By Jennifer Fournier-Dubree

I am truly blessed to be a part of this amazing organization!  This event truly opened my eyes to how large and diverse our profession truly is.  Nothing could have prepared me for this experience; however, I must say having others from the AMTA-CT Chapter attend as a group made this all the more special.   Your shared knowledge, direction and collaboration made this a memorable teambuilding and learning event.  Being new to massage therapy, licensed only since January 2016, I was overwhelmed by how many professional LMTs are really out there from as far away as Alaska.  I learned we have over 75,000 members nationally.

After attending our AMTA-CT conference the past two years and being extremely impressed by the organization, planning, all-star education and professional attendees that go into making our AMTA-CT Chapter event extremely successful, it was no surprise that I found our national convention to be just like our conference but on a much larger scale!

From the minute I entered the convention center my eyes were wide open to the amazing sights and sounds of an inspirational setting filled with like-minded individuals eager to learn, share and have fun.  The opening session with Shaun T brought us together as one organization and supercharged us for the learning ahead that week.  It was a wonderful feeling to be a part of something larger than life…a room full of positive energy and smiles.

The first timers luncheon, leadership training, a full slate of classes and the dinner dance (naming just a few of the highlights), brought us together to network with other LMTs from across the nation.

The House of Delegates session on Wednesday brought us all together again in an extremely professional manner, one in which I was very impressed with the overall process as we reviewed and voted on a position statement proposal “Massage Therapy Can Provide Significant Benefit as a Component of Integrative Health Care” from our Maryland chapter, which was voted on and passed.  We also reviewed a recommendation from our Indiana chapter on “Allowance of Dues received from National for Student Membership Classification” which has gone up to the National Board for review.

Some recommendations from my learnings at National this year:

  1. “Remember our members.” As a board I feel we do this well, but I would like to continue to find ways to bring new people in to share the experience, excited to have others join at CVOP, delegate sessions, bring new volunteers on the board, etc.
  2. “Communication is key.” Let’s take a look at how we all work best, each of our behavior styles and ensure effective collaboration continues as we continue to transition as a new board.
  3. “Let’s deliver on our passions and have more fun.” A brainstorming session prior to year start could assist with fresh ideas for our events.  Focus on member involvement is a key component to this as well.

I am sincerely grateful for this experience and ability to share it with the AMTA-CT Chapter.  Coming from a corporate background where things can sometimes be completely black and white, it was refreshing to see some gray with such positive energy in a room full of professionals who can express themselves in such a wonderfully cheerful way.