Today is Women’s Equality Day in the US. More than 100 years ago, in 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified, giving women the right to finally vote and have a say in their governments, and more importantly in their futures. This radical change was the beginning of the women’s rights movement. Women around the world are now able to own property, have their own say in their financial affairs, and own businesses, because of a decades-long fight by the women’s suffrage movement. Today, we pay respect to those brave women.
In honor of this day, it seemed like the perfect time to celebrate Mary K. Thomas, our fearless leader, and owner.
It was Mary’s love of horses that drew her to Ocala, FL in the early 1980s. Originally, she had set out to become a farm manager. But an unexpected opportunity presented itself when a friend of hers was injured and asked for help with her horses. It became clear that there was a need for staffing that was specific to the equine industry. And in 1982, on a shoestring budget, Equistaff was born. It was the first-ever equine exclusive staffing agency in the United States. Capitalizing on her connections in the industry, Mary was able to connect qualified job seekers to prospective employers, lifting the burden of staffing for hiring managers all over.
In 1985 the demand for general staffing in the Florida area was growing and Mary quickly realized that another opportunity was knocking at her door. Both businesses flourished in Florida’s stellar economic climate. With client satisfaction soaring and business growth continuing, it only made sense to expand. In 2010, Mary’s general staffing business officially became FastTrack Staffing. Fast forward to today where there are now 9 offices spread across two states. Equistaff has since branched out into a digital space as well, serving clients worldwide and even winning an innovation award in 2000.
Mary has been incredibly successful in her career and the building of her piece of the American dream. But during this rise, she never forgot to give back to the local communities that have supported her all these years. She has since founded the Florida Fun Mini Match, which is a Central Florida ballroom dance competition that benefits the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association. She has worked on Dancing with Doctors, another local charity event that has benefited organizations like the YMCA among others over the years. She also helps retired racehorses find new projects!
Enjoying the best of what Florida has to offer, Mary splits her time between the oceanside views of Atlantic Beach and the rolling hills of Ocala. When she is not mentoring or spinning across the dancefloor as an Amateur Ballroom Dancer, she can be found at the track supporting her racehorses. With a passion for helping businesses succeed by connecting them with high-quality talent, Mary has found the much-coveted sentiment of never working a day when you genuinely love what you do.