More than just Meetings and Classes

If you have ever volunteered for an AMTA state chapter board, you know that when you go to convention, you are scheduled to attend chapter leadership meetings, classes, and help host networking events for your members. Sounds a little dull… but these board members share what they get out of Convention and what they bring back to our Board Table.

Susan Tietjen, ATMA-MN Government Relations Chair had this to say:

Milwaukee was my fourth national convention. Initially, I planned to attend because it is so close to home and a great opportunity to blend education with my enthusiasm for our profession. Additionally, Robin Robertson’s story intrigued me and the Olympians panel discussion for the closing session increased my interest in attending.

Closer to convention time it became evident that it would be beneficial to work on GR plans while in Milwaukee. Meetings were scheduled during lunch breaks and in the evening hours.  GR chairs from other states and staff from AMTA national gathered to answer my questions and listen to plans for Minnesota legislative activity.  Listening to the more experienced GR chairs and advice from national was an opportunity that I wouldn’t want to miss.

Continuing education was also a high priority. I can claim success in learning some new techniques and fulfilling my ethics requirement. Also worth mentioning is the vendor market exhibit hall, a great way to get supplies at a discount and not paying shipping.

My approach, when my family life and business plan allows me to get away for National Convention, I put it on my calendar.  Attending rejuvenates me and is always educational in many ways.

Tom Rotman, AMTA-MN Sports and Community Events Chair, and MN Delegate for the House of Delegates had this to say:


I attended the national AMTA conference in October. I got to meet a lot of new people and reconnect with massage therapists I’ve been talking and emailing with throughout the year.

I am a member of the HOD (House of Delegates). One of our responsibilities is to review and approve AMTA position statements, for example Massage Can Improve Health and Wellness (September 2014). I like the position statements because they give me solid information I can use in talking with clients – and potential clients.

This year, however, for the first time ever, HOD did not have any positions statements on which to vote. Instead, the national board of directors used the time to assess and reevaluate the purpose of the HOD. They asked us our opinions on procedures and how they could be improved. They also wanted our thoughts on whether the HOD could be changed to better serve our members. All in all, the delegates had many ideas. The one main take away was that the delegates need more education on how to evaluate a research project. That’s how we can vote on great research for the AMTA to turn into great position statements.

I also went to CVOP (Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program), which has the purpose of giving us information that we can bring back to the Minnesota chapter to promote our volunteer programs and operate more effectively. We learned about the 5 languages of affirmation: Words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, tangible gifts, and physical touch. We discussed how each person reacts to these words differently. Do you know your own language of affirmation? We learned different ways local board members can work together more cohesively and accomplish goals more effectively. We also discussed things that will affect our industry in the future, from cultures / social / economy / financial / technology / virtual / regulations / legislation.

At both HOD and CVOP, the one thing that AMTA kept emphasizing was that whatever we do, we do it for our members. Participating in these two things was a great experience for me. I am looking forward to next year’s conference in Pasadena, California.

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