. A natural-born Nia teacher, Yamuna has been dancing since the age of three. Prior to coming here, she was self-employed for 14 years as an independent sales contractor. When she’s not at Nia Headquarters, she is spending time with her identical twin sons, whom she describes as her “greatest loves and biggest challenges in life.” According to Yamuna, the Nia culture is artistic, creative, healthy, fun, inspiring and loving.