Our Team



From the front desk to our coaches to our management staff, our team is our most important asset. We pride ourselves on tapping into the passion of our team members and providing a path for them to develop, grow, and become the leaders of our company. Our mission, to deliver proven fitness results for a healthier world, unites us and we accomplish our mission by staying true to our values – remaining happy, hungry and humble.


Adam Krell, Partner / CEO

Adam was the first franchisee to open an Orangetheory franchise studio in Manhattan. As Chief Executive Officer of Empire Portfolio Group, Adam oversees 60+ locations in DC, CT, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, SC, VA & VT.

Prior to Orangetheory Fitness, Krell also founded Krebol Management Company, a hedge fund based in New York City. His entrepreneurial spirit had roots in his previous experience as an early investor in Financier Patisserie, a pastry and coffee roasting franchise, and Harry’s Italian, a multi-unit Italian restaurant featuring family style Italian cuisine.

Krell holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business.

Jessica Kumari, Chief People Officer

Jessica is the Chief People Officer for Empire Portfolio Group. Since joining the Orangetheory Fitness team in 2013, her roll-up-the-sleeve attitude has allowed her to play almost every role – from front desk, to regional fitness trainer to owner. Now overseeing the HR and payroll departments, she focuses on improving the experience of all staff members.

Working in various, fast-paced, and exciting environments is something Jessica learned from her prior career as a breaking news reporter. Jessica covered events such as the war in Afghanistan, the 2011 tsunami in Japan and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She started her media career as an NBC page at 30 Rockefeller Center.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Georgetown University. She loves working out and will challenge anyone who’s up for it to a pull-up contest.

Samuel Paik, Chief Financial Officer

Sam joined the Empire Portfolio Group / Orangetheory Fitness as CFO to oversee the financial operations and scale the infrastructure of the organization. He’s excited to rejoin the fitness industry with like-minded entrepreneurs after having spent time at Equinox where he led the accounting operations through acquisitions and international expansion.

Prior to joining Empire, Sam spent nearly a decade with Luxury Brand Partners – creators and incubators of iconic beauty brands such as R+Co, IGK, OneSize and Oribe – where he left as the CFO of their prestige hair group having oversaw the development + growth + successful exits of several brands; and other finance and accounting leadership roles at RSM and Equinox where he developed his expertise in GAAP, strategic planning, treasury and investor relations, and what he believes are the most valuable tenets: team building and talent development.

Sam is a CPA and CGMA, and obtained his BS in Accounting with a concentration in Finance from the University at Buffalo. He was featured in NACVA’s 40 Under Forty and has been quoted in several finance articles.


Stephanie Werther, Chief Development Officer

Stephanie is thrilled to have joined Empire Portfolio Group/ Orangetheory Fitness as Chief Development Officer. She spent the last two years as Head of Urban Development and New Concepts for Taco Bell.

Before that, Stephanie spent many years at Starbucks. Starting in their core business as Director of Development (RE, Construction, and Facilities) for 1100 stores covering Maine through West Virginia, transitioning to run strategy and growth for multiple Emerging or acquired Brands (Teavana, La Boulange, Princi, Roasteries, Reserve) as well as spending a year in London running Company-owned and Geo-Licensing in EMEA.

Stephanie started her career as a field operator and then corporate operations in the clothing and beauty industry.

Cris Casazza, VP of Field Operations

Cris began working with Orangetheory Fitness and what is now Empire Portfolio Group in 2016, operating a single studio in New Jersey. He has since scaled successful practices and standard operating procedures to support over 60+ locations currently throughout DC, CT, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, SC, VA & VT. Alongside Adam Krell and Empire’s Regional Management team, he has helped establish many of the highest producing and performing Orangetheory locations globally.

Outside of Orangetheory, Cris has spent 15 years in the fitness industry with an executive-level sales and operations background ranging from corporate to franchise models, including both full-service and boutique companies.

“Success is when reality catches up to your imagination.” -Simon Sinek

Mitch Benson, Partner / VP of Business Operations

Mitch became an Orangetheory Fitness franchisee in June 2016 and over the following 3 years opened 3 Orangetheory Fitness studios in Connecticut. Mitch is a partner in Empire Portfolio Group and joined the team full-time in March 2021 as the VP of Business Operations. Prior to becoming an Orangetheory Fitness franchisee, Mitch had an 11-year career in the oil and gas industry as an engineer and manager with Newfield Exploration and Encana/Ovintiv.

Mitch graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado – Boulder with a degree in chemical engineering with minors in economics and biochemistry. Mitch serves on the board of directors for IPODERAC’s Children Fund (www.ipoderac.org) and is a frequent volunteer at Easter Seals’ Camp Oakes in Big Bear, CA.


Trevor Edwards, Director – Business Development and Strategic Initiatives

Trevor joined the Empire team in 2021 and is responsible for M&A and various stragetic initiatives. Prior to Empire, Trevor served as an Associate at Revelstoke Capital.

Previous to working at Revelstoke, Trevor was an Analyst at Citigroup on their Healthcare Investment Banking Team.

Trevor holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a B.S. in Finance from the Honors Program at Lehigh University.

Joe Miller, Partner / Advisor

Joe is a Partner and Strategic Advisor at Empire Portfolio Group, where he focuses on scaling and optimizing our talent and operations functions. Joe originally joined the Orangetheory Fitness system as a multi-unit franchisee in Connecticut, prior to co-founding Empire Portfolio Group.

Joe is also a co-founder at Flatiron Search Partners, a boutique retained executive search and growth advisory firm. In this capacity, he has extensive experience working with founders, boards of directors, executive teams, and private equity/venture capital sponsors looking to access top-talent. Prior to Flatiron Search, Joe ran operations and talent for SoulCycle, and was a founder at Catalant ($100M+ funding from General Catalyst and Highland Capital Partners), which empowers global enterprises to access on-demand skills and expertise across internal and external talent pools.

Joe has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a background in investment banking, strategy and business development.



Michael Haray, Regional Sales and Operations Manager

Michael began his career in the fitness industry as a personal trainer after graduating from Sacred Heart University. Throughout his 10 plus years in the fitness industry, he has held multiple positions ranging from a one-on-one personal trainer to a multi-unit manager within both traditional big box facilities as well as boutique fitness studios.

Michael started with Orangetheory Fitness in 2017 as a Studio Manager in Connecticut and has since advanced to the role of Regional Sales and Operations Manager overseeing all Connecticut studios. Michael holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Exercise Science; and has also achieved certifications from NASM and Precision Nutrition.

Rich Mejias, Regional Sales and Operations Manager

Rich has been with Orangetheory Fitness since 2018. He first joined the company as a member of the Corporate Headquarters as the Regional Fitness Manager for New York and Franchise Business Manager for the New England region. Shortly after, Rich joined Adam Krell, Chief Executive Officer of Empire Portfolio Group to oversee 25+ studios in New Jersey.

Prior to Orangetheory Fitness, Rich started Next Generation Training Center, a group training facility for adults and athletes, and built the company to three locations. It was there where he started his entrepreneurial spirt and fined tuned his sales process.

“Your greatness is limited only by the investments you make in yourself.” – Grant Cardone

Andrea Laxton, Director of Sales and Operations

Andrea started her journey with Orangetheory Fitness as a member in 2017. Her passion and dedication to the Orangetheory mission evolved into a career educating and launching studios as well as managing and overseeing the Connecticut and New York City Regions as the Director of Sales and Operations and Regional Educator.

In her former life, Andrea toured the country and the world as a Musical Theatre performer. Her background in performing coupled with her love of health and wellness made for the perfect fit within Orangetheory. Andrea is an AFFA certified group fitness instructor and proud to have gone through every role there is to offer from front desk to coach to upper management.

“You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.” -Rumi


Cyril Morris, Regional Fitness Manager

With over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, Cyril has specialized in personal training and Fitness Management ranging from traditional, full-service corporations to boutique fitness franchises. Cyril is also an actively competitive bodybuilder who, over the last 6 years training, has managed to achieve first place titles in global divisions such as the NPC. His broad knowledge base, encouraging practical application, and overall passion for educating has helped shape and develop many other leaders in the fitness world, Orangetheory particularly.

Cyril started with Orangetheory Fitness in 2014 as a Head Coach in New Jersey. He has since advanced to the role of Regional Fitness Manager and is currently overseeing the New Jersey studios.

“Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success!” -Shiv Khera

Jonathan Santiago, Regional Fitness Manager

Jonathan has been working in fitness for 15 years and helping clients achieve their fitness goals every step of the way. His journey began in the fitness field while serving the United States Marine Corps overseeing the physical training of Marines preparing to deploy overseas. Jonathan specializes in body transformation and functional fitness training, however, his true passion is training, educating, and up-skilling fitness professionals.

He started with Orangetheory Fitness as a coach in 2016 and currently is the Regional Fitness Manager for the Connecticut region.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

Nick Rylands, Regional Fitness Manager

Nick began his journey with Orangetheory Fitness and now Empire Portfolio group working behind the front desk as a Membership Advisor in 2018 before taking on the roles of Coach, Head Coach, and finally Regional Fitness Manager for New York City. His passion for fitness stems not only from his love of showing members what their bodies are truly capable of, but also his love of educating the next generation of Elite Coaches. Nick holds his NASM CPT as well as a his AFAA Group Fitness and TRX certifications.

Prior to his journey with Orangetheory, Nick worked as a professional Actor, performing throughout the country before settling into NYC and continuing his performance under the Orange Lights.

“Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around.” – Roy T. Bennett