Best Female Personal Trainer: Shana Ross
Shana Ross may be 58, but she certainly doesn’t look it. That’s because she practices what she preaches: exercise and a healthy diet, along with a positive outlook on life. But that wasn’t always the case.
“I grew up in East Texas, where if your food wasn’t fried and your potatoes weren’t mashed with whole milk and butter and covered in cream gravy, then bless your heart, your mother didn’t know how to cook,” she recalls. Even though she had always been active in sports as a kid, as she aged she knew she had to change her lifestyle if she wanted to stay in shape. So she got serious about it.
In 1997, she served as executive director of the nonprofit wellness center Body Positive, for people with HIV/AIDS. Two years later, she received her certification in personal fitness training before opening her own studio, Shana Ross Fitness, in 2007.
“I wanted to work with people with chronic illnesses and menopausal women—the kind of people who were intimidated by the gym scene where people were more interested in showing off their latest athletic wear than in getting healthy,” she says.
Center co-owner and trainer Mary Beth Reuter is also Ross’s life partner. They were married in 2013, “although we’ve been together for 31 years,” Ross says. The couple lives in The Heights with their two dogs, just seven blocks from the fitness center.
In September 2011, the couple began training a group of women to climb Africa’s 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro. One of those women had been diagnosed for a second time with ovarian cancer.
“We made it,” Ross says of the six-day trek. “We made it to the top.” The woman with cancer, longtime friend and client Becky Pope, died a year-and-a-half later. “But she died knowing she had made it to the top that day,” Ross says. You can read more about this amazing journey at WeChooseToClimb.com.
Ross and Reuter are active hikers who are now training another group of friends for an April hike through Big Bend.
“I want to keep being active for as long as I can,” she says. “And it all starts with being healthy and strong. It makes anything possible.”
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Finalists: Nuveau Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics, Skin Renaissance
Best Cosmetic Surgeon
Forrest S. Roth
Finalists: Cara Downey, Angela Sturm
Best Day Spa
Alira Boutique Spa & Salon
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Best Female Aesthetic Physician
Finalist: Angel Puryear
Best Male Aesthetic Physician
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Best Female Dentist
Finalists: Carol Price, Dianna Wilde
Best Male Dentist
Finalists: Sam Carrell, Marcus De Guzman, Cory Logan, Randy Mitchmore
Best Female Eye Doctor
Michelle Hung, Christine Tyler (tie)
Finalist: Juliet Farmer
Best Male Eye Doctor
Scott Sawyer, Stewart Zuckerbrod (tie)
Finalists: Paul Lovero, Charlie Nguyen
Best Female Hair Stylist
Finalist: Patty Gooch
Best Male Hair Stylist
Finalists: Reza Nouri, Anthony Skoogie, Christian Vanya
Best Female Massage Therapist
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Finalist: Danielle Sampey
Best Male Massage Therapist
Finalists: John Aaron Villareal, Tom Zeppelin
Finalist: Barry Gritz
Best Male Mental-Health Therapist/Psychologist
Denis “Woodja” Flanigan
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Finalist: Blythe Twosisters
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Ty David Lerman
Finalists: Tony Aucoin, Robert Snellgrove
Best Female Physician
M. Sandra Scurria
Finalists: Julia Kovacs, Jennifer Meyers
Best Male Physician
Finalists: Octavio Barrios, Donnie Harvey, Shannon Schrader
Best Physical Therapist
Roy Rivera Jr.
Best Female Personal Trainer
Finalist: Danielle Sampey
Best Male Personal Trainer
Finalists: David Muniz, Michael Shallis
Best Fertility Clinic
Finalist: Houston Fertility Institute
Best Gym/Place to Work Out
Finalists: Club Houston, FIT Athletic Club, Vortex Gym
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Finalists: Glo Sun Spa-Houston, TanSpire Spray Tan Experts
Best Tattoo Parlor
Finalists: 713 Tattoo Parlour, American Dragon Tattoo, Red Shores Tattoo Co.
Best Urgent- or Emergency-Care Center
SignatureCare Emergency Center
Finalists: Elite Care 24-Hour Emergency, MedSpring Urgent Care, River Oaks Emergency Room–A Village Emergency Center
Favorite Hydrating IV Spa
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