Since 2018, we (Jess and Jay) have been secretly and meticulously planning what we've lovingly referred to for years as "Project X." In fact, much of the planning for this one-of-a-kind conference occurred while out on our daily walks around Ocean Beach (our hometown for nearly two decades, which is located just minutes from the event venue), and specifically while sitting for hours atop Sunset Cliffs at the very spot where this particular photo was taken.
Originally the conference was planned for August 2020, and well, unfortunately a pandemic happened. It was then rescheduled to August 2022 and sadly Jess fell quite ill and scarily nearly lost her life to what is still an undiagnosed illness. Flash forward to today, we're both healthy, happy and beyond excited to finally announce to the world that The Health and Well-Being Coaching Conference will be held for the first time right here in sunny San Diego, California– the place we're grateful to call home– on June 17th and 18th, 2023! As the saying goes, apparently the third time's a charm, but the good news is what we have planned will be well worth the wait!
Often referred to as Dr. Matthews by her many students, Dr. Jess is a world-recognized leader in the fields of health and well-being coaching as well as lifestyle medicine, as she is actively involved in a number of capacities including teaching, research, clinical practice and leadership at the national level. Specifically, Dr. Jess is an associate professor and program director in the College of Health Sciences at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU). An award-winning and innovative educator, she created the Master of Science in Kinesiology- Integrative Wellness program at PLNU, one of the very first graduate degree programs to blend lifestyle medicine and health and well-being coaching.
Additionally Dr. Jess serves as Director of Integrative Health and Wellness coaching at UC San Diego Health. There she has led the development and implementation of one-on-one and group-based health coaching within clinical practice and research, to include overseeing a team of national board certified health and wellness coaches in the Centers for Integrative Health as well as serving as Principal Investigator (PI) for the nationwide health and well-being Cat III CPT code project in collaboration with the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) and the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).
A passionate advocate for lifestyle medicine, health behavior change and whole person health, Dr. Jess serves as Vice Chair of NBHWC and was among one of the first national board certified health and wellness coaches (NBC-HWCs) in the country. Additionally, she is board certified in lifestyle medicine (DipACLM) and also serves on the board of directors for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM). In 2021, Dr. Jess was named a Fellow of ACLM for outstanding achievement in the field of lifestyle medicine and exceptional dedication to advancing the organization's mission, including serving as founding chair of the ACLM Health and Wellness Coaches Member Interest Group (MIG) which during her tenure was the largest MIG within the organization.
With extensive professional experience, undergraduate and graduate degrees in exercise science and a doctorate in behavioral health with a focus in clinical integrated care, Dr. Jess is a highly sought after consultant and keynote speaker who for nearly 15 years has regularly contributed as a health and wellness expert to numerous national media outlets, including, but not limited to, CNN, The Washington Post, Women's Health, NPR, Doctor Radio and O, The Oprah Magazine. She has also authored and edited several books and chapters on topics ranging from health behavior change and health coaching skills, to stress management and mindfulness, and in 2019 she delivered a TEDx talk titled "Reclaiming Wellness."
Fun professional fact: For her decades of dedicated service and leadership as a longtime group fitness educator and experienced registered yoga teacher (E-RYT 500), in 2017 Dr. Jess was honored as the IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year—a top award recognizing superior instructional abilities, leadership skills and positive influence in the global health and fitness industry. Additionally, in service to her own local community, she spent years (with her husband by her side) leading public, donation-based oceanfront yoga classes in which 100% of the proceeds of every single class were donated to various charitable causes which speak to her heart.
Known as Coach Jay by his baseball players and Professor P by his college students, Coach Jay is an adjunct kinesiology professor teaching graduate courses in sport operations and management at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) and undergraduate courses in sport leadership at Louisiana State University (LSU)— the university from which he earned his master of science in kinesiology with a focus in sport management.
Additionally, Coach Jay serves as an assistant baseball coach and assistant athletic director at Southwestern College. Prior to accepting his current collegiate coaching role, Coach Jay started his coaching career at Abraham Lincoln High School where he served as a pitching coach, coaching future Houston Astros draft pick Ian Hardman. Through his commitment to the players, the community and the development of the program as a whole, he earned the opportunity to take over the Lincoln High School baseball team as head coach, and during his tenure the baseball program set records in every statistical category as well as earned back-to-back-to-back CIF playoff appearances.
Outside of his coaching experience, he has also spent time as a teacher and assistant athletic director at the high school level, overseeing the growth of inner-city athletics programs and preparing students from underserved communities to pursue careers in health care as well as improve their own health and well-being. Coach Jay has taught courses in health education, public health, nutrition, emergency medicine and fire technology. He is also a former San Diego firefighter and first responder, and presently serves as Training Manager for Heartland Fire where he oversees the ongoing training and education for current firefighters as well as academy education for recruits interested in joining the fire service.
Fun professional fact: Whether on the field or on the fire training ground, Coach Jay has a deep passion and proven track record of meaningful community service and leadership, to include a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion within athletics. As such he is a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association's (ABCA) diversity committee and has been recognized for his continuous efforts and unwavering commitment in the community. Specifically in 2018 he was honored by the San Diego Padres as Coach of the Week, being named one of the top 10 baseball coaches in San Diego. Additionally, he was bestowed an additional special honor for his exceptional work both on and off the field with his inner-city baseball program as a coach, role model and mentor dedicated to developing and positively shaping the lives of young men — empowering them to overcome adversity and thrive in all areas of their lives, including academically. Coach Jay also volunteers his time to support those in need, from preparing and serving meals to those who are unsheltered and assisting with donation-based community yoga classes led by his wife, to inspiring historically marginalized youth around San Diego County through free baseball camps and clinics.
As a powerhouse husband and wife team we run Integrative Health and Wellness Education, Inc., have been happily married for over 10 years, have spent time together traveling around the globe, and we also share a deep passion for giving back to others and serving our local community as well as the greater good through our personal and professional endeavors— to include through the creation and core tenets of The Health and Well-Being Coaching Conference.