Married nearly 40 years to Elizabeth (Betsy), having been blessed with four adult children, six grandchildren.
Mark has been a manufacturers representative in decorative lighting accessories and home furnishings, running an agency for forty years. Mark’s wife Besty, along with two of their children, are very involved with the business, with the help of their very trusting assistant, Dawn.
Mark is a Past Master of Northside Lodge #283 F&AM (2002), and Past Monarch of Selama Grotto (2005). He is currently President of the Jokers of Selama Grotto whom participate in many parades, as well as Doctor of Smiles for Selama Grotto, which is a program where we provide dental work for children with special needs. This program is funded by the Humanitarian Foundation which is a Flagship charity of the Grottoes of North America and the Supreme Council. The dental program is mainly funded by sales of Enchanted Lanterns.
Mark has been appointed to various positions by Grand Masters of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida, which he has been extremely proud to accept. For 2008/2009, Mark has been selected by the incoming MW Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida, to represent the Most Worshipful Grand Master in district 21 for during the term.
What peaked my and my wife’s interest in Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments was that we have a grandchild who just turned nine years old and was not to live past his second birthday. He was having seizures every twenty seconds of his life. Nothing could help him. When Selama Grotto entered into HBOT was the third recipient of our first chamber. Within three weeks of starting HBOT, our grandson was off his feeding tube and today very rarely has a seizure. Nine years ago when we realized this, my wife and I decided at that time that this treatment could not be kept a secret anymore. After moving the one chamber that Selama Grotto C.P. Endowment, Inc. owned for more than a year and a half, with the help of fellow prophets, my wife and I decided that if we put the chamber in one location, we could possibly give six children a day for a period of six to eight weeks HBOT, Instead of six children per year. I brought this idea to the Board of Directors of Selama Grotto C.P. Endowment, Inc. They agreed.”
I was born in Los Angeles and as a child moved to St. Petersburg, where I attended school and was confirmed at Saint Andrews Lutheran Church.
I have one son, Mark Fowler III, 15 years old, and a fiancée of 11 years, Susan. I grew up in the Bay Area and held my claim to fame as a big BMX-Racer holding state and national awards. Growing up, my father would take 15+ kids all over the eastern side of the U.S. to various BMX racing events, and even won many awards including: cars, trailers, silver tray awards, and trophies that were taller then we could stand next to. He would take inner-city children and myself and travel to parts of the U.S that some of us would have otherwise never seen. He would take his own time to mentor all of us; it shows today, 25 years later, as most of the team still stay in touch.
My father has shown me how to lead a team, but most of all, how to listen to one. I have found myself teaching and listening to my own son and a group of children for the past 8 years, in competitive baseball year-round for optimist clubs in south Florida, growing as a team together winning 1st place and runner up, year after year. Some of them now have the opportunity to play for state champion high school teams, some of the best that Florida has to offer. This has been a passion that I can relate to that my father has instilled in me competitive with a sportsmanship-like conduct! I can see this through my own son, and I can imagine what my father had then seen in me.
Today, I run the family business which Mark Fowler Sr. had previously been in for forty years, as a Manufacturer Representative, for home furnishing. I was very fortunate to have been mentored by my father in this business, traveling the whole state and meeting all of his (and now my) close customers and friends. I grew up with my father’s office in the house and can remember as a child answering the office phones and using triple carbon paper order forms, not for orders but for three drawings in one go; this was before computers and faxes. I never imagined 25 years later that one day I would be running the very same family business.
12 years into working closely with my Father, he planned to retire from the business, and pursue another passion that he and my mother, Betsy Fowler, had been doing out of their home with some good volunteers, which is known as Chamber of Hope. This organization provides mild Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments for children. You can read more of how my father got involved with this and his passion for the Chamber of Hope in the “founder’s page”. As of 2011, they were able to move the chambers out of their home and into a Center now giving twice as many treatments, and still for free.
In August of 2011, my father was unfortunately diagnosed with a terminal disease. He succumbed December 2, 2011. This was a devastating blow to the whole family and to many in the community that relies on the Chamber of Hope for the free treatments. I was very instrumental with my parents and what they wanted in case something ever happened to one of them I would be there to help in any way. My father was an extraordinary person, to his family, business, and any one he came in contact with. He had explained to me what he wanted for his dream for the Chamber of Hope. He will gracefully live through all of us that he called his “aces”.
Rick has been an active Master Mason in Blue Lodge for 36 years, Scottish Rite for 35 years, Egypt Shrine for 35 yrs, and the Selama Grotto for 35 years.
He served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 6 years. Rick holds two Associate Degrees, 1 from SPJC in business management and 1 from HCC in postal management. He has held all offices in the local Grotto organization, including the office of President of the Florida State Grotto Association, and is currently serving as District Deputy for the Grand Monarch of the Grottoes of North America.
Rick is married with two adult children, and one granddaughter. He has been with the U.S. Postal Service for 38 years.
Ashley Epstein, Vice President
Ashley was born and raised in Los Angeles and moved to Clearwater in 2004. In 2006, her daughter was born and in 2008 she was diagnosed with Autism. It took a year to find any answers, but she found Mark Fowler and the Hyperbaric Center for Children. Ashley’s daughter is almost fully recovered thanks to Mark and over 150 hours of HBOT. Her husband, Matt, is a software engineer in Clearwater. Her daughter and family would not be where they are today without Mark, and because of this, Ashley is committed to giving all children the same opportunity she and her family were given.