May 2018 President's Message

Published: May 12, 2018

It’s springtime in Massachusetts! It is my favorite season – it’s getting warmer, leaves are on the trees, flowers are coming up, and life is just renewing itself.

With all this new growth, I get to report the results of our elections. The results were announced at our Annual Meeting on April 8th.


Katie Adams has one year left in her term as a Board Member.

We had a great Annual Meeting. Here are our Chapter Award Winners.

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD - TONYA BROOKS-TAYLOR

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tonya has been a huge help to our Chapter this past year. Her skills with cvent have helped to make continuing education posted on our website and helps registration go so smoothly. We are also very happy to let you all know that Tonya was recently appointed as our new Membership & Volunteer Support Program Chair.

BOARD MEMBER RECOGNITION - GAIL DOBINSKI

“Some people focus attention at the core; other are moved to address symptoms. We need both to make change possible.”
~ Menachem Kniespeck

After many years of being an integral part of our Chapter, Gail is stepping away. She has helped on so many levels and in so many roles on the Board and in Committees. She has been a Delegate too. She does so much behind the scenes. She has become our historian and a primary communicator for us. We will miss her on the Board but, don’t worry, Gail, you will still be hearing from me!

MERITORIOUS AWARD - ROXANNE CUNNINGHAM

“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
~ Golda Meir

Roxanne let us know before she even graduated from massage school that she wanted to be active in the Chapter. She started as a Volunteer Support Program Chair (a position we created for her) and resigned from that position to be our new Financial Administrator (FA). Roxanne is already well respected at the National level and she is reaching out to be a top notch FA. We are so very happy she has joined us and I know the whole Chapter will benefit from her skills. Our mantra is that the reason the Chapter has funds is to help our members as best we can.

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD - BOB VINSON

“Our generation has the ability and the responsibility to make our ever-more connected world a more hopeful, stable and peaceful place.”
~ Natalie Portman

Katie Adams, who has worked for many years at the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC), while accompanied by other veteran PMC volunteers gave a great presentation for Bob who has been so instrumental in bringing massage therapy to the PMC for so many years. It is such a well deserved award.

PRESIDENT’S AWARD - EVERYONE GETS THIS ONE!

Yes, as your President, I get to choose who gets this award. With each name that came up for me, I realized that there were so many others equally deserving. So I want our members to know how many volunteers and staff from National we have who are so important to us.

Katie Adams – Board member. She helps on many levels. Her clear insights are so very important.
Nichole Cross – Secretary and now Board Member. A strong force within the Chapter and working hard to find ways in which we can reach out to members even more.
Gail Dobinski – Board Member and Membership Chair.
Debbie Baker – Education & Practitioner Development Chair. Former Meritorious Award winner.
Kristen Lutz - Communications Program Chair. Meritorious Award winner last year.
Karen Buck - Our Social Media Manager. Volunteer of the Year last year.
Roxanne Cunningham – Our new Financial Administrator and formerly the Volunteer & Support Development Program Chair
Tonya Taylor – New Membership & Volunteer Support Program Chair; our expert with cvent.
Jennifer Savage – Our brand new Elections Coordinator!
Patty Jaworski – Former Treasurer who is still there for us.
Charles Gaudette and Kelly Dalbec who are our Committee Chairs for the Dianne Polseno Scholarship and huge supports behind the scenes. Charles was our President’s Award winner last year.
Rishad Tillman – New volunteer
Brenda Thibault – Our new Secretary.
Christine Rose – Volunteering on different levels for us. A Delegate last year.
Cynthia Sykes – Delegate, contact for Best Buddies and more.
Solange Lopes – A new volunteer ready to help.
Gordon Pilotte – Such a calm and fantastic support on so many levels. He has been on many committees and is still someone we rely on.
Alan Jacobson – Played a strong role with CSMT and has been volunteering on different levels for years.
Sue Cormier- Previous Board member and covered as Financial Administrator when we really needed someone.
Deb Nugnes – Previous Law & Legislation Chair and Elections Coordinator for many years. She has resigned from both.
Merrill, Ernie, and so many others who help out Debbie at CE classes.

National Level

Mark Tyle - Senior Director, Volunteer Development and Chapter Programs
Dolly Wallace – National President March 2017-2018.
Colleen Leeders, Senior Resource Manager, Volunteer Development & Chapter Programs
Laura Sabransky, Senior Resource Manager, Volunteer Development & Chapter Programs
Chris Voltarel, Chapter Advancement Manager
James Specker, Government & Industry Relations Director
Robert Tock, Finance Controller

NE AMTA Chapter Presidents

Michael Colizza – former RI President and now a National Board Member
Debbie Kilty – New RI President
Becca Torns Barker – CT President (and just re-elected)
Laura Wakeford – Former NH President

And the many Committee Members in the other Chapters

And this is just a partial list of all the people who help us.

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What else happened at our Annual Meeting?

Paul Andrews, the Chair for the MA Massage Board filled us in on what they do at the Board level. He made it clear that the Board is there for us as massage therapists and they will do what they can to help us while maintaining strong standards.

He also talked about how using the online licensing is the way to go now. For those of you who have not yet made an account this link will help guide you through making an account for yourself. Click here for a 'how to'. 

Mark Molloy, our Lobbyist also spoke on many topics. He and our other Lobbyist Kim Sullivan Giese, are keeping a very close watch on any bills that could affect massage therapists. One of the areas in which they are keeping a particularly close watch is on the efforts from legislators to develop regulations for bodyworkers. There are many questions regarding regulating bodyworkers – what exactly is a bodyworker? Will regulations actually help with our efforts to end human trafficking? Would the bodyworkers join the current Massage Board?

He also presented about CBD and THC products being used by massage therapist. It is currently legal for LMTs to use CBD oils but not the THC oils. It will be legal for massage therapist to use these products but the Cannabis Commission first has to work through the legalization of marijuana in MA. When they are able to understand what happens when it becomes legal, they will address concerns such as LMTs using marijuana/THC products. They will look more closely at this in the fall. What are some of the questions? Will it be regulated the LMTs will need to wear gloves when using the products? Will banks accept money made from the use of THC products? What dosages can be accepted and how will you know? Can LMTs sell products with THC or will they only be allowed to use the personal products that clients bring them? We have later learned that Square and PayPal may not accept payments for THC/marijuana products! Where will it all lead? Please remember that marijuana is still federally illegal. Even when marijuana becomes legal in July, we strongly urge LMTs to not use THC/marijuana oils and lotions on there clients.

There has been some research with these products but even National AMTA has said they cannot make a statement regarding the use of marijuana products by LMTs because the research is just not there yet.

It is so very clear that our Lobbyists are fantastic and we are so very fortunate to have them working with us.

You can see it was a full meeting.

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The AMTA National Convention is in Washington DC this August. Click here for details.

The Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program (CVOP) is happening again this year. We are sending people to this most excellent Program. We will come up with all kinds of ways to help members.

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We have various continuing education opportunities ahead so stay tuned!

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OK, this has been a long and detailed letter! I didn’t even get to everything. Always feel free to contact me with any questions and/or concerns at greghurdlmt@gmail.com.

Thank you!