This year’s Assembly of Delegates (AOD) was virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions and I was saddened that we weren’t all getting together at the 2020 National Convention in person. This was a challenge being that I was not able to get more feedback from members at our chapter meetings or events that normally would be happening before national convention and the AOD.

This year, our discussion topic was about volunteerism. This was a topic that I really like to talk about seeing that I grew a successful massage business through volunteering through our chapter events.

On September 15th, we all sat in front a computer in a group conference call and had group discussions with other chapter delegates. It was amazing to me how we all had different perspectives and ideas about volunteering within our chapters. One thing that we all had in common was that we all are having challenges in getting our members to volunteer at chapter meetings and/or volunteering on a sports massage team or on a community service team. Of course, volunteering this year in 2020 has been nonexistent because of COVID-19 but hopefully we can turn all this around moving forward in 2021! Some of the highlights that we all had in our group discussion were…

  • Many want National to do more for our volunteer programs.
  • More mentoring from our chapter leaders.
  • Online videos for training/refreshers from how to do sports massage to how to do a chair massage to how to successfully volunteer in a position within the chapter etc.
  • In-house training, face-to-face and/or hands-on.
  • Kickstarting the Ambassador Program to create excitement for new members as well as current members and keep our chapter members in the know.

I feel the AOD was successful! The AOD Committee did a fantastic job putting everything together for the first virtual meeting. It was seamless for the most part. I wish we all had more time to discuss the topic, but I also feel that all the input from delegates, was on point.

The big question for me is what will volunteering look like in a COVID world moving forward? What protocols will need to be in place now at events and chapter meetings once things open up? These are some questions and concerns the AOD didn’t discuss this year. I’m sure all this will be addressed at National and in our BOD meetings very soon.

In the beginning when I first graduated from CCMT (Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy) and joined the AMTA CT-Chapter, Rory Deer (ambassador at the time) called me and told me all about our chapter and its teams and how to volunteer etc. That’s how and why I began to volunteer for events. From there, I began to network with other therapists and increase my skill level as a massage therapist. With all the volunteering with the sports and community service team events, I started to see a huge increase in business! In the beginning of volunteering in the chapter, my intention wasn’t to build my business at all but the more I volunteered the more exposure I began to get and then I began to see the fruits of my labor. My confidence increased more and more then out of the blue, someone in the chapter suggested I apply to become a delegate back in 2008 and all of a sudden, I was flying to Portland, Oregon to my first AMTA National Convention as a delegate, a voice for our AMTA CT Chapter.

I’ve had a fantastic journey so far and I encourage all members to step up and volunteer wherever you can within our chapter as well as outside our chapter because we are all AMTA members that can and will make a positive difference for others and your own well-being!

When you are ready to step up and make a difference, feel free to reach out to me or any of our chapter leaders and we will do our best to help and guide you to whatever you want to do or want to become or if you’d like to just sit down and chit chat with a cup of coffee or tea, that’s okay too.

Send me an email: handsatworkcmt@gmail.com

We are here for you!

Rocky Perez
AMTA- CT Chapter Delegate