Our Advisors

Ladder was built on the concepts of quality, trust, transparency, and effectiveness. To truly represent these concepts, we recruited an advisory board of experts in all areas of health, fitness, and nutrition.

Adam Bornstein

Adam Bornstein is the chief nutrition officer, head of content, and health advisor at Ladder. He led the team that formulated all Ladder products and has been a long-time fitness advisor to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Adam is a New York Times bestselling author, an award-winning health editor, a certified trainer and nutrition coach, and was named one of the most influential people in health. Previously, he was editorial director of LIVESTRONG.COM and fitness editor for Men’s Health magazine. He is also the founder of Born Fitness and Pen Name Consulting and has appeared on Good Morning America, E! News, ABC, and NBC.

Adam is the father of 2 boys (The Intern and The Captain), a connoisseur of eggs, avocado, and sushi (not all together), and dedicated to eliminating the dogmatic opinions and pseudoscience in the wellness industry.

Candice Kumai

Candice Kumai is the food and wellness advisor for Ladder, she helps lead the development of recipes with Ladder. She is an internationally-renowned writer, described by ELLE magazine as “The Golden Girl of the Wellness World.” Candice is a classically trained chef, former line cook, TV host, and six-time best-selling author. A Top Chef alumni, Candice has appeared as a regular judge on Iron Chef America & Beat Bobby Flay. She was recently named by Arianna Huffington as a “Top 20 New Role Model.”

Candice writes and contributes regularly to: Forbes, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Well + Good, Shape, Men’s Health and Girlboss. Her dedication to philanthropy includes partnerships with City Harvest, The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), Wellness in The Schools (WITS), Health Corps, The US-Japan Council, and The James Beard Foundation. Candice is a lover of vegan cake baking, matcha making, and a total sneakerhead. She loves avocados, her cat Sisi, and a good-ass barre class. She continues to write, produce and direct fresh-new content from a millennial perspective across the globe.

Mike Mancias

Mike Mancias is LeBron James’ Athletic Trainer and recovery specialist, a position he’s held for 14 years and counting. A veteran in the world of training professional basketball players, his experience also includes working with NFL, MLB, PGA, and top NCAA athletes. Throughout his tenure with LeBron, Mike has quietly developed a winning human-performance blueprint that encompasses everything from preventative medicine, strength training/ rehab, nutrition, and the latest in recovery techniques. Mike’s philosophy is one that is now commonly accepted by many athletes and trainers as the ideal 360-degree approach to wellness and performance. It was through this focus on nutrition to performance and recovery that Mancias aided in developing the Ladder Brand and its products.

Originally from Brownsville, Texas, Mancias attended the University of Texas-Pan American and graduated with a degree in Health Education and Kinesiology. He is Licensed and Nationally certified by the Accredited National Athletic Trainers Association and is a 14-year member of The National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association.

Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan

Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan (PhD, CSCS*D, FNSCA, FACSM, FISSN) is the nutrition and science advisor for Ladder and part of the team that developed the formulations used in Ladder products. As an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Abbie is the Director of the Applied Physiology Laboratory and the Co-Director of the Human Performance Center. She is considered one of the leaders in sports nutrition and performance and was honored as Nutrition Researcher of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). She is also a fellow of the NSCA, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN).

Abbie’s research (more than 115 peer-reviewed studies) focuses on body composition, cardiovascular health, exercise and performance, and metabolism. As a former collegiate athlete and mom of 2 young kids, Abbie has a passion for using nutrition advancements as a way to improve health and quality of life.