National Convention

2019 AMTA National Convention Board Reports
October 24-26, 2019

Indianapolis, IN

Nancy Specian, AMTA CO Chapter Secretary 
2019 AMTA National Convention – Washington DC 
Post-Convention Report 
October 29, 2019 
Chapter Presidents Council and Awards 
Attended Chapter Leadership Training 10/23/19:   
Presentation was mainly given by Chapter Volunteers (one from AL).  They talked about their experiences of relationship  building in their Chapters. Valuable information I took in included: 
Feelings are important, useful and appreciated. We had the chance to mingle, and talk with other Chapters at our table. 
Taking care of each other. We are all part of a team.  
Ask questions of volunteers and be respectful.  
Be willing to make mistakes.  
Check in with others and our Chapter.  Careful not to create an “us vs them” environment.  
Always keep an open door open. Keep growing.  Look for fun and humor.  
Personal Assessment:  As part of the Colorado Chapter, my perception is that we do all these activities and work very well as a team.  
Opening Session: Robyn Benincasa  
Inspiring and motivational, high energy speaker.  
Inspired me to be a leader, take risks, be part of a team.  
Humorous and fun to listen to. 
Christopher Deery, President AMTA 
Take-Aways: This is our time and “The time is now”.  
Work Smarter, Not Harder: What I do Instead of Deep Tissue Massage – Jessica Van Antwerp 
I was disappointed with this workshop. The description did not state that Qi kong was the way 
to this Boulder, CO speaker worked smarter.  In my opinion, the workshop’s description need to  
thoroughly edited to reflect more accurately what the workshop is about, particularly for an  
advanced massage therapist.  
President’s Reception – Chanda Hillman Award. 
Colorado’s own Chanda Hillman received this award for the Chanda Plan Foundation for Persons with Physical Disabilities.  I was inspired by her core beliefs, and courage,  
encourage others and overcome roadblocks.  I thought the phrase used by the President, We thinking” was applicable to our Colorado Chapter.  
Applying Kinesiology & Biomechanics in Massage Therapy – Whitney Lowe 
I always get much out of Whitney’s workshops. He is a skilled, organized, and professional speaker and  
leader.  This workshop could have been a full day and it was a refresher for the clinical work I do.  
Business Ethics for Massage Therapists: Kelly Bowers 
Kelly made this workshop fun with her humor. Her examples made me think about my fees. 
Final Thoughts: 
Our Colorado Chapter had their Chapter dinner With Colorado Award winner Chandra. It was a special event.  
Talking with exhibitors and their new products is always interesting. I was disappointed to see less vendors, more franchises, and schools and less products.   
It was a fun time to network, meet new colleagues and hang with my Chapter members Lots of laughter. The Colorado Chapter has a great culture of team, leadership, fun and education.  
Would love to see if AMTA could contract with a venue that is more temperature friendly. An idea would be having  the Convention in the Spring or Fall.  The courses are disappointing.  There is not enough description to tell if a course is a beginner, intermediate, or advanced.  There are several solutions which I have put in my survey.  


Because this is my first national convention, and first time serving on the Colorado BOD, I was
nominated to attend Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program (CVOP) for several days of training before
the National Convention. What a great opportunity to hone leadership skills, learn how to navigate the
Hub (the volunteer portal where chapter volunteers can connect and share resources and ideas), and
network with other chapters of AMTA. New friendships were formed, and we exchanged ideas for growth, as well as our chapter pins!
As for the convention, I was so impressed with speakers Robyn Benincasaan adventure racer in
several Eco Challenges, and Melissa Stockwell, the veteran/Paralympian/triathlete/Ironman
participant, both of whom overcame life-changing medical adversities and have gone on to inspire. I
also learned what a “nappucino” is, courtesy of speaker David Pink, something I’m going to have to try
I attended a fascinating research class on the effects of Swedish massage on general anxiety disorder, a
hands-on technique course, Shiatsu for Migraines, and an orthopedic assessments class with the
fabulous Whitney Lowe. The last evening’s dinner dance was a ton of fun, with everyone boogying
hard to some great 80’s music. I am grateful for the opportunity to attend, and to incorporate what
I’ve learned into my practice and my Board service.
With gratitude,
Bekka Lambert, Board Member #2 (Membership)

I finally had the opportunity to sit in on the full AoD meeting this year and I found it engaging. It was good to hear such lively conversations and debates throughout the massage community. I attended many classes and was particularly struck at the teaching style of a Colorado instructor, Jessica Antwerp. It was my first time meeting her but we have maintained contact and I am hoping to have her present her courses at one of our Spring or Fall events in the next few years.
There were several courses which were repeat courses from years prior and that was very disappointing. I have approached our National Board about the possibility of not have repeat courses at the future conventions and am hoping to find a way to work with them to see some different classes come to the 2020 and 2021 National Convention.
Troy Lavigne
CO AMTA Board Member #1

I was privileged to attend the AMTA 2019 National Convention held in Indianapolis this past month, as the Colorado Chapter GR representative.  I had the best time meeting new and old AMTA Membersacquaintances and instructors that I’ve taken classes
I was able to arrive the day before the convention and was able to check out the City for its sites and History.  I visited the NCAA Hall of Champions being a sport’s minded individual, with fellow AMTA
members. Ivisited the Stadium and Statue of Payton Manning.  Being a Auto racing fan was able to visit the historic “Brick Yard” Indianapolis Motor Speedway and “Kiss the Bricks”. During the Convention sessions they brought in several motivational speakers.  One was Robin Benincasawhom is an Adventure Sports athlete.  What an awe inspiring individual. During another opening session were blessed with a Military Veteran Officer, Melissa Stockwell, whom was involved in an IED attack during a mission in the Gulf War. Where she lost her leg, with the courage to go on she became an Olympic Athlete, What a takeaway for me for those folks to persevere and go on with the courage and fortitude, so all inspiring for me.  What a treat,I was asked and volunteered to attend the Assembly of Delegates (AOD) session with fellow ChapterPresident Tami Schumacher and Deborah Bruce, Chapter Delegate as the other Colorado ChapterDelegate.  This Assembly is where Ideas are presented where fellow AMTA Members hear and allowedto ask questions and voice their options on the position statements. This year’s statement was that ofOn-line learning for massage therapy class that are not hands on be supported by the AMTA.  TheStatement was not voted for approval to be sent to National.
There were 2 other discussions, 1 of which, the discussion about the language we use in the industry
of health care providers and the other being those having advanced skills in our profession.
I also had the opportunity to attend several classes this year. The approach I took this year was to take
classes that helped me with preserving my business and my body so to speak by taking self-help
classes.  They were very helpful and had many takeaways that I can and will incorporate in my
professional practice and career.
Overall this was one of the best AMTA events that I’ve been blessed to be allowed by the National and
Colorado Chapter representing us and myself.
Thank you AMTA Volunteers & Members
David A. Gray, LMT
AMTA Colorado Chapter-Government Relations Chair
2019 AMTA Delegate

AMTA delegate report convention 2019 
In Indianapolis I had the best time at this convention.  There were motivational speakers featured in the two mornings that they had a general session.  Robin Benincasa spoke of Adventure Racing, more grueling than other races.  The situations she was in required her to find courage to go on.  She quotes, “Courage shows up after your strength is gone!”.  She was a very animated speaker and I was inspired! 
The next morning Melissa Stockwell showed us that losing a leg in Iraq propelled her to become an 
Olympic athlete and a competitor in the Ironman race.  She joked that her car was full of legs, one for 
bike riding and others for running.  She too exemplified courage and spoke with grace and humor.  
These keynote speakers contributed a terrific inspiring start to the day’s classes. 
My experience in the Assembly of Delegates was great again in my second year.  I really enjoyed the 
discussions we had at our round tables in small groups.  Then the microphones were open for 
comments and many people spoke up and contributed to the understanding of all of us.  There are 
many points of view and this Assembly is truly a place where you have a voice that others are eager to 
hear.  This is where we speak to the National Board and to each other.  This is where your delegates 
can bring your ideas and concerns to be heard.  The proffered idea for a position statement that online 
learning for massage therapy classes that are not hands-on, be supported by the AMTA.  This idea was 
not voted to be accepted to be sent to the National Board.  The two discussions were useful about the 
language we use to communicate to other health providers and how do we show that we have 
advanced skills to the public and other healthcare professionals.  
There was a closing session with the speakers Daniel Pink, an expert on the science of timing. Then 
Retired Colonel Bruce Schoneboom, Associate Dean at John Hopkins Health System, involved in 
promoting massage to government levels as an alternative to opioids, spoke on how the time is now 
for massage therapy.  Finally, Nicole Hemingway, Vice President of the U.S. Pain Foundation, spoke of 
all the work being done to shift people to massage for pain instead of opioids.  
I liked my classes and teachers this year especially well and enjoyed the camaraderie of being 
surrounded by warm-hearted therapists and teachers.  I felt the lack as soon as I left for the airport!  
Deborah Bruce, 2019 delegate.  

74th AMTA National Convention

Pasadena, CA

September 13-16, 2017

The 74th National Convention for AMTA was held this past September in Pasadena, California. What a great experience your Colorado Board and Delegates has had here in Pasadena, we wanted to share with you some of our experiences and memories of our experiences with this past National Convention.

Our Convention experience started with the Leadership Training for the board members and delegates of all chapter leaders. WOW can’t believe we’ve been an association for the past 74 years…..2018 here we come for our 75th Anniversary in Washington DC. WOW AMTA has grown over 78,000 members, that’s an increase of 23,000 members in the past 5 years. AMTA is healthy and growing. Now that’s an amazing association.

“AMTA is the most respected resource in massage.”

Our Colorado Delegates (from left to right Andrew Kissick, Nikki Schmidt, Deborah Hatch, Hailey Strampel and Byron Thomas) attended the last House of Delegate (HOD) meeting, which will transition into the Assembly of Delegates going forward.   The HOD passed the Position Statement on “Massage Therapy can provide Significant Benefit as a Component of Integrative Health Care.” They also passed the Indiana Recommendation which suggested that chapters should receive financial support for all levels of membership including students; which has not been the case in the past.

Opening Ceremony was a foot stomping, hand clapping, dancing on your chair, love fest with Shaun T on stage spreading energy and love throughout the entire membership! His message was of SELF CARE….

You can’t give on Empty –Empower your Wellness

“If you feel good, it’s the best currency you can give others.”

Our very own Deb Hatch received her Meritorious award from the current National President Dolly Wallace. We are very proud to have a great member receive this award! Colorado President Tami Schumacher got to meet and take a picture with AMTA Executive Director Bill Brown and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Flom.

“Happiness is the joy of living towards what makes your pleasure.”Check out Shawn Achor Book: “The Happiness Advantage”

Convention Closing Session was on the Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. Shawn was truly inspirational about what role happiness plays in our lives. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your clients. Social connections and Relationships are the greatest start to happiness. He was a great presenter and kept the whole group engaged and laughing, a good reminder about the connection between having satisfying work and being happy. Of course, National Convention ended with the dinner and dance and your Colorado Chapter made sure to end Convention on the dance floor showing their enthusiasm for life.

It was a fabulous week. We hope to see you next year at the 75th Anniversary National Convention in Washington D.C. on August 9-11, 2018. We hope to see you there!

Some comments from our Chapter Board and Delegates:

Deb Hatch……It was an amazing week connecting with old friends from across the country and making new ones! One highlight was the Pediatric Massage with Tina Allen. Tina is engaging, sincere, energetic and has wonderful information to share. She totally renewed my interest in pediatric and infant massage AND offers the support to champion these programs in local hospitals! So looking forward to her course at our Spring State Convention, I’ll be one of the first to sign up and highly recommend it to anyone interested, you’ll be happy you did!!

Troy Lavigne…During the National Convention in Pasadena this year I was very impressed by the many chapters I was able to make profound connections with. So many of the chapter boards are filled with passion for the volunteering that they are offering. Their passion has reaffirmed once more that the volunteering we offer our members is so important. I want to thank you all for placing your trust in me as your education chair and hope to continue to offer great courses in the future. I look forward to seeing you all at our SPRING 2018 CONVENTION!!!!!

Nancy Specian……It was a fun time to network, meet new colleagues and hang with my Chapter with lots of laughter.

Byron Thomas….. Our Colorado chapter meet and greet was a great time spent together discussing and hearing each other’s stories of how we got into massage. Definitely one of my favorite moments of the trip.

Save the date for the AMTA 2016 National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 26–29, 2016!  Join us for networking, quality education and products to help your practice succeed in the Exhibit Hall.

Stay tuned for details!