Meet Our Team
Introducing Heidi Zambrano, our dedicated Program Director and faculty member at Urban River Massage Institute. With a Massage Therapy Diploma from Cortiva Institute in Chicago, IL in 2011, Heidi embarked on her journey into holistic wellness. She has been teaching since 2018, combining her passion for learning with her commitment to the healing power of touch.
Heidi's dedication to her craft is exemplified by her previous Illinois licensure received in 2011 and her current licensure in South Carolina, along with National Board Certification. Her objective is to provide the best possible therapy to her clients and educate them about the benefits of bodywork.
Heidi's diverse career spans various settings, from medical and spa to franchise and her own private practice. She has even volunteered her massage services at events like the Chicago Marathon, 5k runs, long-term care facilities, and retirement homes.
Heidi's commitment to education is also evident in her role as a volunteer student tutor at Cortiva Institute, which ultimately led her to accept a position as an employee tutor. Her educational journey includes an A.S. degree from Joliet Junior College in 2016 and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Governors State University in 2018, reflecting her multidisciplinary approach to wellness.
From 2020 to 2023, Heidi served as the Academic Program Director, Massage Instructor, and BLS CPR Instructor at Greenville Technical College. Her wealth of experience and certifications align perfectly with our mission of promoting wellness through the power of touch. Heidi is not just an instructor but a dedicated advocate for holistic well-being and excellence in the field of massage therapy.
Introducing Jennifer Desrosiers, a vital full-time Instructor here at Urban River Massage Institute. Jennifer's journey into the world of holistic wellness has been a remarkable one, characterized by her dedication to the healing power of touch.
Jennifer's career has seen her working in a multitude of environments, each contributing to her extensive expertise. She has provided her services as an independent contractor in spa settings, ensuring a personalized experience for her clients. Her time collaborating with chiropractors and within the retail sector, including Massage Envy and Massage Luxe, further honed her skills. However, it was her experience in a hospital environment as a hospice massage therapist that truly resonated with her. Hospice work holds a special place in Jennifer's heart, and it was in this compassionate setting that she felt her work had the most profound impact.
Jennifer's approach to massage therapy is distinct. She firmly believes that the touch aspect of massage is the most crucial element. While some therapists focus on addressing specific muscle issues, Jennifer is more concerned with the overall effect of massage on the body and nervous system. Her holistic approach underscores her commitment to the well-being of her clients, emphasizing the body's capabilities to heal and restore itself.
Jennifer's previous licensure in Illinois, which attests to her competence and adherence to the highest standards of care.
Now, as a full-time Instructor at Urban River Massage Institute, Jennifer shares her wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience with our students. Her contributions enrich our school's commitment to promoting wellness and excellence in the field of massage therapy. Jennifer's versatile skill set, honed through her journey from a scientific foundation to the realm of massage therapy, makes her an invaluable asset to our team.
Jennifer's story is one of passion, versatility, and unwavering dedication to helping others. She embodies our commitment to holistic wellness and is not just an instructor but also a compassionate and dedicated professional who plays a crucial role in our mission to provide top-notch services and education to our clients and community. Jennifer Desrosiers is a name synonymous with expertise and care in the world of massage therapy.
Steffany Medina is a dedicated and compassionate Instructor at Urban River Massage Institute, where she imparts her extensive knowledge and passion for the art of massage therapy. With a strong educational background and years of practical experience, Steffany is a respected figure in the field of massage therapy.
Steffany embarked on her journey in the world of massage therapy by obtaining her Massage Therapy Certification from Virginia College in Savannah, Georgia, in 2016. Her commitment to honing her skills and deepening her understanding of the healing power of touch has been evident throughout her career.
Steffany's professional journey began at Massage Envy in 2013, where she has not only provided therapeutic massages but has also held roles in management. Her multifaceted experience has provided her with a unique perspective on the industry, enabling her to educate aspiring massage therapists in technique to ultimately build a successful career in the field.
She firmly believes in the healing potential of massage, having witnessed numerous transformations in her clients' lives. From individuals struggling to walk to those overwhelmed with gratitude for her touch, Steffany has been deeply rewarded by the physical and mental healing she has contributed to throughout the years.
As an Instructor at Urban River Massage Institute, Steffany continues to inspire and nurture the next generation of massage therapists. Her dedication to her craft, combined with her genuine care for her students and clients, makes her an invaluable asset to the massage therapy community. Steffany's mission is to pass on the knowledge and wisdom she has gained over the years, ensuring that the legacy of healing through massage therapy continues to flourish.
Colleen Ballard is our esteemed Office Manager at Urban River Massage Institute and brings a unique blend of expertise to our institution. With her combined background in finance and dedication to the healing art of massage therapy, her diverse experiences and unwavering passion for helping others make her a valuable member of our team.
Colleen embarked on her journey by earning a degree in Accounting from Colorado State University, where she developed a keen aptitude for budgeting and financial analytics. Prior to her career in massage therapy, she demonstrated her leadership and organizational skills by managing a branch of a Credit Union for five years.
In 2014, Colleen followed her heart's calling and obtained her license as a Massage Therapist from the Muscle Therapy Center of Hobbs in Hobbs, New Mexico. Since then, she has dedicated herself to the practice of massage, working either full or part-time, and has helped countless individuals alleviate physical discomfort, reduce stress, and enhance their overall well-being.
Her passion for making a positive impact on people's lives was evident from her college years, during which she served as a certified nurse's aide for four years. This background in healthcare has deepened her understanding of the emotional and physical needs of individuals, further enhancing her ability to provide exceptional care through massage.
Colleen Ballard is a true asset to our team, and her dedication to both financial excellence and the well-being of our community aligns perfectly with our mission at Urban River Massage Institute.
Meet Don Taylor, the visionary founder of Urban River Massage Institute. Don is a man of many talents and a lifelong learner whose journey has taken him through diverse landscapes ranging from education to engineering.
Don's educational journey began at the University of Arizona, where he pursued a B.A. in General Studies Pre-Med in 1985. This early phase of his academic career ignited his passion for learning and sparked a curiosity that would define his future path.
In 1992, Don earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff. His dedication to the field was undeniable, and he was just getting started. Eager to expand his knowledge and expertise, he continued his educational pursuits by obtaining a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University in 1995.
However, Don's thirst for knowledge was not confined to the realm of engineering. In 2005, he achieved a significant milestone in his academic journey by earning an MBA from Santa Clara University, demonstrating his versatile skill set and ability to bridge the gap between technical expertise and business acumen.
Currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Advanced Educational Leadership at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA, Don’s pursuit of higher education speaks volumes about his commitment to personal growth and his dedication to shaping the future of the massage therapy industry.
Don Taylor is more than just an owner; he's a dynamic leader with a multidisciplinary background that combines technical proficiency, business savvy, and a passion for education. His unwavering commitment to excellence and his thirst for knowledge drive Urban River Massage Institute’s mission to innovate and excel in all that we do. Don is not just a leader; he's a visionary who propels us forward into a brighter future.
Caroline Taylor, the Co-Founder of Urban River Massage Institute, brings a diverse background to her role. After graduating from Clemson University in 1987 with a B.S. in Education, she embarked on a five-year teaching career before venturing into the world of wellness. In 2007, Caroline opened the first of her three spas, quickly expanding her footprint in 2008 and again in 2016.
Beyond her entrepreneurial pursuits, Caroline is deeply committed to community service. She has generously devoted her time to organizations such as the Junior League, Junior Achievement, the Arthritis Foundation, and the Alzheimer's Association. Her board roles in the Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity and the Junior League, as well as her contributions as a PTSA Board member and Sports Booster Club Chair, highlight her dedication to shaping as well as enlightening future generations.
Caroline's exceptional dedication to community service was recognized with the Junior Achievement Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006. Also, her outstanding work as a franchisee earned her the Franchisee of the Year Award in 2018. Caroline Taylor's multifaceted career path showcases her commitment to both personal and communal growth.
Caroline is excited to help lead a community that is committed to the world of wellness and community engagement. Her passion for the massage therapy career path and its ability to connect individuals who may have never crossed paths is at the heart and soul of her work at Urban River Massage Institute.