Meet the CrossFit Coaches

Passionate Coaches

These are the men are women that are going to help bring your big dreams to life. From kids to seniors, elite athletes to first-timers, our coaches have all the passion and experience to help you get in the best shape of your life and have a blast doing it!

  • Micah Stipech


    Micah Stipech specializes in youth training. In addition to being a school counselor at Houghton Elementary School, Micah has coached youth sports for 22 years.

    Micah has been CrossFitting for an impressive 10 years. He discovered CrossFit when he was coaching hockey in Whistler, British Columbia in 2006. “I was attracted to the underground nature and authentic mentality of CrossFit,” he says. “It was very much focused on the battle and struggle and not the ‘look at me’ aspect. When I moved back to Michigan in 2010, I thought it was something that matched the blue collar, genuine people of my community, and I started the journey to bring CrossFit here.”


    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Kids
    • CrossFit Gymnastics
    • CrossFit Judges
    • CrossFit Scaling
    • USAW SP1
    • USA Hockey Level 5
    • Safe Sport
    • B.S. in Special Education
    • M.A. in Counseling Psychology
  • Nicole Heinonen

    Gym Manager

    Nicole Heinonen loves helping people smile and keeping things running smoothly here at the gym. The thing she loves most about working at CrossFit Hakkapeliitta is watching people do things they never thought were possible.

    “I’d like to encourage anyone who is hesitant about trying CrossFit, if I can do it, anyone can!” she says. “I was not a former athlete: I had no experience, and I had never trained in a gym or class setting. I tried CrossFit and loved it. Of course it’s hard, but it’s so worth it!”

  • Lindsey Hulkonen


    Lindsey Hulkonen has had a passion for weightlifting since she was in high school. Today, she specializes in Olympic weightlifting and helping members change their lives with CrossFit. “As a coach, I am most passionate about the community within the gym,” she says. “They are all very encouraging and supportive to each other, which makes for a great atmosphere and a great class.”


    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Judge
    • First Aid & CPR Certified
    • USA Weightlifting – Sports Performance Coach Level 1
  • Neil Wilczynski


    Neil Wilczynski grew up in Virginia playing ice hockey, which lead him to pursue a career in strength and conditioning. “I came into CrossFit Hakkapeliitta looking for a place to practice my Olympic lifts, found they had everything I needed plus 24-hour access, and I was sold instantly,” he says.

    Neil especially loves working with athletes who haven’t had a lot of previous training. “As a coach, having an athlete who hasn’t been engrained with poor motor patterns really allows you to start from the ground up,” he says. His specialty is making sure athletes understand the goals of the program while taking a scientific approach to design and technique.

  • Stephen Hook


    Stephen Hook is a First Lieutenant in the Army National Guard who teaches people of all levels to be comfortable and confident in the weight room. His favorite part of coaching is seeing someone’s demeanor change when they understand what they’re truly capable of. “I’m passionate about empowering individuals,” he says. “I see myself as an instrument to help clients toward a goal.”

    Stephen has competed in Olympic-distance triathlons, various wrestling and combative disciplines, and soccer, and says CrossFit is in a class all its own. “CrossFit has adherence culture unlike any other form of athletics,” he says. “No matter where people come from.”


    • CrossFit Level 1
    • NSCA - Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
    • B.A. - Exercise Science
  • Shannon Lehto


    Shannon Lehto is an elementary school teacher, so she’s used to facing challenges every day. “Every day brings something new when working with young people,” she says. “CrossFit Hakkapeliitta has done the same but on a whole other level.”

    Fitness has always been a priority in her life, and she enjoys running, biking, skiing and, of course, CrossFit. “I treat the athletes very much like my students in school,” she says. “I want them to feel comfortable while learning. All I ask of them is to do their best. My favorite motto: Go hard or go home. You get out of it what you put into it, and I encourage them to not compare themselves to anyone else.”


    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Judges
    • Adult and Pediatric CPR/AED/First-Aid Certified
  • Christopher Luoma


    Christopher Luoma is a U.S. Army veteran that loves pushing people past their barriers to make them better than they were yesterday. Christopher started CrossFit while deployed in Kuwait in 2012. “From day one, it wasn’t easy, and I initially wanted to quit until a colleague convinced me not to,” he says. “It took me about two months to really start to enjoy it, and ever since then have been in love with the hard, rigorous, and mentally challenging workouts.”


    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Tessa Dvorak

    Kids Coach and Health Matters Instructor

    Tessa Dvorak loves being able to teach children about fitness and helping them live a healthy lifestyle from a young age. Tessa started as a schoolteacher who loved CrossFit, then she combined the two to become CrossFit Hakkapeliitta’s Kids Coach! Her favorite quote is “Think positively. Exercise daily. Eat Healthy. Work hard. Stay strong. Worry less. Dance more. Love often. Be happy.”


    • B.S. in Elementary Education
    • M.S. in Teaching, Education and Leadership
    • Brand X Kids fitness certified trainer
  • Joan Kero

    Yoga Instructor and Health Coach

    Joan Kero has been teaching yoga for the last 13 years. “Yoga is a journey, and I learn from my students every class about the body-mind connection and honoring where we are today,” she says.

    Joan is a married mother of 10 who loves everything outdoors. She says trail biking and running are her passions. She began her journey with yoga 15 years ago when a friend convinced her that she NEEDED yoga to balance her physical body, and “I discovered that I needed yoga to balance my life!” she says


    • YogaFit - Anatomy & Alignment
    • YogaFit - Athletes
    • YogaFit - Pre- & Post-Natal
    • YogaFit - Yoga Therapy 1
    • YogaFit - Levels 1-3
    • Institute of Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Certification
  • Shannon Dufek

    Gymnastics Coach

    Shannon Dufek has been participating in gymnastics for 17 years, with the past nine as a coach. She’s fanatical about caring for people and works as a certified nurse. Shannon plans to attend medical school. Her favorite quote is “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” — George S. Halas


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