About Us - Meet the Team!

Massage Therapists:

Trissa Pearson, LMT, Owner

Trissa founded Morning Sun Massage & Spa in 2016, fulfilling her dream of passing on the power of massage to others.

Modalities: Deep Tissue, Swedish, and Hot Stone

Massage philosophy: I believe in massage’s power to heal and fulfill the basic need for human touch. It relieves aches and pains, lessens symptoms of anxiety and depression, and many more benefits too long to list. Helping others reestablish balance in their lives brings me great satisfaction. In a massage with me, you can expect me to talk with you before your session to ensure I provide the massage you want and that your body needs.

How I got started: I grew up on an Iowa farm, just down the gravel road from my grandparents, where I spent a lot of time as a child. My first experience with massage was my grandma telling me stories while her fingers were massaging my face to the tune of her story. Even as a very young child, I could feel the healing and love her touch provided.

I returned home to Iowa and settled in North Liberty. I studied at Carlson College of Massage Therapy, received my Iowa licensure, and began to pass the power of healing touch to my clients.

In my free time: I have two children and two granddaughters and a grandson who light up my life. My eleven-year-old granddaughter loves massage, and every time I see her she’s ready to hop on the table for me. Seeing her joy makes me smile and think of my grandma, as the cycle begins again.

Victoria Gress, LMT

Victoria joined Morning Sun in April 2018.

Modalities: Energy massage, deep tissue, zero balancing, cupping and Thai table massage.

Training: I studied massage at Windermere in Decorah, Iowa, and received an Eastern Healing Arts certificate in 1999.

Areas of Study: Tuina (Chinese Medical massage), shiatsu, QiGong, Thai massage, aromatherapy, Reiki Master-Teacher, Tumo Energy training, Swedish, and deep tissue.

My motto in practice: “Massage is about taking the time to have a very private and deep conversation with your body and your soul. It’s about choosing to drop the distractions and listen to your oldest and dearest friend—your Self. My goal as a therapist is to assist you in this process.”

In my free time: Take me outside to play! Biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and gardening. Spending time with my kids and grandson rank highest in interests as well.

Deanna Amick, LMT

Modalities: Swedish, Hot Stone, Deep Tissue

Training: I graduated from Carlson College of Massage Therapy in 2017.

How I got started: I was looking for a career that I felt passionate about in which I could help others. I also wanted to find something I would really enjoy. Having personally experienced the healing benefits of massage, this seemed like the career for me. Not only am I able to help people relax and relieve some stress in their lives, but I can also work on troubled spots where muscles are particularly tight. I have found this to be such a rewarding career.

In my free time: I enjoy spending time with my family, socializing with friends, spending time on the water, listening to music, dancing, going to movies, and trying out new restaurants.

Allison Leer, LMT

Modalities: Swedish, Sports, Prenatal, Hot Stone, and Cupping.

Education: Graduated Carlson College of Massage, 2017.

How I got started: I’ve always wanted to help people, and after my first massage knew this is how I wanted to be of service to others.

In my free time: I spend my time cuddling my dogs, cat, and daughter. Hiking is always a great way to spend time as well!

Azza Malik, LMT

Azza joined Morning Sun in March 2021

Modalities: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Hot Stone, and Trigger Point Therapy.

Education: PCI Academy, Iowa City.

How I got started: I’ve always had an interest in massage therapy, and wholeheartedly believe in its healing capabilities.

In my free time: I enjoy exercising, listening to music, artwork, traveling, fine dining, watching movies and shows, to just name a few.

Lili Dalton, LMT, LE

Lili joined Morning Sun in November 2020

Modalities: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Infant massage, and Reflexology. Lili is also able to perform Craniosacral Therapy.

Education: La James College of Iowa City.

How I got started: I’ve been a massage therapist for over 16 years. I have always had a passion for helping and giving to others, and the gift of massage therapy allows me to share my love of caring for people with each of my clients.

In my free time: I enjoy spending as much time as possible with my children. I love yoga and all things health related, and I always enjoy learning new things and continuing my education.

Bonus: Lili is also an esthetician in specialized facial treatments, which means that she can make your face radiant and your skin glow! Book her for a facial today!

Melissa Gansemer, LMT

Melissa joined Morning Sun in April 2022

Modalities: Deep tissue, Swedish, hot stone, prenatal, cupping, and dry brushing. 

Education: Capri College, 2015 graduate. 

How I got started: I was seeking a line of work that would allow me to help others, but needed the right fit. Massage stood out to me. I could help people and complete my education faster than other options I considered. With two kids under age 4 at home, timing was important. I've been a massage therapist for 7 years now, and I have truly found my passion!

In my free time: I have four kids and we are a very close family. We love to go swimming in summer, and you can find me quilting in my spare time.

Caitlin Jones, LMT

Caitlin joined Morning Sun in August 2022.

Modalities: Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, myofascial release, neuromuscular, trigger point, cupping, hot stone, sports, lymphatic drainage, and full-body stretching. 

Education: Carlson School of Massage Therapy, Anamosa, IA 

How I got started: I’ve always been interested in healing others. For a while, I thought I might go into nursing or some other form of hospital setting, but my true passion is with body work and massage therapy.

In my free time: I volunteer at SAINT animal rescue in Ely, read, write, and enjoy anything crafty. I spend as much time in nature as possible, and love movies and music.

Joni Stidham, LMT

Joni joined Morning Sun in September 2022.

Modalities: Swedish massage, Lomi-Lomi (traditional Hawaiian massage), Deep Tissue, and Parasympathetic (which helps lower blood pressure). 

Education: The International College of Holistic Studies, San Diego, CA. 

How I got started: I’ve always been a healer, and I loved essential oils when I was a kid. I've been on a path of self-discovery my whole life, and decided to go into a field that revolved around what I loved: helping people.

In my free time: I'm pretty active. I like hiking and mountain biking, and working out in general. When it's time to relax, I hang out with my dog and cat.

Estheticians

Marie Etten, Licensed Esthetician

Marie joined Morning Sun in 2017 as the spa’s first esthetician.

Services: Specialized facials, microdermabrasion, sugaring, and body treatments. I specialize in Brazilian sugars, sugaring, and treating problematic skin.

Education and experience: I’m a graduate of Capri College in Cedar Rapids, where I focused on esthetics.

How I got started: I started my career in personal care as a massage therapist 13 years ago, wanting to help and heal through massage. I decided to transition into skin care to help people not just feel amazing, but look great, too.

In my free time: I like anything outdoors—my family likes to fish, dance, and listen to music. I’m also interested in continuing education in esthetics and learning new techniques and treatments.

Madison Williamson, Licensed Esthetician

Madison joined Morning Sun in 2022 as our second esthetician.

Services: Custom blend facials, microdermabrasion, waxing, lash lift and tint, and brow lamination and tint.

Education and experience: I’m a graduate of the PCI Academy Esthetics program.

How I got started: I have always loved to help others so I started out in the medical field. I enjoyed taking care of others but I wanted to do it in a more positive way so I chose esthetics.

In my free time: I love to do nails, especially nail art. I like to read books and spend time with my family.