JENNIFER TURNER was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and never met a Happy Meal or a chicken wing she didn’t like. As she began to outgrow her childhood life-threatening asthma, the effects of her diet became evident and she began to put on weight, a lot of weight. After many crash diets, gimmicks, and several plays of the first Jane Fonda workout video, she eventually lost weight in her teens by developing an eating disorder. Although she worked through the disorder, her lifelong struggle with weight and dieting continued. It wasn’t until 1998, while attending Stanford University, that Jennifer finally committed herself to going to the gym every day. For the first time she stopped weighing herself, focusing more on how she felt than her actual results. Although she was completely clueless in the gym, clad in her not-so-cute 1986 L.A. Gear cross trainers and Flashdance legwarmers, she stuck with it. And to great lengths: Jennifer would go on to complete 6 marathons, including the Boston Marathon (twice!), the New York City Marathon, and 11 triathlons — all while becoming a pretty mean salsa dancer.
While she nurtured this personal connection to fitness, she also developed her career in the television industry. Today, Jennifer is a veteran television executive featured in Essence magazine’s “40 Under 40” edition 2004, Ebony magazine’s “Women to Watch” in entertainment 2006, and CableFAX’s “Most Influential Minorities in Cable” 2009 and 2011. But, Jennifer’s ultimate passion and mission in life is to become involved with her community, to teach and inspire others to lead healthier lives. To realize her dream, she became certified as a Group Fitness Instructor through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Recognizing that to successfully integrate fitness into people’s lives she would also need to understand food and nutrition, she became a Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant certified through ACE.
A self-proclaimed “Fitness Activator,” Jennifer believes everyone has the ability — with the right tools, social support, and inspiration — to connect with fitness on an emotional level. In July 2011, she became the fitness consultant for the Harlem Children’s Zone Healthy Living Initiative, teaching exercise and fitness support classes to the Harlem community. Leveraging her business, creative, and fitness backgrounds, Jennifer founded Mad Cool Fitness, a brand that inspires everyday people to be healthy, active, and find their own internal happiness. She’s also a board member of Groove With Me, a non-profit that offers free dance classes to girls 7-14 in East Harlem and at the Bronx Lighthouse Charter School. In her spare time, she still likes to salsa dance and resides in East Harlem with her dog, Max, a Maltese whom she swears is a person.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS & CREDENTIALS:
- American Council on Exercise Group Fitness Instructor
- American Council on Exercise Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant
- Licensed Zumba Instructor
- B.S. in Economics, concentration in Finance from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania
- B.A. in Japanese language from the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania
- M.B.A., Stanford University
- Host free fitness events at the Athleta Upper East Side Store
- Complete a Half Marathon
- Complete a Half Ironman
- Complete one track event, namely the 800 meter (discover her inner Flo Jo)
- Help her friends make the shift toward healthy living
- Continue to grow Mad Cool Fitness by offering inspirational and useful content, social support, and fitness tools to help people make a long-term lifestyle shift to healthy living