Jennifer Vanderhart, PhD, President
Jennifer Vanderhart started practicing yoga after a string of running injuries. Having been a runner and college basketball player, she knows first-hand the power of yoga to heal the body. In addition to a daily practice, she has attended dozens of seminars and workshops, and twice she attended the week-long Advanced Seminar. Jennifer has demonstrated at the USA Yoga Competition since 2010 and has placed in her state of Virginia, the USA Yoga National competitions, and has competed internationally. She teaches hot Pilates and loves to help others get strong, play, and discover new ways to enjoy their yoga. She has been a member of the USA Yoga Board of Directors since 2017.
Jennifer is a PhD Economist who has been consulting and testifying for more than 25 years. She is a Principal at Analytics Research Group, and was an instructor at Texas A&M University in the departments of Economics and Management.
Sarah Gnerre, Vice-President
Sarah Gnerre has been practicing yoga regularly for 15 years under Sara Curry and her team of talented teachers. For the last five she has been competing in the senior division. In 2018, Sarah completed 500-hour training under Craig Villani. She teaches the Bikram method in Portsmouth, NH at Blaze Yoga and Pilates and in Rockland, Maine at Earth Flow + Fire.
Jordan Hendler Dorn, Treasurer and Board Member
As the founder of Admin Concepts, Inc. and a second-generation association and conference manager, her passion and focus professionally is for finding administrative solutions, for both associations and small businesses, while also lending time for non-profit work. Personally, she finds family life of utmost importance, with a personal balance of maintaining a yoga practice. She is married to her husband Barry with whom she has three children. She enjoys her family time together; traveling, going to movies or even riding dirt bikes.
Jordan helps the board with Press Releases and general PR advice.
Erika Kelble - Secretary and Board Member
Erika ran into yoga when she was 19 after learning meditation as a means of combating tension- migraine headaches. She then picked up a physical asana practice, and over 30 odd years has moved fluidly in and out of several different yoga disciplines. She has come to believe they are all worth learning and serve a person differently at different times in their life. Erika has found her yoga practice becoming a more important component of her life and strives to find ways to give back. She feels yoga has brought wonderful people, health and balance into her life when she most needed these things and would be honored to help others find their practice through USA Yoga.
Erika graduated from Tufts University with a combined BA in Biology and Psychology. She co-owns Ashby Gap Adventures with her husband Jeff and has experience running small businesses, with town management, and with non-profits. Erika currently lives in rural Virginia with her two daughters and her husband.
Jean Agress, Ph.D., Board Chair of Judges Committee
Jean Agress found the hot room in 2010 and has been practicing hot yoga almost daily ever since. She was fascinated by how the deeper calmness and focus she experienced after each class carried throughout her day.
She was inspired to share what she had learned through this wonderful 90-minutes, 26 posture series with others, which led her to pursue Bikram yoga teacher training in 2013.
Glenn Brown, Board Member
Glenn Brown moved with his family to New Albany, Indiana when he was 6 years old, and it is still his home. As the last of 6 kids he attributes sibling rivalry to his competitive edge. He began practicing yoga as a 17 year old as a complementary practice for meditation & kung fu. Finding his way through depression in high school he shifted his focus from swimming & wrestling to art, music, movement art, and meditation. He decided then he wanted to work toward being a Kung fu & Yoga teacher, and an artist & author. His search for a school, teacher, and work was difficult, but full of great life lessons. He finally met his Kung fu teacher, Sifu Keith Dwan of the Red Dragon School of Martial Arts, while Keith was visiting Louisville from England with his school for a Martial arts tournament. Glenn expressed his interest in form over fighting, and was invited to a Hsing-i Kung Fu, Qigong, and Acupressure training, which he attended in England in 2001.
In the spring of 2002 he went to his first Bikram Yoga class at Bikram Yoga Indiana where he met the woman who would become his wife, Ayanna. She was the only teacher at the time, and the co owner. She believed in his potential, and the studio sponsored him to go to Bikram Yoga teacher training the same year in the Fall. Glenn has taught at Bikram Yoga Indiana from 2002 to the present. He fell in love with yoga because of its similarities to kung fu & qigong, and its amazing diversity of postures & styles.
The day of his Teacher Training graduation he & Ayanna were invited to be competitors in a mock yoga championship at a judging & coaching clinic for the Bishnu Ghosh Cup International Yoga Asana Championship to be held in 2003. That experience lit the competitive fire for Glenn, and he has competed every year except for one, taking a year off to focus on coaching. He is the 14 time Indiana menâ€™s Regional Yoga Champion. He also continues his work as an artist & author, and self published his first book of poetry & art â€œ Four in the Fire â€œ in 2007. More work is coming soon.
After 8 years of teaching primarily Bikram Yoga he started teaching more private lessons based on his private practice. His kung fu teacher had encouraged him to continue developing his home practice so he could lead a personalized warm up & warm down for Kung fu students. Over the years this developed into his own method of qigong & yoga blended together. In 2010 Glenn founded Lionflow Progressive Yoga & Arts LLC , and has focused the past 8 years on practicing, teaching, and training teachers in Lionflow Yoga.
He feels Lionflow Yoga benefited his championship routine by teaching him to express where he is in the moment without heat, extra time in the pose, or intense breathing for body heat. The style focuses on calm intentional motion, breathing, and short holds in stillness. Learning to accept where you are today, and to have a conversation with your body instead of an argument.
Suzanne Elliott., Board MemberLeader in physical fitness and education fields for over forty years. Suzanne has had success coaching all levels of students from the injured and rehabilitating to world champions. She has coached Yoga sportsters since the inception of Yoga Championships, coaching in the first USA held yoga championships and thereafter. She has served as a Judge and Coach every year attending all events. She hosted Regionals in central FL for five years in a row and assisted others who hosted. She has been on the USA Yoga Board and Coaching Committees, currently serving as Coaching representative at the USA Yoga National events. She has several certifications in fitness and yoga styles teaching private lessons to classes of 500. She has lead several Classic 84 and USA Yoga Compulsory classes to assist athletes in training.She was the first "senior" to complete the two week Jedi Fight Club! Born with hip dysplasia, she postponed bilateral Total Hip Replacement using Yoga therapy. She coaches on-line, in-home or at her Yoga school at H.O.T. Yoga on the Island, Merritt Island, FL.
Thomas Forbang, Ph.D., Board Member
Serendipitously introduced to yoga for the first time ever in 2012, Thomas Forbang today practices yoga daily for the ninth year in a row and has been teaching, training and competing since 2015. He is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and teaches Bikram Yoga Hot 90/75/60 and Pilates. He was a USA Yoga board member from 2017 – 2018. He is also a current USA Yoga coach.
Thomas Forbang has a PhD in Computational Sciences from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia (USA) and is a father of 5 and married for more than 29+ years. He is the Founder and President of CompInsTech – a leading IT company. Thomas Forbang speaks, reads and writes proficiently in English, French and Russian.
“To me, yoga is more than just a hobby, it is a true panacea and should become a lifestyle for all.”
Judy Lu, Board Member
Judy Lu moved from China to Canada and then to the United states and found her true home by immersing herself in Bikram Yoga, when she began her yoga practice in 2001. Judy believes that her world travels helps her to better relate to and relate to her yoga students. Judy obtained her Bikram yoga certification in 2008. After challenging student through teaching yoga, Judy ran her own Bikram yoga studio for four years in Orange County, California, with the goal of improving the lives of her students from the inside out. To further her love for the yoga practice, Judy has committed her time and energy to USA Yoga and has been a certified judge since 2015. Judy gives private lessons and coaches yoga athletes. After two decades of practice, Judy is a true believer in the vast benefits of a regular yoga practice for both mental and physical health. Judy truly believes in the multifactorial benefits of Bikram yoga and is a testament to its healing qualities.
Clara McGrail, Board Member
Clara McGrail is a communications professional in Washington, DC. In her early career, she headed a digital marketing team for a large philanthropy in the Washington, DC area. She currently works in public affairs for a consulting firm, counseling clients in highly-regulated industries.
Clara began practicing yoga during high school to complement her classical ballet training. She turned exclusively to yoga in 2012 and has been an athlete for USA Yoga since 2017.
Clara received bachelor’s degrees in English and political science from Fordham University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University.
Cynthia Wehr, Board Member Cynthia Wehr has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and became a Bikram Yoga Teacher in Spring 2003. She earned the USA Yoga Gold Medal in 2005 and 2007 and the World Yoga Champion Gold Medal in 2007. This gave her the opportunity to travel the world to teach and demonstrate. She spent a lot her time teaching in Tokyo, Japan for Bikram Yoga Japan and in Bikram Yoga San Jose until June 2011. Cynthia now owns a yoga Studio in Mountain View, CA - Bomitra Yoga Mountain View. Since 2008, Cynthia has judged regional, US, and International Championships. She has worked with the board of the USA Yoga Federation and Rajashree Choudhury to introduce Yoga as a sport.
She coaches competitors every year as well as being a part of bringing the Yoga community together by being involved in the social networks. The constant inspiration and change Cynthia has witnessed and experienced feeds her soul daily to keep teaching yoga forever. To bring yoga to children and children to yoga is the ultimate destination, the big step for truly creating a more peaceful, honest planet. By bringing yoga championships into the light, into everyone's home, we can make this destination possible.
USA Yoga staff