2014 AMTA-NV Delegates’ Report

2014 House of Delegates – Delegates’ Report

Submitted by Nevada chapter Delegates: Shawna Smallwood and Brent Bornemeier, 9/27/2014

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO – September 17, 2014:  The American Massage Therapy Association’s House of Delegates (HOD) annual Business Meeting started at 1pm with a Welcome from House of Delegates Operating Committee (HODOC) Chair Lisa Curran-Parenteau. Lisa said encouraging words to all Delegates and congratulated everyone on another year of proposed Recommendations and Position Statements.

AMTA National President Nancy Porambo also welcomed Delegates with encouraging words. Then, Lee Stang, the HOD Moderator, welcomed everyone and introduced herself to the Delegates. Lisa also introduced Parliamentarian Rick Greely to the Delegates. The entire HODOC was introduced with standing applause.

The Pledge of Allegiance and Silent Reflection were conducted, respectively by HODOC members Roxanne La’akea Young and Laura Stevenson-Flom.

A memorial was conducted in honor of Dan Barrow by Nancy Porambo. Nancy reflected about the great work Dan has done for AMTA; Dan was the HOD Moderator for many years.

A memorial was conducted to remember Bill Greenberg by Kerry Methot from the Connecticut Chapter. Kerry reflected upon how Bill had encouraged her to become a Delegate and how he would be greatly missed. The Connecticut Chapter also brought Bill’s famous vest to the Convention to honor his memory.

A memorial was conducted to remember Pat Aicher by Lisa Curran-Parenteau. Lisa reflected on how Pat had made an impact in the HOD by taking her job seriously.

AMTA 2014 House of Delegates Business MeetingThe reports from the HODOC Chair were given by Lisa Curran-Parenteau. This report included three submitted Position Statements, and three Recommendations. There were 142 registered Delegates, and 140 Delegates checked into the HOD meeting. Xerlan Deery, Position Statement Review Commission Chair, reported that Position Statements had been reviewed, approved, and were ready for Delegate discussion and voting.

Lee Stang gave a short tutorial on the voting equipment and explained how voting works. The first vote cast was in order to get an accurate count of Delegates. This vote also established the 2/3 total Delegates present, established a quorum, and established the voting points. The voting points showed the actual weighted points, majority of actual weighted points and 2/3 of actual weighted points.

Next, a motion to adopt the HODOC’s proposed Agenda to the HOD was presented. The motion was proposed by a Delegate from South Carolina, and a second was given by a Delegate from Virginia. A vote was cast to adopt the Agenda:  For: 140, Against: 0.

The Rules and Procedures were presented by the HODOC and were called to approve. A Delegate from Washington made the motion, and a Delegate from Indiana seconded the motion. A vote to adopt Rules and Procedures was cast:  For: 140, Against: 0.


Position Statement 1 was presented: “It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy can improve health and wellness through its effect on the physical, mental and social well-being of an individual.”

The Position Statement was presented by a Delegate from Utah. The Delegate read the background information, and the rationale. The Moderator asked for comments from the floor. The Moderator moved a motion to call the question into a vote when no one came forth to comment. A vote was cast:

  • Total For: 110
  • Total Against: 30
Weighted For – 40704, Weighted Against – 3628, 2/3 majority weighted – 3622

Motion to call the question was Passed.

The call to vote to approve Position Statement 1:

  • Total For: 115
  • Total Against: 20
  • Abstained: 5
Weighted For – 42062, Weighted Against – 10208, 2/3 majority weighted – 3622

Position Statement 1: PASSED


The HOD was the ahead of the approved Agenda for the day. A Delegate from the Washington chapter moved to continue the meeting until the scheduled 3pm break time.

A vote was cast: For: 127, Against: 9, Abstained: 4; the meeting carried onto the next position statement.

Position Statement 2 was presented: “It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that regulations, in statue and/or rules, should provide options for portability of credentials which meet the required licensing, certification, or registration of massage therapists across the United States.”

The Position Statement was presented by a Delegate from Utah. The Delegate read the background information, and the rationale. The Moderator then asked for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • This works for a future goal
  • Empowers AMTA members to move forward
  • Plain simple good idea
  • Doesn’t say how we are to be regulated, so this gives AMTA an advantage to send a message to high level officials about what we want.

Against Comments:

  • There is no money for the smaller states to get credentials in order to change their regulations.
  • How can we make a state change their laws, then the scope of practice, and tests for each state?
  • We need to create a set standard first then create this statement.
  • This will flush out other therapists because they can’t get the correct credentials. i.e.. other therapists not in AMTA. [fic]
  • This needs to be rewritten then sent back to the Delegates.

The allotted 20-minute time for discussion ran out. The Moderator called for a vote on Position Statement 2.

The call to vote to approve Position Statement 2:

  • Total For: 80
  • Total Against: 60
Weighted For – 30647, Weighted Against – 23685, 2/3 majority weighted – 36222

Position Statement 2: FAILED


Position Statement 3 was presented:  “It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage therapy can assist in the rehabilitation of burn scars.”

The Position Statement was presented by a Delegate from North Carolina. The Delegate read the background information and the rationale. The Moderator then asked for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • The word “can” is in position statement.
  • Could become a catalyst and standard across the country.
  • Gives our profession more of a credential.
  • Clients need therapists to help recovery with a caring touch
  • Has been brought to HOD 3 times, has been rewritten 3 times and now it shows proper references and research.

Against Comments:

  • Too broad to be used, unclear distinction for massage, and when to apply massage.
  • Not enough research or findings to stand behind.
  • AMTA does not have a locator service to back up.
  • Be more specific towards burn scars.
  • General massage is not good for burn scars, this needs to be specific on how, when, and where to apply massage.
  • Based on scientific evidence it doesn’t show enough evidence.
  • More research by actual therapists.

The allotted 20-minute time for discussion ran out. The Moderator called for a vote on this Position Statement.

A motion was brought to the floor to extend the discussion time by ten minutes. There was a second to the motion. The delegates voted on extending the discussion: For: 13, Against: 127.

Vote to approve Position Statement 3:

  • Total For: 85
  • Total Against: 54
Weighted For – 31312, Weighted Against – 22719, 2/3 majority weighted – 36222

Position Statement 3: FAILED


Brent and Shawna representing the NV chapter at the 2014 HOD Business MeetingThe HOD meeting was called for a break at 3pm. The Colorado Chapter provided snacks for all Delegates during the 20-minute break. All Delegates were allowed to leave the floor and to communicate with other colleagues within the area. Many Delegates exchanged pins and gifts. The Pennsylvania Chapter gave out candy and cards to help raise excitement for next year.

After the break, a roll call was taken of the seated Delegates. The voting machine was not picking up the correct number of Delegates. After roll-calling twice, the Moderator decided to have a manual vote. Each Delegate stood next to their chair and counted themselves. As they counted, they sat down in their chair. The total number of Delegates was 140. The computers seemed to start working; the Moderator welcomed everyone back and called for the first Recommendation.


Recommendation 1 from South Carolina chapter:

Subject:  A Recommendation to the American Massage Therapy Association Board of Directors that the AMTA Board remove the financial responsibility of funding Delegates’ attendance in the House of Delegates from the State Chapters’ budget. A Delegate from South Carolina read the Recommendation in its entirety. The Moderator asked if she would like to make a comment on the subject. The Delegate declined to comment until later in the discussion. The Moderator called for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • Nationals need to be responsible for reimbursements of actual costs for each delegate.
  • It’s nice to have National pay so people can get to conventions.
  • Chapters can no longer pay for delegates, National should help pay.
  • Reflects the hardship each chapter is going through.

Against Comments:

  • This will cause management problems- but recommends a waiver for fees for delegates.
  • States can manage their own money better than National.
  • Doesn’t consider states that are further away in the expense reports.
  • Data is not correct- also will alternates be included in the reimbursement?
  • This responsibility belongs to each chapter, or the chapter will lose control.
  • Just simply put chapter fees back.

The allotted 20-minute time for discussion ran out. The Moderator called for a vote on this Recommendation.

  • Total For: 96
  • Total Against: 44
Weighted For – 35688, Weighted Against – 18644, 2/3 Majority weighted – 36222, Required majority weighted: 27167

Recommendation 1: PASSED


Recommendation 2 from Washington chapter.

Subject: A Recommendation to the American Massage Therapy Association Board of Directors that the AMTA Board study moving the function of generating and approving Position Statements on the clinical efficacy of massage from the House of Delegates to another group, and that the AMTA Board encourage the House to discuss issues that relate to the actual practice of massage therapy throughout the United States. A Delegate from Washington read the Recommendation in its entirety. The Moderator asked if he would like to make a comment on the subject. The Delegate declined to comment until later in the discussion. The Moderator called for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • Create more of a peer review to create a better understanding.
  • Not everyone is qualified to review position statements.
  • Many recommendations failed because people don’t understand the research portion.
  • Does not take away responsibility but creates a better understanding.

Against Comments:

  • A place for decisions
  • Gives decisions to other people will not reflect the member’s feelings.
  • Delegates and alternates take their position seriously.
  • Delegates should keep responsibility for all position statements.
  • This is insulting to delegates.
  • The purpose of HOD is to discuss, pass or fail position statements.

The Washington Delegate then commented on this recommendation by saying, “I just created this recommendation in order to get people to discuss this. I don’t even care if it passes; all I wanted was to hear people talk about it”. The Moderator then called for a vote.

  • Total For: 14
  • Total Against: 126
Weighted For – 8457, Weighted Against – 45875, 2/3 Majority weighted – 36222, Required majority weighted – 27167

Recommendation 2: FAILED


Recommendation 3 from California chapter.

Subject: A Recommendation to the American Massage Therapy Association Board of Directors that the AMTA Board allow each state to determine its own Chapter Fee.

A Delegate from California read the Recommendation in its entirety. The Moderator asked if he would like to make a comment on the subject. The Delegate declined to comment until later in the discussion. The Moderator called for comments from the floor.

For Comments:

  • This creates a significant recourse for chapters.
  • Chapters have already taken significantly less funding going into the next year.
  • States do the main work of AMTA they should have their opinion on fee’s.
  • Having a set fee will show uniformity and create competition.
  • Each chapter board can decide their own fees.
  • More equitable way to fund chapters.
  • Helps lobbyist’s funds.
  • Have the board reconsider the decision to take away chapter fees.
  • Supports outreach programs.
  • Nationals need to listen to the members.

Against Comments:

  • By dropping the chapter fees it brought back members to the chapter.
  • Jeopardizes AMTA’s global view.
  • Chapter fees need to be the same across states.

The allotted 20-minute time ran out, the Moderator called for a vote on this Recommendation.

  • Total For: 126
  • Total Against: 13
Weighted For – 48946, Weighted Against – 4839, 2/3 Majority weighted – 36222, Required majority weighted – 27167

Recommendation 3: PASSED


DOtto (2014 Alt Delegate), BBornemeier (2014-2015 Delegate), SSmallwood (2013-2014 Delegate)The Moderator congratulated the HOD for another successful year of voting. She also thanked everyone for the professional participation. She commented that everyone on the HOD is significant and appreciated. The meeting then changed its focus onto the candidates for the new HODOC. Each candidate came up and talked about how they can help on the new HODOC and why they wanted to be elected. The candidates the returned to their seats in order to cast a vote. The vote was in three sections. Each time Delegates voted on one person that they thought was the best fit for the job. A total of seven candidates came forward.

  1. Richard Testa (CT)
  2. Christine Eckery (DE)
  3. Myrleen Harrison (FL)
  4. Olivia Nagashima (HI)
  5. Bary Terry (MO)
  6. Jessica Ferrer (NH)
  7. Linda Toomey (NY)

The votes were cast to fill three open positions for the HODOC. The three candidates with the most votes where; Myrleen Harrison (FL), Bary Terry (MO), Jessica Ferrer (NH). The HOD erupted with applause for the new members voted into the HODOC.

The Moderator called for any new business to be brought to the floor:

  • Recommends that the online forum be open year round for Delegates.

The Delegates then performed an evaluation of the HOD meeting. This was done on the electronic voting machines, and there were a total of 20 questions that the HOD answered to evaluate the meeting.

A motion to close the 2014 HOD meeting was made and a second came after. The motion was met and the Moderator called to close the HOD meeting at 5pm.

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