247 Virginia St 14201 |Call:716.392.8818 |
Our Team

OUR Team

Christopher Heeb

CrossFit Trainer Level I
USAW Level 1 Sports Performance Coach
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
CrossFit Gymnastics
Maxwell Level 1 Kettle Bell Instructor
Certified Orthotics Fitter

Chris is the owner/head coach at CrossFit Nickel City, an Ironman finisher, second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, former Tae Kwon Do instructor and wellness specialist. He currently competes in Triathlon, road races and is an avid cyclist. Chris discovered CrossFit in 2007 while he was the fitness director at the YMCA and it completely changed his outlook on fitness.

Chris graduated from Buffalo State College with a degree in Health and Wellness and has dedicated his life to helping others learn how to move better, eat better, make healthier choices and have fun wile doing it.

Chris Nentarz


10+ years working with athletes at all levels

NFL – National Football League

NBA – National Basketball Association

MLB – Major League Baseball

MLS – Major League Soccer

World Soccer

US Lacrosse

Professional multisport athletes

Previous work experience includes Athletes’ Performance, Los Angeles, as well as a lead consultant for many professional athletic organizations

Specializing in movement science and sports orthopedic rehabilitation

Originally from Rochester, New York, Chris is a Physical Therapist, Performance Specialist, Writer and Educator. He currently lives in Buffalo, New York and is the Sports Medicine Coordinatory at Impact Sports Performance.
Chris graduated from University of Buffalo’s Physical Therapy program in 2000. He specializes in movement science, and sports orthopedic rehabilitation. He holds over 14 years experience working with athletes of all levels, including athletes from the NFL, MLS, World Soccer, NBA, professional triathletes, US Lacrosse and MLB. Previous work experience includes Athletes’ Performance, Los Angeles, as well as a lead consultant for many professional athletic organizations.
Whether he’s helping one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks come back from an injury, showing an amateur athlete how to get to the next level, or speaking at an international conference, Chris Nentarz brings world-class experience to every job.

Rachel Meade

level 1 trainer

Rachel has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2011 and has a passion for helping her clients. Rachel also has a passion for health and fitness, and has been exercising most of her life. In 2014 she felt that she needed more than your everyday, ho-hum, gym experience. Several of her friends suggested that she try CrossFit because they thought it would be a great match for her interests and abilities. Once Rachel tried it, she was hooked! She joined CrossFit Nickel City in the beginning of 2015, and there she decided she would pursue her Level 1 CrossFit Certification in order to coach others and share her passion for CrossFit.

Kyle Habdo

level 1 trainer

Kyle is a dual degree graduate of Daemen college, his two degrees are BA English and BS Natural Science-Health Science. A professional student, Kyle has his eyes set on furthering his education into the medical field.

After implementing Olympic Lifting, some gymnastics, and functional movements into his training program, Kyle was introduced to CrossFit Nickel City where he further perfected his technique and abilities. The atmosphere at CFNC allowed Kyle to grow as an athlete and as a person; taking on these new found strengths, Kyle became a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer in hopes of instilling his knowledge into the community to provide a foundation for individuals to own their movement.

“Ernest Hemingway wrote, ‘true nobility is being superior to your former self,’ which is a sentiment that I have taken to heart. I believe that everyday we should strive to be better than we were the day before in whatever capacity that may be for you – it could be to hit a new PR, do well on an exam for a class, help out someone in need, or find time for yourself. Everyday that I step into our box, I strive to be better than I was the day before – be a better coach and a better athlete. I am continuously working at being the best that I can be, so I can help bring out the best in you.”

Ann Windish


level 2 trainer
Ann found Crossfit back in 2007 while living in Atlanta, GA and hasn’t looked back since. She received her Level 1 certification shortly thereafter and began training others. Ann likes the variety Crossfit has to offer and helping others achieve their goals. Additional Certifications include: Crossfit Running and Endurance, Crossfit Gymnastics, Crossfit Nutrition, Crossfit Kids, and USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach.

Jackie McGhee


Jackie is an avid Crossfit Athlete, Triathlete, Runner and Mom of 3. After discovering her love of running 4 years ago she continues to set race goals to further her achievements. Sharing her drive and accomplishments has proven to give others motivation. She has helped coach our athletes new to running, giving them a good knowledge base to build from. As the office manager at Crossfit Nickel City she is able to assist our athletes get the most of their membership and help achieve their goals. Jackie is eager to expand what CFNC has to offer its athletes.

jessica schieda

Jess came to CrossFit Nickel City as an intern to complete her undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sports Studies from D’Youville College. She spent 200 hours with the owners of the box learning and developing her skills in her desired career path of Physical Therapy. On her path in learning about corrective exercise, movement, and rehabilitation, Jess found a love for assisting with CrossFit classes as well as participating in class. Her passion for understanding movement and teaching others became vividly apparent as she stayed on past what was required of her degree to assist with classes.

Jess has shown incredible ambition as she obtained her Level 1 Training Certification for coaching CrossFit over the 2016 summer just before beginning her graduate classes for her Physical Therapy degree. She is driven to find and develop exercises to help each member at the box be able to perform to the best of their abilities. She implements the knowledge that she acquires from her graduate classes into the classes that she teaches at the box. Jess has become a great asset to CrossFit Nickel City.

Through her time spent honing in her abilities as a coach, Jess’ love for Olympic Lifting has shown through the most. She has already begun competing in the fall of 2016 and placed first in her weight class. She is dedicated in becoming more technical and efficient in the clean and jerk and snatch as to develop her own skills and be able to share her passion with the members of the box. Jess is enthusiastic and determined with a brilliant future on her path at CrossFit Nickel City as well as becoming a practicing Physical Therapist.

sarah novotny

CF-L1 Trainer

Sarah moved to Buffalo in the summer of 2016 and is a graduate student in the Doctor of Chiropractic program at D’Youville College. She found Crossfit while completing her undergraduate degree in Biology at SUNY Oneonta. “My first official Crossfit workout was G.I. Jane, 100 burpee pull-ups for time. I could barely do a burpee and definitely could not do a pull-up, but from then on I was hooked.

One of my favorite things about Crossfit is that it can fit any ability level! Movements, rep schemes, and intensity can all be modified to fit each individual, but continue to progress them and make them super fit!” She wants to mold her future career in Chiropractic care with teaching Crossfit to help people reach their highest potential as an athlete all while preventing injuries and teaching people how to take care of their bodies.

Gregory Fraser

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
CPR/AED Certified
EMT-B Certified

Greg graduated from John Jay College with Bachelors of Science way back in 2012.

He decided to give CrossFit a try during the Fall of 2014 because he was intrigued by the functional movement patterns implemented in CrossFit and the speed power and focus required for Olympic Lifting.
After moving to Buffalo in 2016 to peruse a career in Physical Therapy he found CrossFit Nickel City and jumped right in to compete in the CrossFit Open. (ask him how 16.1 went)

Greg has competed in many CrossFit Competitions and just competed in his first Olympic Lifting meet in the winter of 2017.
Greg’s gymnastic skills are off the charts so if you are looking to get your first muscle up, hand stand push up or back flip come seek him out!

Tyler Phillipson

Tyler began his CrossFit journey in 2015 after he finished his varsity volleyball career and was looking to remain active. Growing up and participating in many different sports, CrossFit was a good fit as it involves many different movements and incorporates various metabolic pathways. He recently moved to Buffalo as he finishes his placement for his degree in Chiropractic.

Steve Terry


USAW Level 1

This is Steve. Steve is strong and likes dogs. He joined Nickel City to try CrossFit and impress a girl, but fell in love with weightlifting instead. His focus is mainly on strength sport technique, mechanics and enjoys coaching both the brand new lifter and seasoned athlete wanting more efficiency.

Steve is certified USAW Level 1 Olympic Lifting Coach at CrossFit Nickel City. He’s been been lifting with Barbell Club for two years and is an experienced powerlifter and strongman, as well as a NY State High School All State Tennis Champ from the Syracuse area. He is currently a nursing student at D’Youville.

You’ll most likely catch Steve at the gym writing programming, lifting, or helping an athlete improve their movement. He’s a great resource if you’re stuck or if you need a laugh. One of his favorite jokes: What do you call a chicken staring at a head of lettuce? Chicken sees-a salad.