Legacy and History of AFPA

AFPA, American Fitness Professionals and Associates, began in 1994, when co-founders Dr. Mark J. Occhipinti and Ms. Amy Campbell, M.S. joined forces to create one organization that would inspire and grow a network of fitness and health professionals with the highest quality and level of skill sets and expertise enabling them to transform the lives of millions through progressive nutrition and training concepts. With over 30 years teaching others in health, they knew they could make a dramatic difference in the way information was taught to health, fitness and nutrition professionals.


The Driving Force That Led AFPA to Become a Leading Health and Nutrition Education Organization

After discovering numerous outdated, debunked scientific research, Dr. Occhipinti and Ms. Campbell knew they had to step in. This created the initial vision behind AFPA to provide cutting-edge, high-quality, scientifically-backed, and readily accessible education opportunities to both fitness and health professionals as well as enthusiasts looking to start a new career.


“Wellness is now a $3.72 trillion industry – with double-digit annual growth - making it one of the world’s fastest-growing, most resilient markets. The growth trajectory of the wellness industry appears unstoppable.”

The Global Wellness Institute

Our Values



We are committed to continuous program development to help increase our student satisfaction and competitive advantage while enhancing the value of our curriculum on a global scale.


Recognized as an industry leader that continuously updates course curriculums to meet the changing demands of fitness professionals.


We offer over 200 certification and continuing education program from holistic wellness to personal coaching skills developed by leading experts.


Our dedication to high standard and progressive training programs are necessary for long-term success in the fitness profession.


Devoted to enhancing the professional development of fitness, health and nutrition students to create worldwide opportunities through distance education.


Our passionate organization looks forward to providing you with the education you seek and deserve.

Meet the AFPA Leadership Team

Everyone at AFPA is dedicated, motivated, and qualified to answer any questions that may arise during your journey towards becoming a health, fitness or nutrition professional. Our team is the perfect resource to steer you on the right career path upon certification. We have made it a life mission to help others make the right lifestyle choices for a healthier, longer life. Our remote offices extend across the United States so you have a professional team that is readily accessible whenever you have questions.
Diane Vives_Headshot

Diane Vives, M.S.

Senior Director, Health & Wellness Professional Education

Shana Walsh About us Headshot

Shana Walsh, Ph.D., MCHES

Education & Curriculum Manager

Sasha Aparicio headshot about us page

Sasha Aparicio, B.A., M.S.

Instructional Designer & Content Creator


Melissa Lopez, NTP, CPT

Content Marketing Manager

Max Hostetler headshot about us

Max Hostetler, CPT

Marketing Project Manager


Savannah Choate

Administrative Manager


Elizabeth Willett, M.A.

Education Specialist


Ayla Freitas, NTP

Senior Marketing Copywriter


Mark J. Occhipinti, Ph.D.

Co-Founder // VP, Health and Wellness Education


Amy L. Occhipinti, M.S.

Co-Founder // VP, Health and Wellness Education


AFPA Curriculum Origins and Industry-Leading Expertise

We understand how fast-paced the health and wellness field can be. That’s why we prioritize continual updates in each and every one of our programs. With leading professionals in almost every subset of health, fitness, and nutrition, our education material is consistently up-to-date with the most recent scientific research in each respective field.  

Some of our contributing colleagues include:


Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Board-Certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods, six-time New York Times best-selling author, and the president of the Nutritional Research Foundation


Michael Greger, M.D.

Physician, New York Times bestselling author, founder of NutritionFacts.org, internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues and founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine


Matthew Lederman, M.D.

Board-certified Internal Medicine physician specializing in nutrition and lifestyle medicine, and co-author of New York Times bestseller, The Forks Over Knives Plan and Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole


Alona Pulde, M.D.

Board-certified practitioner of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Family Medicine Physician specializing in nutrition and lifestyle medicine, and co-author of the New York Times bestseller, The Forks Over Knives Plan and Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole


Heather Fink, MS, RD, CSSD

Registered Dietitian and Board Certified as a specialist in Sports Dietetics, Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics, Master of Science degree in Kinesiology, and certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Health/Fitness Specialist


Pip Waller

Herbalist and plant spirit medicine healer, writer and teacher, and author of Holistic Anatomy (2010), The Domestic Alchemist (2015) and Deeply Holistic – A Guide to Intuitive Self-Care (2018)

We let the results speak for themselves. Here’s what our past graduates have to say.

Harvey Slater's Profile image

The price of the certification and the length of time required is really achievable. It was very easy to digest and I like the way the certificatications are modular, so I was able to build on my first certification."

Harvey Slater, Holistic Nutritionist Certification, Weight Management Specialist Certification
Brett Bennett's Profile image

AFPA instantly gives you credibility and is super well respected in the industry. Clients know that if you have that certification, that they’re getting credible, reliable information. I also chose AFPA because of the course structure. With the courses, you get to make your own schedule and it’s perfect for anyone who may have another job, is going to school, or has a family."

Brett Bennett, Nutrition Consultant Certification - Master Level

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