This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
communityspotlight THE FLORIDA ACADEMY

Making a Difference in Massage and Skincare by Linda Sechrist


hen L. J. Zielke graduated first in his class from the University of Louisville School of Law and was awarded a scholarship

to work with barristers in London, England, it never crossed his mind that someday he would be the co- owner of the Florida Academy, in Ft. Myers. It wasn’t until several years later while he was working with a client at one of Louisville’s top 10 law firms that the opportunity presented itself. “My client, who eventually became my friend, was involved in the spa industry and also owned hotels and assisted living centers throughout the South- east. He valued my knowledge and expertise in education law and suggested that we establish a partnership,” says Zielke. Today Zielke, who is licensed in Florida as well as in

Kentucky, not only lends his legal counsel to the academy for massage, skincare and nails, he also teaches the required 10-hour class in Florida law that students need to obtain their license to practice. “I love teaching the class because I’m an ardent supporter of our students and I’m as passionate about our industry as I am about the law. I have several objectives for students in my class: to understand the law and ethics in a way that will pertain to them in the real world as well as in testing for their license; to understand the legal concepts of being an employee in an employee/employer relationship or owning their own business; and to make it clear how they can benefit from becoming civic-minded,” says Zielke. “We educate everyone from the perspective that they

could be the owner of their own spa or the owner of the next Massage Envy franchise. For instance, Charlotte Harbor Massage, owned by academy graduates who employ one esthetician and four massage therapists [also graduates], won ‘Best Spa’ in Harbor Style magazine’s Harbor’s Hottest 2013 contest. This is a great testimonial to the academy and the kind of distinguished achievement that we love to celebrate.” Zielke and his partner invested a significant amount

of time researching schools before purchasing the Florida Academy in 2009. “We did our due diligence for schools

from east to west and settled on this one for three reasons—since 1992, when it first opened, the school maintained a stellar performance record, was totally free of any Better Business Bureau or attorney general complaints, and was located in an area flourishing with large spas and day spas where students could be gainfully employed after graduation. Additionally, there is a significant faction of the community that

prefers a holistic approach to health care,” clarifies Zielke, who notes that Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties are where a majority of the academy’s students reside and work. The trend that Zielke’s partner saw occurring in his spa

businesses was the impetus for the two men to invest in more massage and skin care schools. “He observed that gradu- ates of schools who were coming to work in his spas were without clinical experience and had largely never worked on individuals who were older than 60. Since students learn by practicing on one another, and the average age of students is between 25 and 35, spas have concerns regarding their older clients. We knew for sure that this was our chance to solve this problem and allay concerns about graduates from our schools,” advises Zielke.

Reflecting on his decision to leave his litigation practice

in education law to teach Florida and Kentucky law to acad- emy students and influence the future of massage schools, Zielke notes that he prefers to work with academy students. “In litigation, if a client does win a case, they rarely walk away completely happy, because the process is a burden and there are always large legal fees to pay. Students, on the other hand, come in a little hesitant and worried because they haven’t been in school for a while, but leave as confident profession- als with a new sense of life and perspective on the world. It is such a far more rewarding way to spend my time,” he says.

Location: Colonial Center, 4387 Colonial Blvd., Ft. Myers. For more information, call 239-489-2282 or visit See ad, page 14.

30 Collier/Lee Counties

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64