Contributed by Hayley Pierce, and Theresa Gagnon.
City Girl, to Country Girl… Greetings! My name is Hayley Pierce, and I have recently joined the team at RMSAAM as Receptionist and Administrative Assistant, which without a doubt, is a wonderful opportunity I have encountered! My professional background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, which gives me the skills to be a great asset to the team. I am looking forward to contributing to the RMSAAM blog!
A Student recently commented to me earlier this week, how lucky I am to have a job working out in the countryside! Originally from a busy town in Hampshire, England, I moved to the states nearly eight years ago, and settled in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My husband had another great opportunity with his profession that prompted a move to Colorado, so here we are!
My friends and family back in England would not believe the transition, but there is definitely something to be said about living and working away from the hustle, and bustle, of city life! My husband and four children, Hanna; 20, Jamie; 19, Tamara; 11, and last but not least, Yazmin; 9, moved to Colorado a year ago. In that time, we have acquired a horse, a cat, and most recently rescued two lovely Belgian Malinois: Logan, and Levi. Needless to say, I am in the right place if the instructors need extra, not to mention very willing, volunteers for massages during the hands-on portion of the class!
Theresa Gagnon has been involved with animals her whole life. Dogs, cats, and horses, have always been part of her life. After holding a “real job” in computer management and programming for many years, she was drawn back to working with animals. She started working as a veterinary assistant, and then went on to obtain her Certification in Veterinary Technology and began teaching at the college level in the Becker College Veterinary Technology program in Massachusetts. When one of her horses had an odd front end lameness that veterinarians and farriers were unable to fix, she turned to massage. One short massage session to the shoulder, completely took care of the problem.
Theresa then turned to Jack Meagher and took his workshops. Drawing on her passion for anatomy, and Jack’s books, and workshops, she continued to work on her own horses. In 2003, she was asked to collaborate with the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy to create a curriculum for a Canine Massage Program. Once this was established, the Equine Massage Program was then created.
Theresa also enrolled in Bancroft’s human massage program and became a licensed human massage therapist. She continued to take classes in many modalities to hone her bodywork skills, and used her animal anatomy knowledge to bring those new skills to the animal world.
While at Bancroft, Theresa met Amy Snow, and Nancy Zidonis, of Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute, and was asked to be part of a group that eventually became The National Board of Certification Animal Acupressure and Massage (NBCAAM). After several years of working Bancroft and being on the board, Theresa decided it was time to do what she loved best; go back out into the field and work directly with animals. She partnered with a former student, Jodi Clark, and they formed Mending Fences Animal Wellness, LLC. Theresa’s move to Colorado last year, worked out well for both RMSAAM, and Theresa! RMSAAM is proud to have her teaching their programs!
RMSAAM welcomes you Theresa, and Hayley, as part of the team! We’re happy to have you both on board!