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My History

I am a native Chicagoan who grew up on Chicago and Wells in my father’s photo/art studio. I am a real city kid. My brothers and I were raised in a creative environment provided by my artistic father and a brave mother, who stood up to Castro’s revolution which resulted in her being exiled from her homeland, Cuba.

Today, I work close to where I grew up, in Chicago’s West Loop. I am the Owner of POW! Gym Chicago, which is also the home of POW! Kids and the Parisi Speed School of Chicago. Since 2001, POW! has grown from just a facility that offers adults 50+ classes a week, to a training center that also provides youth programs. Our programs consists of 50 classes a week in youth boxing, muay thai, self-defense, fitness, self-defense, sports performance, tumbling, flexibility, speed, change of direction and so much more.

POW! is the culmination of my life since the age of 9. With 37+ years in the martial arts and now 20+ years in the fitness industry, I have developed a pedigree that represents accomplishments in the martial arts and fitness industry that has not been replicated. I am disciplined, focused, decisive and kind. Some of my key career highlights include earning 4 blacks in various martial arts, starring in 17 dvds, completing a 100 city speaking tour across America, authoring 4 industry educational manuals, publishing over 200 articles in national magazines, writing one book and playing the role of three characters in one of the largest selling video games in history (Mortal Kombat II).

My Community Work

I serve as a Board member on the West Loop Community Organization ( My time volunteering for WLCO gives me an opportunity to support positive changes to the West Loop community as a whole. As an active member of the community, I also sit on the Safety & Education Committee for the West Loop. I have dedicated much time to philanthropic efforts since opening POW! in 2001. I ally with a wide range of 501 (c) (3) organizations personally and professionally. Some of the highlights include helping to build a home with Habitat for Humanity, hosting blood drives for Life Source, organizing a walk for PAWS, supporting the Lynn Sage Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, collections for Operation Gratitude and Rags of Honor; and sponsoring Clara’s House (a women’s shelter) every Christmas with an amazing toy drive.

My Family

I am the mother of three children and I am married to a 4th generation firefighter.

I invest only in quality friendships and cultivate strong bonds with the families and client I service, as well as other small businesses. These efforts have become one of my life’s priorities since they are the supporting structure that has helped me succeed and has kept me afloat during difficult times in business. Most of my actions have a pay-it-forward layer connected to them. I harness the most valuable lessons I have learned in the martial arts and understand how to appropriately apply them to all aspects of my life.

POW! is an amazing place for you and your child. We build more confident, fit, healthy and productive people. Our classes offer the perfect balance between skill development and sweat production

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