Legacy and History of AFPA

AFPA, American Fitness Professionals Association, 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After discovering numerous outdated, debunked scientific research, Dr.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.

Mark J. Occhipinti, Ph.D., N.D.

Co-Founder // CEO


Amy L. Occhipinti, M.S.

Co-Founder // COO

Becca-212 copy 2

Rebecca Binford, B.S.

Vice President of Communications


Tim Frie, M.S.

Director of Strategy & Organizational Development


Melissa Lopez, NTP, CPT

Content Marketing Manager


Max Hostetler

Marketing Project Manager


Lizzie LaCour

Social Media & Community Manager


Corinne Wainer, Ed.M.

Education Specialist


Savannah Choate

Administrative Assistant and Student Support Specialist


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.

Candace Bell's Profile image

The way my life has changed after getting the certification is like a complete 180, honestly. I definitely could not have counseled people the way I do now without AFPA. I was surprised the most when I just realized really how much I was learning. I knew I was going to learn a lot, and that there were so many different curriculum topics, but at the end of it, I learned even so much more than I expected."

Candace Bell, Holistic Nutritionist Certification
Andrew Schuth's Profile image

I looked at a lot of certifications out there. You name it, I’ve looked at it, but AFPA stood out to me. They’re out-of-the-box thinkers and so am I. The certification process was fairly easy, it was very effective, and fun to learn."

Andrew Schuth, Personal Trainer Certification

Read More Testimonials

Explore our latest educational info and resources

AFPA Graduate of the Month: Alyssa Sparks, Holistic Nutritionist Featured Image

Grad Spotlight

AFPA Graduate of the Month: Alyssa Sparks, Holistic Nutritionist

Read More


Holistic Health Coach Program Guide


Mindset & Well-Being

Health Impact of Loneliness and Social Isolation and How Health and Wellness Coaches Can Help

Read More

See All Resources See All Blog Articles

Stay Connected

Get immediate access to AFPA’s most recent health and wellness insights, exclusive offers and groundbreaking tips to help you become the trusted health, fitness or nutrition professional.