INSTRUCTORS

Maureen Miller (St. Marys, GA)

Maureen is the sole proprietor of Camden Tai Chi. She began studying Yang-style tai chi in 1992 in her workplace under Master Quyen Tran, founder of the Tai Chi Institute in Washington, D.C. In 2004, she discovered Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Health (TCH) Programs and became certified to teach. In 2013, she became a TCHI Master Trainer.  Maureen holds degrees, and has experience, in speech pathology, education, and technology-based distributed learning. In addition to playing and teaching various Tai Chi styles and mentoring instructors, Maureen is an ANFT certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide.  As a Tai Chi addict and educator, she is passionate in spreading Tai Chi  and the importance of being in nature for health and well-being. Thus, she is one of the founders of the Living With the Principles Tai Chi Retreat held annually on Jekyll Island, GA. As a freelance writer, Maureen co-author of Dr. Paul Lam's "Teaching Tai Chi Effectively" book. 


Gigi Arroyo (St. Marys, GA)

For many years Gigi studied the martial art of Tae Kwon Do, so when she first tried tai chi as an exercise, she didn’t think its slow movements would keep her interest. That was four years ago. Today, Gigi practices  both Sun and Yang styles of tai chi, including the 32 Sword form. In 2009, Gigi is certified to teach Tai Chi for Arthritis, Tai Chi for Diabetes, Tai Chi for Osteoporosis, and Tai Chi for Energy. She currently teaches these forms at Osprey Cove and the Camden Recreation Center. Gigi also shares her love of horses by teaching therapeutic riding, and has found that young riders respond well when she incorporates tai chi principles, such as relaxation and visualization, into her lessons. In her spare time Gigi works as an administrator for the Coastal Medical Access Project (CMAP). 


Rose Binger (St. Marys, GA)

Rose taught Home Economics to high school students for several years and, after raising a child, returned to the workforce as an office manager for a masonry cement firm and, later, at a medical education firm.  A few years into retirement, Rose was diagnosed with three types of arthritis and quickly realized some type of exercise was necessary to keep her joints moving. In 2006, Rose began learning tai chi under the tutelage of Maureen Miller. In 2009, Rose is certified to teach Tai Chi for Osteoporosis, Tai Chi for Energy, Tai Chi for Diabetes, and all Tai Chi for Arthritis programs. 


Deirdre Dwyer (Jacksonville & Beaches area, FL)

Deidre was introduced to Tai Chi in 1992 during a 6-week trip to China. Hooked from the beginning, she continued to practice and study, most notably in Shanghai where she lived for 5 years, coming second place in a Shanghai competition for the Yang 24 form.  She has taught Tai Chi in the Jacksonville, FL area since 2011. She is certified to teach Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Diabetes and Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention.  Deirdre currently teaches Tai Chi to students K-12, as well as to adults in her community and at the local college.

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Gary Hickenbottom (Jacksonville & Beaches area, FL)

Gary began his Tai Chi at Jacksonville's, Jim Fortuna Senior Center in 2011. The more he watched the others the more he came to realize a Eureka moment. Called upon to assist the instructor, Gary discovered he enjoyed not just learning, but also teaching. In 2013, he became certified to teach Dr Paul Lam's Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention programs, as well as the Tai Chi for Beginners program. In the past year, Gary introduced Tai Chi to participants in the Osher Life Long Learning program at the University of North Florida Herbert Center. As word of the many health benefits Tai Chi spreads, his classes remain full. Gary continues to update his Tai Chi with regular attendance at classes and workshops. His goal is to learn more and use that knowledge to show how one can easily develop a safe "self-care" mental, physical, and spiritual approach to aging, as a care giver, or a care receiver.

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Ursula Johnson (St. Marys, GA)

While following her Navy husband around the world for 25 years, Ursula applied her skills in banking and auditing, When they were transferred to Sat. Marys in 1987, she began to study Yoga, but soon found Tai Chi more to her liking. In 2014 she became certified in Tai Chi for Arthritis and quickly followed that with certifications in Tai Chi for Fall Prevention and diabetes. She enjoys playing with both Sun and Yang styles, as well as gardening, glass etching and making jewelry.


Art Jones (Jacksonville & Beaches area, FL)

Art has a background in sports and fitness, which transcends into everyday life for every age. A 22 year veteran of the US Air Force, Art retired as a Sports and Fitness Superintendent. He is certified as a Tai Chi Instructor since 2013. Art currently teaches Tai Chi and fitness at Sawgrass Fitness Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the Neptune Beach Senior Activity Center.

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Mike Kovach (Jacksonville, FL)

Mike spent 14 years in the US Navy. His various duties over the years included working as a substance abuse counselor. An avid martial artist since a very young age, Mike has studied in Chuan Fa, an ancient Chinese art, and Kendo, a modern Japanese art. He also studied and taught confined quarters combat, using concepts from street fighting and close quarter combat techniques. Today, he continues his martial arts training at the Atlantic Warriors Wing Chun in Jacksonville, FL with Sifu Johnathan Petree.

   Mike began studying Tai Chi in 2015 and was certified to teach in 2018. He currently teaches Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention at Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach, FL. He looks forward to assisting others deepen their skills through a better understanding of the martial aspects of Tai Chi. 

   An avid photographer, Mike’s focus is on creative photography. 

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Carol McNeary (Waycross, GA)

Carol is a certified Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Diabetes instructor. She teaches in Waycross and Blackshear, GA


Sheri Nicholson (Jacksonville & Beaches area, FL)

In addition to being a certified Tai Chi Instructor, Sheri holds credentials as a Posture Alignment Specialist, Senior Lifestyle Wellness Specialist, Personal Trainer, and Pilates instructor. She specializes in individually tailored programs combining a specific range of treatments and alternative health practices to suit the needs of her clients.

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Mary Womack (Kingsland, GA)

Mary was an elementary/reading teacher for 38 years in Hartford, CT. In the early 2000's she began taking classes in Tai Chi, enjoying the relaxation and stress release it provided after busy school days. Upon retiring, and after double knee replacements, Mary moved to Kingsland. She learned about Tai Chi classes at the Recreation Center while in physical therapy for a shoulder injury, and has been a part of our team there ever since. Mary is certified in Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention, as well as other Tai Chi for Health programs. She enjoys playing with both Sun and Yang styles. She is also a quilter, a budding artist (beach scenes are her favorite), a community volunteer, and Sunday school teacher. 


Bev Zachry (Brunswick, GA)

Beverly retired in 2003 as principal of Jane Macon Middle School in Brunswick, Georgia, after spending 34 years in education. In 2004 she received a certificate at the YWCA for studying the 24- Step Beijing form. Thus began her new love. From this experience, Beverly pursued certification to teach Tai Chi from 2005 - 2008. She studied the Yang style of Tai Chi under Dr. Keith Jeffrey who developed the Easy Tai Chi form, the Easy Tai Chi Core form, and 4 Minute Fitness. In 2009 Beverly became certified to teach Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Arthritis and followed that with teaching certificates for Tai Chi for Osteoporosis and Tai Chi for Energy. In addition to teaching Tai Chi in Camden and Glynn counties, retirement has allowed her  the time to enjoy painting gourds, playing her guitar, and learning how to play the keyboard.