Evanston, IL (Dec. 9) – The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce it has hired Shelly Johnson as the new executive director for both AMTA and the Massage Therapy Foundation. Johnson has been AMTA deputy director for more than eight years and has served as interim executive director since August 2010.

“After we examined the current and future needs of the association,” says AMTA President Kathleen Miller-Read, “it became clear to our board that Shelly Johnson was the best candidate for executive director. We feel she will bring a unique balance of professionalism, practicality and appreciation for the needs of our membership to the position.”

While at AMTA, Johnson developed a strategic and operational planning approach enabling the organization to respond to its changing environment. This included a new strategic planning process, a research program rooted in data gathering, and a staff planning process focused on annual plans and budgets to more effectively support the association’s strategic direction. At the heart of her AMTA work has been fostering a membership program that delivers high value and customer service to AMTA members.

Shelly has worked with associations for 22 years, including the American Society for Quality. She also was previously executive director for the American Society of Neuroscience Nurses, the American Board of Neuroscience Nursing, the Neuroscience Nursing Foundation and the American Society for Healthcare Materials Management of the American Hospital Association.

The American Massage Therapy Association is the largest nonprofit, professional association for massage therapists in North America with more than 56,000 massage therapist and massage school members. The association is directed by elected, volunteer leadership and fosters ongoing, direct member-involvement through its 51 chapters. AMTA works to advance the profession through ethics and standards, the promotion of fair and consistent licensing of massage therapists in all states, and public education on the benefits of massage.