An awards ceremony at the annual national convention of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), held in Raleigh, North Carolina, Oct. 3-6, honored massage therapists for their work with the association and in the larger massage community.

Among the recipients were Dianne Polseno, who received the Distinguished Service Award posthumously. Polseno “touched the lives of hundreds of students through her teaching, and in 2006 was awarded the AMTA Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year Award,” an AMTA press release noted.

AMTA President Cynthia Ribeiro announced a new award to honor excellence for a person’s body of massage therapy work focused specifically on the area of teaching and education. Because she was such an inspiration to educators, students and practitioners for such a long time, the award is established in the name of Dianne Polseno as the Dianne Polseno Lifetime Achievement Award.

Also honored at the ceremony:

• Chris Voltarel, who received the President’s Award. Voltarel has served on the AMTA National Chapter Relations Committee since 2001 and as its chair since 2003. She joined AMTA in 1993 and served as California Chapter President from 1998 to 2003. Since that time, she has served on at least 10 AMTA committees.

• David Lauterstein, Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year Award

• Riva Naimark, Mentor of the Year Award

• Bruce Spicer, Sports Massage Achiever Award

• Ed Connor, Humanitarian Award

• Maj-Lis Nash, Government Relations Activist Award

• Elaine Calenda, National Meritorious Award (posthumously)

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• Massage Therapist Receives Humanitarian of the Year Award