The AKLU is a registered 501c3 non-profit

Board of Directors:
President: Sarah Fornero
Vice President: Mike Salazar
Secretary: Ross Bell
Treasurer: Jenn Casey
Member at Large: Tina Yerkes
***Scroll down for board member bio's!***
Sarah Fornero

Sarah Fornero, Ed.D., President

My day job is serving as a University Dean and Vice President, but my kettlebell hobby fills consumes most of my evenings and weekends. My career focuses on leveraging technology for teaching and learning, in particular online learning. I train with Mike Salazar at Windy City Kettlebell Club. I’ve earned one Master of Sport rank (20 kg Biathlon) and numerous Candidate Master of Sport ranks (16 kg TALC, Biathlon, Jerk, Snatch, Triathlon; 20 kg OALC, TALC). At international competitions I placed 1st (16 kg OALC, 68 kg+) and 3rd (16 kg TALC, Open) at the 2017 IUKL World Championships; 1st (16 kg TALC, Open), 2nd (16 kg Snatch, 68 kg+), and 3rd (20 kg TALC, Open) at the 2018 IUKL World Championships; and Absolute Middle-Weight Female Champion (16 kg Triathlon, Open) at the 2018 WAKSC Worlds - CaliOpen. I’m also a dog-mom to an energetic shepherd mutt.

Mike Salazar, Vice President

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois; Mike owns Evolution Strength and Conditioning, a hybrid strength facility. He is the head coach of the Windy City Kettlebell Club, home of the Windy City Open, the Windy City Invitational, and Kettlemania. Mike has been in the fitness industry since 2004 and has taught kettlebell sport workshops both across the US and internationally.

Jenn Casey, MBA, Treasurer

I am a homeschooling mom of three kids and entrepreneur (my husband is an entrepreneur too) living in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. At the age of 39, I got off my couch and started working out at CrossFit Kennesaw, where I am now a Level 2 CF Trainer, and also run the CrossFit Kids and Swing Fit (kettlebell) programs. I started competing in Kettlebell Sport in 2013 when at the time there was only one competition in the state of Georgia every year. In 2015, my teammate and I took over running competitions and Georgia Kettlebell Sport was born. To date, we’ve organized over a dozen competitions, workshops, and participated in local community functions (at the Braves Stadium among others), spreading the love of Kettlebell Sport all over Atlanta and the Southeast. I also have coached many kids in Kettlebell Sport and currently have a team of 4 awesome teenage girls who have the goal of competing nationally and internationally, and our youth team is going to grow in 2019. My own coach is the amazing Ken Blackburn, who helps me improve all the time. Currently I’m training 16kg triathlon because I love double jerks, and have a love-hate relationship with LC and snatch, so I figure why not keep at it? I’ve competed all over the country, about 20 competitions total, and earned Absolute Winner in Biathlon at the national championship last May. I have had the honor of competing at the IUKL World Championship events in Seoul, South Korea (2017) where I took 4th in 16kg OALC and Daugavpils, Latvia (2018) where I competed in 16kg Double Jerk and 16kg Double LC, taking 1st place in my veterans age group. I hope to keep plugging away at this sport and making progress for decades to come.

Ross Bell, Secretary

Early on in my career as a personal trainer I discovered Kettlebells. I went through the steps to become a certified KB coach through the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation. After a few years I went through steps and testing to become a Level 2 IKFF coach and trainer. During my time coaching and working with Kettlebells I became an avid competitor and have achieved CMS in 24kg, 28kg, and 32kg Long Cycle and CMS in 32kg Biathlon, as well as CMS in 24kg OALC Marathon. I have also broken the North American record for 28kg Long Cycle, and was part of Team USA to represent our country professionally in Ireland during the WKSF world championships, where I took 2nd place in my division for Biathlon 32kg and 5th in Long Cycle 32kg. I also was introduced to Marathon Kettlebell lifting and was able to achieve a world ranking and qualify for the US national team heading to Poland as well. I have a small team of Kettlebell Sport athletes that I have coached over the years and led to compete and one of them who has qualified and competed as part of Team USA. Currently I am coached by Ken Blackburn and we are working toward MS in both Biathlon 32kg and Long Cycle 32kg, as well as MS in marathon OALC 24kg.
In my personal life, I have an 8yo daughter, married to the love of my life who helped me realize my love for fitness, and have a new baby boy on the way! I run two small fitness studios in Lansing, MI and Mason, MI specializing in Personal Training and small group classes.
Tina Yerkes

Tina Yerkes, Phd, Member-At-Large

International business executive by day - garage gym kettlebell lifter by night (and owner HellzBellz LLC). I have spent my entire career managing aspects of non-profit organizations and currently oversee global operations. I’ve represented team USA three times (IUKL South Korea, IUKL Latvia, and WKSF Italy) totaling 8 medals: gold in veteran snatch, gold veteran double long cycle, silver in amateur snatch, silver in veteran OALC, silver in veteran snatch, bronze in amateur snatch, and 2 bronze in amateur double long cycle. I currently compete in both amateur and veteran categories, double long cycle and snatch. I hold an MS in veteran snatch, a CMS in snatch and a CMS in double long cycle. I’ve been training 2 years with Ken Blackburn (IKFF) and with a strength coach Dan Hunter (Crossfit Ypsilanti). Prior to finding KBs, I competed in Olympic lifting, trained in martial arts and played soccer. I also juggle the busy lives of three teenage boys, all highly competitive soccer players.