June 15: The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, a non-profit organization for massage schools and educators, is pleased to announce that the first full Board of Directors was elected by members present at the Alliance’s inaugural conference just completed in Park City, Utah on June 3-5.

The Board of Directors, composed of seven members, is the Alliance’s policymaking body. Its Bylaws are constructed to ensure both quality and diversity among its volunteer leaders, with representation from schools, educators and continuing education providers, the three primary facets of massage therapy education. The organization’s Board Members and Officers for the upcoming year are:

• Pete Whitridge, President. He is a faculty member and former director of the Florida School of Massage, and former chair of the Florida Board of Massage Therapy. Pete lives in Fort Pierce, Florida.

• Iris Burman, Vice President. She is the founder and director of Educating Hands School of Massage in Miami, Florida, and co-author of TouchAbilities: Essential Connections. Iris lives in Miami Shores, Florida.

• Su Bibik, Treasurer. She is the founder and director of the Institute for Massage Education at the Kalamazoo Center for Healing Arts, and a former mathematics teacher. Su lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

• Mark Beck, Director. He is a veteran educator and author of Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage (5th Ed.). Mark lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he also devotes time to the area of restorative justice and peacemaking.

• Stan Dawson, DC, Director. He is the director of the ASHA School of Massage in Atlanta, Georgia. Stan is trained as a chiropractor, massage therapist and Ayurvedic physician and lives in Roswell, Georgia.
• Cherie Sohnen-Moe, Director. She is author of Business Mastery (4th Ed.), co-author of The Ethics of Touch, and director of Sohnen-Moe Associates in Tucson, Arizona. Cherie provides educational resources to massage schools and teachers nationwide.

• Ralph Stephens, Director. He is author of Seated Therapeutic Massage, former chair of the Iowa Board of Massage Therapy, and a continuing education provider who focuses on medical and clinical applications of massage therapy. Ralph lives in Coralville, Iowa.

This election is an important milestone in the evolution of the Alliance. It represents a transition from the six-member Leadership Team who came together a year ago to launch the organization – to a fully-elected Board of Directors. Four of these Leadership Team members (Bibik, Burman, Dawson and Whitridge) were chosen by members to serve on the new Board, which will provide needed continuity for the organization. They are joined by three educators and authors (Beck, Sohnen-Moe and Stephens) who are highly respected in the field.

There are two Leadership Team members who will not serve on the new Board, but who will maintain key roles with the Alliance: Eugenie Newton will be the Editor of the Journal of Massage Therapy Education, which is currently under development. She is the former executive director of the International Professional School of Bodywork in San Diego, California. Rick Rosen will continue to serve as the Alliance’s executive director. He is also the founder and co-director of the Body Therapy Institute in Siler City, North Carolina.

In addition to the election for the Board of Directors, Alliance members chose the three-person Nominating Committee that will be responsible for providing a slate of candidates for next year’s Board election. The Committee is comprised of Debra Curties, executive director of the Sutherland-Chan School & Teaching Clinic in Toronto, Ontario; Joe Lubow, director of the Sarasota School of Massage Therapy in Sarasota, Florida; and Susan Beck, director of the Massage Therapy Program at Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho.

The day-to-day operations of the organization are handled by Coulter Nonprofit Management, which is based in McLean, Virginia. Shane Robinson is managing director for the Alliance; he coordinates the activities of Coulter staff who ensure a high level of customer service and responsiveness.

About the Alliance: The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education is the voice, advocate and resource for the community of massage therapy schools and educators. It serves the entire education sector from entry-level training programs through post-graduate studies. The National Headquarters of the Alliance is located at 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, Virginia 22102. The phone number is 703-506-2888, and the general office email address is admin@afmte.org.