COMTA: A Contradiction?

COMTA (Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation) is in dire need of volunteers, so why did they just get rid of a good one? I’m referring to John Goss, who has served COMTA for 10 years in several capacities, including a stint as Interim Executive Director. Last week, during a meeting he was unable to attend, Dr. Goss was unceremoniously dismissed from the Commission.

I contacted Kate Henrioulle, Executive Director, and Melissa Wade, the Chair, and they both gave me the same answer: “COMTA thanks John Goss for his past service and wishes him well in the future.”

A COMTA volunteer who spoke on condition of anonymity said “John was known for asking hard questions. They didn’t like that. He was accused of “impeding the work of the Commission.” That’s too bad. Board members who ask hard questions are usually the ones who demand transparency, who hold other members accountable, and who get a lot of work done. Dr. Goss has, in the words of my source, “given a ton to COMTA over the years.”

Another COMTA insider said “The Commission is not articulating a vision or speaking with any authority or inspiration; it’s all about doing “stuff” and getting more income from higher fees.  What about the stakeholders’ returns on investments (financial or temporal)?”  The same person stated that the staff communications at COMTA are an embarrassment, replete with typos, poor grammar, and inappropriate language. “If I were on the receiving end of one of those reports, I’d be wondering what business these folks have telling me what I should be doing,” stated the source.

I’m in service on the North Carolina Board, and I ask hard questions, just like John Goss. I’m all for transparency and accountability, and I don’t believe in compromising if it’s at the expense of the stakeholders. You can ask the folks at the top of AMTA, ABMP, the NCBTMB, and the Federation. Open and direct communication is the way I roll, and I will be a thorn in their side when I don’t get an answer. And when they give me some party line, I call it like I see it.

It does seem to me that COMTA has been stuck in neutral for awhile. 8 years into their existence as an accrediting body, and they have accredited less than 100 schools. And they are in need, indeed, of volunteers. Henrioulle asked me to pass along this link and encourage those who would be interested in acting as peer reviewers to get in touch.

Disclosure: I am currently a candidate for Commissioner for the upcoming COMTA election.

Laura Allen