Nestor Paonessa

Nestor Paonessa

Nestor Paonessa


Assistant General Manager

Nestor brings over 10 years of combined experience in the fields of sports medicine and personal training to the Empower team. He has worked with clients of all ages and abilities, and specializes in exercise programming for sports conditioning, weight management, injury prevention, post-injury rehabilitation, and general health and wellness. Nestor’s life and fitness philosophy is simple: ”If it is to be, it is up to me.” He strives to live and train by those words, and hopes to instill them into every client.

Before joining the Empower team in 2012, Nestor served as the Assistant Fitness Director at Alamance Country Club in Burlington, NC, where he developed and administered fitness programs for the club’s diverse membership, including golf and tennis conditioning, post-rehabilitative exercise, endurance sport conditioning, senior fitness, and exercise for persons with chronic diseases and disabilities. Prior to that, Nestor worked as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he was directly responsible for the healthcare of NCAA Division I wrestling, cross-country, and track and field teams. These experiences have provided Nestor with the tools and knowledge to adapt to and meet the needs of a diverse clientele.

Nestor is a BOC Certified and NCBATE Licensed Athletic Trainer, an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, an ACSM Exercise is Medicine credential holder, and is currently pursuing additional certification as an ACSM Health Fitness Specialist. He holds a Master of Science degree in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Exercise and Sport Science with concentration in Athletic Training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

When he isn’t busy working or cheering on the Tar Heels, Nestor can be found running outside with his wife Ashley, hiking and backpacking in the North Carolina wilderness, playing tennis, scuba diving and sailing in the Caribbean, or cooking and playing the piano at home.

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