New Chair, Board Members and CEO Will Guide Realignment of Industry’s Certification Body

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois (January 20, 2009) – On January 1, Neal Delaporta, LMT, NCTMB, ascended to Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB), announcing the start of a new era of leadership for the massage and bodywork industry’s certification body.
Having served as Chair-Elect for the previous two years, Delaporta replaces Donna Feeley, whose two-year term expired at the end of 2008. “Donna Feeley’s stewardship as NCBTMB Chair was a tireless endeavor during an unprecedented period of transition for the organization,” stated Delaporta. “The Board and certificant population thank her for her leadership.”
An honors graduate of the National Holistic Institute in California, Delaporta passed the National Certification Exam in 2000 and established a private practice as a massage therapist and holistic health educator in Connecticut. He has served as a faculty member at the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy and is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association’s Connecticut Chapter, frequent facilitator of massage therapy workshops/seminars and author of T.O.P (Therapeutic Optimal Performance) Massage: A Sports-Based Protocol Designed For All Active People. His private practice includes sports, rehabilitative and spa modalities, as well as such traditional healing practices as aromatherapy and ear candling.
While preparing and presenting adult education courses in his local community, Delaporta was invited to join NCBTMB’s Continuing Education Panel in 2001. In 2005, he accepted an appointment as Chair of the Continuing Education/Recertification Committee.
A resident of Danbury, Connecticut, Delaporta is a retired state agency police officer with experience in all facets of law enforcement.
As Chair, Delaporta will lead the nine-member NCBTMB Board of Directors, providing supervision and direction to the affairs of the national certification body, including its programs, committees, publications and examinations. The Board will also oversee any revisions to NCBTMB policies and procedures. Delaporta is joined by Christy Schumacher and Susan Toscano, recently elected by a vote of NCBTMB’s certificants to replace outgoing Board members Feeley and Sue Kozisek.

Christy Schumacher, NCTMB, has a strong background in both alternative medicine and academic medical research. Most recently, she worked as an intern for Survivors of Torture International, where she developed a massage integration program, and as a clinical team member for ShaktiRising, a center for young women in recovery.

The San Diego resident also is an active volunteer with such organizations as the Center for Community Solutions, California Youth Crisis Line and Creative Living Solutions.

Schumacher received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, in 2007. While there, she designed an academic program to study the current view of massage therapy in American healthcare and conducted extensive research on this subject. Shumacher also earned a diploma from the School of Healing Arts in 2004.
“One of my highest priorities is to encourage a further increase in publication of peer-reviewed massage research in mainstream medical literature,” Schumacher said. “I believe that massage therapy can make an extraordinarily valuable contribution to the healthcare system of the 21st century.”

Susan Toscano, NCTMB, has a long history of supporting and serving NCBTMB. She was first elected to the Board of Directors in 1997, named Treasurer from 1998 to 1999 and held the position of Chair from 2000 to 2001. In addition, Toscano was a member of NCBTMB’s Strategic Planning Committee from 1999 to 2001 and served as a School Outreach Coordinator from 2001 to 2002.

A resident of Groton, Connecticut, Toscano also served as Chair of the Membership Committee of the American Massage Therapy Association Council of Schools and currently is an On-site Team Evaluator for the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.

“I want to focus on working more closely with schools across the nation,” Toscano said. “It’s important that administrators and directors understand that national certification is a program with causes and purposes that go far beyond the basic provision of a license. It is designed to unite all massage educators, students, practitioners and CE providers with common goals, a code of ethics and standards of practice. This will make us more effective in our ability to prepare aspiring – and practicing – massage therapists to provide knowledge-based healing touch.”
Toscano earned a bachelor’s degree from Norwich University and a diploma from the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy.
“The two new Directors bring a tremendous amount of energy and real-world experience to the Board – Christy in academic research and Susan in massage education,” said Delaporta. “I’m confident they’ll greatly assist our efforts to better understand and respond to the needs of those in the massage therapy and bodywork community.”
With Delaporta at the helm, the Board will conduct a realignment of NCBTMB to address recent changes in the competitive, political and regulatory landscape of massage certification and licensure.
“We are implementing changes throughout the organization, from the top down, to enhance our level of customer service to certificants, educators, schools and state boards,” said Delaporta. “We are committed to ensuring that NCB continues to provide the unparalleled quality examination and certification process that has been its hallmark for over 16 years.”
Steadfast to their promise of a new vision, a new direction and an organization driven to serve its constituents and advance the professionalism of massage and bodywork practitioners, Delaporta and the Board have selected Paul R. Lindamood to serve as NCBTMB’s new Chief Executive Officer.
With more than 20 years of executive-level experience, Lindamood has devoted his career to positioning, directing and promoting associations, professional firms, healthcare organizations, businesses and non-profits. In fact, it was in this capacity that he first began working with NCBTMB, directing the organization’s communications, public relations, media and re-branding strategies for the past two years.
Lindamood comes to NCBTMB from one of the Midwest’s most respected business solutions and marketing firms, bringing with him a strong background in operations, communications, promotion, recruitment, budgeting and finance, culture building and service excellence.
He has worked with a wide-range of healthcare and non-profit organizations and led successful branding, fundraising, recruitment and consumer awareness initiatives for American Red Cross, United Way, International Association of Business Communicators, Jobs for Graduates, Leukemia Society of America, March of Dimes, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, City of Hope, Hospice, Junior Achievement, Small Business Administration, Building Bridges, Suicide Prevention, United Cerebral Palsy and many others.
“Paul Lindamood is a dynamic, engaged and motivational leader with the rare ability to solve problems by seeing the global scope, while remaining focused on individual issues,” Delaporta said. “He has an excellent grasp of the importance of integrating the many attributes necessary to create measurable growth.”
“It’s a new day at NCBTMB,” stated Lindamood. “While we celebrate the successes of the past, we also recognize that the status quo demands that we make improvements in a number of areas. By listening to our stakeholders and responding with service improvements to address their needs, we are committed to making NCBTMB a customer-first organization.” 
“The Board of Directors and the administrative staff led by Paul will be working in lock step to raise the caliber of NCBTMB’s work, and to provide more extensive support for our profession and its practitioners,” stated Delaporta. “To borrow a line from our new President: the time for change is now.”
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) was established in 1992 as an independent, private, nonprofit organization fostering the highest standards of ethical and professional practice in the delivery of therapeutic massage and bodywork through a recognized credentialing program. NCBTMB examinations are currently accepted or recognized in statute or rule by 33 states plus the District of Columbia. There are currently more than 91,000 professionals with NCBTMB certification. The NCBTMB credentialing program has been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) since 1993 and NCBTMB is currently pursuing American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation.