AMTA National Convention in Pasadena, CA


I just wanted to point out to you guys who is going to be the keynote speaker at the AMTA National Convention in Pasadena, CA for this year: Shaun T!

 Self – Care is such an important aspect for the longevity of Massage Therapist, that I am ecstatic that it is going to be addressed on a national level! I know I’ve been filling out AMTA member surveys for years and have always put “Self Care” as what I want to know more about in all the blank spaces given to me.

Check out the latest issue of MTJ and don’t forget to head over to the AMTAMASSAGE.ORG to sign up for convention!

There is a lot of great education opportunities this year from convention favorite Whitney Lowe to the ever important topic of Skin Cancer with Amanda Friedrichs.  Hope to see you there!

Chapter Awards: Honor your Colleagues!


Deanna Benson was 2016 Chapter Meritorious Award Winner at National Convention

AMTA-MN Chapter wants to honor our members this year at the annual business meeting. To do that we need your help! Do you know an AMTA Member who has done outstanding work on an humanitarian level? How about a tireless volunteer?

Click the links to submit your colleague for our state level award, that may be forwarded on to National for an even bigger award at National Convention!

Wouldn’t it be great to see our Minnesota Star’s Shine!

Submit your nominations to by April 15, 2017 at midnight.


Nomination form


  • To openly honor recipient(s) who is an AMTA member
  • To acknowledge the “heart” of massage in action


  • Award established in 1996
  • To be given annually
  • Award is selected and kept unannounced until time of presentation
  • There may be more than one (1) recipient in a given year
  • Recipients on the Chapter level may be honored at a National Level


  • Active AMTA member for at least one (1) year
  • In good standing at the time of award consideration
  • Volunteer work, which may or may not include massage, done in the larger community.  Including but not limited to: charity, church, supporting the arts, working with children, disabled, needy, sick, homeless, elderly, community outreach to populations for who massage is otherwise difficult to obtain; fundraising for same, consciousness raising, relief efforts
  • Recipient shall not have received this award in the previous year
  • Approved by the MN Chapter Board

Sports Massage Achiever

Nomination form


  • To openly honor an AMTA member
  • To acknowledge accomplishments in the area of sports massage


  • Award established in 1996
  • To be given annually
  • Award is selected and kept unannounced until time of presentation
  • Recipients on the Chapter level may be honored at a National Level


  • Recipient must be an AMTA member for at least one (1) year
  • Recipient accomplishment(s) exceed expectations
  • Recipient display cooperation and team play on team
  • In good standing at the time of award consideration
  • May include but is not limited to accomplishments that enhance the visibility, prestige and acceptance of sports massage and sports massage therapists to the general public and the other components of the sports community
  • There may be no more than one (1) recipient selected per year
  • Recipient shall not have received this award in the previous year
  • Approved by the MN Chapter Board

Chapter Meritorious

This award, which honors an individual by acknowledging diligence in volunteerism accomplished in an altruistic manner, is the highest award bestowed upon an AMTA member by a chapter.

Nomination Form

About the Chapter Meritorious Award


  • To openly honor an AMTA member
  • To acknowledge diligent volunteerism done in an altruistic manner


  • Award established in 1969
  • Has been given annually since that time


  • Active member in AMTA for at least one (1) year
  • Only one (1) nominee from each chapter can be a recipient

Teacher of the Year

Each year, AMTA –  MN presents this award to an instructor in a member school who demonstrates exceptional teaching abilities and commitment to high standards of education in massage therapy.

Nomination Form

About the Award

This award is given on a chapter level. However, Recipients on the Chapter level may be honored at a National Level.

Who Inspires You? This award honors the memory of Jerome Perlinski, an extraordinary educator and much loved leader.  Winner of the Chapter Teacher of the Year will be submitted for the Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year Award given by National AMTA.

Jerome Perlinski is remembered for his recognition of the gifts and talents of others and his ability to bring out their best. A consumer and advocate of massage therapy who was not a practitioner, Jerome held a doctorate in the history of ideas from St. Louis University. He was a widely experienced teacher and lecturer whose committed work helped raise training standards, improve teaching methods and educate massage practitioners about the importance of ethical, professional behaviors. When colleagues remember Jerome, they use words like inspired, passionate, motivating, principled and exceptional

Chapter Elections 2018

Join our chapter volunteers

Currently, the Board of Directors meets the 1st Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM. This is contingent on the board members’ schedules and is open to change with the 2018 elections. The Board does not meet in July or December. We have both in-person and conference call options. Living in the Twin Cities is NOT a requirement. We encourage involvement from our members outside the metro area.

The following Committee Chair positions are a one year term and are reappointed yearly:

Social Media/Communications
Government Relations
Sports Massage and Community Service

If you are hesitant about being a committee chair, please consider volunteering to help out on the committee first. We always need volunteers and enjoy new faces. Click here to find out the current list of committee chairs.

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.

Minnesota takes on Milwaukee!

The AMTA National Convention was hosted by AMTA-WI this year over Halloween weekend in Milwaukee, WI.

Going to convention is always exciting, but seeing as it was so close to us this year, it made it a must-do on many Minnesota AMTA members list!

MN chapter helped members hook up with other members for ride and room shares and even hosted a Midwest Mingle with AMTA- IA at the Doubletree Hotel. It was great to share some snacks and stories with fellow members and neighboring chapters. We had members of the AMTA-IL chapter join us as well!


One of the great things about this year was all the Minnesota First timers that made it to convention.  I took a couple of First Timers under my wing and explained the ‘pin sharing’, how to use the convention app, and where to find the exhibit hall. We all sat as a group at the opening ceremonies and laughed and cried while Robin Roberts gave her heartfelt speech about how massage therapy changed her life while battling cancer.

AMTA-MN chapter member, Kate Walters said she expected to connect with her peers, make new friends a take classes that would update her on current information and trends. This was her first convention, and she believes she would attend another one because she believes her expectations were met this year!



Member Laurel Iverson had this to say about her convention experience:

What an enthusiastic, vibrant experience representing Minnesota AMTA. Being amongst hundreds of other therapists and body workers, what a positive jolt of energy.

Get there a day before opening session! They give you class schedules, what where and when and with who. We received a nice bag (yes they all look alike) water bottle, and a Thera Cane. Don’t forget to download the App!

Pins, who wants our MN trading pins? This is a great place to trade your state pins and get acquainted with other delegates and chapter members.

Next day it was the opening session. We were welcomed by the national president. We received the association update, and the Massage Therapy Foundation update. Next keynote speaker Robin Roberts. She was very uplifting and invigorating. Then many award presentations to be given out. Congratulations Deanna Benson.

In a large convention hall there were sponsors and vendors giving away different samples of gels, lotions and creams. It was a great way to preview or purchase computer software, books, oils and DVDs. Even chances to win massage tables, chairs, and even a full scholarship to the next AMTA 2017 convention in Pasadena.

There were a variety of educational classes to choose from. It comes to show there is so much more to learn in our profession, not just for us but our clients as well.

I feel it is an honor to represent our AMTA Chapter, and I am looking forward to the Minnesota State Convention next fall. I encourage all our members to get involved. It will be an experience they won’t regret.

Luv & Light
Laurel Iverson

I know I enjoy meeting up with my MT friends from across the country every time I go to the Convention! Next years convention is in Pasadena, CA and 2018 is in Washington DC. If going to National Convention is on your radar, I definitely recommend planning on attending at least one, but the more you go the more friends you meet!


AMTA New Chapter Board Structure


In June 2016 AMTA’s national board approved a new chapter board structure to provide consistency among all chapters. The new structure is part of a multi-year culture initiative focusing on the value of the volunteer experience.

Some positions and titles have changed and the new structure will be complete in 2018.  Below are the positions up for election in 2017 and 2018. If you have any further questions about the process leading up these changes, we will be providing more details on our chapter website. If you have questions about our elections, please contact

2017 Minnesota Chapter Elections

Both positions are for a two-year term (2017-2019)

  • Board Member (new title – replaces 1st Vice President)
  • Financial Administrator (new title – replaces Treasurer)

After 2017 elections, the 2017-2018 Minnesota Chapter board will consist of:

  • President
  • Board Member
  • Board Member
  • Secretary
  • Financial Administrator

2018 Minnesota Chapter Elections
All positions are for a two-year term (2018-2020)

  • President
  • Board Member
  • Secretary

Chapter Meritorious Award

Congratulations Deanna Benson, Minnesota’s 2016 Meritorious Award Winner! 
This award, which honors an individual by acknowledging diligence in volunteerism accomplished in an altruistic manner, is the highest award bestowed upon an AMTA member by a chapter.  Deanna was presented with the award at the 2016 AMTA National Convention in Milwaukee, WI.
Deanna, has been instrumental in the successes of our Minnesota Chapter, for over 10 years. We could not be more thankful for her commitment to volunteering for AMTA.
She graduated from St. Cloud State University, with a BS in Special Education, in 1976. After, twenty three years, of working in human services, supervising group homes for individuals who have cognitive and physical disabilities, she made a career change, in 2001, by attending Northwestern Health Sciences University, School of Massage Therapy.  Where she graduated in December 2002. She is an Independent Contractor at Courage Kenney Rehabilitation Institute (formerly Courage Center) in Golden Valley, and she see’s clients who have disabilities in four different group homes.   She has, also, worked with the Robbinsdale School district, providing chair massage, as part of their wellness program.  She enjoys volunteering with Basset Buddies, a Basset Hound rescue, and Families Moving Forward. Her hobbies are gardening, cooking and traveling.

Thank you, Deanna.