OUR TEAM

Daine McDonald

Founder of CHFI

Daine McDonald is the Founder and Managing Director of CHFI, which he established in 2008 back when he was a personal trainer. 

Today, he is involved in the commercial operations of the entire company, managing the commercial strategy of the business alongside its senior leadership team. His goal is to ensure that CHFI continues to fulfill its mission of raising the level of industry education for fitness professionals around the world.   

However, before the CHFI business success, Daine’s focus was solely as a personal trainer. He started as a PT in 2002 and quickly started to make a massive initial impact in the fitness industry.  

During a 12-year personal training career from 2002-2015, Daine coached over 20,000 PT sessions. Clients included Olympic medallists and national and international champions in track cycling, raw powerlifting, natural fitness and sports modelling, mogul skiing, and boxing.   

These elite athletes included such industry notables as Lauren Simpson (WBFF Pro), Zoe Daly (IFBB Pro), Kaarle McColloch (London Olympic Medallist in Track Cycling) and many more. 

Daine has also coached professional national rugby league and rugby union players alongside everyday clients with various fitness goals, from the stay-at-home parent to corporate CEOs.  

In 2010 it was time for Daine to turn his passion for health, fitness, performance, and success to the education of other fitness professionals. He was a highly sought-after presenter and educator, educating over 10,000 personal trainers between 2010 and 2017 in workshops, seminars, and international industry events around the world, such as FILEX.

As a personal trainer, Daine holds formal qualifications in human movement and nutritional medicine, giving him a unique skill set that allows him to engage with clients using a multidisciplinary approach.   

He found powerful inspiration and success early in his career through the training and program design work of the late and legendary Strength Coach Charles Poliquin, who was a highly influential mentor to Daine throughout his personal training career.   

Daine has well and truly established himself as an internationally renowned health and fitness expert, as well as an accomplished writer who has contributed to numerous publications including The Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, Huffington Post, GQ Magazine, Australian Women’s Health & Fitness, Oxygen Magazine, The Australian Biggest Loser Club, and Fitness First Magazine.  
 
Daine is also a seasoned corporate health presenter and educator who has presented for numerous companies over the years. Previous clients include HealthE Care, Australian Air Express, and CHAMP Equity. 

Outside of his career in the fitness industry, Daine resides in Sydney with his wife and six children.  

Daine McDonald

Founder of CHFI

Daine McDonald is the Founder and Managing Director of CHFI, which he established in 2008 back when he was a personal trainer. 

Today, he is involved in the commercial operations of the entire company, managing the commercial strategy of the business alongside its senior leadership team. His goal is to ensure that CHFI continues to fulfill its mission of raising the level of industry education for fitness professionals around the world.   

However, before the CHFI business success, Daine’s focus was solely as a personal trainer. He started as a PT in 2002 and quickly started to make a massive initial impact in the fitness industry.  

During a 12-year personal training career from 2002-2015, Daine coached over 20,000 PT sessions. Clients included Olympic medallists and national and international champions in track cycling, raw powerlifting, natural fitness and sports modelling, mogul skiing, and boxing.   

These elite athletes included such industry notables as Lauren Simpson (WBFF Pro), Zoe Daly (IFBB Pro), Kaarle McColloch (London Olympic Medallist in Track Cycling) and many more. 

Daine has also coached professional national rugby league and rugby union players alongside everyday clients with various fitness goals, from the stay-at-home parent to corporate CEOs.  

In 2010 it was time for Daine to turn his passion for health, fitness, performance, and success to the education of other fitness professionals. He was a highly sought-after presenter and educator, educating over 10,000 personal trainers between 2010 and 2017 in workshops, seminars, and international industry events around the world, such as FILEX.

As a personal trainer, Daine holds formal qualifications in human movement and nutritional medicine, giving him a unique skill set that allows him to engage with clients using a multidisciplinary approach.   

He found powerful inspiration and success early in his career through the training and program design work of the late and legendary Strength Coach Charles Poliquin, who was a highly influential mentor to Daine throughout his personal training career.   

Daine has well and truly established himself as an internationally renowned health and fitness expert, as well as an accomplished writer who has contributed to numerous publications including The Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, Huffington Post, GQ Magazine, Australian Women’s Health & Fitness, Oxygen Magazine, The Australian Biggest Loser Club, and Fitness First Magazine.  
 
Daine is also a seasoned corporate health presenter and educator who has presented for numerous companies over the years. Previous clients include HealthE Care, Australian Air Express, and CHAMP Equity. 

Outside of his career in the fitness industry, Daine resides in Sydney with his wife and six children.  

Mark Welke

Chief Executive Officer

Starting in the industry in 1998 as a Fitness Instructor himself at just 18 years of age, Mark has been a dynamic and charismatic brand leader and senior operator with extensive regional, national, and board level experience within the fitness and leisure industry globally.  

By the age of 23 he had secured his first health-club general manager position with the UK’s largest fitness operatorAcross the decade following that first ‘club manager’ position Mark climbed the corporate ladder holding a multitude of regional and national management positions, the majority of which were obtained via internal promotion.  

His renowned reputation led him to the position of ‘UK Head of Member Retention & Strategy’ for Fitness First, making him the youngest member of the Fitness First senior executive team in the brand's history reporting directly to the Managing Director.  

With the UK division of Fitness First being the ‘Global Lead’ and also the location of the global team (overseeing 550 health clubs across the UK, Germany, Australia, Middle East, Asia and North Africa), the leadership and strategy that Mark implemented had an impact across a global membership base of 1.1 million people.  

It was during his time at Fitness First that he became a key team member, overseeing a global brand relaunch and also supporting the business in preparation for sale. It was due to his success in that role that Fitness First agreed to support him with his life's goal to emigrate to Australia, and both orchestrated and funded his transition into the Australian business region.  

During his 6 years in Australia, Mark has held senior leadership positions within the fitness and leisure industry spanning Learning & Development, Marketing, Communications and Operations, until joining the CHFI family in 2019, where he has taken over the day-to-day operations as the company CEO.

Mark is passionate about changing the game when it comes to the fitness industry and continuing to help our collective mission here at CHFI, revolutionizing fitness education one student at a time! 

Mark Welke

Chief Executive Officer

Starting in the industry in 1998 as a Fitness Instructor himself at just 18 years of age, Mark has been a dynamic and charismatic brand leader and senior operator with extensive regional, national, and board level experience within the fitness and leisure industry globally.  

By the age of 23 he had secured his first health-club general manager position with the UK’s largest fitness operatorAcross the decade following that first ‘club manager’ position Mark climbed the corporate ladder holding a multitude of regional and national management positions, the majority of which were obtained via internal promotion.  

His renowned reputation led him to the position of ‘UK Head of Member Retention & Strategy’ for Fitness First, making him the youngest member of the Fitness First senior executive team in the brand's history reporting directly to the Managing Director.  

With the UK division of Fitness First being the ‘Global Lead’ and also the location of the global team (overseeing 550 health clubs across the UK, Germany, Australia, Middle East, Asia and North Africa), the leadership and strategy that Mark implemented had an impact across a global membership base of 1.1 million people.  

It was during his time at Fitness First that he became a key team member, overseeing a global brand relaunch and also supporting the business in preparation for sale. It was due to his success in that role that Fitness First agreed to support him with his life's goal to emigrate to Australia, and both orchestrated and funded his transition into the Australian business region.  

During his 6 years in Australia, Mark has held senior leadership positions within the fitness and leisure industry spanning Learning & Development, Marketing, Communications and Operations, until joining the CHFI family in 2019, where he has taken over the day-to-day operations as the company CEO.

Mark is passionate about changing the game when it comes to the fitness industry and continuing to help our collective mission here at CHFI, revolutionizing fitness education one student at a time! 

Rosemary Marchese

Head of Education

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Daniel Harmis

Chief Data Officer

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Rhiannon Edwards

Content Marketing Specialist

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Lauren Guignon

Accounts Manager

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Naum Markov

Business Development Manager

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Ilian Ianev

IT Manager

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Stefan Ianev

Head of Research & Development

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Astrid Naranjo

Course Curriculum Developer

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Matt Walker

Senior Student Assessor & Compliance

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Scott Johnson

Senior Student Assessor

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Jill Clark

Customer Support Consultant

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Rama Achanta

Digital Marketing Assistant

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Cameron Gurney

EDM Specialist

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Bart Schiporst

Lead Design Specialist

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Chino Mercado

Multimedia Design Specialist

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Nathaniel Russell

Editorial Design Specialist

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James Go

Design Assistant

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Kimmy Leggett

PR & Community Manager

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Monica Albia

Social Media Coordinator

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