(216) 316-1566 [email protected]

OUR FAMILY OF COACHES

Tom Rini

Tom Rini

Owner

About Tom

Tom has been active in strength, conditioning, and fitness for over 20 years with an extensive background in performance enhancement, emphasizing sports performance, injury prevention, athlete development, human movement, and Olympic weightlifting. His experience includes the Director of Sports Performance at St. Ignatius High School, the Owner of A.I.M. Personal Training, the International Performance Institute at the I.M.G. Academies, and head Olympic Coach at Black Flag CrossFit. He is currently the C.E.O. & Co-Owner of Black Flag Athletics in Avon.

Throughout his career, Tom has had the distinct pleasure of training numerous clients ranging from youth athletes, state and national champions, Collegiate and Professional Athletes, and people looking to enhance their quality of life through fitness.

Tom has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Fitness Specialties and a Masters’ Degree in Education (concentration in Health & Physical Education), both from John Carroll University. He is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Certified CrossFit Level 3 Coach, a certified Fitness Specialist, a Biomechanics Specialist, and a U.S.A. Weightlifting Club Coach.

Peter Nelson II

Peter Nelson II

Owner

About Peter

Being in love with health & wellness his whole life, Peter Nelson II, has a genuine passion for building all-around exceptional people through the means of fitness.  As the co-owner of Black Flag Athletics, he and his team have built a community of athletes who are finding fulfillment in all areas of life.  As a complimentary wellness venture, he is also the Co-Founder of SISU Sauna Co.  SISU is a barrel sauna manufacturing and retail business where the premise is to make the buying, user, and educational processes the simplest in the industry.

 

Peter values unwavering integrity, being relentless in areas of passion, and having fun.  As a husband to his wife Paige, who shares his same passion for health and fitness, as well as being a father to their son Crew, Peter values the time spent with family. In his free time, Peter is an accomplished athlete who has qualified for national fitness competitions and currently enjoys the challenges of ultra-marathon races.

 

To connect with Peter, feel free to message him at [email protected] or Instagram @peternelsonii.  Head to his companies’ websites: bfathletics.com and sisulifestyle.com to see more of his body of work and the experiences he is working hard to develop.

Lauren bollinger

Lauren bollinger

Coach

About Lauren

Fitness was never a journey Lauren imagined she would take, but after stumbling upon CrossFit in 2013 in the golf offseason she had a new found passion. Growing up active in sports, Lauren knew she enjoyed functional movement and later learned movement is medicine!

Lauren earned her Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science in 2014 from Tiffin University while competing for the Women’s Golf Team. After years of training, Lauren decided to make coaching a part of her path and took the CrossFit Level 1. Lauren has been coaching for 7 years and has coached individuals of all levels.

After having her daughter, Azalea in 2020 she found an even deeper dedication to share fitness with new moms and moms to be! Lauren went on to receive her CrossFit Level 2 in 2022 and continues to thoroughly enjoy helping people achieve their fitness goals daily.

Lauren looks forward to bringing her high energy and passion to the BFA community. Lauren’s largest athletic accomplishment is getting her husband, Andrew to start CrossFit in 2020! Lauren also holds her USAW-L1, CF-Gymnastics and Aerobic Capacity Certifications.

Louis Kayatin

Louis Kayatin

Coach

About Louis

 I’ve been an athlete my entire life. By the time I was in my late 20’s I found myself desperately needing to fill the void left by no longer having team sports. 3,2,1 Go!!! CrossFit hit it on the head. Fitness, sport, and community!

 I am inexplicably blessed! I am the father of 3 beautiful children, married to my Highschool sweetheart, and believe in MAKING every day great!

L1 CrossFit certification. Kids CrossFit certificate. 6 years coaching experience.

Look good – feel good – play good!

Austin Samson

Austin Samson

Coach

About Austin

I have had my CrossFit Level 2 and also have my Yoga teacher training. I grew up playing basketball, golf, tennis, football, baseball, soccer, and hockey which created a necessity for agility and cross-training. My passion grew for lifting while in college and branched out into CrossFit in 2012. After playing College basketball while getting my master’s, I moved back to Cleveland to work in Aviation Sales.
My Graduate and Post-grad education are in aviation, and I have 7+ years in the Army, and now Army reserves. From Scuba diving to guiding rapids in Colorado, if it is high adrenaline, you have my attention.

JIMI BERNOT

JIMI BERNOT

Coach

About Jimi

Throughout his 10-year coaching career, Jimi has coached hundreds of athletes of all ages and athletic levels. 
From high school athletes to elite-level athletes pushing to perform at the next level, athletes coming off injuries, and athletes looking to improve their movement and technique, Jimi has helped his athletes successfully reach their goals.

Being open-minded with each individual athlete is what attracts so many people to Jimi. The mindset of “there is no copy and paste for how to coach each individual athlete” is what has given Jimi so much success as a coach throughout the years. 

Jimi has completed the USAW-L1, CF-Weightlifting, CF-L1, CF-Strongman, CF-Competitors Course (with Chris Spealer and Matt Chan), and CF-Movement and Mobility. If you want to work with someone who has the experience and the number of athletes to prove it, Jimi is the coach for you!

LINDSEY OTANICAR

LINDSEY OTANICAR

Coach

About Lindsey

My fitness journey began when I was eight years old with gymnastics. It was a formative aspect of my childhood and I was fortunate enough to compete on the collegiate stage. In conjunction with competing for 12 years, I also spent 8 years coaching gymnastics at various levels.

After “retiring” and a few years of muddling through workouts on my own, I found CrossFit. I have been a competitive Crossfit athlete for the last five years. I have been able to represent Black Flag Compete at competitions such as Granite Games, Wodapalooza, and the West Coast Classic.

I am so excited to be a part of the Black Flag Athletics coaching team. They have been instrumental to my growth over the last few years, and I am hoping to be able to provide a similar experience to other members of the Black Flag Community. This place has become home and these people are like family.

DAWN ZIEGLER

DAWN ZIEGLER

Coach

About Dawn

I have a passion for helping others achieve their goals and improve their overall well-being. I am a CrossFit L2 trainer, have my CrossFit Kids coaching certification, and am a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor. My goal as a coach is to support your goals – to make you better – and ensure the hour you spend at BFA is the best of your day.

I grew up an athlete, playing multiple HS sports and collegiate volleyball. My competitive nature is my greatest strength and defines me. I love that there’s always something I can improve and being the healthiest I can be – while remaining sane and enjoying life – is my ever-evolving goal. I’m an early-morning person who can’t live without a good (clean) pre-workout. I listen to country music in my car and Eminem in my home gym. I am a wife and mother of 3 teenagers. I manage a corporate career by day and thrive on everything health-related in my spare time.

Max Seipel

Max Seipel

Coach

About Max

Max graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelors of Science in Education while also competing in Track and Field as a thrower for the Buckeyes. He threw the shot put, discus, and hammer and his team went on to win the Big Ten Championships twice during his time at OSU. After college, he began teaching for Avon Local Schools as a Middle school technology teacher. In addition to teaching, Max also coaches Freshmen Football and Varsity Track and Field in Avon.
Max also worked full-time as a Performance Coach at T3 Performance in the summer of 2019 after graduating college. While at T3, he coached both youth and college athletes as well as adult fitness classes. He also coached the T3 Barbell Olympic Weightlifting Team.
When he transitioned out of collegiate athletics, Max found his passion in CrossFit. He is attracted to the competitiveness and community aspect of CrossFit that he had been raised on as an athlete. He received his CF-L1 in April 2019 and has been coaching since.

 

Amy Emery

Amy Emery

Coach

About Amy

Sports and fitness have been a part of my life since I was very young. I enjoyed playing all types of sports growing up, including organized and “just for fun”.  Once I graduated college, I continued being active, running several 5k races and half marathons. Once my husband and I discovered CrossFit in 2013, I was hooked immediately.   I obtained my CrossFit L-1 certification in 2018 and have coached part-time since then. I love working with and encouraging members along their fitness journey! 

I grew up in Indiana and attended Indiana University where I met my husband, Mike. We have 2 beautiful daughters whom both attend college in Arizona.  We settled in the Cleveland area in 2021 and joined Black Flag Athletics.

Mike and I both enjoy watching the sport of CrossFit. We love going to CrossFit competitions, especially Wodapalooza in Miami in the winter!  Outside of Black Flag, I love being with family, and friends, traveling, and being outdoors.

Dru Borchers

Dru Borchers

Coach

About Dru

Exercise Credentials: Crossfit L-1 Certification
 
I played soccer most of my life. Once I graduated college, I needed something to keep me in shape and competitive. I found my way into CrossFit Perrysburg. The rest is history. 

1 of 7 kids to a close family from Lima, Ohio. Currently resides in Avon Lake, Ohio with my wife (Emily) and our labradoodle Shay. 
When I’m not at the gym coaching or training I can be found working remotely for a large telehealth company AmWell as a project manager. 

Black Flag has been a part of my life for the better part of 6 years. I couldn’t imagine calling another gym my home gym other than it. 
The members and other coaches make this facility second to none. 

Scott Giomini

Scott Giomini

Coach

About Scott

I am a sixth-grade English-Language Arts teacher for Avon Lake City Schools when not at Black Flag Athletics. In addition to my teaching responsibilities, I coach football at the high school level and middle school track. In the fall, my daughter will enroll in college.

Since high school, I have enjoyed working out and being active. During a parent-teacher conference nearly eight years ago, I was introduced to CrossFit, and my fitness journey took a new trajectory. The community aspect is something that I embrace when it comes to fitness. Having like-minded individuals alongside you pushing and testing their physical and mental limits is hard to capture in other arenas in life.

For an hour a day, I recognize that I have an opportunity to better myself and those around me. That is not something I take for granted. As a coach for nearly five years now, I enjoy witnessing people’s dedication and perseverance in their workouts as they strive to meet and exceed their own ambitions. Through continuous education and communication, I look to be a valuable asset to you and the community.

 

Melanie Rini

Melanie Rini

Administrator & Membership

About Melanie

I fell in love with fitness when my husband put me through my first workout 12 years ago.   That love of fitness has played a huge role in my life, and I continue to learn more every day.  

I am grateful for my role as membership director at Black Flag Athletics as it allows me to meet new people and help give them the guidance needed to take the first steps towards improved fitness! 

Jill Herlihy

Jill Herlihy

Social Media & Photography

About Jill

I started CrossFit in 2013 after running my first full marathon, I didn’t want to ever run again. Naturally my first CrossFit workout was (scaled) Murph, and I was hooked on day one. 

After being inspired by my gym’s photographer, I picked up my first camera and started taking photos at my gym for fun. Fast forward to 2018, I moved to Ohio and found Black Flag Athletics. I thought my days of photography were over, but that’s actually when things started to take off. Today, my clients range from small local businesses to large companies like CrossFit HQ and Inov-8.

All that being said, creating is still my full-time “side” gig. I also work for Cleveland Clinic as a Senior Analyst.

Peter Nelson Sr.

Peter Nelson Sr.

Maintenance Director

About Pete

Pete is a 59-year-old who has been married to his wife, Laura, for 34 years.  He has three children, Amy, Peter (who is co-owner of Black Flag), and Anthony.  He also has three great-grandchildren: Olivia, Ivy, and Crew. Some of his work includes:

-Retired VP of Banking for Dollar Bank

-Veteran (Served in the US Naval Reserve)

-Former President of the Epilepsy Association

-Former President of Lion’s Club

-Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Cleveland State University

-Board Member of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce

-Avid marathon and ultra-marathon runner with over 138 marathons or greater of distance completed in the last 11 years. His goal is to run a marathon or longer in all 50 states, run on all 7 continents, and run all 6 major marathons.