Ted’s formal education is from Trenton State College in NJ with a degree in Physical Education. After college, he spent the next four years pursuing a career in triathlons learning the physical and mental hardships necessary to be successful in a professional endurance sport. This four year journey ended with a common overuse injury that his formal education didn’t prepare him to understand or correct. Looking for a new adventure, Ted moved to San Diego and was hired at the world famous Egoscue Clinic, a postural and pain center located in Del Mar. For three years Ted worked under one of the leaders in the new field of exercise rehab. This opportunity allowed him to understand postural aliments and how to correct them, but it also taught him a different way to think. Always looking for a new challenge, Ted left the Egoscue Clinic to start Function First Inc with Tammy Dardzinski. This endeavor became a successful postural/pain and athletic performance center with clients all over the US. From these simple beginnings, Project Walk was born with just one spinal cord injured client. Since its beginning in 1999 Project Walk has grown to become the leader in exercise based recovery for SCI. Today, hundreds of clients take part in the program coming from all the states and from around the world. Project Walk is a leader in promoting a change for treatment for all people with a newer spinal cord injury.
Co-Founder / Chairman of the Board
Tammy began her career as a Marketing Manager for a bank in Virginia. Moving to San Diego in 1990, she continued on the same path working locally for a nationwide advertising firm. In 1995, she co-founded Function First Inc with Ted Dardzinski. From the success of this athletic performance center, Project Walk Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center was formed. Tammy is an entrepreneur and has several years of business and leadership experience. She earned her BS degree in Business Administration from Old Dominion University and is also a Fitness Specialist. Tammy is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization and provides leadership and direction for its marketing, fundraising and awareness efforts.
Eric Harness, CSCS, CSRS III
Co-Founder / Director of Research and Development
Eric graduated from San Diego State University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Athletic Training and a Minor in Psychology. He then received a post-graduate certification as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. In 1998, he met Ted and started training high school, college, and Olympic athletes in Ted’s facility. Six months later Ted began seeing Mike Thomas, his first Spinal Cord Injury client. Eric watched as Mike began to progress and became intrigued; people with spinal cord injuries were not supposed to be able to gain function below the level of injury. He began assisting Ted and learning what he was doing with Mike. Project Walk had begun…
Eric is now the Director of Research and Development for Project Walk and a Level III Certified Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Specialist. In the past 11 years, he developed many of the exercise techniques used with our clients, he was responsible for developing the Home Program, he designed a new evaluation scale (Developmental Activity Scale™ or DAS), and he built the database Project Walk uses to track client’s workouts. In 2006 he began collaborating with the University of California, Irvine and California State University San Marcos on multiple research projects focusing on the Project Walk program and spinal cord injuries. His first paper arising out of these collaborations was published in 2008. He has now published multiple papers in peer-reviewed journals. Eric has also worked with manufacturers and independent engineers to design unique equipment for the benefit of Project Walk’s clients.