BURR RIDGE, Ill. / PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (March 31, 2016) – The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) is introducing new leadership with Leena Guptha, D.O., B.C.T.M.B., as the interim CEO, and Bruce Baltz as the board chair, while the organization engages Signature Group to develop a long-term strategic and business plan.

Dr. Leena Guptha

Leena Guptha

Guptha succeeds Steve Kirin, who recently announced his decision not to renew his contract. Kirin will remain with NCBTMB until May 20. The NCBTMB Board of Directors unanimously approved both leadership moves in a conference call on Tuesday, March 29.  This included accepting Guptha’s resignation from the Board of Directors effective immediately.

Guptha, born and raised in London and a resident of Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, previously served as the NCBTMB Board Chair and has a background in primary care, academic appointments and administrative roles, including more than two decades in three education corporations as well as 25 years of holistic practice. The former national president of the American Massage Therapy Association, Guptha was a 2015 inductee into the World Massage Festival Hall of Fame.

She graduated as valedictorian of her master’s in business administration class and is certified in Non-Profit Revenue Generation and Program Evaluation for Non-Profits. She served as president, managing a $14 million school; and while responsible for operational management and finance, she earned the Functional Manager of the Year Award and a VIP Employee Excellence Award in Education.

“We continue to focus on defining and advancing standards for the profession and have a vision to further the NCBTMB through developing specialty certificates, advancing our Approved Provider program, and collaborating with key stakeholders,” Guptha said. “At this time, continuity and communication are essential in order to pave the way toward the next evolution of NCBTMB, enabling us to recapture and optimize our rightful place within the profession. Signature Group will be able to guide us in our upcoming strategic planning process, providing a wealth of experience in assessment, revenue generation, growth and sustainability.”

Bruce Baltz

Bruce Baltz

Baltz, from New York, New York, now living in Loxahatchee, Florida, is a board certified massage therapist and also licensed to practice in New York and Florida. He received his massage diploma from the Swedish Institute in New York in 1993. He is an internationally recognized educator with more than 30 years of experience in the fitness and bodywork industry, including time as an NCBTMB volunteer since 2007. Baltz works out of the Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, Florida, where he is developing an Active Isolated Stretching program, and is a founding member of Deep Freeze Team LLC, which offers a new generation of cool therapy pain relief products.

“We’re all looking forward to the repositioning and focus for the new NCBTMB,” Baltz said. “We have been working hard on collaborating with all of the stakeholders and doing what is best for the industry moving forward. One of our greatest roles will be the management of approved providers and vetting of classes and workshops while developing new opportunities to better serve the massage profession and NCBTMB.”
The NCBTMB is an independent, private, nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with the mission to define and advance the highest standards in the massage therapy and bodywork profession. In support of this mission, NCBTMB serves the profession through Board Certification, Approved Providers and Assigned Schools for more than 350,000 massage therapists nationally. The NCBTMB is transitioning from licensure since states took over that capacity within the last decade to a focus on Board Certification, which recognizes the progress massage therapists are making in their craft.

The engagement of the Signature Group is driven by the NCBTMB Board of Directors in looking toward developing a plan for the next decade. Signature Group has been involved in the health and wellness area with the Club Spa and Fitness Association to provide management, marketing and sponsorship development services for the nonprofit organization. Signature Group also was instrumental in developing a strategic plan and sponsorship engagement program for the Asian Golf Industry Federation in 2013-14.

“We were delighted to be asked to be part of the beginning of the next chapter for the NCBTMB,” said Bruce Lucker, the president and CEO of Signature Group. “With our involvement in the wellness industry, specifically with the Club Spa and Fitness Association, we have long recognized the importance of massage therapy and believe it is an area that will continue to grow as more and more consumers realize its healthy lifestyle attributes. We believe that with a strong infrastructure the NCBTMB can be a leader in helping the industry grow and prosper.”

NCBTMB logoAbout the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) is an independent, private, nonprofit organization founded in 1992. The mission of NCBTMB is to define and advance the highest standards in massage therapy and bodywork. In support of this mission, NCBTMB serves the profession through Board Certification, Specialty Certificates, Approved Providers and Assigned Schools. For more information, please visit ncbtmb.org.



Signature Group logoAbout Signature Group

Signature Group, based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, is an agency that specializes in the golf, club and wellness industries. The company provides services in strategic planning, marketing, public relations, communications, and business and brand development. In response to challenges facing our clients today, Signature Group has launched a series of new initiatives designed to enhance brand value, build market share and generate incremental revenue for clients who range from individual clubs to multi-national Fortune 100 companies.