Craig Kenney

As the youngest of three boys, I learned early what it meant to fight my way to the top. I had to be determined, tough, relentless to get what I wanted. My brothers never took it easy on me and that made all the difference in how I approached not only sports, but, also life in general. My parents led by example and showed us that a great work ethic, pride in your work, and perseverance is really the only option.

At a young age I was introduced to sports, and I instantly fell in love with the athleticism, competition, and team camaraderie. I spent most of my extra time improving my strength, agility, power, and explosiveness.

I played linebacker for the Northeastern University Huskies. There, I learned more Olympic lifting techniques and refined my movements. After my collegiate career came to an end, I had a difficult time coming to grips with the end of competition and no longer being apart of a team. After a few years of training on my own I was introduced to CrossFit in 2012, and I knew I had found my missing piece.

In 2013 I placed 7th at Regionals, and it left me hungrier than ever. 2014 I made it to Regionals where I earned my spot to the CrossFit Games, I placed 11th overall in the world. Since 2014 I have been to Regionals and competed in the National Pro Grid league where I was on the Champion Phoenix Rise Team. In 2018 I made it back to the CrossFit games finishing 27th.

It has always been a dream of mine to open my own gym. I couldn't be more proud of our members, staff, and product we have here at Branford CrossFit and South Madison CrossFit. The community we have withing our gyms is unmatched and is amazing. My wife Marta and I are blessed to be able to surround our boys David and Wade with such positive and motivated people.

-CrossFit Regional's 13-14-15-18
-CrossFit Games 2014-11th 2018-27th

-National Pro Grid League Champion 2016

-Certified Level One & Two CrossFit Trainer
-CrossFit Kettlebell Trainer
-Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
-CrossFit Strongman Trainer
-PoundStone Certified Strongman Trainer
-Pendlay Semniar Course Level 1 and 2
-CPR, American Heart Association
-Carl Paoli freestyle seminar


Aj Alessi

AJ grew up playing sports at Branford High School and continued to play four years of lacrosse at Quinnipiac University. It was there where he discovered his passion for strength and conditioning and working hard. Upon graduation he began a career as a teacher while coaching lacrosse and CrossFit.

After coaching at Branford CrossFit for four years he took over as full time owner in 2016 and owner of South Madison CrossFit in April of 2018. He continues to be the head lacrosse coach at Notre Dame of West Haven and coaches for Team Connecticut Lacrosse Club. At NDWH his teams have qualified for the state semi finals twice and has been named CHSCA Coach of the Year, New Haven Register Coach of the Year and The Tom Marcucci Coach of the Year. AJ holds a Level 1 CrossFit Certification, as well as a USA Weightlifting certification and has worked extensively with BCF youth programs ranging from daycare through high school.

BCF/ SMCF has become a second family to me. I look forward to coming into the gym everyday and helping people of all abilities reach their fitness goals. Working out besides our community in class is motivating and pushes me to work harder than I ever have before.”


Jason Deshefy

I have been in the fitness industry either as a Manager, coach, or client for the past 20 years. I began doing CrossFit in 2012. I was instantly hooked on the methodology and constant variation in workouts. My workouts at the gym had become stagnant and routine. I enjoy the community that comes with CrossFit and working out with people that want to stay fit for everyday life.

My wife Pam and I live in Guilford with our 2 boys (Lucas 10 and Eli 8). Pam owns her own cleaning business and also has been doing CrossFit for the last 5 years. Along with being a husband and dad I coach Football, Basketball and Baseball at the youth level in Guilford.

In 2016 my passion for CrossFit motivated me to become a Level 1 Certified CrossFit Instructor. I enjoy helping people of all ages and fitness levels achieve their personal fitness goals. Whether its one on one or a class setting I believe in making sure the client gets the attention they need while safely having an incredible workout experience.

The dream of owning my own CrossFit facility began about 3 years ago. The opportunity to partner with Craig Kenney and AJ Alessi to start South Madison CrossFit (formerly Mad About) is one that I am very excited about. The expertise, passion and wisdom they bring from Branford CrossFit are second to none. I look forward to working with Craig and AJ to bring a great CrossFit community to Madison. Through great programming and excellent coaching we look forward to helping all of our members reach their fitness goals.


Billy Alessi

Coach Bill has been on our staff since we opened and earned his CrossFit Level 1 certification in June 2013. He currently is the Assistant Coach for the Branford High School girls soccer and lacrosse teams since 2011. In 2017 and 2018, his girls lacrosse team won back to back state championships.
Bill went to college at Quinnipiac University, were he was a four year member of the Mens Lacrosse team. Bill attended Branford High School and graduated in the class of 2007. He was an All-American lacrosse player, and a two time All-State soccer and lacrosse player.


Jeremy Torres

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Diane Stone

I started CrossFit in September 2012. In July of 2013 I received my CFL-1 certificate and started coaching. Over the past 6 years I have enjoyed coaching and CrossFit competitions. In 2017 I finished the Open in 17th place and the AGOQ in 23rd worldwide. I have qualified 4 times to compete at the Granite Games, finishing the 2018 event in !st place. My certifications include CrossFit CFL-2, CrossFit Weightlifting, CrossFit Gymnastics, 30 year member and Level III Professional Ski Instructor of America, AFAA Personal Trainer, CPR, Reebok Indoor Cycling Instructor and CPR.

I was born raised in Atlanta, GA. After graduating high school I moved to Aspen, CO where I met my husband, Charlie. We have 2 children, Hannah and Berkley. I love to ski, surf and spend time with the kids.

Other accomplishments
2 Marathons
2 Tough Mudders
Town of Aspen Race Series- Mountain & Road Biking
US Swimming Athlete


Jason Daisy


John Olejarczyk


Jen Kohut

My interest in athletics began as a young child and I played as many sports as possible growing up. I set goals for myself and I learned to push myself outside of my comfort zone. In doing so, I achieved at the highest level in amateur sports. I played 2 sports in college. After graduating from UConn, I became a Physical Education Teacher, began coaching multiple sports and continued pursuing my own wellness. I have been a Physical Education Teacher and Coach for the past 20 years in Branford. Since college, I maintained my fitness by working out at the gym, playing competitive soccer, softball and golf, which I thought was enough, until I heard about Crossfit.

In 2012, I was given a Christmas present that would change my life for the better. It was a 3 month membership to a Crossfit gym. The first day I started, I was hooked. Fitness had taken on a whole new meaning when I began Crossfitting. It was not only my physical health, but my mental health as well, that improved. I was competing again, on a daily basis, with others and with myself. The atmosphere in a Crossfit box is so positive, team driven and supportive, that I knew I had to continue to be a part of it. Now, two years later, I can’t get enough of this lifestyle. I have become a stronger, leaner and more positive person. The Crossfit workouts challenge a person both physically and mentally. I find myself going beyond what I thought my limits were and the confidence that is built by doing so is very rewarding. I look forward to the challenge that each new WOD brings and strive to excel. I love the fact that anyone, at any age or level of fitness, can participate in Crossfit.

In 2013, I earned my Level 1 Crossfit Certification and began introducing my students and my soccer team to this type of workout. The gains they have made in regard to their fitness and self confidence are remarkable. I look forward to working with athletes of all ages, as they set goals for themselves and reach new levels of athleticism.

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Mike Tracy


Christopher Taber


Christopher is an assistant professor at Sacred Heart University in the exercise science program. He is the head coach of the Sacred Heart weightlifting team as well as a coach and athlete with east coast gold weightlifting. He has been coaching athletes for the past 8 years and has developed athletes from a multitude of sports. Prior to teaching at Sacred Heart University he was an assistant weightlifting coach and sport scientist at the Olympic training site at East Tennessee State University. His research is focused around optimal training methods, strength and power development and athlete monitoring and testing. Christopher lives in Branford with his wife Lucy and his dog marble.