• Michael Alfaro
    Michael Alfaro Co-Founder

    Michael is a preeminent figure in the world of fitness technology and brand partnerships. As the head of RhinoCo, Inc., the company he co-founded with Nathan Forster in 2010, Michael drives strategy and operations for a growing business that spans the physical and digital spaces in an effort to lead the market across both as the fitness industry continues to evolve.

    Before RhinoCo, Mike excelled as an entrepreneur at an early age. When he was 15, he began working for Neurology Mobile Systems, a medical company that provides diagnostic testing and intra-operative monitoring to hospitals. He quickly worked his way up to operating officer of the company in just five years. At age 20, he left to follow his passion and open the first CrossFit gym in South Florida, IMT CrossFit. Michael took IMT CrossFit from a 1,200-square-foot warehouse to a multimillion-dollar business operating in multiple states.

    Born and raised in Miami, Michael graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business management from Florida International University. He holds multiple certifications and is regarded as one of the world’s most experienced fitness entrepreneurs.

    “I believe that through technology, we can make fitness more accessible and affordable for the world at large, giving everyone the chance to live a healthier lifestyle.”

  • Nathan Forster
    Nathan Forster Co-Founder

    Nathan Forster was born and raised in Baltimore. He began playing professional tennis at age 18, and after two years competing on the ATP tour, he retired from professional tennis to pursue a career in business. At age 21, he recognized a gap in the nightlife industry and opened DEK 23 in Miami’s South Beach. He then went on to own and operate B.E.D. nightclub in South Beach. Nathan served as operating partner and manager at both clubs and eventually facilitated the successful sale of both establishments.

    In 2010, Nathan co-founded RhinoCo. RhinoCo opened CrossFit Miami Beach in 2010, and soon after began an industry-leading Reebok partnership.

    RhinoCo is currently building the next generation of fitness facilities through their all-in-one concepts, which combine the world’s best fitness methods under one roof while giving clients an unprecedented degree of choice. After launching the idea with RhinoCo’s executive team, Nathan created the model’s business plan and is personally developing a new boot camp concept that will serve as a cornerstone of the all-in-one facilities.

    Nathan has become an in-demand speaker at industry conferences, encouraging fitness entrepreneurs to follow their hearts and make passionate choices in growing their brands.

  • Edgard Paredes
    Edgard Paredes General Manager, NEO U

    A native of Venezuela, Edgard Paredes is responsible for managing the financial strategy of the group and is committed to maximizing long-term shareholder value, ensuring a balanced portfolio of growth initiatives, and maintaining the high level of integrity and transparency that RhinoCo is proud of. Edgard joined the RhinoCo Group at the end of 2012 after nearly a decade of working in the banking and finance industry.

    Along with his associates Michael Alfaro and Nathan Forster, Edgard contributed to the development of a business model from which organization, staffing, compensation plans, territory definition, and sales goals could be derived. Furthermore, he actively oversees and supports financial planning on future investments and ventures, and is actively expanding RhinoCo’s efforts to give back, developing RhinoCo’s non-profit concept, Fit to Give. A former collegiate-level baseball player, Edgard studied Finance and attended Northwood University in West Palm Beach and Florida International University in Miami prior to joining the banking and finance world. Edgar also holds six Financial Securities licenses


  • Crystal Umpierre
    Crystal Umpierre Legal Counsel

    Crystal Umpierre was born and raised in Miami. She graduated from Florida International University with a Juris Doctor degree in law and is admitted to the Florida bar. She also graduated summa cum laude from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Crystal has clerked at several firms developing solid legal research, drafting, and writing skills. Also, her experience at FIU Law’s Business Clinic has given her irreplaceable experience working with clients and knowledge on how to handle issues from start to finish.

    Crystal discovered CrossFit in 2011 and was immediately consumed by its intensity and competitive nature. She earned her CrossFit level 1 coach certification in 2012 and is also a licensed Florida real estate agent. A lifelong perfectionist, Crystal is eager to bring additional energy and experience to an already stacked RhinoCo team.

  • Adam Bloom
    Adam Bloom Financial Controller

    Adam is the financial controller at RhinoCo. After growing up in Massapequa, New York, Adam went on to attend the University of Tampa and graduated with a degree in accounting. After graduating, Adam spent almost 5 years working as a public accountant. He gained valuable experience working on various types of clients ranging from retail to real estate. He then spent some time working as a corporate accountant in the biotechnology industry.

    Adam moved to New York City a few years after graduating college, and discovered CrossFit shortly after. He joined Reebok CrossFit 5th Avenue in early 2013 and was instantly hooked. Benefiting from the competitive environment at 5th Ave, Adam was able to qualify for the North East Regionals as a member of the Ninja team. Inspired by his passion for CrossFit and fitness in general, Adam decided to join the RhinoCo team in December of 2014. He believes in the mission and vision of RhinoCo, and feels the company can greatly impact the fitness industry for years to come.

  • Tyler Stewart
    Tyler Stewart VP of Product Development

    Tyler is the vice president of product development at RhinoCo Fitness. He is the former digital director of Muscle & Fitness and FLEX, and began his career as a writer and web producer at Men’s Health. His technical background is built primarily on health and fitness platforms in the editorial space, ranging from native apps to full website relaunches for top publishers in the industry.

    Tyler is also the product and UX instructor at Columbia University’s Publishing Course, guiding students through the best practices and fundamentals of product strategy, web design, and user experience.

    As consumer technology continues its rapid evolution, Tyler is thrilled to join the RhinoCo team to help drive a vision for how devices and interfaces can play an even more meaningful role in the world of health and fitness.

  • Mike Kratochwill
    Mike Kratochwill CEO, NF Sports

    Mike was born and raised in a small suburb south of Boston, Mass. He attended Tufts University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and was four-year starter on the varsity football and baseball teams. Mike continued on at Tufts to receive his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and coached the varsity football and baseball teams.

    After graduate school, Mike worked for seven years in the medical field as a mechanical engineer designing cutting edge technology for the treatment of brain tumors. Always passionate about business, Mike changed his career path when he received his M.B.A. from Babson College and started working at Reebok. For the past seventeen years at Reebok, Mike has held positions in Advanced Concepts, Global Product Management and Business Unit Management. Most recently, Mike was the Head of the CrossFit Business Unit where he managed all elements of the CrossFit partnership, including co-branded Reebok CrossFit footwear, apparel and accessories, the Reebok CrossFit Games, Reebok programs for CrossFit affiliates, athlete endorsements and activation, as well as all strategic business and development aspects of the partnership.

    Mike is also the co-owner of Reebok CrossFit Medfield, a Reebok-sponsored CrossFit gym located in the town of Medfield, Mass. He and his wife, Monica, have four children (Alexandra, Meredith, Annalise and Matthew).

Our Advisers

  • Joe Bilman
    Joe Bilman Adviser

    Joe Bilman is Chief Digital Officer of Harland Clarke Holdings Corp, a wholly owned subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc, and oversees the growth strategy for $3.3B in assets including Harland Clarke, Valassis and Scantron. His role is to help identify strategic growth opportunities for HCHC’s portfolio companies including M&A, product innovation and business optimization.

    Recently, he was Chief Digital Officer and Global Head of Business Development at American Media Inc., where he had P&L responsibility for AMI’s digital business and oversight of all business development activities. Prior to AMI, Bilman was acting Head of Product for Softcard (formerly Isis Mobile Commerce), a pioneering joint venture between Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile in the mobile payments space.

  • David Flannery
    David Flannery Adviser

    David Flannery is a Senior Managing Director of the Blackstone Group and Co-Head of the Capital Solutions strategy for GSO Capital Partners. The strategy focuses on rescue lending and other public and private special situations.

    Before joining GSO Capital, David was a Portfolio Manager with Anchorage Capital Group, focused on illiquid credit investing. Prior to joining Anchorage, David worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (“BAML”) where he held several global group head roles. David was the Chief Risk Officer of Global Banking & Markets. He was responsible for all aspects of risk management for the global institutional businesses, including sales and trading, investment banking, corporate and commercial lending, and commercial real estate. Previously, he served as the Global Head of Leveraged Finance & Capital Markets for BAML.

  • Jason Ackerman
    Jason Ackerman Adviser

    After more than a decade in the banking world, specializing in supermarket and specialty retail categories, Jason Ackerman wrote the business plan for FreshDirect, an online grocer, in 1999. His goal was simple: to remove the friction from the process of getting the highest-quality, freshest foods from the source to the consumer.

    Jason’s vision pioneered an approach to grocery shopping that revolutionized the traditional food supply chain, replacing it with one that’s hyper-fresh, focused on relationships with producers, and technologically innovative. FreshDirect sources food directly from hundreds of farms, works with in-house chefs and bakers to create thousands of fresh-made meals and products every day, and tastes and rates the produce, seafood, and meat to ensure it’s delivering the freshest food available to its customers in the Northeast.

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