Elizabeth Wright, M.Ed. and Fitness Director

Elizabeth Wright joined Ladera Oaks in July 2001. She is one of the reasons Ladera is a friendly and welcoming place, as she always begins her busy day by greeting as many members as possible. Asked about her typical day, Elizabeth says: “I wear a few different hats here as the day progresses – program administrator, resource person for health and fitness information, colleague and team mate. I love my job!” 

Elizabeth earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, and a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and Health Education. She also holds numerous certifications from fitness industry governing bodies, including the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), Madd Dogg Athletics, Exer-Safety, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), and Zumba. Elizabeth stays current with the latest health and fitness developments and continues to expand her knowledge through experience – such as participating in triathlons – certifications and attending conferences.
When she’s not at Ladera Oaks, you will find Elizabeth being active in all sorts of ways like running, swimming, biking and dancing (surprise!), and also gardening, reading, caring for her pets and enjoying the company of friends.


Teri Barry, Assistant Fitness Director and Personal Trainer

Teri remembers the Ladera Oaks Fitness Center when it was first built as she was here when it opened in 1998. As the Assistant Fitness Director and Personal Trainer, Teri supports the Fitness Center and our many members with exceptional skill. Recently, she completed her Masters in Biology and can be found on Jasper Ridge doing fieldwork, from time to time.

“Let me help make fitness a part of your life. My focus is on overall well-being and making exercise a part of your everyday life. As I know from working on my thesis, if you spend a lot of time working on your seat you need to get out on your feet to increase your energy levels! My favorite activity besides working out in the gym is hiking.” Teri holds a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology (Exercise Science) with a minor in Sports Nutrition and a Masters degree in Biology. She has completed numerous American College of Sports Medicine approved classes and has a background as a Physical Therapy Aide.


Denise Gittens, Instructor and Personal Trainer

“One day back in the 80s, our aerobics teacher did not show up. Though not an instructor, the class asked if I would step up and lead them. It turned out well in the end and I started studying and learning! From that beginning, I have honed a career in health and fitness with over 20 years as both a group exercise instructor and a personal trainer.“

Denise has worked with many individuals with all kinds of challenges. She has been very successful in providing motivation and an attitude of “I can.” Her motto is “there is something for everyone.” There are modifications to every exercise and “where there is a will, there is a way.”

Denise has an Associate of Arts Degree and has been certified through the American Council on Exercise (“ACE”), the Arthritis Foundation and just recently – Zumba. She also holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. With her great knowledge and wonderful personality, she makes exercise fun.