Rock U Academy Instructors

Ronnie 'Tsunami' Gandiza

Ronnie Tsunami

Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, and currently based in Charlotte, NC, Ronnie Tsunami is an innovator who has spent over 25 years in training, education, marketing and technology.  He specializes in helping to launch new products and services, and his past clients have included enterprise organizations such as Microsoft, Time Warner Cable, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, PlantPure Nation and the Plant-Based Network.  In addition to launching new products and services, Ronnie has helped to develop local support communities in more than 400 cities around the world with millions of members.  His learning solutions have also been implemented in thousands of academic institutions, including universities, colleges and high schools in over 32 countries.

After recovering from a major illness in 2015 through a plant-based diet, Ronnie became more interested in health and wellness.  He completed a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell University, served as Chief Marketing Officer for PlantPure Nation, and co-founded the Plant-Based Network, a lifestyle and entertainment media company with a streaming TV network and digital magazine promoting healthy and sustainable living.

Throughout his career, Ronnie has earned multiple certifications in project management, systems administration, networking engineering, web development, training, plant-based nutrition, life coaching, business coaching, and energy healing (Reiki).  He mentors personal and professional development coaches, helping them to build coaching programs and businesses to help live healthier and happier.

Ronnie Tsunami is also a multi award-winning lead singer, composer, keyboardist, steelpan and ukulele player for the trop-rock band known as the Tsunami Wave Riders.

Gerardo Velez

Gerardo Velez

Gerardo “Jerry” Velez is multi-award winning musician and entertainer with seven (7) Grammy nominations, six (6) Gold and Platinum recordings, three (3) Amex Gold Reel Awards, and has been featured as a percussionist on over 200 celebrity recordings.

Mr. Velez was part of the Jimi Hendrix’s band at Woodstock, and he went on to perform with such luminaries as David Bowie, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Destiny’s Child, Stevie Nicks, Chaka Khan, Marc Anthony and countless others. Then he was poised for greatness as an original member of the Best Selling Contemporary Jazz Groups of all time Spyro Gyra, garnering multiple Gold and Platinum recording awards, also best new group of 1978, several number one hit songs, Billboard Magazine’s Jazz Band of the 80’s and 14 Grammy Nominations.

Mr. Velez’s event company Gerardo Velez Productions (GVP) has been producing hundreds of shows and events since 1981. Nationally and internationally creating events, gala’s, concerts, festivals for such clients as New York Stock Exchange, The Security Traders Association of New York, Bank of America, HBO, Comedy Central, SAP Software, Time Warner, Donna Karan, Chopard Jewelry, Mirimax Films, and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino just to mention a few.

Mr. Velez was instrumental in the development of several situation comedies for Embassy Television owned by Norman Lear the creator of “All in the Family”, “The Jefferson’s” , “Who’s the Boss”, “Different Strokes” and other groundbreaking and award winning television programs.

Joanna 'Tropical Lady'

Joanna Gustafson

Joanna is a wellness consultant, health writer, and health and fitness program creator with over 30 years’ experience.  She earned a Master’s Degree in Health Promotion (summa cum laude) from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as well as numerous health and fitness credentials including Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Health Coach, and a Certificate of Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell.

Prior to co-founding the Plant-Based Network, Joanna served as Wellness Director for a division of Westinghouse.  In addition, she was AOL’s first online health and fitness instructor, and has worked as a community college instructor, dance exercise instructor, and meditation instructor.  She is also an author/co-author of several books and health publications, and has developed unique wellness programs for nutrition, fitness, and relaxation.

Joanna’s other specialties include weight loss, plant-based nutrition, stress reduction techniques, office ergonomics, heart health, and immune system health.  In her spare time, she is an award-winning tropical musician, songwriter, and artist.