Meet the Staff

Melissa Donovan, Chief Operating Officer,
The Center for Health and Wellness

Melissa is in her 15th year at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan where her role converges her passion for community-building and proficiency in strategic planning. She supervises the directorial staff, strategy and operations of the Fitness, Athletics, Aquatics, Health & Wellness, Membership, Registration and After School areas of the JCC. Melissa loves working broadly across these departments to produce programs for children and adults of all ages, support key partnerships, ensure member service and smooth program operations, create performance measures and analytics, and supervise the JCC's talented and committed staff. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and also the Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership. She was recipient of the 2017 JCC Award for Staff Excellence. She lives on the UWS with her husband (who she met at the JCC), three children and dog, and enjoys being active in the JCC Nursery School Parent Association.

Caroline Kohles, Senior Director,
The Center for Health and Wellness

A health and wellness professional for over 25 years, Caroline is co-founder of Nia New York™. Nia is a holistic lifestyle and fitness practice. As a somatic educator and Nia Trainer she co-facilitates intensive trainings at the white, green, blue, brown and black belt level. She holds certifications in yoga, indoor cycling, personal training, life coaching, and 5 Rhythms -a dynamic movement meditation practice. A former professional dancer with a passion for anatomy and the brain, Caroline is drawn to using movement to help special populations. In her 16 years working at the Marlene Meyerson JCCManhattan, Caroline has been instrumental in leading a progressive slate of fitness programming. She created and designed our 100+ group fitness class schedule and health and wellness programs for every population, from tweens/teens to prenatal/postnatal moms and seniors. Her signature work includes developing a range of cancer care programs in partnership first with Mount Sinai Hospital and now BreastLink NYC. She also designed the nationally and internationally recognized Edmond J. Safra Parkinson's program, now in its twelfth year, in partnership first with The Fresco Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center and now with Northwell Health. In addition, Caroline developed the JCC's popular "Doctor Is In" program, in conjunction with NewYork-Presbyterian & Weill Cornell, as well as many other nutrition and brain health programs. Caroline has been recognized as a teacher, programmer, a wellness mentor for staff, and a constant advocate for JCC members and the Upper West Side community. She was honored wtih the "Award for Staff Excellence" for her leadership, dedication, passion, and contribution to the JCC's Center for Health and Wellness.

Christian Ramirez, Fitness Operations Manager
For as long as Christian can remember, he’s had an appreciation for all forms of movement. When he wasn't playing, running, or dancing, he was taking things apart trying to figure out how they work. Working in a fitness center is a natural fit; he enjoys being part of a team that's excited to provide our members an opportunity to enhance their day through awareness, movement, and community.

Joelle Evans, Health + Wellness Program Manager
Joelle has worked with the JCC for the past 7 years, first on the fitness floor at the front desk and now as the Health and Wellness Program Manager. She is an avid fan of health and wellness and loves to workout, swim, run, ride her bike and play with her niece and nephews. So happy to be a part of the JCC family.

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