Manouch Amel

B. Sc. (Kinesiology), 1995

Current Position: Owner and Practicing Kinesiologist at Mountainview Kinesiology and Mountainview Health and Wellness in British Columbia.

What are your work responsibilities?

I own two companies. One is Mountainview Kinesiology, and the other one is Mountainview Health and Wellness. My duty is to manage both companies by hiring staff, training them, overseeing payroll and the companies’ finance, and helping with marketing efforts by directing my marketing staff. I also work as a kinesiologist with people who have injuries, but not often. When I do, sometimes I work with lead athletes such as football and lacrosse players.

I am also an EPIC Evaluator, which is a progressive test of lift capacity, specifically to evaluate persons with medical impairments, and a Functional Capacity Evaluator, which provides Clinical Rehabilitation and Return to Work Programs. This process includes Ergonomics as well as Disability Management and Case Coordination. I have further specialized in motor vehicle accidents (MVA), Aqua Therapy, Core Stabilization and Strength/Weight Training.

How did you become interested in your field?

My initial goal was to work in the medical field and I wanted to go to medical school after finishing my studies at SFU Kinesiology. One day I did volunteer work in Surrey in the field of kinesiology, and that led me to eventually become a kinesiologist.

What led you to owning these two companies?

I had a background in how to operate a business at a younger age. So in 1998/1999 I started doing my own business and opened Mountainview Kinesiology. Since then, my business grew and got bigger. I opened Mountainview Health and Wellness in 2011 to help address patient needs in New Westminster, Surrey and Burnaby.

What do you enjoy most about your current career position?

Working with people and making a difference is rewarding. I also love motivating people and see how happy they are when they see change in themselves, whether it’s weight loss or healing injuries.

What have been the biggest challenges in your career?

Lots of challenges! Having a business in BC is all ups and downs. You have to be able to survive and adapt to changing environments. The economy is bad right now but you have to learn not to give up and work hard to make your business successful. You have to challenge yourself through this.

What were the keys to your success in overcoming these challenges?

The key is dedication, it’s the most important. Be focused and do not give up. Have hope. Work hard. Do research, and ask questions.

Why did you choose Simon Fraser University and BPK to pursue your education?

I am a wrestler. SFU had a wrestling program at the time I was looking to get into a university, and I wanted to compete and wrestle while studying at the same time. I chose the Kinesiology program because I’m a sportsman and I was interested in studying sports and science. I was also good at science, so the program had all the aspects that I was looking for.

What were the major challenges that you faced during your studies at SFU and BPK (Kin)?

I had to work two times harder than other people because English is not my first language. It took me longer to read study materials. Practicing wrestling was hard, too! It all worked out in the end because I continued to work hard and not give up.

How did your education at SFU and BPK influence your career?

SFU program at the time had so many good professors who taught us. Education gave us tools on how to deal with practical problems, to connect the dots together and understand how everything in the field is connected. SFU gave me that understanding that was crucial in developing and sustaining my businesses.

What is your favorite memory from your time at the university and the department?

Getting ready for exams until the middle of the night with other students was fun. One day there was massive snowfall and we were stuck in the mountain, we couldn’t go down. There were several of us studying for Organic Chemistry at the time. We ended up sleeping on the couches in the science area. It was fun.

Who do you think make a difference at SFU or BPK, or who do you remember the most from the department?

The late Dr. Tom Richardson, Dr. Don Hedges, Dr. Josephine Anthony, Dr. Parveen Bawa and Craig Asmundson were all really good lecturers.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments (both personally and professionally)?

I have provided jobs for a lot of people; I have many staff including kinesiologists, physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians, and more. I would say that my biggest accomplishment is that I made a difference to our society in this poor economy. However, I’m still aiming for bigger things and bigger successes.

What advice would you give to current students at BPK?

Work hard and don’t give up if you fail. Have hope and dedication.

What do you enjoy doing with your free time?

I have no free time! (laughs) I go jogging, hiking, and I go to the gym and do weight training. I also like to go for a walk and spend time with friends and family.