The bellicon Team
All The Folks Who Keep bellicon USA Jumping.
The bellicon Board
Philipp von Kunhardt, CEO
Philipp is the co-inventor of the bellicon mini-trampoline and the founder of bellicon USA. Philipp began producing his unique, bungee-based mini-trampolines in his garage in 1995 before co-founding bellicon AG in Switzerland in 2003 and later becoming CEO of bellicon deutschland GmbH in Cologne, Germany.
Inspired by bellicon’s popularity in Europe, and encouraged by feedback from customers in North America (such as the Canadian fitness expert who said to him, “Mr. von Kunhardt, America needs your product!”), Philipp launched bellicon USA in 2010.
Philipp has a business degree from the University of Passau and explored other business fields before settling on the fitness industry. His decision isn’t surprising when you consider that his father was a world champion pentathlete and both of his parents are authors and lecturers in the field of preventative health and fitness. Having relocated to the Chicago area, Philipp, along with his wife and four children, have adapted well to life in the “States,” but have yet to embrace baseball in place of a bizarre foreign kicking game called “soccer.”
Felix von Kunhardt, CMO
Felix, the last of the Kunhardt siblings to join the bellicon USA team, has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the technical side of bellicon’s website, marketing and support systems. Felix has an extensive management history, particularly in the eCommerce and product management fields where he has worked with eBay, America Online and Lycos Europe. He is also served as the COO and Managing Director of Sellaround, a company that offers a unique technology for businesses to integrate with social media.
Before working in eCommerce, Felix earned a Masters in Economics from the University of Münster, focusing on international trade. He has also been a lifelong athlete, winning a gold medal for the pentathlon in the CIOR Military World Games in 1995. Athletically, Felix continues to run, play golf and use his bellicon, something he has done consistently since jumping on his brother’s bellicon prototypes in the 1990s. Felix, along with his wife, Ira, and his children, Lukas and Lara, have lived in Chicago since August of 2013.
Saskia von Gemmingen, COO
Saskia wears several hats at bellicon: not only does she oversee our office and customer support staff, but she has also directed and created much of our web design, branding and advertising efforts. Plus, as the sister of both our CEO and CMO, Saskia is also responsible for managing our managers, which keeps bellicon USA running smoothly.
Saskia studied Marketing and Graphic Design in a combined program (Kommunikationsdesign) in Hamburg before working in the German advertising and television industries.
In 2009 she joined bellicon and a year later moved to Chicago to establish bellicon USA with her brother, Philipp. Growing up in the beautiful Schleswig Holstein area of northern Germany, Saskia began daily horseback riding from an early age. These days, her main form of exercise is rebounding on her bellicon, though Saskia (who was married this August) also enjoys playing golf and biking around Chicago with her husband, Moritz.
John has helped to shape bellicon’s marketing strategies and assisted in the process of translating bellicon’s European popularity to the New World. In particular, he is responsible for all of the writing on our website, as well as the extensive health and fitness research behind it, and is often called upon to share this accumulated knowledge with our customers and the media. Originally from Chicago, John spent many years in New York and Los Angeles working as a professional actor. On stage, he has performed leading roles in major theaters across the country, as well as on Broadway, and has an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. On camera, his film and TV experience includes roles in several major feature films and TV shows. John also has an extensive history of writing for film and the theater, with several feature films and plays to his credit. For exercise, John grew up playing tennis and running, which he still does, but due to his research, John’s first choice is now rebounding on the bellicon to his favorite R&B songs. Can’t beat it.
From the Ocean State (Rhode Island for the non-geographically savvy) to the Windy City, Stan brought his operations management background to bellicon in 2013. Having obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Media and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Stan approaches his work is much like bouncing on the bellicon - with creativity but also with efficiency. Outside of bellicon, Stan can be found rocking out on stage behind his synthesizers or passionately (borderline overzealously) rooting for his New England sports teams.
Lauren Le Coq
For a native Chicagoan, Lauren experienced an unusual amount of European influences long before joining bellicon. The daughter of a French father, Lauren studied overseas in Italy, France and Spain and majored in International Relations in college. She also has a long management history, beginning with her family-owned restaurant (a Chicago favorite) and including more than ten years in the hotel management field. Her work in service industries may explain the pride she takes, and the satisfaction her customers and coworkers feel, with her helpful, informed and friendly support. Having grown up playing soccer, and being an avid runner (with a few marathons to her credit), Lauren also knows the importance of physical fitness and would be happy to discuss with you the benefits of the bellicon…in either English, French or Italian.
Romée was born and raised in The Netherlands, where she received her degree in physical therapy and specialized in treating the elderly. She joined bellicon in February 2014, shortly after moving to Chicago. As a physical therapist, she’s very enthusiastic about the bellicon, and in particular how it helps those who have difficulty exercising: the elderly, people with arthritis, chronic illnesses and those with struggling with weight issues. At work, her passion for helping customers has quickly made her a favorite among our clientele.
At home, Romée can be found using one of her three bellicons while watching tv or listening to music.
Lamont oversees the customization, packaging and shipping of each bellicon order, and is dedicated to maintaining bellicon’s high level of quality and customer satisfaction before each bellicon is sent off to its new home. Born and raised in Chicago, Lamont has worked with inventory and shipping in the Chicago area since the 1990s, including work for large corporations such as Comcast and Sam’s Club. Though he has coached children’s basketball and football, most of his own recent athletic activity involves using his bellicon at home…that is, when his daughters Amonti and Arianna are off of it long enough to give him the chance.
Eric was one of the first employees of bellicon USA and is also the most accomplished athlete of the bellicon staff. A local Chicagoan, Eric began playing football at Orr High School before becoming a QB at Blinn College in Texas. He has played semi-pro football in Chicago and was recently recruited by the Rivals Professional Football League. Eric has also served as an in-house model for bellicon: photos of Eric can be seen in our promotional material and on our website. Eric is the proud father of Eric Stevenson, jr. who was born in 2013.
Michelle has the distinction of being the first employee to join bellicon USA after our founding in 2010. Her diverse talents and abilities have benefited bellicon in many ways: from helping to establish and refine bellicon’s customer service protocol to designing, directing and, in many cases, photographing much of the print work used in our website and promotional material. Michelle was born in Mexico and raised in Michigan, moving to Chicago after receiving her BFA degree from the renowned College for Creative Studies in Detroit, majoring in photography. Apart from her photographic work, Michelle continues to be a real estate agent in Chicago (and is a member of the city, state and national associations of realtors) and is also a coveted stylist for many of the major film and television projects filmed in this city. To maintain her health and fitness, Michelle practices brazilian jiu jitsu, kickboxing and (of course) rebounding on her bellicon.