Dr. Tonya Butler is a US Army veteran who served in the United States Army Band for 6 years on active duty, then later in the US Army Reserves. After the military, she began her career as a personal trainer and strength and conditioning specialist. She opened a company called De Novo Fitness Systems in 1997, creating corporate wellness programs for GE Capital and Nortel Corporation, a personal training studio, and staffing multiple car dealerships with massage therapists.
After selling her company in 2007, Dr. Butler was hired as an Assistant Professor at Gainesville State College, later becoming the University of North Georgia. She taught courses in the Exercise Science program and in Recreation and Leisure Studies until 2014.
In 2007, Dr. Butler continued her education by attending the Georgia Medical Massage Institute in Winder, Ga., graduating with a certificate in Medical Massage Therapy and Advanced Trigger Point Therapy. She currently holds a license in both Georgia and Alabama for massage therapy.