Barbara Whatley, Spa & Fitness Director – “Managing a Team to Be Its Best”
We are expanding our blog to hear about all of the fantastic amenities that Golden Ocala has to offer. To begin, we would like to introduce you to our hard working staff members who help make it all possible. Meet Barbara Whatley, Spa & Fitness Director at Golden Ocala.
I Love Massage Therapy
When I was in my early twenties, I started into the medical field with nursing school. I had a friend who was a massage therapist. Back then, massage therapy wasn’t what it is today, but nevertheless, it interested me. I finished my semester at nursing school and then switched to the school for massage therapy. The doors opened from there and I was able to open my own practice in massage therapy, acupuncture, nutritional counseling, and skin care. I had a few clients that were getting into the resort business, who asked me to come run their spa at Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale. I worked for them for four years and then went into consulting.
Learning Through Experience
I got my knowledge in spas from walking into the business and gaining experience. My first conceptual design to commence the opening project was Hawks Cay in the Florida Keys. From there, I continued consulting for about five years through word of mouth. I liked the day to day operational side of the business, but being a consultant really broadened my view and depth of the business because I not only got into resort spas, but also medical day spas, club spas, and skin care. I learned not only the services that they offered, but also the financial side of things. Running a resort spa, medical spa, club spa, or day spa all have different financial needs. I was exposed to a lot of different intricacies of the business that helped to broaden my experience and influence what I do here at Golden Ocala.
I’ll Step In and Dry Somebody’s Hair
I’m the type of leader who doesn’t just tell people what to do – I like to get in there and do it with them! If someone gets behind and I need to step in and dry somebody’s hair, I’m happy to because above all else, we are a team. I respect the time and effort that our team puts into what they do. With that in mind, I want to make them the best they can be and work alongside of them.
Here at Golden Ocala, we give personal services. As professional providers, our team members have to be aware of how well they are feeling that day and their attitudes. When we are giving massages, for example, our energy rubs off on guests and we want to give our members a positive experience to make their days better. We are a team and we support each other every day.
I Spend My Vacations Going to Spas
If I had the day off (or even half a day), I would come in and do a massage, a facial, a manicure, a pedicure, and end with my hair. In between the treatments, have lunch and just relax. I think everybody needs a day like this every once in a while. In fact, when I vacation, that’s what I do! I like to spend my vacations going to spas and experiencing different treatments. There are always new and upcoming services in this industry and I learn a lot.
That’s what sets Golden Ocala apart from other spas. We always strive to stay ahead of trends to offer new services and results-driven treatments. We offer our members services and features of resort-style living at its finest. Come in and see for yourself!
I’m Barbara Whatley, Spa & Fitness Director at Golden Ocala, living every day to the fullest and helping my team be its best.