Meet the Trainers

Josh Merz

Fitness Director/Elite Personal Trainer
Josh graduated From Wapato High in 2002 while also receiving his AA from YVCC. After receiving his degree from EWU, he decided to stay in the field of fitness, rather than pursue a career in finance. It was in Coeur d’Alene that he developed his love for personal training and triathlon and in 2010; he completed his first Ironman in less than 12 hours. After 9 years in the Spokane, Cd’A area, he decided to move back to where it all started the Yakima valley. Josh has been a personal trainer since 2006 and is happy to be back home where he grew up. “I am so happy to be a part of this team. YAC provides a great atmosphere to help us reach our goals. How can I help you reach yours?”

Jamin Frank

Elite Personal Trainer
Jamin graduated from West Valley High School in 2014 and shortly after began his journey in fitness. He fell in love with fitness in his early teens after losing over 20 pounds at the age of15. Since then Fitness and helping others has been a crucial part of his life. He started here at the YAC as an intern and after receiving his NASM Certification began to work as a Trainer in May of 2015. In September of 2015 he started studying EXOS Performance Specialist to be certified to train with athletes and received his Certification in December 2015. His passion for fitness continues to grow as he strives to make everyone he helps better.“My main focus here at the YAC is YOU! Everyday I’m here is to make you better, and I won’t stop until I’ve gotten you where you want to go.”

Jessica Wilcox

Assistant Fitness Director/Elite Personal Trainer
Jessica graduated from Naches Valley High School in 2006 where she participated in soccer, basketball, fastpitch, and swimming. Her enthusiasm for physical fitness came from her active lifestyle and love of sports. After graduating from Naches she attended BYU-Idaho where she continued to participate in soccer and received her B.S. in Exercise Science in 2010. Since returning to Yakima she has developed a love for coaching and was a volunteer coach for the Naches H.S. Girls Soccer program from 2010-2013. To further her education she completed her ACE Personal Training certification in February of 2012 and her NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification in March of 2014.“I am excited to be here at YAC and to be given the opportunity to help you make the changes necessary to reach your goals! It is never too late to start but it is ALWAYS too soon to quit!”

Megan Powell

Personal Trainer
Megan is a graduate of West Valley H.S., and continued her education at Washington State University. During her time there, she found her love for exercise and sports. She played rugby for WSU and received her B.A. Degree in Sport Management and minor in Business Administration. After moving back to Yakima she completed her ACE certification and came to work for the YAC in September of 2017.“My passion is helping people live healthy and happy lives. Working for the YAC gives me the opportunity to live my passion and work with members to achieve their goals.”

Peter Malath

Personal Trainer
Peter graduated from Foster Sr. HS where he played basketball and went to State twice as well as going unbeaten during regular season his Jr. year. He attended UW and CWU where he got his BA, and BS in Public Relations and IT & Administrative Management respectively in 2014, as well as obtaining his Masters in August 2015 in Information Technology. His passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle stems from his childhood upbringing in track and field, soccer and basketball. He became an NASM Personal Trainer in 2018 and his active hobbies include basketball, soccer, running and coaching youth sports."Your journey is unique and it’s important to honor your individuality."

Caleb Cruz

Personal Trainer
Caleb was born and raised in Yakima. He is a graduate of East Valley H.S. as well as YVCC where he received his Associate of Arts in Business. He plans on attending CWU to further his education and major in Accounting. Being active has always been a passion for him: weight lifting, playing sports like soccer, and snowboarding in the winter. In 2018, Caleb received his NASM and DotFIT certification to help YAC members reach their goals. He looks forward to meeting new people with that same passion and helping them be their best.“Every set, every rep brings you one step closer to your goal, and I will help you reach it.”

Diana Layton

Personal Trainer
Diana is a NASM certified personal trainer. Her love of being physically active started at a young age. As a child she spent summers camping, hiking, canoeing and sailing with her family. The rest of the year was filled with martial arts training and doing anything outside. After years of participating in fitness classes she decided to take her love of fitness to the next level and become a personal trainer. She is looking forward to helping others in their fitness journey and assisting them in achieving their goals.“Fitness is not about being better than someone else… it’s about being better than you used to be.”

Dianne Harris

Personal Trainer
Dianne Harris grew up in California and graduated in Physical Education and Health in 1983 from San Diego State University. Dianne taught P.E. for 10 years at Yakima Valley Community College. She has been a Personal Trainer since 1990 and has also taught many different group fitness classes. In February of 2017 she also added Posture and Mobility Specialist to her credentials to better server her clients.“My mission is to improve everyone's health physically and psychologically through fitness.”

April Smith

Personal Trainer
April is a graduate of Selah H.S. where she spent all of her childhood. She attended YVCC and Heritage University while studying in the field of Social Work and beginning a family. She soon found herself overweight, unhealthy and unhappy. Through her own journey of losing 90 pounds, she found her passion for health and fitness. In May of 2017 she came to work at YAC Fitness after the birth of her 4th child. She completed her ACE certification in August of 2018, in hopes of helping others who have a desire to live a healthier life for themselves and their families.“It’s never too late to change your story, never too late to reclaim your health and live the life you want to live. Let me help you change yours!”

Rachel Manjarrez

Personal Trainer
Rachel is a graduate of Wapato High school and chose to continue her education at Washington State University where she earned a Bachelors in Apparel Merchandising Design and Textiles. She fell in love with weightlifting while attending WSU and shortly after graduating in 2017 decided to follow her passion for fitness and help others achieve their fitness goals. In June of 2018 she completed her ISSA personal trainer certification and looks forward to helping inspire and guide others towards their fitness goals.‘Life is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself. Every day is a new day to work towards becoming the best version of you’

Anne Newell

Anne has lived in Yakima most of her life and has been employed at the YAC since 1993 after the birth of her second daughter. What started out as a part time job teaching Prenatal Water Aerobics turned into a career in the fitness industry. Outside of her work, she spends most of her time coaching high school competitive girls soccer.“I love working with individuals whether in a group fitness class or one-on-one, that have the desire to lead healthy lifestyles.”