Golden, Colo., April 28) – Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) was named Association of the Year April 25 at the 2009 World Massage Festival held in New Braunfels, Texas. Festival founder Mike Hinkle presented the award to ABMP President Les Sweeney at an awards ceremony.

“ABMP has become the membership leader, but its online video magazine and member services are by far the best in the profession,” Hinkle said. He cited “contributions to the profession, creativity, leadership, and commitment” as elements in honoring ABMP at the event. Hinkle is the former owner of Pensacola Massage Center in Pensacola, Fla.

“We are deeply appreciative of this recognition from our peers,” Sweeney said. “We work hard to provide meaningful value to our members and the profession.”

The festival is in its third year and reaches out to massage therapists, educators, profession leaders and the general public in supporting massage practice and education. The festival helps therapists network with each other, massage business suppliers, schools and professional associations.

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Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals is a professional membership association serving the massage therapy profession by promoting ethical practice, fostering acceptance of the profession and protecting the rights of legitimate massage and bodywork practitioners. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Golden, Colo., ABMP is the largest massage membership association in the United States with more than 67,000 members.