Citizen Airman Spotlight: Day spa owner serves as EO advisor

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nestor Cruz
  • 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen in the U.S. Air Force Reserve lead a double life: as a Reservist one weekend a month, and working in the civilian sector during the rest of the month.

A Reserve Citizen Airman with the 944th Fighter Wing Equal Opportunity office is the proud small business owner of Skin GLO Studio, a day spa in North Mesa.

Master Sgt. Michelle Schoenfeld, NCO-in-charge of 944th FW/EO, parlayed her GI Bill benefit to launch her career as a licensed aesthetician and day spa owner.

“With the assistance of the GI Bill, I was able to go back to school not once but twice,” Schoenfeld said. “First as a licensed cosmetologist and second as an aesthetician.”

Schoenfeld attended aesthetics school in 2008 then opened her studio in 2013.

“I started with a small one-room studio and, after two moves, grew the business to a 1,200 square foot, six treatment room day spa,” she said. “We currently have nine employees and have expanded the business greatly.”

Schoenfeld’s day spa has been ranked among the top three day spas in Mesa three years in a row. The small business owner attributes her military background for the success of her day spa.

“It’s with that education (attained through the GI Bill) I’ve been able to hone my craft and get back to my creative roots,” Schoenfeld said. “My military career has helped me with my ability to lead and, when necessary, to follow.”

Schoenfeld first joined the 944th FW in 2000, serving as an information management specialist with the 944th Operations Group until 2005. She rejoined the wing in late 2009 where she continues to serve as an EO advisor.

Fellow Airmen are impressed with Schoenfeld’s success and thankful for her contributions to the wing.

“Master Sgt. Schoenfeld has always been a very important presence in EO and the wing,” said Maj. Sarah Cummings, 944 FW/EO director. “I’ve always been proud of the strong and intelligent woman she is. Creating your own business takes a lot of sacrifice and determination, and she makes it look easy.”

The EO NCOIC said there’s plenty of room in the USAFR for new Airmen and reminds them to make the most of their military career.

“Take advantage of every opportunity the Air Force has to offer through training, travel and education,” Schoenfeld advised. “Take the time to build professional relationships with your fellow Airmen.”