“Nobody grew up to be a Massage Therapist”
Ron is a perfect example of this statement he makes on occasion. Ron Stephens has worn many hats over the years. After his discharge from the Army, he took advantage of the GI bill majoring in Agricultural Economics and Animal Science, graduating with a B.A. from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) He also received his
MBA from Nova University. Ron has always put 100% into whatever he has had a passion for, and this has certainly been the case with regard to the FSMTA. Never being satisfied as just a “participant” or “member”, he always rose to the top ranks in his numerous endeavors. Just to share a “few”:
- Executive Director of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association;
- President of the Glades County Cattlemen’s Association;
- President of the Fort Myers Rotary;
- President of his Homeowners Association and most importantly,
- President of the FSMTA.
He credits these involvements with his success in the massage therapy
profession. He has been an active member in the Southwest Chapter of the FSMTA, being a Chapter President also. Ron spear-headed the Liability Insurance not only for Florida therapists, but also for therapists in Texas. Ron remains active in this roll Although Ron was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1989, this didn’t slow him down. He became an active member in the Collier County Parkinson’s Association and served on its Board for several years. Over the years, Ron has received numerous awards and accolades for his involvement in the FSMTA, some of which are:
- State LMT of the year;
- Outstanding State Service Award (For Dedication And Service to the FSMTA and the Massage Therapy Profession)
- SW Chapter recognition for “The Significant Accomplishments Under Your Strong & Committed FSMTA Leadership, Ultimately Benefiting Massage Therapist Everywhere”;
- Ambassador’s Award (For your dedication and advancement of the FSMTA and the Massage Therapy Profession).
- He is an active participant in the Hendry County Parkinson’s Association in LaBelle where he and Margie call “home”. “We love the slower pace, less traffic and that “small town community”.MARGIE BALL-STEPHENS
Margie is no slow poke either. Starting in the secretarial field after high school, she worked for the NYS Compensation Board, Department of Transportation and NYS Corrections as a Correctional Officer. Moving to Florida in 1988 she still worked in law enforcement with Lee County Sheriff’s, Hendry County Corrections and Naples Police Department. Getting laid off from the City is what brought her to Massage Therapy. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do the rest of my life, but I knew I wanted a change”. Seeing an ad to sit in a Massage class for 10 days for free- she did and states “I just couldn’t quit” She became licensed in 1994 and has been self-employed as a Massage Therapist since. Margie worked with a Chiropractor for 13 years, until his retirement. During this time she also got her license as a Skin Care Specialist, and also became a Board Certified Permanent Makeup Artist.
After becoming involved in the SW Chapter of the FSMTA, she served as
- Chapter State Store Coordinator;
- Chapter Secretary
- Publisher of the newsletter;
- 1st VP and Chapter President; and
- An active participant on the Chapter Sports Massage Team.
She enjoys teaching and worked along side of Bruce Baltz, of Spiri Physical, assisting him in training for the Stone Therapy CEU class he developed. She also wrote a Skin Care CEU program for him. “I got to travel with the classes and really enjoyed it”. “I learned a lot from Bruce”. She also taught Massage techniques and Skin Care for 4 years in Ft. Myers. She also became an ABHES ( Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools ) Evaluator, evaluating mostly massage programs, but also Skin Care programs and got
to visit various schools around the states and even PuertoRico. Margie’s Studio, is Caloosa Face & Body Works located in Labelle along with Sherrie
Easterly (Past Chapter President) who owns Caloosa Massage Works. Business continues to grow.
Ron and Margie met through the FSMTA and have been married for 20 years.
They both remain active in various local civic events. “Ron has slowed down some” states his wife, but so have I and it gives us more time to