Meet the Team
Luigi Degirolamo – CPT
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Youth Exercise Specialist
NASM Senior Exercise Specialist
NASM Women’s Fitness Specialist
Illinois Youth my Soccer Coaching License
Luigi is a certified personal trainer and former collegiate soccer player who specializes in strength and conditioning, individual personal training and soccer instruction. His diverse background includes six years of personal training, exposure to physical therapy as a rehab assistant, and a head soccer coach at the high school and club level. Luigi has a combination of skills to assist each individual in achieving their goals and becoming a strong and healthy individual. His eagerness to help others and keen attention to detail sets Luigi apart from other trainers in the industry.
Luigi is a certified Illinois Youth Soccer Coach and currently coaches the Wilmette Wings. His coaching strategies include team work, communication, perseverance, and determination. He works hard to instill those characteristics in each of his players and stresses the importance of those qualities during individual and group training sessions.
Luigi grew up In Morton Grove, IL, attended Notre Dame College Prep and continued his soccer career at Benedictine University. During his two-year tenure with the Eagles, Luigi spent many hours in the weight room and on the field mastering his skills and fitness. In his free time, Luigi enjoys running, coaching soccer, and spending his free time with his wife.
Stephanie Ferro – DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Sports Medicine & Pediatrics
Certified in Dry Needling
Former Division I Soccer Player- FAU
Stephanie graduated from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She was born in New York, raised in Florida and moved to Chicago to attend Northwestern. She is a former Division 1 athlete playing collegiate soccer in the Sun Belt Conference in South Florida. Stephanie grew up playing soccer at an elite level, traveling throughout the Southeast. During her freshman year of high school she sustained spondylolysis of the lumbar spine in an international soccer tournament. She suffered from low back pain throughout these early high school years. Her performance suffered until the compassionate, holistic approach of a physical therapist. Since then, it has been her mission to specialize in sports medicine rehabilitation, particularly in the adolescent athlete.
In addition to the excellent didactic preparation at Northwestern, she has gained a plethora of valuable, diverse clinical experiences. Stephanie has been fortunate to work with patients across the lifespan with an array of underlying conditions and clinical presentations. Her goal is to provide the highest quality of patient care that is both creative and evidenced-based. She has experience as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Committed to developing individualized programs for pediatric and geriatric clientele with goals to improve general health and wellness as well as sports performance. She also has experience leading summer youth soccer camps.
Stephanie continues to play soccer on a co-ed recreational team at Chicago Fire. When not at the clinic or on the field, she is working and training at a high intensity interval training fitness studio. To complement HIIT and to manage low back pain, she participates in reformer pilates with a goal to become a Certified Pilates Instructor, PMA® She is passionate spreading her enthusiasm of health, wellness and fitness. She is active in the community educating and sharing valuable knowledge for in -the -workplace, in -the -gym, or on and off the field.
Ryan LeFever – MPT, PT
Performance Enhancement Specialist
Active Release Technique Certified
Corrective Exercise Specialist
Resistance Band Training Certified
XPT Certified Coach
Ryan has been a practicing Physical Therapist and a Performance Enhancement Specialist since 2004. He started his career by receiving a Masters of Physical Therapy degree at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Before graduating from Carroll, Ryan earned certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES). With a sports background from youth and high school athletics, being a patient himself after a season ending basketball injury, and having a passion for health and fitness, Ryan transitioned directly into the orthopedic & performance enhancement setting after completing his degree.
Highlights of Ryan’s career so far include serving as the Physical Therapist for the Chicago White Sox from 2014-2016 and acting as a consult PT for the Chicago Bears for 8 years. He is a strong believer in continuing education and has become certified in Active Release Technique (ART), received his Resistance Band Specialist Certification and, most recently, became a certified XPT Coach.
Ryan loves to recharge by surfing the Great Lakes, strengthening with underwater pool training, and relaxing and enjoying life with his wife and two boys. Ryan is excited to be a part of the TFI Team where he can combine his love of sports specific training, functional movement and physical rehabilitation to help his patients achieve their individual goals of injury prevention, recovery and attaining an overall higher level of fitness.
Katie Budz – DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Sports Medicine & Pediatrics
Former Division III Basketball Player- Dominican University Chicago
Katie earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 2018. She has experience treating a variety of patients ranging from adolescent athletes and weekend warriors to older adults with orthopedic injuries. She is a former collegiate athlete playing 4 years of Division III basketball at Dominican University in Chicago. A season-ending ACL tear during her basketball career opened her eyes to the movement/muscle imbalances in her own body and introduced her to the profession of physical therapy. This injury experience fueled her passion for injury prevention and teaching the importance of proper movement patterns in youth athletes.
Katie believes in a whole-body approach to physical therapy. Her treatment style is focused on hands-on manual therapy using a multitude of soft tissue and joint mobilization techniques that are especially applicable to the athletic population. She is dedicated to providing evidenced-based interventions and comprehensive patient education in order to empower clients to maximize their potential, whether that means being in top shape for athletic performance or simply living pain-free.
Katie grew up in Orland Park, IL and attended Providence Catholic High School. She continues to play in recreational women’s basketball leagues and enjoys running, skiing, and mentoring students interested in the physical therapy profession. She is also a participatory member of the Illinois Physical Therapy Association (IPTA).
Mali Willis, Front Office Manager & Rehab Tech
Prospective DPT Student
Mali moved to Chicago after graduating from Indiana University in 2012 and has spent her career thus far in small business, sales, sports marketing and philanthropy. Over the years, Mali’s passion for people, athletics, healthy living and her ultimate dream of becoming a Physical Therapist grew stronger. More recently Mali made the decision to continue her studies and is taking the necessary steps towards getting her DPT over the next few years.
Mali is eager to engulf herself in the world of Physical Therapy and is even more excited to be a part of the unique Team at TFI. Mali is inspired by the mission of TFI as we work to provide innovative care and training to everyone at TFI. n her free time, Mali loves to play Soccer, run along the lake, practice yoga, catch live music and explore new restaurants!
Vicky Pudussery, Rehab Tech
Northwestern University Current DPT Student
Victoria Pudussery is a rehabilitation aide at The FIT Institute. She will be graduating in the spring of 2018 with a degree in Exercise Science from North Park University. In the fall of 2018, Victoria will pursuing her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.
She is eager to help TFI patients and clients with any and all tasks. She believes in celebrating small victories, individualized care and the fundamental principles that make up TFI. Victoria feels strongly about re-racking weights and black iced coffee.