Leading the team is Australian-born businessman, Mick Bates – Founder and President of PRAXIS, as well as CEO of BODYWORKS. In 1991, after receiving his Bachelors of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) degree from Curtin University of Technology, in Perth, Australia, he came to the U.S. on an 18-month traveling physical therapy assignment. As the son of a two-generation mining family, he felt right at home when his extended commitment brought him to West Virginia in 1995 – so he never left.
Support from his talented team of Directors and employees enables him to also serve as: BODYWORKS’ Readiness Work Evaluator and Case Manager; a Work and Safety Rehabilitation Consultant for local businesses; and an Instructor for the WV Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, WV University, Wheeling Jesuit University. As a Mountain State University instructor for their 2010 and 2011 Physical Therapy Assistant Program, he taught and inspired many of his students.
Mick’s commitment to a healthier WV extends beyond BODYWORKS’ clients and members. Often drafted as a leader, he has initiated and participated in many community organizations and events. His contributions have been acknowledged by West Virginia Executive Magazine, who honored him with a Young Gun Award in 2005 and the West Virginia State Journal, who celebrated him as a Generation Next Honoree in 2006.
In 2014 Mick was elected to represent Beckley in West Virginia’s House of Delegates and earned re-election in 2016. Mick’s service as Beckley’s representative is a testament to his belief in and dedication to a better tomorrow. He continues to play an active role in issues that are important to West Virginia, his local community, and the healthcare field.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
- On Coming To WV: “Born into a two-generation mining family in Australia, I felt a sense of ‘coming home’ when I arrived in Beckley for a 3-month assignment in 1994 after working for several years in 5 midwestern states.”
- On Family: “I count my Wife, Pam (also a Physical Therapist), son, Callan, and daughters, Mikeal, Clare, and Allison, and my parents among my greatest blessings; they keep me grounded.”
- On His Business: “My desire to become a Physical Therapist grew out of wanting to be of service. After 25 years as a PT, I have a true understanding of the effect that pain and disease have on an individual, their loved ones, their employer, and their community. My employees and I want to reduce and prevent that kind of pain… and its ripple effect.”
- On Becoming A U.S. Citizen: “This wasn’t something I had to do – it’s something I wanted to do. We could live anywhere in the world and we choose to live here. I never plan on going home. I am home.”
- On Serving The Community: “WV has given me so much – my wife, my business, and my community. In appreciation, I want to give something back. And, while I could give money, that’s really not enough; so I am contributing my energy and my time. I believe in WV – its people and its future. I want to help make WV an even better place.”
- Currently Working On: “In addition to growing my business, serving the community, and raising a family, I’m working on developing a network of 24 hour fitness centers in rural WV.”