Copperhood's Professional Team

Elizabeth Winograd Iwinski (Owner/Manager)

Elizabeth established The Copperhood as a destination spa in 1982.  As a native of Poland, where spa vacations are a customary part of life, she has a lifetime of experience to draw upon in developing her spa facilities and programs.

Elizabeth holds a master’s degree in Psychology from Columbia University.  She did her postgraduate work in gerontology at the New School for Social Research.  She is also a New York State licensed hiking guide, and her off-the-beaten-path treks into the surrounding Catskill Mountains are legendary among guests.  Her cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and biking tours are also favorites.

An interest in exploring the way other cultures view health and fitness led Elizabeth visit India and later to start a personal yoga practice.  Most recently, she’s brought professionals with knowledge of eastern medicine onto her staff, so as to be able to provide guests with a wider variety of expertise.

Hanna Kes Sleefe

Hanna Kes Sleefe, Elizabeth’s mother, is a licensed therapist and aesthetician.  She joined the spa in 1984, after having spent the previous ten years at the prestigious Georgette Klinger Spa/Salon in Manhattan.  Hanna developed the spa protocols and a training program for The Copperhood.

Lech Iwinski

Lech is in charge of our food and smoothly functioning facilities.  A former kayaking Olympian, Lech is a true athlete and outdoors man.  Food is one of his passions, and he’s created a repertoire of healthy spa dishes, juices and raw food creations which fuse the flavors of world cultures.

Steven Ackermann

Steven has eighteen years of fitness experience.  He has been an instructor at the Copperhood Spa for 8 years.  He runs personal training sessions as well as teaching water exercise and boot camp classes.  Steve has completed 6 full marathons and one half-marathon.  He is currently fund-raising and running for Team Hole in the Wall, a group that supports disadvantaged kids.

Joan Apter

Joan is a licensed Massage Therapist with over 14 years of training in the use and application of therapeutic Essential Oils.  She has advanced training in the medicinal applications of essential oils from Ege University in Izmir, Turkey and holds an international certificate of study from the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy.  Joan is a registered professional member of the International Aromatherapy Association. Joan offers aromatherapy massage for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance.  She travels widely to present keynotes, classes and workshops about wellness, Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for corporate education, hospital support groups, community networks, schools, spas and wellness centers.  Joan writes for national publications including "Healing Retreats and Spas" and "Natural Health" Magazine.  Her articles on Essential Oils have been featured in Chronogram Magazine, Ulster Magazine, The Poughkeepsie Journal, Healthy Living, and The Guide to Mid-Hudson Health Services.

Kathy Carey

Kathy, fitness instructor, personal trainer has been teaching yoga and fitness classes for 25 years, and has been an instructor at the Copperhood Retreat and Spa for 20 years.  She is a certified yoga instructor, fitness instructor, water exercise instructor and personal trainer.   She is also an avid hiker and backpacker and a long time member of the Catskill Mountain 3500 Club.  Kathy is also certified as a Reiki Master Practitioner and in One Light Healing Touch.  Kathy’s insightful teaching adds a personal touch to her program, making you feel like every class was designed with you in mind.

Dannah Chaifetz, HHC, AADP

Dannah is board certified Holistic Health Counselor trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and SUNY Purchase . She is also certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Dannah specializes in individual, group, and corporate counseling sessions, programs and lectures to guide people to become their healthiest and most vibrant selves. She helps our clients to gain more energy, lose weight, control and redirect cravings, lessen symptoms from allergies, recover from menstrual problems, defeat candida/yeast issues, guide those with gluten and wheat allergies, reduce stress, and to even finally get a good nights sleep! Dannah can also help locate, eliminate and reduce toxins in the home, assist moms with cooking and dietary challenges and introduce you to new and healthy foods to eat and enjoy. Whatever the obstacles, the result is that her clients become closer to their most vibrant selves and live happier and healthier lives.

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Laurie Heaven

Laurie is a certified yoga instructor currently working to complete a 500-hour advanced teacher training program. She was first attracted to yoga as part of an overall fitness program, but over the course of many years of practice, has come to see it also as a medium for spiritual growth and expression. As a person who has suffered catastrophic injuries and illnesses and come back to health and wholeness through yoga, she stresses the healing aspects – physical, mental, and spiritual – in her classes.  At the same time, she brings a lightness and sense of fun to her classes, born of her desire to share the joy that yoga practice has given her. As a person who has suffered catastrophic injuries and illnesses and come back to health and wholeness through yoga, she stresses the healing aspects – physical, mental, and spiritual – in her classes.  At the same time, she brings a lightness and sense of fun to her classes, born of her desire to share the joy that yoga practice has given her.

Kelly Peck

Kelly Peck received her BFA in Dance Education from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, in 1999.  She brought her love of movement to NYC where she studied at The Limon Institute for 2 yrs and performed with The Rae Ballard Dance company.    
Kelly and her husband Tim moved to the Catskills in 2001 and since then have had three children.  She has taught movement classes at Mt. Tremper Arts and at The Copperhood Inn & Spa.   Kelly is also a preschool teacher at Woodland Playhouse where she teaches creative movement and Yoga.  Kelly received her Pilates Teacher Certification in 2006 from The Moving Body in Woodstock and since then she has been a part of the studio as a student and a teacher. Being an avid hiker and gardener she has experienced first hand the benefits pilates has to offer to a variety of physical activities. She is dedicated to help people stay active.  “Pilates is the physical route to longevity.”

Jennifer Henry - Long

Jennifer Henry - Long originally from the Kansas City area, where she trained as a classical ballet and jazz dancer.  She graduated from Oklahoma City University in 2003 with her BPA in Dance Performance. Jennifer danced professionally for several years in Los Angeles and then onboard Holland America Cruise Line with Stiletto Entertainment. While onboard she enjoyed traveling through and around Africa, Antarctica, South America, Europe and Alaska.   During her time abroad she discovered the benefits of regular Pilates classes after suffering knee and neck injuries.  She was fortunate enough to study all styles and disciplines of Pilates throughout her travels and received her certification from UNLV in the DK Body Balancing method under the direction of Dolly Kelepecz in 2008.   She now continues her education through the Pilates Method Alliance, where she is also certified in pre and post natal. Jennifer taught all levels of Pilates for 3 years in Manhattan and Brooklyn at Elite Fitness in Brooklyn, and Complete Body Fitness. In 2013 she opened NIF Fitness and Pilates and is now excited bring it to the greater Catskills region. Jennifer and her husband have lived in Mt. Tremper since fall of 2014, with their two beautiful daughters.

Mary Ellen La Spina

Bio
NYS Licensed Massage Therapist & Healer
Mary Ellen has been a New York Licensed Massage Therapist for over 19 years.  Graduated from the Swedish Institute of Allied Sciences in New York City in 1998.  Began her massage career when her mother Marcia would constantly remind her she had healing hands and needed to use them to help people as she helped her mother with pain.  Presently works at the Copperhood Inn & Spa in Shandaken, NY.  Has worked at the Peninsula Spa in NYC, Sal Anthony’s Spa, Onteora Mountain House, Aspect Inn & Spa, Omega Institute and Ajune Day Spa (once the top medical spa NYC), where she worked for eleven years.  At Ajune Spa, Mary Ellen was featured in several major magazines for her massage work.   In Style Magazine, Time Out NY on Reflexology & Fashion Journal article on the massage she created Seasonal Massage. Completed a course of study in Oncology Massage at St. Benedictine Hospital, Kingston, NY.  Besides her certification in Oncology Massage, she utilizes Medical/Clinical Massage, Swedish, Deep/Sports Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, Shiatsu, Reiki & Chakra Balancing, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Hot Stone Therapy and Pre/Post Natal Massage and her signature massage the Seasonal. Mary Ellen’s focus is to provide a personalized massage and recovery plan to her clients.  She has a thorough knowledge of therapeutic massage skills.  Her technique is applied to the entire body to provide a nurturing and healing massage will help to relieve pain, eliminate adhesions and improve circulation.  Her massage will help you to feel balanced and grounded and at Peace!