Board and Team Biographies
Board of Directors
Carsten Schmalfuss is the President and Executive Director of Balance 180. He and his wife, Ilona, were both raised in Germany and moved to Gainesville in 1995. Carsten graduated from medical school in Essen and he has worked as a cardiologist for more than 10 years. He understands the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle and brings his experience to Balance 180. Carsten has two energetic daughters, Kiki and Veronika, ages 15 and 13, both of whom have participated in competitive gymnastics for several years. Carsten appreciates and promotes the importance of providing children with a safe and nurturing environment. He is a dedicated family man, likes to run and loves chocolate!
Edward Buckley III
Ed(ward) Buckley is the positive and dynamic energy behind Balance 180. He serves on the Board of Directors and is responsible for all marketing and media activities. Ed graduated from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in public health, focused on management and policy. He is the president of peerFit Inc., and has been a fitness instructor at Gainesville Health and Fitness for the last three years. He is currently a doctorate student in health education and behavior and has extensive knowledge on the delivery of exercise and its importance in maintaining health. You may have seen Ed at one of the UF gymnastics meets. He is the emcee at all home gymnastics meets and gets the fans roaring!
Stacey Gleim is a former gymnast and student manager for the University of Florida gymnastics team. Starting gymnastics at the age of four, Stacey won several USAG Indiana State Gymnastics Championship titles during her club career. She graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in applied physiology and kinesiology, as well as a master’s degree in health education and behavior. She also holds licenses as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). She has extensive knowledge in the sport of gymnastics and understands the positive benefits this sport provides to young children. Stacey has volunteered in a number of nonprofit organizations and is passionate about working with children. You may see Stacey on our gym floor, as she coaches recreational and competitive gymnastics. She’s also our volunteer director and makes sure everybody is taken care off! Stacey recently celebrated her first wedding anniversary with her supportive husband, Garrett, in Africa.
Krista Vandenborne is one of the founding directors and is excited to bring Balance 180 to the Gainesville community. Krista has a doctorate degree in physical therapy and motoric rehabilitation from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium and is an expert in muscle physiology and rehabilitation. She has published numerous articles on muscle injury and recovery and serves on a number of national advisory boards including the National Institute of Health. She has two teenaged children, Sean (19) and Julie (16). Julie is a former competitive gymnast who trained many hours a week at a young age. As a parent, Krista observed the rigors and challenges high level young gymnasts experience, balancing homework and training. She is excited to bring a more comprehensive program to Gainesville, which embraces children with varying abilities and recognizes the importance of academics in the life of a young athlete.
Jennifer coordinates special events, assists with community outreach efforts and is the creative mind of Balance 180. She was a gymnast for 10 years, two-time state champion and USAIGC All American. Jennifer has a major in recreation from the University of Florida and has an eye for details. She and her husband, Eric, have of two children, Kate (15) and Drew (11), who are both very involved in sports. She loves to decorate and enjoys creative projects of any kind. She helped to design the layout for our webpage and is thrilled to be able to use her passion for creativity to positively impact children. Her experiences within the sport of gymnastics serve as valuable tools in helping Balance 180 create a healthy environment for gymnasts of all levels. Knowing that her years of hard work and dedication to the sport may now have a positive impact on other children puts a huge smile on her face. She said she can’t wait to begin this part of her life’s journey and is so happy to be a part of Balance 180. Her love of chocolate rivals Carsten’s, she’s sure of it. She considers herself a “chocolate snob” and says not just any chocolate will do!
Renai is excited to offer the Young Athletes Special Olympics Program to Gainesville. Since its inception in 2012, she has been busy working through the logistics of bringing this wonderful new program to Alachua County, signing up volunteers and getting the curriculum ready. Renai has a degree in education from the University of Florida and is specialized in early childhood development and working with children with special needs. She has been teaching children with developmental disabilities in the Gainesville school system for more than 10 years. Renai is easy going and kids adore her! She and her husband, Kenny, have two children, Logan (14) and Luke (11); Logan has participated in gymnastics since she was five. Renai says that she is dedicated to meet the individual needs of a child and wants to ensure children have the necessary tools to thrive and develop. She is so looking forward to working with our young athletes!