Board of Directors
Dwight D. Gaal, B.S., M.A.
President - CEO/CFO
Dwight Gaal received his Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and Masters Degree in Human Biology (Exercise Physiology) from Michigan State University. Since 1989, he has been a principal partner and CEO of The Industrial Athlete. In this role, Dwight has led TIA's business relations with corporate giants such as Ford Motor Company, the United Auto Workers and Walgreens.
Mr. Gaal began his career in physical education, health careers and conducting cardiac rehabilitation at the community college level. He spent the next fifteen years in the management of the first hospital-based community and corporate fitness/wellness programs and facilities and sports medicine departments in Michigan. In this role, Dwight consulted with numerous hospitals and employers throughout the country on the feasibility and development of fitness, wellness and sports medicine departments. A forty-year member of the American College of Sports Medicine, Dwight has played an active role in years past with the American Heart Association. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Joint Commission on Sports Medicine and Science of which he has been an active member since 1994. Mr. Gaal is certified in Fitness Center Management through the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research.
In his spare time, Dwight enjoys distance running, weight training and spending time with his wife, daughter and golden retriever near northern Michigan's western shoreline.
Rick Noelte, B.S., ATC
Vice President - Western Region Manager
Rick Noelte received his Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from Illinois State University and has completed post-graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Environmental Health and Safety. Mr. Noelte has provided several innovative solutions resulting in reduced injury rates and associated costs for The Industrial Athlete clients.
Prior to becoming a partner with The Industrial Athlete, Mr. Noelte was a fitness and wellness entrepreneur owning and operating several fitness centers. He has applied his Sports Medicine and Athletic Training expertise to provide injury prevention services in a range of settings in the entertainment, corporate and industrial arenas. He is also involved on the community level serving as the Regional Representative with the Illinois Athletic Trainers Association, and as a volunteer Chair for the Parks and Recreation Board for the Village of Lakemoor, Illinois, where he was able to maintain the continuance of the Lakemoor youth soccer program. Rick is actively involved with Relay for Life, Feed My Starving Children and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Jessica Gent, B.S., ATC
Secretary - Eastern Region Manager
Jessica Gent received her Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers and her MBA with a concentration in Sports Management at Webber International University in Babson Park, Florida. In addition to her role as The Industrial Athlete Eastern Region Manager, Ms. Gent also manages The Industrial Athlete Industrial Athlete Program for a large grocery chain distribution center in Upstate New York. Her responsibilities include: performing pre-employment ergonomic screening, assisting in on-site body mechanics training, implementing an ergonomics program, developing early recognition and injury prevention education programs, rehabilitation and CPR training.
Before working for The Industrial Athlete, Ms. Gent was an athletic trainer for a large theme park in Kissimmee, Florida, responsible for injury prevention and injury triage. She also provided part-time Athletic Trainer coverage for a local high school. When Jessica is not working, she enjoys playing tennis, softball and hiking. She also loves spending time with her fiancé Rob and their dog, Chase.
Phillip C. Zinni, III, DO, FAOASM, MS, ATC
Treasurer - National Medical Director
Dr. Phillip C. Zinni received his medical degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University, Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from George Williams College, and Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois Urbana in Applied Physiology and Athletic Training. He is board certified in Family Medicine, and has been awarded Fellow in Sports Medicine. He is also a Certified Athletic Trainer and Past-President of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine. He has authored and edited many articles on Sports and Occupational Medicine literature.
Prior to joining The Industrial Athlete, Dr. Zinni was the Corporate Medical Director for E&J Gallo Winery and Contract Medical Director for Caesars Entertainment. He has supervised numerous athletic trainers, physicians, physical therapists and nurses. At E&J Gallo, Dr. Zinni provided leadership for an interdisciplinary team with the mission of enhancing wellness and medical outcomes while reducing injury rates and health care costs through the use of The Industrial Athlete concept. He managed a multi-million dollar budget, launched an electronic health record system and was the health subject matter expert for E&J Gallo.
At Caesars, Dr. Zinni supervised research activities to improve patient interaction with the clinic and improve the medical outcomes. He directed patient care at Las Vegas and at four other Caesars’ properties with a population base of 75,000.
Now with The Industrial Athlete, Dr. Zinni continues to emulate the corporate vision of enhancing the “customer experience” while achieving cost avoidance and health care cost savings. As The Industrial Athlete National Medical Director, his focus is on: emergency medical services, absence management, on-site physical therapy, wellness programs, medical surveillance, case utilization review and corporate advisement on medical benefits. Dr. Zinni strives to enhance the “customer experience” by focusing on injury reduction, cost avoidance efficiency, customer service, and health care cost savings.
Dr. Zinni resides in San Luis Obispo with his wife, Gaye and three cats. In his spare time, he enjoys Christian medical missions, hiking, and searching for the perfect bottle of wine.