top of page

Meet the Team

Track Group.jpg

The Bridge Adaptive Sports and Recreation was founded in 2020 by a unique team of medical professionals, community advocates and athletes who over the years have bonded together through a mutual goal: to eliminate the barriers to participating in physical activity in our community.

The strength of The Bridge is truly the many people who dedicate their time to our community. Below are just a few of the people who help make it possible.

Danny Meyer, PT, DPT

headshot 2_edited.jpg

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Danny Meyer is a homegrown Cincinnatian with deep roots in the West Side. He completed his undergraduate studies at University of Cincinnati in 2014 and continued right on to receive his doctorate in 2017. He began his career as a physical therapist at Cincinnati Children’s and is currently a member of their Outpatient Neurorehabilitation Team, treating primarily brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Also at Children’s, he co-leads a wellness program known as be.well to provide opportunities for community participation for kids with disabilities. 

 

Danny is never afraid to try something at least once and because of that, he truly believes that he can find at least one connection with any person he meets. His favorite thing is to find out about a sport or activity in our community that has not been made accessible and figure out how to change that!

 

Danny’s became the Executive Director of The Bridge in April 2023. Half of his working hours shifted to The Bridge, while still completing clinical care at Children’s. This has been his dream for his career and for Cincinnati since graduate school, and he is beyond grateful for the opportunity to lead our team.

Victoria Heasley, MD

IMG_20190815_121051452_HDR1.jpg

President & Co-Founder

Victoria is a attending physician at the University of Cincinnati in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Sports Medicine departments. She completed both her Sports Medicine Fellowship and PM&R Residency at the University of Cincinnati.

 

She always knew she wanted to be a physician but in high school she started to realize that she loved engineering.  She decided to become an engineer and a physician in order to “bridge the gap” between the two fields to help further create and develop medical devices.  It was not until medical school when she found her true passion in adaptive sports equipment design!  Athletes often require equipment for their sport, but the available equipment is not a one-size-fits all.  There needs to be solutions and modifications to equipment to make it usable, which is where Victoria comes in.  By working with other engineers, clinicians, therapists, and many disciplines,  amazing solutions were designed from extensive collaborations.

Through the love of adaptive sports equipment and adaptive sports medicine, Victoria met some friends in the area who all had the same level of excitement for adaptive sport and the rest is history....the Bridge was formed.

Brent Zeiser, CFP®

Professio1.jpg

Treasurer & Co-Founder

Brent serves as The Bridge's Treasurer. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH and graduated from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. After school, he decided to introduce the country’s palate to what some would say is culinary perfection – Cincinnati chili. Brent taught middle school math for two years in San Antonio, TX as a Teach For America Corps Member. He then changed gears and started working in investments at Vanguard in Scottsdale, AZ and then Philadelphia, PA. Brent holds his Series 7 and 63 securities licenses as well as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.

 

He has recently moved back to Cincinnati and works as a Financial Planner with a local financial firm. Brent is honored to partner with such a talented and highly regarded team to help make adaptive sports more accessible for athletes and families.

MeMe Earnest-Stanley, DPT, ATC

Earnest-Stanley_Melinda_edited.jpg

Co-Founder & Board Member

MeMe is passionate about the intersection of neurological rehabilitation, increasing access to sustainable healthcare, research, and adaptive sports medicine in improving the quality of life and overall health of individuals with disabilities. For her, The Bridge is where these things meet.

 

Originally from Ft. Wayne, IN,  MeMe is a Board-Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist and a 2019 graduate from the University of Cincinnati’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program. She received her BS in Athletic Training in 2016 from Wheeling Jesuit University; she furthered her training by completing a neurologic physical therapy residency at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. MeMe is currently an assistant professor in the University of Cincinnati’s Doctor of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Programs. She serves as the Director of Sports Medicine and Vice President of the Greater Cincinnati Adapted Sports Club. She is also the Chair for the Adaptive Sports Special Interest Group in the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy, and is the physical therapist/athletic trainer for Team USA Wheelchair Rugby. Her clinical and research interests include maximizing shoulder health for wheelchair users, concussion in parasport, and sports performance enhancement for adaptive athletes.

Jacob Counts

ASC_3072.jpg

Co-Founder & Board Member

Jake grew up in Covington, Kentucky and attended University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he was a member of the men's wheelchair basketball team and earned a B.S. in recreation and human performance. After college, Jacob played wheelchair basketball professionally in Germany and Italy as well as serving as assistant coach for the University of Alabama's men's wheelchair basketball team. Jacob was a member of the USA National Wheelchair Basketball Team from 2007 to 2010 and competed in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. In 2014 Jacob founded the Greater Cincinnati Adapted Sports Club with the mission of promoting adapted sports and recreation for youth and adults with a disability. At work Jacob is currently the Director of Programming at Skool Aid whose mission is to enrich the lives of children through quality After-School, In-School and Summer Programs. At play Jacob is head coach of the Cincinnati Dragons, Greater Cincinnati’s first youth wheelchair basketball team, and Greater Cincinnati Adapted Sports Club’s flagship program. In 2021 the Cincinnati Dragons won the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Junior Division Championship. The Dragons remain a high level team that regularly graduates athletes that go on to play at the collegiate level. In 2022 Jacob was the assistant coach for the USA National Team U23 Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team that competed in the U23 World Championships in Phuket, Thailand.

Renee Loftspring, PT, EdD

thumbnail_renee blind hockey.jpg

Co-Founder & Board Member

Born a Buckeye in Toledo, Ohio, Renee has dedicated herself to growing adaptive sport and recreation opportunities in Cincinnati over the past 14 years including serving as a USA Hockey Disabled Section Representative the last 13 years.  She co-founded two nonprofits serving youth and adults with primary physical disabilities in SW Ohio: the Cincinnati IceBreakers’ Sled Hockey program (est. 2007), and IRON CORE: Adapted Strength and Conditioning (est. 2019).   Renee’s background includes a BS in Secondary Science Education from The Ohio State University (1982); BS in Physical Therapy from University of Pittsburgh (1986); M.Ed. (2000) and Ed.D. (2006) from the University of Cincinnati in Instructional Design and Technology and Higher Education, respectively. She just recently retired after over 35 years as a neurologic physical therapist. Renee was an adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati prior to earning her Ed.D. and becoming a full-time as an Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Mount St Joseph. Renee is co-author of a book chapter in a neurological rehabilitation academic text, has presented talks and posters around the country on numerous topics including the benefits of exercise and sport for persons with physical disabilities, growing adaptive sport programs, critical thinking in the physical therapy classroom, spasticity, wound care and wheelchair positioning and seating.

Jeffery Daniel

Screenshot 2024-05-25 at 12.33.01 PM.png

Board Member

Jeffrey Daniel is one of the newest members to our board. He began participating in sports at an early age, where he was born and raised in Lima, Ohio. As a standout student-athlete, he was privileged to participate in competitive sports at the collegiate level, while attending the United States Naval Academy. Jeffrey liked the camaraderie, discipline, and commitment to be his best self as a student-athlete. That drive transferred into work ethic and leadership skills. No one can overemphasize the sense of community when participating in sporting activities.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, Jeffrey continually searched for opportunities to connect with his love of technology and sports. He worked in the medical device industry for more than three decades, where he led projects, traveled constantly, and built strong relationships. The medical device industry satisfied his love for engineering, but there was still a need to satisfy his love of athletic activities. 

After contracting West Nile Virus in 2012 from an infected mosquito bite his life changed forever. He became a partial paraplegic due to the virus. Since then, he has been in and out of physical therapy for more than a decade, seeking to best manage his quality of life.

The various activities supported by Bridges Adaptive Sports & Recreation were what Jeffrey was searching for to engage in activities for life. He chose hand cycling, which gave him a feeling of liberation. Jeffrey is truly humbled, delighted, and excited to be part of a program that seeks to promote a wide range of adaptive sports for all in our community.

Joe Meyer

IMG_3028_edited.jpg

Director of Fundraising & Board Member 

bottom of page