The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has appointed Richard Cotton, MA, national director of certification programs.


Cotton has worked in the health and fitness industry for nearly 30 years and holds ACSM Preventive and Rehabilitative Program Director and ACSM Exercise Specialist certifications.


As the national director of certification programs, Cotton will oversee ACSMs strategic development of certification programs and projects and will further ACSMs reputation as the Gold Standard in certification. Since 1975, ACSM has certified more than 25,000 health and fitness professionals. Cotton has previous experience with ACSMs certifications, having served as a regional certification director for the College since 1984.


Cotton is also a personal wellness coach, assessing individual health and fitness needs and helping his clients to develop goals and objectives for achieving optimum fitness. Prior to joining ACSM, Cotton served as chief exercise physiologist for, a Web site dedicated to improving fitness for individuals and corporations. For the American Council on Exercise, he was chief exercise physiologist and vice president for publications.


Cotton holds a masters degree in physical education/exercise physiology from San Diego State University. He is a frequent expert source for the media, having contributed to many publications, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.


ACSM also recently hired Kathy Berlin certification coordinator and Shaina Loveless as education coordinator. Berlin will work in close conjunction with Cotton, helping to plan and market ACSMs certification programs, from testing to development to publications. She holds a bachelors degree in kinesiology. Loveless will help facilitate the Colleges education programs, including coordination of ACSMs annual Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition. She holds a bachelors degree in organizational management.


The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 20,000 International, National, and Regional members are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.


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