Pinnacle  - Evergreen's Elite Gymnastics Center















Tabor Cowden and Laura Grissom welcome you to 
Pinnacle Academy!

Jillian DeFrehn, Gym Manager, Marketing and Development
Jillian is a Marketing and Public Relations veteran, with nearly 15 years of communications experience under her belt. A recent transplant from Los Angeles, she spent the majority of her career focused in Entertainment and Lifestyle publicity, working for numerous networks, studios and brands.  Jillian is thrilled to join the Pinnacle Gymnastics Family as the head of Marketing and Business Development, focused on community outreach, brand development, social media and public relations. A graduate of Emerson College, Jillian resides in Genesee with her husband and two daughters, who attend Evergreen Country Day. 
Chase Penny, Parkour Coach, Boys & Girls Team Coach 
Chase Penny has been involved with the sport of gymnastics for over three decades. As a competitive gymnast, he won several state and regional championships, received a full-ride scholarship at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and in 1996, was nominated for the Nissen Emery Award (the highest award given to a collegiate senior gymnast who have established an outstanding record of achievement during their collage career.)
Once graduated from college, he continued to coach his collegiate team until presented with the opportunity to coach '96 Olympian, Kip Simons, in preparation for the Olympic Games in Atlanta. In 1997, he made the move to Los Angeles where he used his gymnastics background to begin working in the entertainment business as a professional stuntman.  For the last sixteen years, he has worked in numerous movies, television shows, and commercials. He is currently a stunt double on the show Teen Wolf and can be seen on Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.
Chase and his family are looking forward to making the transition to Evergreen where he can use his gymnastics knowledge to coach, help influence, and bring an exciting perspective to athletes who love the sport of gymnastics as much as he does.

Barb Gilleland, Girls Team Head Coach
*Bio coming soon!


Leila Shamas, Girls Team Coach

Leila started gymnastics at age 10 in England, where she was born & raised. Upon moving to the U.S. in 1996, she won numerous USAG Level 9 & 10 state and regional titles. She also competed high school gymnastics, winning three consecutive all-around county and sectional titles while captaining the first place team. Leila went on to compete Division 1 gymnastics for the University of Pittsburgh from 2001-2005, with a four year full scholarship, captaining the team both her junior and senior year. She capped off her gymnastics career at the NCAA National Championship as an event specialist on beam, qualifying to nationals with a win on the event at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship. 
Leila was thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Pinnacle coaching staff in October 2016 and has absolutely loved the ‘culture’ of the Pinnacle family and the way we train our young athletes. She’s had a blast getting to know the girls’ Xcel team members and thinks that nothing beats the feeling of those breakthrough moments when an athlete overcomes a fear or learns a new skill with you by their side coaching. Leila has worked as a marketing and communications manager for large accounting firms in Denver for over a decade, which she still does full time. She lives in beautiful Golden, CO with her awesome husband and four crazy & adorable sons. 


Melissa Trader, Preschool Coach, Tumble & Twirl Instructor, 
Girls Rec Coach, Girls Team Coach
Melissa has been practicing gymnastics since the young age of five. Melissa's mother found her, after a brief moment of panic, high in a tree at the Zoo, and so she decided to enroll her in a gymnastics class. She competed all the way up through Level 10, and then concentrated on dance and performing arts in her college years.  A post-graduate from Colorado State University, Melissa danced with a modern dance company and then went on as a stunt performer for Six Flags Elitch Gardens. Looking for a full time position, she landed at a local ballroom dance studio and has been teaching ever since. Melissa has choreographed, taught, and performed for Red Rocks Community College, The Evergreen Chorale, Essies Dance Studio and Connect 4 Events, to name a few. Melissa is so excited to be back in the gym!  "There is nothing more rewarding than feeling strong, coordinated, flexible, and confident. Gymnastics is the perfect sport to enhance development in all of these areas, no matter what age or walk of life." Thanks Pinnacle for having me on the team!

Marquell Lott, Parkour Coach, Freerunning Coach
Marquell Lott was born in San Diego, CA and raised to be an extremely down to earth, kindhearted guy. Marquell Has deep passion for Parkour. Marquell has done this extreme sport since 2006, starting at 13 years old. Let's not forget his Martial art skills, receiving a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do, he started fighting after being bullied in elementary school.  Marquell is now a competitive Traceur (freerunner) and gives his absolute best in what he does.  He tries his best to keep everyone including himself happy.   Marquell's mantra is "I am a runner for a reason to keep training and moving forward, never backwards."  

Cathy Ramirez, Preschool Coach, Girls Rec Coach, Girls Team Coach
I am a mom of 2 daughters, ages 9 and 6. My youngest is a gymnast at Pinnacle and loves it!! We have lived in Evergreen for the last 5 years.  I work full time,  as a Physician Assistant in orthopedic surgery, and absolutely love helping out with coaching girls gymnastics,  at Pinnacle a few days a week. I started gymnastics at the age of 4 and started competing in gymnastics by age 6. I continued competing, through to the Elite level at the age of 14.  I was trained by Olympic,  Russian and Romanian Gymnasts, and was competing along side  USA's Olympian, Dominique Dawes just before I retired.   One of my last competitions as a gymnast was my National Competition in North Carolina.  Gymnastics was a huge part of my life as a kid and I love being able to share my experience  and my love of gymnastics with other gymnasts!

Jennifer Decker, Girls Coach
Jennifer has been a certified USAG instructor at Pinnacle Gymnastics for the past year.  She coaches pre-school through advanced girls gymnasts and currently heads our Girls Pre-Team program.  Jennifer competed as a high school gymnast and has advanced her own gymnastics skills as an adult gymnastics student on and off over the last few years.  Jennifer's love of the sport is evident in her expert instruction and positive interactions with her students. 

Jason Brown, Ninja Warrior Coach
Jason is a National Academy Sports Medicine Personal Fitness Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist and MMA Conditioning Specialist - with 28 years experience in coaching gymnastics, martial arts, Tai Chi and kickboxing. A Colorado native, he has been competing, as well as, course testing for Ninja Warrior since 2012.  Before parlaying into the fitness world full-time, Jason spent over a decade in the medical field as an EMT and is a certified instructor in CPR, AED and First Aid through The American Heart Association. Having trained in martial arts since the age of 14, Jason previously taught classes for “Living Younger Longer,” a research program at the University of Colorado Health Science Center’s that studied the effects of Tai Chi on the human body. He is currently enrolled in an intensive Neurology program through Z Health, where he is studying brain health. Jason is also the owner of Rocky Mountain Health Performance and Rehabilitation, where he practices a brain based health, fitness and rehabilitation method that he has coined ‘NeuroMotive’ . Jason is a member of NSCA (National Strengthening and Conditioning Association) and USAG.
Taylor Crawford, Pinnacle Poms Instructor
Morgan Collins, Pinnacle Poms Instructor
Megan Stark, Pinnacle Poms Instructor
Emma Fletcher, Poms Instructor














Bella Berninzoni, Poms Instructor

Jennifer Decker, Girls Coach
Jennifer has been a certified USAG instructor at Pinnacle Gymnastics for the past year.  She coaches pre-school through advanced girls gymnasts and currently heads our Girls Pre-Team program.  Jennifer competed as a high school gymnast and has advanced her own gymnastics skills as an adult gymnastics student on and off over the last few years.  Jennifer's love of the sport is evident in her expert instruction and positive interactions with her students. 

Allie O'Connor, Recreational Gymnastics Coach, Girls Team Coach

Allie has always been involved with gymnastics. She started competing in 2nd grade and has done a variety of USAG, Xcel, and high school gymnastics. She is currently a varsity gymnast on the Evergreen High School gymnastics team. Allie loves sharing her love of gymnastics with the girls she coaches.

Alexa Endsley, Recreational Gymnastics Coach



Mira Zizic, Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Mira is a junior at evergreen high school that enjoys gymnastics, the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. She has done gymnastics for many years at evergreen gymnastics and with the high school team at pinnacle. She loves children and is so happy to be coaching at pinnacle academy.

Sydnie Fearrin, Recreational Gymnastics Coach
Photo and Bio coming soon!


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