Chapter Humanitarian –Cass Crewdson

The chapter humanitarian award acknowledges the heart of massage in action. 

Cass is a familiar face in the Connecticut Chapter for many years.  She has been an AMTA member for 32 years and has helped to establish a standard of excellence.   She has mentored chapter presidents and board members, and is a two-time chapter meritorious award winner.   Cass has served the Chapter for over 15 years as President, newsletter editor, delegate to the House of Delegates and on the New England Regional Conference Committee.  At the National level, she was on the Chapter Relations committee for 20 years, she was on a Commission for Candidacy, and is currently chairing a national workgroup to investigate Sharing Chapter Volunteer Resources.

If the chapter needs a hand somewhere, Cass is there to help out. 

As part of the AMTA-CT Community Massage Team (CSMT) Emergency Division Cass has volunteered at the 9/11 response at Ground Zero and other emergency responses.  Cass is also a member of CSMT, she participates in Massage Therapy Awareness Day at the Capital, various Massage Therapy Awareness Week events, and other events over the years.  

Outside of AMTA, Cass offers massage therapy at a local homeless shelter, and other events for the elderly, ill and caregivers.  She is also a volunteer in her church community.

Thank you Cass for your years of selfless service.  

Chapter Government Relations Activist Award – Nikki Arel and Becca Torns-Barker

The chapter does not routinely recognize Government Relations with an award.  This year we are recognizing Nikki Arel and Becca Torns-Barker with The CT-Chapter Government Relations Activist Award for their work over the last 2 years.   As many of you know they have shared information with us on many occasions over the last few years and continue to do so.   Nikki and Becca are not paid for the countless hours spent on the phone, in meetings, writing letters, working with our lobbyist and DPH, fielding member concerns, keeping us informed, and leadership in this area.   Individually they are each a power-house, Together they are a super-power.

The last two years has been a massive undertaking. The major accomplishments are:

            Education hours were increased for licensure

            Hands-on training hours mandatory for massage therapy licensure in CT

            Defeating the Governor’s proposal to tax massage therapy services

            Inclusion in the drafting of the Esthetician’s bill

            Amending the wording in the Esthetician’s bill that affected LMTs

            Educating legislators and staff at Massage Therapy Awareness Day at the Capitol

Nikki and Becca have gone well above just being our Government Relations Chair and President respectively.  These two work so well together and have supported each other.    The work load alone is more than one person has time for.  Behind the scenes they have brainstormed, used their strengths, contacts, and chapter roles, planned and re-planned, attended hearings, cheered and made sacrifices.  Their experiences and knowledge working with the legislature and DPH has benefited all LMTs in this state.   For those that do not know it is a massive undertaking to propose legislation and passage is not always a positive outcome.  Knowing these two as I do and the amount of work put in individually and collectively, the only outcome expected was success.