My First 6 months as Nevada Chapter President

by Mavies Gascon, President, AMTA-NV Chapter

Mavies Gascon, LMTAs a member of the AMTA-Nevada Chapter, I decided to stay in for the meeting before the continuing education that I had originally signed up for at the 2015 Annual Nevada Chapter Convention. And during that meeting, David Otto, who was my Professional Development instructor at the Nevada School of Massage Therapy (NSMT), and then, being President of the chapter, nominated me to be a part of the organization.

I donated a lot of volunteering time while I attended NSMT, so I figured I was spending time to help the community, not knowing what I had just agreed upon. And then reality hit, as I placed my right hand over my chest (yes, I was swearing into my position as 2nd Vice-President, 1 year term) – PANIC ATTACK! What have I just gotten
myself into?

I haven’t been Vice-President of an organization since my high school years as a Member of the Student Body Council for various clubs. But as I was sitting in at the Board Meetings held in Kathleen’s beautiful home, conversations became more detailed, business oriented, and sometimes confidential. The majority of the whole year, I listened, observed how business was conducted, and sat retaining information, like a sponge on a wet spill. And last year, I designed the pins that we wore and shared amongst our colleagues at the 2016 AMTA National Convention in Milwaukee.

Going back to June 5, 2016: I thought I was over with the whole volunteering my time to talking with students at NSMT, for the value of having “Visions” and the importance of having liability insurance, with no one else but AMTA. And I thought I was totally done with adding more stress on top of my full time job and not so happening
independent business. David ended his term as President of the chapter. I was next in line and no one else seemed like they wanted to take the responsibility. What do I do?

Do I just neglect the organization that I have spent so much of my valuable time on and compensate my relationships (partner, family, friends, private clients)? Or do I dig a bigger hole and grab the bull by its horns and see how far it’ll abuse me?

I was 36 years old, with only a little over 3 years in being a Licensed Massage Therapist and already a NV Chapter Vice President, for one of the biggest non profit organizations in America. So I stepped up. What’s there to lose? I’m backed up by so many colleagues, not only in Nevada, but Nationally. The support system with the organization is amazing. All anyone has to do is reach out!cat-paw-lick-yarn

It’s now been six months since I’ve pledged into the President position. At first, I was a bit nervous, but with the right guidance, I know the next two years will be memorable. We have already made strides to communicate better with the Northern Nevada members by honoring them with a mini convention (meet & greet with a CE class). And as the holidays pass, more meetings throughout the state are being planned and so are mixers with local retail establishments, member volunteer events, and of course, opportunities for continuing education classes to name a few.

So going back to the thought of the “hole,” I’m diggin’ it! And I’ll continue to dig larger, deeper holes, to fill them with knowledge and memories. And when the day comes, the road will have been patched with success to empower future massage therapists. It doesn’t matter how nervous or uncertain you are, creating change can overcome those fears!

Your Vote Counts! AMTA 2013 National Election

AMTANatl2013Elections-bannerBe among the professional members that shape our association. Vote for our national leaders. AMTA is the premier professional organization and needs top leadership to be a strong voice and guide us to the future. Your vote is needed to ensure that AMTA remains on top and continues to be well represented.

Get to know the candidates. Read each of their biographical sketches. You can find these candidate links, or if they established any Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Blog sites by accessing the AMTA official election website. Don’t be shy, ask them questions or read what someone else asked.  Find out what their vision and goals are for the future of AMTA and the massage profession.

Your voice counts in this organization. Make a decision to support one of our core values, ‘to be a membership driven organization’ and vote. That is what ‘member driven’ means. Join in.  Become a more informed voter and cast your vote by December 1!

2013 Election Timeline

November 1-5: A link to the online ballot will be sent via electronic mail to all voting members.

December 1: Completed ballots are due.

January 1: Results will be announced no later than January 1 on the AMTA website.

March 1: New officers assume office.

 

Please contact Colleen Leeders, at 877-905-2700 x150 or email hidden; JavaScript is required  if you have questions.

Conscious Giving

This is the time of year when the gift of massage is most given, when those in need’s voices are heeded, and when massage therapy professionals’ families may get the most benefit from a visit from their family’s massage therapist.

It is a great time for a reminder to people who have worked diligently and exhaustingly all year to get a massage from their friendly, neighborhood massage therapist – a time to relax and let their hair down for a re-centering, rejuvenating time of healing and introspection while on the table, their mini-vacation, during this holiday season.  It is a great time for those who get massage regularly, for rehabilitation or pain management, to revisit why massage therapy is such a great “healer” and re-evaluate their relationship with massage.

Did you ever think about contributing your talent, skill, and intention for massage therapy to the less fortunate than those of your family, friends, and clients?

Did you ever think about creating value for your clients AND increasing your personal growth using your talent and skill as a massage therapist?

What if you could touch the quality of life of a person that you do not know nor would ever have come in contact with if it were not for your good nature and willingness to share the power of touch through massage?

There are such possibilities and opportunities – your gift to your community this year can be:

  • at a homeless shelter, where touch services are rare.
  • in a hospital, where touch services are needed to assist in recovery and pain management.
  • free massage session(s) for a local fundraising effort, to either encourage donations to the charity by donors that would “win” your free massage OR give free chair massages to the volunteers that coordinate/facilitate the fundraising activities.

There are many ways in which you can do something to provide your massage community with the value of massage…that doesn’t cost a lot for you or the client of your intent.

As we prepare to fulfill those gift-given certificates, also prepare to consider lending a helping hand to those who need a massage and may not be able to afford it – create, for yourself and your existence as a practitioner in your community, a value that extends beyond your ability to discount your service pricing and reaches the far corners of your community where massage is valued as a form of positive, life-changing experience that has no cost and immeasurable value.

David J Otto LMT, AMTA-Nevada Chapter President

Think about a few ways, and Comment here – your sharing may just spark that holiday-giving attitude in another massage therapist that can lead to great things!

the First 90-days…

Hello Members!

David OttoI am truly honored to be writing today in the President’s Blog – there have been many years that I have served where the chapter did not have such an efficient, fast way for the members to connect; specifically, with the commentary and updates from the chapter President.  I am happy to say: all the Nevada Chapter Board of Directors volunteers, chapter volunteers and Delegates are available via email and that you may post publicly or email me privately regarding the [future] topics in this forum!

Now, on with this month’s blog…

I was elected to serve as a chapter leader, first as 1st Vice President back in 2010, with the intention of running for another leadership office, but not really the presidency.

Billie Shea (who has served several terms as President, now Immediate Past President) had other plans than my “just” participating in a fully-engaging and wonderfully-satisfying position as a volunteer.  She knew that, over my years of service in media outlets, out in the population of the membership and non-members of professionals in the Las Vegas area, being active in my professional goals as well as association goals, I had a little more potential.  And I guess I have to say: I thought so, too.

I suspect, from the get-go, Billie was looking for the right person, a willing person, an established professional and personality in the massage therapist community, and I had worked hard to be in that position, but didn’t realize the gravity of my situation until someone told me I should run for President.

When I joined the AMTA & Nevada chapter back in 2001, during my last weeks of school, I really had no idea that the AMTA would be an opportunity that grew me both professionally and personally – was starting with a solid liability insurance policy, as far as I was concerned.  I had and have a passion for massage therapy, and that passion to do what was right for me, back in the day; and now, my passion has developed into a purpose to do what is right for the profession in Nevada.  I can think of no stronger, prominent, or active group of massage therapy professionals than those who are members of the AMTA – in Nevada and across the U.S.!

^^^ check out what AMTA’s doing in its new Consumer Awareness Program! ^^^

I have had, even before I was elected chapter President, more positive & growth experiences in my management skills, massage therapy skills, interpersonal skills, marketing skills, and entrepreneurial drive than I can ever imagine would have happened had it not been for the tried, true, and structured resource of the humans that make up the AMTA.  From the National office to the newest Student Member, I count on every person who professes to support and practice massage therapy in its truest form to contribute to the success of the organization. And, as in a recent interview that I participated in for the national promotion of the AMTA, “I am David Otto.  I am AMTA.”

And so is every member.

If you believe in supporting massage therapy research, the development of the field and profession, and providing massage therapy clients with the “best massage ever,” you have found a friend, mentor, and inspiration in the AMTA.  Times can be turbulent and hard to comprehend, but by keeping the Mission in mind and participating, everyone comes out ahead.

Thank you for trusting me as one of the many talented leaders of the Nevada Chapter that you will come across.  I encourage you to get to know one other member this year.  By the end of 2012, we are organizing a couple of member events coming up in Southern Nevada and there are several continuing education courses in Northern Nevada where you will likely meet a fellow AMTA member – but if not, recognize the “member” in the professional with whom you are talking.

There will be more updates about things YOU and/or your colleagues find interesting and may want to participate in as an Attendee.  If you have any ideas, questions, or comments about your membership or participating in affecting an awesome membership of professionals in Nevada, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Yours in Service,

 

 

Keep in touch on Facebook & LinkedIn

2012 National Elections – Candidacy

Have you considered participating with fellow members at the National level? You can choose to run for an elected office for the National Board of Directors or Commission on Candidacy. Serving at the national level is a great way to meet some wonderful, dedicated people in the profession.

Members may find criteria for Board or Commission on Candidacy positions by visiting our National Elections website.  You may also be interested in knowing that some elected positions involve less of a time commitment than other positions.

This year, a member may request a candidate application packet beginning July 1st, and must complete the application process by September 1st.  The process includes completing three online courses: About Non-Profit Associations, Responsibilities and Communications throughout AMTA and Risk Management for Association.

Once the courses are completed, the member will have access to the online application bio. After the Commission on Candidacy has reviewed the application and determined that the candidate meets the requirements of the position he or she is seeking, the candidate’s profile will be posted live on AMTA’s official election website, and your choice of using social media as a candidate can begin.

If you are interested in serving, please contact the Commission on Candidacy via email hidden; JavaScript is requiredAMTA staff liaison to the Commission on Candidacy.

The Commission on Candidacy and Commissioner of Elections welcomes your questions, comments, and ideas.

 

Chris Rider, Chair, Commissioner of Elections

Barb Lis, Chair, Commission on Candidacy

2012 COC Commissioners: Christopher Deery, Shari Mirgon, Lori Keith, Mary Donker-Syvertsen, and Julie Finn

Your Working with the National AMTA this year…

AMTA 2011 National Elections!amta logo

 

 

Have you considered participating with fellow members at the National level? You can choose to run for an elected office for the National Board of Directors or Commission on Candidacy. Serving at the national level is a great way to meet some wonderful, dedicated people in the profession.

You may find criteria for Board or Commission on Candidacy positions by visiting our National Elections website.  You may also be interested in knowing that some elected positions involve less of a time commitment than other positions.

You may request a candidate application and must complete the application process by August 1.  The process includes completing three online courses: About Non-Profit Associations, Responsibilities and Communications throughout AMTA and Risk Management for Association.

Once the courses are completed, you will have access to the online application packet. After the Commission on Candidacy has reviewed the application and determined that you meet the requirements of the position you are seeking, your candidate’s profile will be posted live on AMTA’s official election website and your choice of using social media as a candidate can begin.

If you are interested in serving, please contact the Commission on Candidacy via email hidden; JavaScript is requiredAMTA staff liaison to the Commission on Candidacy.

The Commission on Candidacy and Commissioner of Elections welcomes your questions, comments, and ideas.

 

Chris Rider, Commissioner of Elections

Barb Lis, Commission on Candidacy Chair

2011 Commissioners: Michael Blackmore, Christopher Deery, Jennifer C. Irving, Lucia A. Kaestner, and Shari Mirgon