2020 has been a historic year of adaptation, change, and perseverance. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the AMTA National Convention that was to take place in Phoenix, Arizona in August was cancelled out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of all involved in putting on our yearly display of professionalism, education, and vision. This cancellation, however, did not derail the Assembly of Delegates (AOD) from holding a virtual conference in September. Sarah Ernst-Edwards and Christopher Jones had the privilege and honor of representing the Massachusetts chapter of the AMTA at this meeting.
In any other year, the AOD would be tasked with evaluating a number of Position Statements and potentially recommending one or more of them to the AMTA National Board for review. These statements, if accepted, become part of our professional and public mission. This year the focus of the conversation was an introspective discussion topic from the AMTA Governance Committee.
Proposed Discussion Topic: What do you think you needed to know that you didn’t coming in to your AMTA various volunteer position(s)?
The importance of this question is vital to the AMTA as a whole. Distilled to its core, the question pertains to cultivating leadership. One of the areas the Governance Committee is evaluating is whether or not the current level of leadership training should be expanded, and to what depth and breadth that training should encompass within the group of volunteers at the national and state levels.
Immediately, aided by AMTA’s Volunteer HUB discussion board, Delegates from around the country began collaborating to formulate the very ideas and follow-up questions that would serve as the backbone of the virtual AOD meeting. A summary document of subtopics was created out of these discussions to be used during the breakout sessions.
Summaries from each breakout group discussion were read to the group as a whole and recorded to draft a final summary document. Some groups focused on ranking the importance of different types of leadership training, some offered suggestions for specific topics, and others focused on which volunteer positions may benefit most from additional trainings. No two breakout groups approached the topic in quite the same way, which produced a thoughtful and encompassing conversation. The final summary document will now go to AMTA’s Governance Committee where they will determine the role the Chapter Relations Committee will have in volunteer training.
This first-of-its-kind virtual AOD meeting was attended by 70 Delegates. Your Massachusetts delegates, Sarah Ernst-Edwards and Christopher Jones, are thankful to have been chosen by you to represent our state at such a monumental and novel event. With this success of this meeting we can now say that no matter the circumstance, the AOD can and will continue to work hard for the advancement of the massage therapy profession.