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Discoverypoint Legacy — Original Founders

Establishing a Foundation of Excellence & Community

The School was originally founded in 2010 by Pat Archer, Lisa Nelson, and Julie Ann Darrah when they formed Manual Therapy Arts Education, LLC.


The three founders have a long and diverse history in massage education, and have been involved in the development of massage curriculum, courses and teaching standards at the local, state and national levels. Additionally, they worked together for 15 years at the Brenneke School of Massage prior to opening Discoverypoint. The school was sold to Larisa Goldin in early 2022.


These three founders have passed along a strong legacy of excellence, individualized support, compassionate culture, and inclusive community — which the new management team & faculty are proud to inherit and uphold.

Patricia A. Archer, MS, ATC, LMT

Co-Owner, Director and Instructor

Pat Archer served as Discoverypoint’s Educational Liaison from 2010 to 2022, bringing over 35 years of experience as a sports health care specialist and educator to the role. After teaching high school physical education, Pat became a Certified Athletic Trainer in 1977, working as the head women’s athletic trainer at the University of Montana until 1983. She became a licensed massage therapist in 1985, and started teaching at the Brenneke School of Massage in 1986, where she served as Director of Education until 1997. Pat continued to teach in both core and continuing education courses until 2008.

She was heavily involved in reviewing and developing statewide and national standards in massage education and practice, having served as a consultant for the AMTA-WA government relations committee and two national workgroups: the Massage Research Foundation’s “Best Practices” and the “Entry Level Analysis Project” (ELAP). She has been a highly-regarded speaker, presenting at state, regional and national professional conferences for both the athletic training and massage communities. Pat authored multiple articles for professional journals and several textbooks, including the first and second edition of Applied Anatomy and Physiology for Manual Therapists, co-authored with Lisa Nelson.

Her combined knowledge and experience as a massage therapist and athletic trainer allowed Pat to embed a deep and broad blend of assessment and treatment skills to the curriculum, passing on her unique style of structure specific massage to hundreds of students over the years. Her warm and personal style of teaching kept students actively engaged in both head and hands — skills that continue to be taught by distinguish Discoverypoint instructors, and which distinguish our graduates in the field.


Lisa A. Nelson, BA, AT/R, LMT

Co-Owner, Director and Instructor

Lisa Nelson served as Discoverypoint’s Director of Education for over 10 years, providing a solid foundation to the curriculum and fostering a strong culture of passion, presence, and empathy that remains at the heart of the School. She began her professional career in 1987 as Head Athletic Trainer at North Park College in Chicago, IL, where she also developed and implemented North Park’s initial Exercise Science major, which included an Athletic Training track. In 1990, Lisa joined the faculty at the Brenneke School of Massage and in 1991 became a Licensed Massage Practitioner, where she began to focus her professional efforts in the education of both students and teachers. In 1999, she transitioned from regular classroom teaching to serving as the Faculty Mentor at Brenneke. In this role she designed and implemented a formal faculty training and development program while she supported students through learning skills classes, individual tutoring, and academic counseling.

Lisa has spoken at numerous teaching conferences within the US, written several articles for vocational educators, and contributed to textbooks in sports medicine, sports massage, and muscle anatomy. Together with Pat Archer, Lisa completed a first edition of Applied Anatomy & Physiology for Manual Therapists in 2013, and a second edition in 2021 (published by Books of Discovery) — one of the textbooks used at Discoverypoint.

Now focusing on her company Updrafts Consulting, Lisa continues to serve a variety of vocational education communities as a teacher, curriculum consultant, administrator, and learning strategist.


Julie Ann Darrah, BA, LMT

Co-Owner and Director

Julie Ann Darrah worked in post-secondary vocational education for over 30 years. Beginning as a financial aid administrator at the Desert Institute of Healing Arts in Tucson, Arizona, Julie joined the staff at the Brenneke School of Massage in 1991 working briefly as the bookstore manager, then as the Director of Financial Aid. She enrolled in the massage program and became a Licensed Massage Practitioner in 1996. In 2000, she transitioned to become the Dean of Students at Brenneke, and soon began teaching Novice and Swedish massage classes, allowing her to share her contagious enthusiasm for massage and compassion for students at the beginning of their journey. She excelled in her many roles — administration, managing financials, compliance, student services, and teaching — even after Heida Brenneke sold her school to Cortiva Education, Inc. in 2005. Julie was thoroughly prepared to be a founding member and Administrative Director of the School for over 10 years, which she did with an abundance of joy and unforgettable laughter.