Owner and Founder of WRTS, LLC
Dina Kimmel is the CEO and Founder of We Rock the Spectrum, LLC. An autism mom, she is a passionate advocate for children, and has dedicated her life to developing and growing resources for the special needs population. In 2010, she opened the first We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym in Tarzana, California. Today, there are more than 82 locations worldwide.
During her college years, Dina studied business marketing and accounting. She has always been an entrepreneur and ran her own successful retail stores for more than 17 years. When her son, Gabriel, was diagnosed with autism, she knew she had to change her life dramatically. She began working one-on-one with her son, seeking out the best treatments in speech, occupational, and behavioral therapies. Her extensive research into ASD led to a better understanding of the nutrition needs of children on the spectrum, which led to a discovery that Gabriel was gluten intolerant. To better support Gabriel, her passions, and her entrepreneurial spirit, Dina got to work opening the first sensory-safe gym of its kind.
We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym in Tarzana, California saw instant success with the special needs community. On the wall of her gym, Dina put the motto “Finally a place where you never have to say I’m sorry!” This message continues to resonate with parents of special needs children all over the world. Dina’s aim was to provide a safe, nurturing, and fun environment where children of all abilities could play and grow together. Her mission of full inclusion has now become a global movement.
After receiving overwhelming support, Dina decided to franchise her idea. In the beginning of 2014, Gail Field, an autism mom in Boca Raton, Florida, signed on as the first franchisee. From there, more autism moms, advocates, and therapists reached out to learn how they too could bring We Rock the Spectrum to their home communities. In 2016, Dina’s vision of an international expansion became a reality with the opening of We Rock the Spectrum – Ara Damansara in Malaysia. She also created a franchisee model with a lower cost entry, sensory bus division called “We Rock on Wheels.” This concept allows franchisees to bring sensory play directly to customers.
Dina resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Tim Kimmel, and her children, Sophia and Gabriel. She has been featured on NBC and CBS news, the Huffington Post, The Franchise Times, LA Parent, and Autism Live. She was the 2014 recipient of The Comerica Bank Women of Entrepreneurship Award, given to her by the LA Lakers. We Rock the Spectrum was nominated for San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Business of the Year Award and was the recipient of the United Chambers of Commerce Small Business Award. In 2016, Dina was honored at the San Fernando Business Journal’s Women in Business awards and the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women’s Summit awards.
Chief Operating Officer for We Rock the Spectrum Worldwide
Gail Nobile Fields has been the Chief Operating Officer for We Rock the Spectrum Worldwide for 3 years and has loved being the right hand gal to CEO & Founder, Dina Kimmel. A mother of three, lover of Italian food, and passionate Warrior Mom, Gail’s journey working with special needs families began after her son, Jayson, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Upon Jayson’s diagnosis, Gail began looking for any way in which she could help her son. She searched locally for places where she could take Jayson in to play that would accommodate his sensory diet. Unfortunately, no such place existed in South Florida. One day, Gail’s search led her to a gym in Southern California called We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym.
Through a series of calls and emails with Corporate about franchising opportunities, Gail was able to meet with the Founder and CEO of We Rock the Spectrum, Dina Kimmel, on December 24th, 2013. Two days later, Gail signed the papers that would officially make her the first We Rock the Spectrum franchisee outside of California. Of all the places We Rock the Spectrum could open, South Florida just happened to be where Dina’s husband was from.
Thanks to Gail’s hard work and leadership, We Rock the Spectrum – Boca Raton immediately became popular, especially with the special needs community. Boca’s success helped recruit other passionate owners in the area, and soon there were locations in the Clearwater, Miami and Jupiter areas.
Kimmel recognized that Gail’s passion for the mission was infectious. Owners were going to her for tips on increasing their Facebook following, networking with local Mommy groups, and attending resource fairs. In December 2014, Dina announced We Rock the Spectrum – Boca Raton as the East Coast Regional Training Facility, bringing Gail into the Corporate Office.
The move to Corporate provided Gail with the opportunity to assist with the Project Management needed to open each location. She could do hands-on training with new owners and be the rock they needed as their dream of opening a We Rock the Spectrum transformed into a reality. With more success, her role continued to increase as the East Coast Corporate Office was built next door to her gym to better assist with the company growth.
In 2019, WRTS – Boca Raton opened its doors to a bigger and better location so that Gail could offer more amazing opportunities to the community. With a lot of hard work, therapy, and support, Jayson is also thriving along #JaysonsJourney!
Construction Consultant for We Rock the Spectrum Worldwide
Gail’s husband John Fields is the Construction Consultant for We Rock the Spectrum Worldwide. An invaluable asset to our team, John has built our zip boxes and brought his amazing creativity and vision to our gyms. Together, John and Gail have become a vital part of We Rock the Spectrum’s growth.
Chief Strategy Officer
Shane was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He attended Van Nuys High School and received his degree in Business Economics from UC Irvine. Shane has always had a knack for technology. In college, he developed a love for marketing and refined his passion during his internship with a digital marketing agency. Upon graduating from UC Irvine, he decided to combine his passions of technology and marketing by taking the role as the in-house Tech Specialist at the We Rock the Spectrum Corporate Office. He has become an integral part in assisting owners in accomplishing their marketing goals — so much so that in the summer of 2019, Shane was promoted to Chief Strategy Officer for We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym Corporate.
Shane has experienced firsthand the benefits of inclusion while attending CHIME Charter Elementary School, a model inclusion school in Southern California. During his time at CHIME Charter, he made many life-long friends some of which were bound to a wheelchair or had different learning disabilities. This was a humbling experience for Shane as he learned valuable lessons in both understanding and looking past people’s disabilities.
The nephew of Dina Kimmel, Owner and Founder of We Rock the Spectrum, Shane has been around the We Rock community since its humble beginnings. He attended many of his cousin’s birthday parties at the Tarzana location as well as other WRTS sponsored events. With his mom and both of his younger sisters working for We Rock the Spectrum before him, the only thing he was asking himself was “Why not join the We Rock Family too?!”
Franchise Development Director
John is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Americas Franchising Group in Miami, Florida, a leading provider of franchise consulting services throughout the Americas. John has over 20 years of executive experience both domestically and internationally within sales, marketing, operations, business development and finance with leaders in the franchise, technology and medical industries.
John and his team at Americas Franchising Group provide franchise and consulting services at no cost to prospective individuals and investment groups. He found Dina Kimmel, the Founder of the We Rock the Spectrum franchise, through client work. After learning about We Rock, he knew he wanted his company to become its first and only franchise team. His experience and personal commitment to improving the lives of children with Spectrum Disorders is at the very heart of his company’s business relationship with We Rock the Spectrum.
Prior to founding Americas Franchising Group, John worked with many of the world’s largest and most respected brands throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America and Caribbean. His experience spans many market segments including Service Providers, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail and Public Sector. Throughout his career John held senior leadership positions at industry leading companies such as Cisco Systems, Akamai Technologies, Lithium Technologies and Physician Sales and Service. In these positions John was responsible for developing go to market strategies and execution plans while relentlessly focusing on team building and culture to drive results.
In addition to his role as Managing Director of Americas Franchising Group, John serves as the Chairman of the International Franchise Committee for The Global Trade Chamber based in Miami, Florida. He actively consults with business leaders from Chambers of Commerce around the world, advising them on opportunities for franchise ownership within their respective countries.
Outside of work, John and Veronica are active in their local church and enjoy travelling and spending quality time with the family. He is an Alumni of Washington State University where he served as Mortar Board President and held various offices within Honor Societies and The Intra Fraternal Council. He is actively engaged in philanthropic efforts supporting Autism Awareness and Haiti reconstruction.
Grace moved to California from Union, New Jersey. She was born into a big family and has always had a passion for working with children. While in New Jersey, Grace went to school for early childhood and obtained her CDA (Child Development Associate) credential. She started working as a teacher’s assistant in a preschool, then soon after became head teacher of her own classroom. After eight wonderful years of working in a preschool environment, Grace moved to California to help nanny her four-year-old niece. During one of their daily walks around the neighborhood, they came across We Rock the Spectrum – Woodland Hills. Her niece was immediately drawn to it and after talking to the owner and learning all about the We Rock mission, so was Grace!
Grace knew it was something she wanted to be a part of, applied for a position, and began working at the grand opening of the gym. She worked at the Woodland Hills location for three years, became an assistant manager and was then promoted to manager. In January 2017, She was given the amazing opportunity to work for the corporate office as the Assistant to Project Management. Grace loves being able to work with the new owners and assist them in achieving their dreams of opening their own gym.
She is the mother of one boy and one girl, and has truly learned to understand firsthand the benefits of We Rock the Spectrum. She loves how We Rock is a friendly, safe place where her son, daughter, and all kids can be themselves and have the freedom to explore and develop. We Rock the Spectrum has given her the opportunity to be a positive role model and impact the lives of children of all different abilities. Grace has had an amazing experience working for We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym Worldwide and is so proud to be part of the corporate team and the We Rock Family.
Marketing Director of My Brother Rocks the Spectrum Foundation
Dana Aghassi was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. During her young teenage years Dana loved to babysit and was happiest when she was surrounded by her family and friends.
Upon completion of her senior year at Taft High School, Dana decided to pursue her love of teaching. In 1995, after completing her child development hours at Pierce College, Dana started working as a teacher’s assistant at The Blvd School.
After a few years at The Blvd School, Dana was reunited with her longtime friend Henry Aghassi. Dana & Henry decided to tie the knot in 2000 and start building their own family, four years later their daughter Breanna was born. Dana started attending Everest College in 2008; graduating 12 months later with her Degree as a Medical Assistant. She loves working in the Medical field and helping people.
Two years later, Dana had another baby girl named Bailey. At this time she decided to take some time off of work and dedicate all her time to their two beautiful girls. Dana started taking Breanna to WRTS Tarzana for the Fun Fitness classes where she was first introduced to the dynamic nature of the gym.
Soon after the class session is when she met the founder of WRTS, Dina Kimmel, and asked her if she was hiring. Because of Dana’s “gift for gab” and strong selling skills, she was hired on a part time basis for the summer. Dana was amazed by the flexibility this opportunity afforded her. She was able to bring her children to the gym to play while she worked. Since that time, Dana has become the Manger Director of My Brother Rocks the Spectrum Foundation. She loves We Rock the Spectrum Kids’ Gym brand and her children call it their home away from home.
Melisa Weiss Stahl
Director of Audit and Compliance
Melisa is a mother of three to Shane, Sara, and Skyler. Two of her children are in college and Skyler is currently attending high school. Melisa has been married to her husband and entrepreneur, Bruce Stahl, for 23 years.
Melisa has a very impressive background in sales and advertising. In her early twenties, she began selling ad space in military base newspapers. Her career expanded to merchandising and management in her thirties and forties.
Melisa has seen firsthand the benefits of inclusion with all three of her children attending CHIME Charter, a model inclusion school in SoCal. When her little sister, Dina Kimmel, started We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym, she was excited to be a part of a mission that she was able to see work at CHIME Charter. Melisa began running all of the camp programs at the flagship gym in Tarzana, CA and has recently become the new Director of Audit and Compliance where she conducts periodic internal audits to ensure compliance and procedures are followed. She also works with owners on developing risk management strategies. Melisa also helps launch new gyms all the way through to their Grand Openings and loves meeting and assisting new owners across the states with sales and productivity.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Ty has always considered his creativity and imagination to be a companion and guide throughout life. Having taken a number of extracurricular fine arts classes during his adolescent years, followed by valuable internship experience at both a design studio and a commercial association during his undergrad (plus some heavy on-campus involvement), Ty was truly empowered by his ability to create, not only in a way that was unique to him but also in a way that would have a positive impact.
Ty moved to LA promptly after graduating from Michigan State University (Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media and Information Studies and Technology) to seek a professional creative field of work. Interestingly enough, he began his journey as an AmeriCorps Service Member and Teaching Assistant through a one-year teaching program called City Year Los Angeles. Although this wasn’t his ideal career path, Ty committed himself to a year of service at 122nd St. Elementary School in Compton where he not only began working with children for the first time but also experienced joy in seeing the life and undeniable potential for growth in the minds of the youth. Most importantly, he saw that same potential in children at all levels of development and functionality. Seeing first-hand what the future of our Greater LA community looks like, he expanded upon this experience by working at Camp Wildfolk as a summer camp counselor!
After a full year of working with youth, Ty set his sights back on the creative professional path and started his position as Graphic Designer and Program Coordinator at a non-profit (Big Sunday), where he strengthened his knowledge of branding and marketing while also being able to grow as an artist and become a community leader by coordinating community art projects on a weekly basis and curating an art show!
Four years later, he realized he truly valued his in-house experience as a designer, but still longed for an opportunity to apply everything he’s learned as an educator, youth advocate, and artist. This is where We Rock The Spectrum came into the picture and continues to change the trajectory of his life in a positive way! He is now currently the Community Manager for We Rock the Spectrum Corporate Offices, where he is able to connect with new owners passionate about youth development and inclusion, while also sharing his insight on Creative Digital Marketing.