Ottawa: Faculty


Natalie Rivier, R.H.N., CSNN Ottawa Branch Manager

Natalie Rivier

Natalie is a certified yoga teacher, pole fitness instructor, group fitness instructor and stand up paddle board instructor. In 2003 she graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition where she obtained a diploma in Natural Nutrition with accompanying professional title Registered Holistic Nutritionist™. The program was so life-altering that she purchased the license to the school. She is currently the Branch Manager of the Ottawa location of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Natalie has a real passion for Sports Nutrition and holds a diploma in Advanced Sports Nutrition from Shaw Academy in Ireland.  She has travelled extensively around the world training hotel and resort staff in health, wellness and nutrition.


Andrea Bartels, BA, CNP, NNCP, RNT

Andrea Bartels

Andrea has been on the faculty of CSNN Ottawa’s branch since 2001. She teaches Body-Mind-Spirit Part 1, Pathology and Nutrition, Allergies and Eco-Nutrition. In her nutritional consulting practice, Andrea coaches clients with interests in digestive wellness, detoxification and women’s health. She is also the co-founder of OARNN (Ottawa Association of Registered Natural Nutritionists), an organization designed to provide ongoing support and learning for CSNN graduates. Around CSNN Andrea is known for her extensive knowledge of nutritional supplementation and brings more than 15 years of experience working in the field of nutrition.


Cat Binette, BEng

Cat is a committed lifelong learner, having practiced many trades, but her greatest passion is reserved for holistic health and nutrition. After beginning her career as an engineer – travelling the world and training businesses in the use of security-enablement software – Cat quickly discovered a deep grounding in speaking and teaching and set off in search of a more human connection for her professional pursuits. A journey that led to studies in International Development, at the University of Montreal, and development work in Nicaragua and Ecuador, where she directed development projects for 3+ years.

Following the births of her two sons, Cat continued her evolution by certifying as a doula, leveraging the combination of her profound birth experiences and long running, informal advocacy for healthy pregnancy and natural birthing into a deeply empowering professional endeavor. One hundred births and several additional certifications later, Cat made her most fulfilling career move to date. Bringing her long simmering passion around nutrition and holistic health to the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and study toward a diploma in Natural Nutrition.

Cat teaches Symptomatology 1 and Pediatrics, while also facilitating Case Study Practicums. Teaching and sparking passion in others is what she most enjoys. Outside of the classroom, you can find Cat supporting new mothers through prenatal and postpartum nutrition workshops, running culinary workshops, or delivering corporate presentations as The Office Nutritionist. Ever committed to learning new things and meeting new people, when not working, you can most likely find Cat in her kitchen whipping up new recipes or in the yoga studio pushing her limits. She also tries to find time to run, bike or cross-country ski, whenever she can.


Nicole Fodor, R.H.N.

From an early age, Nicole always had a passion for the natural world. After high school she attended Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, and graduated the Fish & Wildlife program as a Field Naturalist three years later. She spent some time in the industry, but found the seasonal nature of the work difficult to accommodate. After moving to Ottawa, Nicole found employment managing a pet food store where she earned multiple accreditations specializing in pet nutrition. This opened her eyes to the nutrition world, and she soon found she had a profound interest in learning more about holistic nutrition.

Nicole enrolled at CSNN as a student and graduated with Honours in 2014. She spent some time working as a nutritional consultant after graduation, helping people achieve their nutritional goals. Nicole returned to CSNN in 2016, this time as an Administrative Assistant to help students become Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ professionals themselves. Nicole is currently studying herbalism, which joins her passions for both nutrition and the natural world. When not pursuing her passion for nutrition, Nicole can be found outdoors backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing, snowboarding, or cycling.


Tonya Hoferek, B.Sc., R.H.N.

Tonya grew up tramping through forests and markets, eating and collecting stuff. It made a lasting impression, as she found herself working as a geologist, farm hand and fitness and mountain bike coach. Nutrition was the next logical step, shifting a passion for the science of the earth into the same for the body. After graduating from CSNN in 2004, she worked primarily with her athlete friends and in agricultural settings. She enjoys teaching Pediatric, Preventive Nutrition and Sports Nutrition, but most enjoys Eco-Nutrition where she can roll all passions into one big beautiful wheel. The transformations experienced by students and the wisdom that they bring to class is her greatest teaching pleasure. A curious mind, she is currently learning bee-keeping from her husband, and mucking about with permaculture and trailbuilding. She would love to raise goats in Vermont someday.


Stephanie Karlovits, R.H.N.

Stephanie Karlovits is the Founder + CEO of EPIC Fitness + Lifestyle and has been a personal trainer since 2003.  She is a graduate of CSNN and combines functional movement, functional medicine and functional food together for her clients so they can live a more EPIC Life. Stephanie lead personal training departments at GoodLife Fitness, being one of the youngest Fitness Managers to be nominated for Fitness Manager of the Year two years in a row.  She then went on to create her own brand and company in 2012 leading her company to hit the million dollar revenue mark in 2017.  She received the Forty under 40 award in 2017 and opened up a 5,000 sq ft headquarters location in Beechwood Village in Ottawa in December of 2017.  She was the chair of the advisory board for Algonquin College’s Fitness and Health Promotion program for 4 years mentoring young trainers and is currently teaching Business and Self-Development at CSNN Ottawa.


Emily Kielbiski, BASc., R.H.N.

Emily is the newest member of the CSNN Ottawa faculty and is excited to teach Anatomy & Physiology in the fall of 2017. In addition to teaching, she also hosts practicums focused on the physiology of skin, offering students valuable insight into the murky-watered body care industry. She holds an Applied Science honours degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Guelph, graduating in 2009, and her diploma in Natural Nutrition from CSNN’s Toronto branch in 2015. Emily is a firm believer in offering realistic advice to empower her students & clients with the knowledge they need to create success in their own lives. 


Alla Makarova

Alla Makarova

Alla is a foreign medical school graduate from Europe. She continued her postgraduate studies with the department of Immunology and worked as an attending physician, specializing in the treatment of allergies. The limitations of modern medicine (in its approaches especially to chronic diseases) led her to explore alternative methods of healing. Nutrition became one of the primary healing approaches not only for allergies but also for inflammatory and connective tissue diseases.

Alla is also trained in TCM (Su Jok Acupuncture, Chronopuncture and Onnuri therapy) , Reiki, CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release, Homeopathy and dietary approaches for severe chronic conditions. She has received medicine rites from the Algonquin and Peruvian shamans and travelled and taught internationally. Alla has more than 25 years of experience in the field of alternative medicine.

At CSNN, Alla teaches the Sciences (Anatomy, Biochemistry, Cellular Biology), Pharmacology, Immunology and the Mind-Body-Spirit courses. Her passion is the Mind-Body-Spirit connection, and her goal is to bridge the gap between ancient healing techniques and modern science. Alla has a private healing practice in Ottawa.


Gina McCormick, R.H.N.

Gina McCormick

Gina, our Assistant Branch Manager, is known for her innate ability to diffuse any of life’s hiccups with grace, humour, and impeccable organization skills. Gina offers 20+ years administrative and accounting experience, as well as 10+ years as a top-of-the-line stay at home mom to two bright and beautiful teenage girls. Gina graduated as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ professional with Honours in 2006, and became Natalie’s “right hand man” in 2007. Very professionally and pleasantly, Gina has a way of navigating students through the challenges of balancing school with “life” to ensure that everyone that walks through our doors has the confidence and capability to follow their dreams. Gina is currently studying to become a Tea Sommelier, and can often be found nibbling on chocolate or whole food treats prepared by her fan club of students.


Shawna McCusker, R.H.N.

Shawna McCusker graduated from CSNN as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ professional in 2016; she is passionate about pediatric nutrition and wellness. After nearly 10 years working in Social Work, mental health/counselling and behaviour therapy at CHEO and The Ottawa Hospital, Shawna decided to pursue an adjunct career in nutrition to further benefit the population with whom she worked, as well as her own growing family. It became increasingly evident that the relationship developed with food at an early age can assist and enable someone in navigating life stressors in the healthiest way possible, while fostering a healthy relationship with one’s own body and sense of self. Shawna continues to work full-time in behaviour modification and counselling at The Ottawa Hospital Weight Management Clinic while running her own business – Sprouting Balance Nutrition and Wellness – through which she offers workshops, consultation and a supportive community for parents, caregivers and ‘The Village’ at large, to discover and nurture what is ultimately best for oneself, little people and the family as a whole.


Lisa Ricciuti, B.A., B.Ed., R.H.N.

Lisa is a recent CSNN graduate and life-long athlete.  She teaches Sports Nutrition and Advanced Nutrition and Athletic Performance.  She holds degrees in Psychology and Education and worked as a teacher in the elementary panel of the Ottawa Catholic School Board for 15 years.  The almost simultaneous events of beginning a family and her husband having new-found, food-related health issues launched her journey into a more holistic lifestyle, where she challenged herself to learn more about where food comes from and to adopt a cleaner, greener way of eating.  Lisa became so passionate about the misconceptions surrounding ‘healthy’ food and about educating others about what real food is all about, that she pursued studies at CSNN to gain accreditation and begin a new career path.

Lisa lives a busy life with her husband and 3 young children, who are all also active in sport.  Throughout her life and career, she has always kept active.  From playing top tier soccer as a teenager, to playing varsity field hockey as a university student, to running half-marathons as a personal challenge, Lisa knows the value of remaining fit and active as a part of overall well-being.  She runs half-marathons on a regular basis, dabbles in sprint distance triathlon, plays in a women’s ball hockey league, and loves BodyPump.  It goes without saying that sports nutrition is paramount in her personal sports endeavours, business and family life.


Suzi Singer, B.Sc., R.H.N.

As a holistic nutrition professional and fitness consultant in private practice, Suzi has over 25 years of experience in designing and managing corporate wellness and fitness programs. She provides clients with nutritional assessments and designs programs tailored to their individual requirements. She is involved in natural and organic food product development. She researches and writes for nutrition education programs, magazine articles, e-books and product advertising copy. In addition, she teaches and presents workshops at various community centres as well as private and corporate venues. She is most passionate about the connection between food and environmental sustainability, including the impact that our dietary choices have on agriculture and the food industry.


Virginia Spencer, R.H.N.

Virginia is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ professional with over a decade of experience working in lifestyle and nutrition counselling. She graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition with honours and holds their Advanced Cognitive Support Certificate. Additionally Virginia is a Certified Lifestyle Educator with Metagenics and a graduate of the Algonquin College Management Studies program.

Virginia is passionate about teaching nutrition to everyone. She has over twenty years of experience mentoring and coaching individuals in her various management positions. In her practice she provides general nutrition and special focus areas including cognitive support, longevity, stress, metabolic support, autoimmune, traditional and ancestral diets.    

In her spare time Virginia can be found on her bike, in her hiking shoes, or in a tent enjoying the fresh air and outdoor exercise.


To view Instructor Bios for our Holistic Culinary Nutrition Workshops, please click here.