Spencer Institute Faculty

John Spencer Ellis

Dr. John Spencer Ellis

President & CEO

John knew from the age of 12, when he received his first health club membership as a birthday gift from his father, that fitness & personal development would be his calling. His unique success story started in a 400 sq. ft. studio apartment where he slept on the floor. He had just $2,000. What began as a personal training business has grown into a multi-million dollar group of corporations providing a variety of fitness and personal development products and services globally. John has helped create over 500,000 jobs.

John competed in over 100 sports competitions including the Ironman triathlon and the Jiu Jitsu World Championships.  He also finished 5th at the U.S. National Run/Bike Championships. It was because of John’s love of cycling and triathlons that he created Endurance Plus, the name he gave his company in 1992. His passion for fitness education and business led him to develop the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), which educates, certifies and provides business solutions for fitness, coaching and nutrition professionals. NESTA now has over 55,000 members throughout the world.

Fitness and Personal Development Expert:

Each week, over one million people enjoy a fitness and personal development program John developed. His systems are used in the top resorts, spas and fitness centers. John is the CEO of the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), Fitness Hall of Fame, Spencer Institute for Life Coaching (SI), International Triathlon Coaching Association (ITCA), and the Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Association (MMACA). John created Adventure Boot Camp, the largest fitness boot camp system in the world. He also created Intense Mixed Performance Accelerated Cross Training (IMPACT), Kung-fu Fitness, TACTIX and co-developed Survival Combat Fitness (SCF). His programs are used by Cirque du Soleil, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, and he’s consulted the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships).

John is the CEO of the Get America Fit Foundation (GAFF) (501c3), which educates the public about living a healthy life and provides exercise equipment for schools and helps military veterans with physical challenges.

Endurance Athlete:
John has ridden his bicycle enough miles to circle Earth. He competed in cycling, running and triathlon events for over 10 years.

Martial Artist:
John has earned a 2nd degree black belt in Kung-fu, black belt in Ninjutsu, blue belt in Krav Maga, and blue belt in Kempo Karate and blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He also trains in Muay Thai.  John is a certified instructor of self-defense, fitness kickboxing and fitness boxing.

John holds two bachelor’s degrees (business & health science), an MBA, and a doctorate in education. He also completed doctoral level studies in naturopathic health education. He holds fifteen certifications including massage therapy, plyometrics, physical education, flexibility, nutrition coaching, water fitness, exercise rehabilitation, golf conditioning, Pilates, personal training, clinical hypnotherapy, sports hypnosis, PACE circuit training and yoga. His medical training includes a license in radiological technology, a medical assisting certification, and training in McKenzie rehabilitation. He has specialized training in ropes course facilitation and corporate team-building.

John has been featured on Oprah radio, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX, FOX Sports, FOX Reality, SPIKE and ESPN. He was featured as the fitness and lifestyle expert on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County and Daybreak OC. John has also appeared on Starting Over, Life Moments, Camp Reality and America’s Premier Experts. He is the creator and executive producer of the movie The Compass. He hosted the Ms. Fitness U.S.A. & World pageants on Fox Sports Net, The Fit Show, Health & Wellness Today, Core 360 Personal Gym infomercial, Personal Trainer TV, The OC Body, The Spencer Power Hour radio show, the now the Training & Coaching Lifestyle Podcast. John is featured in the movie Riches.

Print Media:
John is the former Fitness Editor for OC Flair magazine and has been featured or mentioned in the following publications: MMA Business, Muscle and Fitness, Businessweek, U.S. News and World Report, C magazine, IDEA Fitness Journal, Cosmopolitan, Fit, New York Times, Men’s Health, Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s World, Self and on the cover of Personal Fitness Professional Magazine. John is the publisher of Personal Trainer Magazine.

John delivered the Commencement Speech for (IVC) Irvine Valley College and shared the stage/screen with the following luminaries: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Leigh Steinberg, Barbara De Angelis, Jon Biel, DC Cordova, Denis Waitley, Frank Maguire, Michael Gerber, Les Brown, Joe Vitale, Simon T. Bailey, John Assaraf, Brian Tracy, Larry Benet, Dr. John Demartini, Marie Diamond, Topher Morrison, Martin Rooney, Kevin Nations, Peter Thomson, Gary Goldstein, Dr. Robi Ludwig, Ryan Lee, T. Harv Eker, Dr. Bruce Lipton, and many others. He has also been an expert panelist for TEDmed and fitness expert for eHow.

New Rules of Success,The Compass, The Code, How Badly Do You Want It, Peak Vitality, Power of Champions, The Wellness Code, The Ultimate Life Coach Business Book, Collaboration Economy and Rapid Body Makeover

John has collaborated on books with other leading experts such as Dr. Oz, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. John Gray, Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Kevin Harrington, Yanik Silver and Mariel Hemingway.

Awards and Recognitions:
Amazon #1 Best Selling Author “Rapid Body Makeover”
Amazon #1 Best Selling Author “The Wellness Code”
Amazon #1 Best Selling Author “New Rules of Success”
Amazon #8 Best Selling Author “Collaboration Economy”
Personal Trainer Hall of Fame Inductee
Nominated for induction to the National Fitness Hall of Fame
Best Health Book: Nautilus Book Award “Peak Vitality”
Best Self-Help / Motivational Book: US Book News “Peak Vitality”
Top 10 New Release: Hudson News “The Compass” book
Communicator Award “The Compass” movie
Telly Award “The Compass” movie
Quilly Award from the National Academy of Best Selling Authors
Nominated for the California Community College Distinguished Alumni Award
Named One of the Top 100 Most Influential Personal Trainers of All Time
Named One of the Top 100 Fitness Entrepreneurs in the World
Named Outstanding Member of IDEA Association of Fitness Professionals
Named Top 40 Fitness Blog of 2013

Advisory Boards:
National Health Wellness and Prevention Congress, Exercise TV, Sleep Number Bed, Medical Wellness Association, Irvine Valley College, Life & Leisure TV, Health Journal Television, Fellow – National Board of Fitness Examiners


Mark Teahan

Mark Teahan


Mark Teahan brings 10 years of experience to the Spencer Institute and currently serves as its Director. He began his journey into this evolving field after finishing curriculum at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science and immediately launched a successful career in the fitness industry upon relocating back to his roots in the Southern California area.

Mark has been fulfilling the role of wellness coach in the mid-Atlantic region as well as in California. His client list is impressive, including Coca –Cola Enterprises, Baltimore Aircoil Company, Roadway Freight, Conway Freight, xPedx Paper and The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers in Washington, DC. Mark was fortunate to gain access into the Wellness industry during its infancy and has contributed to the process of refining the corporate wellness genre overall. Mark has applied his skills and expertise to help many workers who came to value their own health through highly refined coaching techniques that inspire change while delivering results.

Mark holds multiple certifications in the industry, and is an instructor for NESTA and its Personal Fitness Trainer designation (PFT). To date, Mark has certified over 500 Personal Fitness Trainers and has therefore had a direct influence in the fitness industry as he travels from coast to coast and all points in between. He believes in the value of life quality by keeping people moving and healthy, regardless of circumstance or situation.

Al Sargent

Al Sargent is an author, researcher and international trainer. Prior to entering the field of intellectual research and personal growth, he was a golf professional and later gained corporate experience working for U.S. West Corporation.

Based on his research in the field of neuro-emotional science, his book The Other Mind’s Eye: The Gateway to the Hidden Treasures of Your Mind, documents the basic cognitive functions of our brain as they relate to our ability to be proactive in all aspects of our lives. In The Other Mind’s Eye, Al explains how to access the information in both hemispheres of our brain, on purpose. This technology, known as Hemispheric Integration™, has developed techniques at the leading edge of resolving internal conflicts and goal setting.

Along with his extensive teaching experience, Al’s love for bringing more enjoyment and success into a person’s life through increasing their skills has carried over into his advanced format of training. Approachable and credible, Al’s knowledge and humor create presentations designed to generate a safe atmosphere for learning. His passion is to teach groups and individuals how to be proactive in getting what they want in both their personal and professional lives. Al is also a certified Master Practitioner and Trainer in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a member of the Institute for the Advanced Studies of Health.

Marc David

Marc David, M.A.

Marc is a visionary health and nutrition consultant, eating psychologist, and the author of two classic and acclaimed books – The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss, and Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well Being. A nationally recognized teacher and speaker, Marc presents his expertise in nutritional medicine, the psychology of eating and the science of yoga in a fresh and innovative way. His humorous, engaging, and informative speaking style have made him a popular and well loved presenter and his non-dogmatic approach to nutrition appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for positive, inspiring, and innovative messages about food and metabolism.

Marc is the founder and director of The Institute for the Psychology of Eating. He was also a long time nutritionist and teacher with Canyon Ranch Resorts, the #1 health spa in the world, and with the internationally acclaimed Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, where he also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Over the last 25 years, Marc has presented at a long list of professional settings including Harvard University, The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and has been featured on CNN, NBC, and numerous radio and television programs. He also serves on the editorial staff of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the premier peer reviewed journal for complimentary and alternative medicine.

Marc was a senior consultant to the Johnson & Johnson Corporation in natural health ventures and a senior consultant to the Disney Company in health related program and product development. He has also consulted to long list of companies in the natural products industry. Articles, interviews and special mention of his work have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Chicago Times, New York Daily News, McCalls, Glamour, Eating Well, Utne Reader, Natural Health, Yoga Journal, Bon Appetit, Elle, WebMD and many more. His books have been translated into nine languages and his writing has been excerpted in popular books including Ordinary Magic: Everyday Life as Spiritual Path, A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles, and Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life. Marc is also the author of the recently released Mind Body Nutrition, a best selling CD series with Nightingale-Conant.

Marilyn Sargent

Marilyn Sargent has a passion for teaching and is currently conducting NLP and Hemispheric Integration™ training internationally. A Certified Master NLP Practitioner and Trainer and a member of the Institute for the Advanced Studies of Health, Marilyn has a degree in Psychology from Antioch University and maintains a full time consulting and coaching practice for individuals, organizations and corporate clients.

Marilyn’s specialties include stress management, conflict resolution, decision making and learning strategies. Her business clients often request her expertise in teaching negotiating skills as well as how to improve presentations and create productive company meetings. An expert in educational development, Marilyn has also helped improve the learning skills of those diagnosed with dyslexia, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), while assisting them in overcoming the social and emotional difficulties associated with these disorders.

By understanding the deep structure of an issue, then breaking it down into manageable size components, Marilyn is able to facilitate learning while participants are having fun and experiencing success. Her teaching style is clear and precise and she has a gentle compassion for others. Marilyn’s mission is to support others in being the best they can be, through providing excellence in teaching, mentoring, and coaching to make a positive difference in the world!

laura klein

Laura Klein

Biting into a fresh-from-the-farm, in-season heirloom tomato quite literally changed Laura Klein’s life. In 2003, Laura attended the New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA, a truly life-altering experience that put her on a one-way path to green advocacy and sparking an unstoppable ardor for communicating the positive health impacts of living green to the masses.

Tasting the Difference of Green – Awestruck by the superior flavor and quality of organically grown produce, pasture-fed meat and sustainably harvested fish, there was no turning back for Laura to inferior conventionally grown foods. She discovered that ‘conventional’ farming, with its herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals, is deeply destructive to the planet, animals – and human health and creates nutritionally deficient food; a realization that created a paradigm shift in her life.

Invisible and Dangerous Ingredients: Beyond the Plate – If toxic chemicals are poisoning our food and water supplies, and radically depleting the earth, Laura began to wonder, what chemicals and toxins lurked in her trusted home care cleaning products? Or her beauty products? Or ‘basics,’ like toothpaste, shampoo and even a bar of soap? “I began to wonder how all of these ‘invisible’ ingredients, ones that we use repeatedly, day after day, impact my health, my family, and the health of the world around me.” The answers shocked her. Delving into research, Laura soon learned that dangerous chemicals are present in every single area of our lives. So eager to share her burgeoning knowledge of these invisible toxins, Laura launched OrganicAuthority.com in 2005. A labor of love, Laura’s grass roots online effort now reaches tens of thousands of followers and readers and continues to grow. Laura is Publisher of OrganicAuthority.com and the web mistress for the subscription membership site, LauraKlein’sGreenClub.com, which will launch soon.

She has developed her own line of home and car cleaning products, available on www.LauraKleinsGreenCleaning.com. She is also a regular speaker at green seminars and events as well as the host of the television show Better Living with Laura Klein. Laura regularly teaches Green Living workshops to women and families. She is a sought-after green expert covering topics ranging from the health benefits of a green lifestyle to using DIY home and personal care recipes to saving green by going green and more. Laura also hosts Better Living with Laura Klein, and the Andrew & Laura Show, two lifestyle shows that air on JLTV. Laura Klein’s Professional Credits: Oorganic food and green living expert on: The Food Network, Fine Living’s Shopping with Chefs, First Look LA, JLTV, The OC Body Show, Females Uncut radio show, Malibu Times Magazine, Woman’s World, Arizona Nutrition, TreeHugger/Planet Green.com, This Next.com, SheKnows.com, and Dog Fancy Natural Dog’s Magazine.

Dr Topher Morrison

Dr. Topher Morrison

Topher is a professional Hypnotherapist, Master Practitioner and Master Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Since 1989, “Topher,” as he is known to his friends and colleagues, has trained tens of thousands of people worldwide including Olympic athletes, and is acclaimed as a dynamic presenter on a wide array of topics ranging from personal growth to sales training. Dr. Morrison is internationally recognized for his columns on personal development, keynotes, and leadership training. Creative and prolific, Topher is the creator of the MusicTrance series – music specifically created for the profession of hypnotherapy. His first book on human potential will be released in 2004.

Topher maintains a rigorous schedule traveling throughout North America, Australia, and the UK teaching people the importance of hypnosis and the role it plays in overall mind/body health. His unique style is at once informative and entertaining, demonstrating Topher’s instinctive ability to convey the most sophisticated topics to his audience in an easy to understand manner.

Between speaking engagements, Topher resides in Tampa, Florida where he talks with students about their hypnotherapy practices. He also volunteers his time to the non-profit agency ACEER (Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research) by conducting seminars at schools and organizations, sharing with them the importance of preserving our earth.

Kelli Ellis

Kelli Ellis

Her clients know, a home designed by Kelli Ellis is an exceptional experience, combining serenity and style.  As an only child of a politician Father and uber-creative Mother, Kelli began her love of media and design very early. Kelli draws continued inspiration from her travels to Europe, South America, Northern Africa and Australia, as well as her experiences living abroad. With a quick wit and down-to-earth nature, Kelli made her way into you’re living rooms early in her design career.

You’ve likely seen Kelli as the featured designer on TLCs Clean Sweep,  two season’s of HGTVs Takeover my Makeover, and you watched Kelli help fan favorites on Bravos Real Housewives of Orange County, transform their homes into their ultimate havens. Airing December 2012, tune into HGTVs Celebrity Holiday Homes and watch Kelli add season sparkle to a Haylie Duff’s gorgeous home.

In addition to HGTV, TLC, Bravo, Kelli has guest appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC Nationwide. The web knows Kelli from eHow.com as their resident Interior Design Expert and V&M.com Insider. Orange County knows Kelli as the feature reporter for Daybreak OC and monthly advice columnist for the OC Gazette. You’ve heard her give decor and “Design Psychology” advice on HGTV Radio/Sirius, MomTV and BlogTalk Radio. She is also a regular keynote speaker and panelist at High Point Market and Las Vegas Market, and marketing summits annually. Kelli was recently chosen as one of the Influential Women of Design, at the Las Vegas Market 2012.    Additionally, she regularly contributes to HGTV.com, Riviera Modern Luxury, Star Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Better Homes and Gardens, TV Guide, Image, Dabble Magazine and Hearst publications Nationwide.  Seeing the need for her viewers to tackle their own projects, she created The Kelli Kit DIY design tool.

As a CLSC and the leading CDPC, she has created the the CDPC Program, Certified Design Psychology Coaching program through the nationally accredited, Spencer Institute. As a follow-up, She has authored the ”Design Psychology” book entitled, “Do I look skinny in this house?”.

During her successful run on TLC’s Clean Sweep, Kelli became a design expert in Clean Sweep, Conquer the Clutter book and workbook. Kelli was recently voted one of Luxe Magazine’s “Editor’s Top 10 Designers” and also voted “Top Interior Designer in Orange County” by OC Metro magazine. Kelli is also a featured expert in the global documentaries, The Compass, Riches, and The Vow. Kelli was also nominated for “Remarkable Woman of the Year” by NAWBO, National Association of Women Business Owners.

Because of her love of flowers, Kelli is excited to be a Spokesperson for the Society of American Florists in their ongoing campaign, “The Fleurtations”, detailing the synergy and power of flowers,  floral design and Design Psychology.

And Kelli has joined forces with award-winning Designer Lori Dennis to bring Design Camp to thousands of interior designers, decorators, and design lovers nationally and internationally.  Visit Kelli’s personal site