A Change for the Better at the Massage Therapy Foundation and AMTA

This past week the Massage Therapy Foundation announced that Gini S. Ohlson will become the new Executive Director of the organization, effective July 1. Ohlson has been the AMTA’s staff director for the MTF since 1998.

This is part of the paradigm shift between the two organizations, and I think it’s a good one. AMTA was the founder of the Massage Therapy Foundation back in 1990, and the Executive Director of AMTA has also always acted as the Executive Director of the Foundation. I’ve always wondered how well that worked out, since both organizations carry a lot of responsibility and it would seem to me to be a full-time job to fill either position. Both organizations have come to the same conclusion and have mutually agreed that it is time for the MTF to function more independently.

The Foundation will continue to be housed in AMTA’s offices in Evanston, IL, and the AMTA will continue to support the MTF, albeit in a different way from in the past. AMTA has traditionally paid the staff salaries for the Foundation staff. Under the new agreement, AMTA will continue to contribute to the finances of the MTF, but they will be paying their own staff salaries. AMTA has also committed to donating $50K per year earmarked specifically for massage therapy research.

AMTA’s new Executive Director, former Deputy Director Bill Brown, will be taking over when current ED Shelly Johnson steps down on May 17. I spoke with both of the at the International Massage Therapy Research Conference last weekend. I had previously asked Brown to consent to an interview for my blog when he takes over, and couldn’t resist jerking his chain a little bit by telling him I was going to have Johnson do a guest blog first entitled “Final Instructions for Bill.” Both have years of service to AMTA. I wish Johnson the best in her retirement and look forward to seeing what Brown will do as leader of the organization. AMTA and the MTF will continue to work together for the good of the profession, I have no doubts.

My attendance at the International Massage Therapy Research Conference last week just reaffirmed for me how important it is to support the Massage Therapy Foundation. I urge every massage therapist to support the Foundation in whatever way you can. If each therapist donated the cost of one massage per year to the MTF, that would be a huge amount of money. Just do it! You can donate here.

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