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Connecticut Athletic Trainers’ Association

Executive Council Nomination Bios



President- Elect

Christina E. Martinelli MBA, ATC, CSCS, FMSC

Through the acceptance of this nomination for President-Elect, I hope that I am given the opportunity to lead the athletic training profession through this period of transition and continue to support the key issues that challenge the individuals who are dedicating their lives to providing a high standard of healthcare to their patients. In the last two years while serving on the Board of Directors, I have been given the opportunity to collaborate with a group of professionals that challenged each other and established a stronger voice for athletic trainers in the State of Connecticut.  Through this experience as well as my professional leadership and mentoring experiences, I have grown and feel that I am in a fortuitous position to continue to advocate for athletic trainers on both a state and regional level. While serving as President-Elect, I hope to empower my fellow athletic trainers to join in continuing to strengthen the profession across all settings.




Jessica Testani Creem, MS LAT ATC CAA

I am honored to accept the nomination for CATA Vice President. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue working with CATA colleagues on behalf of Athletic Trainers in the state of Connecticut and the profession as a whole. I will continue to work diligently and seek opportunities to push the profession forward. I look to continue to reach out to my fellow Athletic Trainers to provide support and champion the work we do for our patients, athletes, and community each day.



Amanda L. Strong, ATC

It is with great pleasure that I accept the nomination for secretary on the Connecticut Athletic Training Association (CATA) executive board. I understand all that this position entails as I have been serving in this role for almost 4 years. I have been a volunteer through NATA and various states for over a decade, and have had the value of an athletic trainer at the forefront. I am committed to continue making Connecticut better for athletic trainers and am eager to work with the rest of the board and volunteers on some of the projects we have in motion. In addition, I am interested in increasing CATA membership by hosting events and reviewing benefits of the membership to better serve ATs.



(2 Candidates)

Nicole Pease, MS, ATC, LAT

I have always looked for ways to be involved in our profession. In the beginning of my career, I became involved with CATA as one of their co-chairs for the secondary school committee. I truly enjoyed the involvement and looking for ways to help secondary school athletic trainers grow within their profession. I feel being involved at the Executive Board level will give me even greater tools to help not only the secondary school athletic trainers but all athletic trainers in CT grow professionally for themselves as well as for their community.  I feel I would make a good treasurer as I am a detailed orientated person with great communication skills. I strive to be orderly when dealing with budgets. I feel these qualities will aid the Executive Board to see good, clear data to help with informed decisions


Kaitlyn N. Palevo, MS, ATC, LAT

I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for the CATA Treasurer. I am emailing you to formally accept this nomination and ask for your vote supporting me in this new endeavor. I believe I am a qualified candidate that exemplifies passion for the athletic training profession, dedication to my job, and detailed organizational skills that sets me apart from my peers. I have worked at Sacred Heart University for the past twelve years, and I have assumed various administrative responsibilities, one of which includes assisting with our operational budget. I am a diligent worker that knows how to manage my time wisely and keep accurate and updated records. This past January at EATA’s, I was inspired by the hard work of our CATA Executive Committee at the state meeting. I immediately reached out to Eleni Diakogeorgiou to inform her that I am looking to challenge myself and become more involved with the CATA as I recognize the importance of advocating for our profession.  Although I do not have experience as a Treasurer, I do feel that my work-ethic would help me navigate this new role. I have had the privilege of working under great mentors such as, Julie Alexander, current District 1 EATA Treasurer, as well as Leonidas Katsetos, the recipient of the 2021 NATA Division 1 Athletic Trainer of the year award and feel their expertise has influenced the certified athletic trainer I have become. The knowledge I obtained working alongside them is a valuable resource I do not take for granted.





Board of Directors

(5 Candidates/Vote for 3)

Marc Aceto LAT,ATC, CSCS (Incumbent)

It is a distinguished honor of having the ability to serve on our state executive board. I thank you for the nomination.  A presence at the highest levels in our state regarding Athletic Training would not only be an honor, but a chance to make a real difference within our profession.  The state of Connecticut is making many strides, but still needs improvements.  The improvements need to be done at the community levels, such as secondary schools, as well as with insurance reimbursement.  I want to implement having Athletic Trainers as a necessity, not a luxury at all levels.  The ability we have in our profession to make life changing experiences, has helped numerous athletes/patients that we have empowered.  We need to continue to educate the public and legislature of our ability and knowledge as health care providers.  My experience and knowledge of working with the CIAC will help athletic trainers in the future.  Believe the future of athletic training hangs in the balance of the secondary school level. If we can strengthen quality certified athletic trainers in all high schools in some capacity, it would not only grow our profession, but have the ability to profit with high wages.   We can stop our profession from being a transitional field to a permanent career.  I look forward to working on completing these tasks and any other obstacles that we have to overcome as athletic trainers.


Heather Feiner, LAT, ATC, ITAT (Incumbent)

At this time, I would like to ask the Connecticut Athletic Trainers Association members for a continued seat on the CATA board of directors. For the past few years our board has created some great relationships with CT stakeholders to collaborate and move forward the profession of athletic training in all practice settings.  Covid was a challenge in many ways, both physically for some of our healthcare providers as well as professionally.  I realize things are difficult and we have much work to do to create positions that not only help athletic trainers thrive but also find professional satisfaction.  I have enjoyed being part of the conversation, and my background in the secondary school setting has been my primary focus as I know we need to do better.  I would like the chance to help our leadership team move forward with initiatives that improve respect for what our role as athletic trainers play in healthcare. Currently, the need to create more job opportunities that encourage athletic trainers to continue practicing in our state is paramount. Thank you for your consideration.


Andrew Abraham ATC, LAT

I currently working as a Sports Medicine Coordinator with Select Physical Therapy in Connecticut. In my role, I serve as the Athletic Trainer at Rocky Hill High School as well. I am a graduate of Springfield College Athletic Training program and a soon-to-be graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a degree in sports administration, focusing on public school administration. My passion for athletics and healthcare come together in our amazing profession of athletic training. My skill set pairs up with the job duties of the CATA board of directors. Within my current position, I oversee clinical excellence for the state of Connecticut which includes assisting in the creation, scheduling, and booking of speakers for the annual symposium hosted by Select Physical Therapy. Working closely with our current CATA president Perry Siegel over the last few years I have learned many of the processes involved within the CATA Board of Directors. I know I would be a great addition to the Board of Directors within the CATA due to my incredible passion and desire to grow the profession of athletic training. Major growth is done while educating the population on the importance of an athletic trainer and their value within the communities. I am passionate about an athletic trainer's role in healthcare and disrupting the common stigma of athletic trainers only tape and ice. With my ability to connect with athletic trainers across the state I will push all CATA members to work in their communities to grow our profession.


Kelly Coleman, PhD, LAT, ATC

I am honored to be nominated for the Board of Directors for the CATA and excited for the opportunity to be a part of the future of Athletic Training professional practice in the State of Connecticut. Currently, I am a Professor and Coordinator of Clinical Education at Southern Connecticut State University in the MAT program and am also active with per diem clinical practice at the secondary school level. I am passionate about the development of our young professionals in CT, as they make up a significant percentage of our workforce, and aim to be a voice on the Board of the CATA for supporting their professional socialization as they transition to practice. My experiences at the Korey Stringer Institute, serving as the Assistant Director of the Athletic Training Locations and Services (ATLAS) Project, powered my desire to be an advocate for secondary school athletic trainers. I would like to continue the work of the CATA in developing a community for our secondary school athletic trainers to communicate, collaborate, and develop a strong networking culture. It would be my vision to extend this collaborative community into our esteemed educational programs to start the connections earlier in their professional development to establish a network system that will grow through their young professional career. I believe that my past experiences, current educational role in the development of future athletic trainers, and my passion for creating connections amongst Athletic Trainers in Connecticut make me a great addition to the CATA Board of Directors.



I would be honored to be elected to the Board of Directors and join the Executive Council of the Connecticut Athletic Trainers’ Association. I am currently the President of Sport Safety at the Korey Stringer Institute and received my Bachelor of Arts and my Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Connecticut. I have worked clinically as an athletic trainer in the collegiate and secondary school settings and most recently worked as an Assistant Professor of Athletic Training at Lasell University. I believe my current and previous work experiences would serve me well in fulfilling the duties of the CATA Board of Directors. In my current role I work with state leaders to implement best practice sports safety policies in high schools across the country. This requires me to interact with multiple stakeholders, including legislators, high school administrators, and healthcare practitioners from many fields. I believe these experiences would help me represent the CATA to various organized bodies across the state and assist in the implementation of mandates and policies of the CATA. I previously served as the Continuing Education Chair for the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts and have experience planning annual symposia. I am a strong proponent of personal, professional, and patient advocacy and try to represent all three in the work that I do. I would be grateful to serve the members of CATA on the Board of Directors if given the opportunity.

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