AMTA National Convention Summary 2019
Indianapolis Happily Hosted National Convention
The AMTA national convention occurred October 24-26, 2019 in Indianapolis at the convention center. There were approximately 2000 attendees, of which there were 300 first-timers, 500 students, and 109 of the pre-registered attendees were from Indiana!

The main theme of the convention was YOU ARE AMTA! This is a true statement! AMTA is the most respected trade organization in the country because it values each and every member's voice.

National Convention coincided with NMTAW (National Massage Therapy Awareness Week) Governor Holcomb signed a Proclamation to honor the week as NMTAW in Indiana.

Next year's National Convention has been announced for August 27-29, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Michael Phelps will be the keynote speaker.

Future convention cities include:
2021 Tampa, Florida and 2022 Cleveland Ohio
(actual dates are tentative at this time)

The handouts from the classes at convention have been posted and are available for download.
Indiana Chapter Breakfast
Monster Mash
We had 30 attendees at our Breakfast on Thursday morning. Our lobbyist, Amy Levander was our guest speaker. She gave an update on where we are with the rules and answered questions that members had on the process. She presented the previously mentioned proclamation from the governor of Indiana which declared the week as Massage Therapy Awareness week. 
Michelle Bailey, Greenwood was honored for her efforts in changing the city ordinance of Greenwood to recognize certified Massage Therapists as exempt from their massage business ordinance. 
2020 state education was shared with the members. A save the date announcement is at the bottom of this email, and more information coming soon in our next email and on Facebook.
Each member was given a swag bag, and Indiana Pins for trading with other therapists at the convention.
The Massage Therapy Foundation kicked off the AMTA Convention with a fun Halloween-themed event featuring live music from their very own, Doug Nelson, MTF President. The evening was full, including gifts, dancing, games, prizes, and a costume contest. The Indiana Chapter volunteers went as characters from the movie Hocus Pocus, winning best group!

Volunteer and Leadership Meetings
Delegate Meetings
The Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program was attended by Erika Hoff, Nichole Fowler, Melissa Maxwell and Alyna Pucka.

The Leadership Training was attended by Kim Pucka, Alyna Pucka, Melissa Maxwell, Nichole Fowler, Terri Brandt, Jen Angel, Erika Hoff.

The purpose of these meetings is to teach the volunteers for the Chapters how to be better volunteers and how to do better work for our members.
Delegates 2019: Alyna Pucka and Elizabeth Cain
AMTA’s Indiana Chapter’s Delegate Members Alyna Pucka and Elizabeth Cain attended the 2019 National Assembly of Delegate Meeting Wednesday October 23, 2019. There were a total of 87 members in attendance to discuss the topics listed below. Because of the amount of attendees, the topics needed an approved 58 votes in order for the topic to proceed for further research.

 Position Statement: Online Education
Online education is an appropriate method to deliver curriculum content for non-psychomotor subjects in massage therapy entry-level training and continuing education.
This topic is the only topic that required a vote in order to proceed towards the next action step. Because many voters felt the topic needed to be more specific, it did not pass; 51- yes, 36- no.

Other topics of discussion included:

1.   Common Language: “What specifically does ‘Speaking the same language’ mean in relation to massage therapy becoming more integrated in healthcare?”
2.   Levels of Education: “As a Massage Therapist, how do we show the measure/accomplishments of our advanced studies and skills in massage education to healthcare professionals and the public?”

Both topics were discussion-only topics, meaning no voting was scheduled in an effort to further research. 
Exhibitor Hall
There were 72 exhibitors, ranging from various table companies to continued education and colleges to lubricants and other massage supplies. There was a page given to us at registration that was a "Passport for Prizes." The goal being to go around the hall and get stamps from many of the booths and turn in the page for giveaways. There were appetizers and fall goodies Thursday and Friday evenings. Many booths offered discounts on their products as well as were holding giveaways in the form of drawings.
Upledger Booth at convention
Sessions
The Speakers at the sessions were Robyn Benincasa, Melissa Stockwell, and Daniel Pink. All three were very inspirational in their own ways.

Nichole has this to say about Daniel Pink:
He spoke about Chronotype and when is the most productive time for individuals to participate in certain activities. One of my favorite take aways is the NAPPUCCINO! The directions were; Find your afternoon low point, (about 7 hours after waking), create a peaceful environment, drink a cup of coffee, set a timer/alarm for 25 minutes and take a nap break. It talked about the over-looked importance of breaks for our body, both mentally and physically. 
His four take-aways for the presentation were stated as, 1. Don't’ think of breaks as a deviation from performance. Think of them as part of performance.2. Schedule breaks the way you’d schedule anything else important. 3. Consider using a checklist 4. Try a nappuccino!
Testimonials and Comments for Our Chapter Volunteers on their Experiences at Convention
Elwin Graham
Exciting to See Elwin Graham, 53 year Professional Member at convention!
Christine Jennings, 1st timer
First Timer Christine Jennings getting ready to experience her first Convention!
Susan Moody, Morgan Horton, Kelly McKinney (chapter volunteers)
Long time volunteer Susan Moody and Photo bomber volunteers Kelly McKinney and Morgan Horton!
A few words from Elwin:
I was so pleased to be able to come to national convention. Christi Doolittle was such a big help and everyone was so kind and helpful. People remembered me from Pittsburgh when I got my 50 year pin, I felt so appreciated!

I am happy to see that Massage therapy is in the front row of health care. It seemed everyone was happy to be there and continue their education. I am glad to see that they recognize the importance of education.

The exhibit hall was almost overwhelming there were so many people there and lots of new things. The motivational speakers were top notch. 

I am very thankful that the AMTA leadership is carrying on the good work. It pleases me to see it continue. I am doubly happy, a million times that I was able to attend.”

A few words from Christine:
As a Massage Therapist of over 13 years I had never taken the time to go to the AMTA Convention.

When I heard that it was going to be in my home state, (my backyard of Indianapolis, Indiana) I figured that now was the time I should go and check it out.

Everything was laid out wonderfully. The people I met along the way were super friendly and informative. The speakers that I heard speak were encouraging with imperative information that I was able to bring back home and use in my private office.

I would encourage anyone that has never gone to an AMTA Convention to go check it out. Earn some CE's, check out the exhibit hall, and make new friends! You will be grateful and inspired by what you learn and experience!
A few words from Morgan:
The AMTA national conventions are such a wonderful experience and hosting the 2019 Convention in Indianapolis was an incredible honor. I have gone to several national conventions and every time I go to nationals I get rejuvenated and excited about our profession. Each class that I have attended is always well instructed and I always leave with new techniques and ideas that I can implement in my practice right away. 
The connections and friendships I have made, both professionally and personally, have traversed the years and it is always exciting to meet back up with friends from other chapters. These are long lasting friendships with some of the most kind and caring people in our community. I am still close friends with the lady I sat with at the first timers luncheon 4 years ago! Having these connections is a great way to bounce ideas and suggestions off of each other and to encourage every massage therapist we meet.
The other wonderful opportunity that is given at nationals is to experience the new technology and equipment available to us when you visit the exhibit hall. I, personally, can and have spent hours walking around and talking to all the different companies and individuals at the many booths. It's wonderful to see how far our profession has come and to know that we are currently at the forefront of that change! 
If you are on the fence about attending the 2020 national convention, I strongly encourage you do to so. You won't just be benefiting yourself by going, but also all of your clients as well. All of my clients are always so supportive of me continuing to learn new techniques that can help them the most. I hope to see you in all in August!
With every good wish
Morgan Horton, CMT
Students of Indiana Wellness College
IWC represents at Student Day!
Thank you Indiana for bringing tables! Amazing seeing all of the table in classes!
Kim Pucka, Chapter President
Kimberly Pucka attending the president meeting
I am humbled by the experience of being a volunteer and chapter president for AMTA Indiana and having a national convention in our home state. It was an honor helping the Massage Therapy Foundation prepare for their 2 events. The volunteer education and viewing the National Board Meeting are priceless events at convention. 
I hope the members that attended convention enjoyed their week and found information that will improve their practice. I enjoyed meeting a few of you for the first time and re-connecting with some that I have lost track of over the years. It was inspiring having a good show of Indiana attendees at our breakfast! Conventions are for networking as much as they are for education.
I especially want to thank the volunteers who took the time to come for the whole week and learn more about AMTA and carrying on the torch of chapter happiness and bringing us all together. You are AMTA, we are a family. 

Thank you board members; Erika Hoff, Jen Angel, Elizabeth Cain, Terri Brandt and volunteers; Nichole Fowler, Melissa Maxwell, Claudia Helbig, Alyna Pucka, Dawn Jones-Graham and Kelly McKinney; for being there, for helping, for connecting.

There is no stopping, our volunteers are gathering to work on new ways to bring us together. Keep reading your emails and checking our social media updates. Watch the mail for a paper newsletter. Who are we anyway? Have you ever said, “I didn’t even know I belong to a chapter.” Do you want to help in any way? Fill out the member application under resources on our website. 

As always, send me a note if you have a question or just want to say hi.
Terri Brandt, Financial Administrator
Myra Robinson with Terri Brandt
The speakers for each day of the convention were very inspiring and I learned a lot at my classes. However, my big take away for the week is our members. I had the privilege of helping Myra Robison, 14 yr member, navigate the convention center to find her classes. This was Myra’s first National Convention and she was nervous about getting where she needed to be. She is an amazing lady with a great sense of humor and a commitment to her career as a massage therapist and her clients. She also happens to be blind. She was patient with me as I learned my role and was amazingly unfazed when I had to abandon her one day because I had over done it. All throughout the day Nichole Fowler and other members stepped forward to help Myra get where she needed to be. We are part of a caring and compassionate community.
It was great to connect with so many of our Indiana members. Shirley Sauber and I commiserated over our aging bodies and the length of the Convention Center halls! Demetrious Shubert was headed in the other direction when he saw me pushing 2 massage tables back to the hotel to load into my car. He turned around helped me get the table cart to the hotel and then on to my car. Then he turned around again and went back to where he was headed. What a great guy!
I have talked many times about our 53 year member Elwin Graham. He is 98 years young but didn’t want to miss the chance to attend the National Convention while it was here in Indiana. Christi Doolittle made it her mission to get him there. With the help of the hotel and the convention center Elwin was able to experience it all. Many people stopped to talk to him and admire the fact that he was still getting around and doing massage.
The wonderful volunteers that attended CVOP and the chapter training are excited to reach out to our members and make everyone’s AMTA experience great. It was a privilege to have dinner with Nichole, Melissa and Claudia and talk about all they learned and the great plans they have for the future of our chapter.   
I think the best thing about the 2019 AMTA National Convention being in Indiana was the number of Indiana members who were able to attend. I didn’t come close to meeting them all but I did meet a few. I hope our members will continue to attend future education events so I am able to meet more.
I was very tired when I got home but it was a good tired. My brain and my heart are both full!
Erika Hoff, Board Member and Award/ Membership Chair
Volunteers Dawn Jones-Graham and Erika Hoff with member, Brandon Rutten
AMTA National convention was undeniably the best massage therapy event I’ve attended. The inclusivity of this group inspires me. Of all the courses and speakers I had the pleasure of viewing, the closing reception stood out the most to me. Learning about time management and how to optimize my day to be the most effective and efficient massage therapist was enlightening. I was also shocked at the statistics pertaining to pain and pain management in the US. It was encouraging to hear from some of the most influential people within the pain management field praise us as massage therapists for contributing to the improvement of these individuals' well-being and the profound impact we have on reducing the amount of opioids people are consuming. I had the pleasure of attending CVOP and acquired many new ideas and strategies for member retention and chapter promotion. My favorite part of CVOP was the personality style test. It helped everyone grasp a better understanding of the how and why certain personality types act, say, and do what they do in different situations and to appreciate those differences.
Melissa Maxwell, School Liason Chair
Melissa Maxwell with Nichole Fowler
During CVOP, we were welcomed by several massage therapists who gave their stories, of what brought them to participate in AMTA in ways to give back to the profession. This was the 18th Annual CVOP and there were a lot of alumni in the room. A Motivational speaker, Kevin Carroll stated “Don’t think about it, be about it” in reference to giving back to the profession. 

The view on school visits was to discourage “recruiting” and promote a sense of community and positive experiences. 

 Regarding Chapter operations, there was encouragement for variety of educational offerings, thoughtful communication, networking. Opportunities, quality meetings and government relations and advocacy. 

 We we’re encouraged to think about the stories we tell, member, volunteer & Chapter while we are telling our stories. It is important to discover the differences that bring us together.

“Bring one!” Concept was introduced, for growing chapter participation.

Alabama did an awesome segment on Volunteer engagement, they have 68%, goal was 65%. They focused on helping people to feel welcome, useful and appreciated. The anatomy of a volunteer includes Motivations and Needs for affiliation, achievement and power. Empowerment was explained as an element of a person feeling powerful, as compared with having “power” over others.
Claudia Helbig, Communications Chair
Claudia Helbig and Nichole Fowler
This was my first AMTA National convention. I felt as though I needed to take advantage while it was so close. I was able to take so many amazing classes that don't typically show up in our area. Each of these provided me with more websites and blogs and people to follow and learn from.

I got to meet several people in our chapter whom I had never met before, as well as people nationally. I meet several of the past Presidents of the association and current board members which was very exciting. I made connections with some volunteers in the surrounding states.

The exhibit hall gave me the opportunity to learn about more organizations working on bringing continued education into our area. I also got to look at some really interesting tools to possibly use in my practice.

This was an amazing event to be able to take part in. The relationships found and grown at this event will stay with me for a long time, as will the information learned in the unique classes I was able to take advantage of.
Save the Date - Indiana Chapter Spring Conference