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Pulse Newsletter | October 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Creating fresh trails

on a new map!




Dear Member,


This past summer brought some big changes to AOBTA®! The new board of directors was seated on July 1st. Two new staff members were hired, which means we now have more staff working for you than ever before.


A campaign was launched to invite prior members to reconnect with their professional community, a sweeping remodel of our social media and communications platforms is under way, work has begun on a robust member orientation program, and a monthly Lunch & Learn webinar series was kicked off with great success!


As we approach the 30th Anniversary of AOBTA® in 2020, we are setting out on a journey we haven't taken before! New trails, new scenery, new experiences!




Communications Coordinator



Brian joined the AOBTA® staff team as a consulting communications coordinator in August. 

His position is responsible for coordinating the extensive amount of content and information shared throughout our professional community on a wide variety of communications platforms. 


As an AOBTA® Certified Practitioner and an active volunteer for the association, he is very familiar with the profession and our members.

Brian brings a wealth of experience and a collection of skills that makes him uniquely qualified to assess the communications platforms available to us and match them with the content we want to share in a way that is efficient, smart, and user-friendly.


The staff and board leadership are very much looking forward to working with Brian!




Dwayne Gamboa, CP - TX

Krystle Sanchez, Student - PA

George Stretch, CP - IL

Donna Harrar, Student - IL

Kaitlin Kaufman, Student - NY

Kokoro Bensonoff, Student - MA

Nicholas Zeek, Student - LA

Robert Fertman, Student - PA

Nicole Superits, CP - IL

Gabe Bellows, Student - MN

Michael Countryman, CP - IL

Kristie Kloepper, CP - IL

Kelsey Kutil, Student - MN

Katy Orth, Student - MN

Llarissa Wilson, Student - MN

Crystal Wolfe, Student - MN

Sue Vanags, CP - IL

Travis Riemer, Student - MA

Riley Cushing, Student - MA

Norlen Linn, Student - NH

Sumaya Giarushi, Student - MN

Alyssa Erding, Student - MN

Matthew DiNatale, Student - CT



New member experience... the AOBTA® Lunch & Learn Webinar


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

12:00-1:00pm (EST)



Join AOBTA®'s Managing Director, Wayne Mylin, on a journey through our website. 


There's a good chance you'll see things you haven't seen before and find a few treasures along the way.


Do you know what's waiting there for you?!




Interested in becoming an AOBTA® Lunch & Learn Presenter?


We are now accepting applications for presenters!


Find out more about this very special opportunity by clicking the link below!


Participate in planning our Fall 2020 gathering.


The board of directors is happy to announce the next AOBTA® Conference! The planning is now beginning for a celebratory gathering in the Fall of 2020.


It's been a number of years since AOBTA®'s last conference. Our 30th Anniversary year is the perfect time for our next one!


You are invited to participate in the planning, promoting, and production of this very special event.


Explore the exciting possibility of being a member of the team that makes this happen by attending the first Conference Committee meeting. If you have questions, please contact committee chair Deborah Valentine Smith at 


Conference Committee Launch Meeting


Friday, October 18, 2019 | 11:00 to 1:00 (EST)


Online virtual meeting (join on your computer or phone)


Register for the Meeting


<Join the Conference Committee Group>





Even After 35 Years, There's More to Learn


By Deborah Valentine Smith, B.A, L.M.T. (NY), Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA®-CI, AOBTA® President, Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure® Authorized Teacher

Back in January 2018, I got an email from Cindy Banker, AOBTA® Education Director, about a project launched by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Educators (AFTME), which “was established to serve as an independent voice, advocate and resource for the community of massage schools and educators.” Several AOBTA® members and board members, at the instigation of Cari Johnson-Pelava, AOBTA® COSP Director, had attended the bi-annual conferences in 2015 and 2017 (more about the stellar conference we attended this July in an upcoming article) and were impressed and excited to meet a group of people who were committed to excellence in massage therapy education and who, most importantly, welcomed our perspective as Asian Bodywork Therapy educators. The conference was exciting and provided mounds of information useful to my practice, my teaching, and to the AOBTA® organization.

So when Cindy approached me about participating in an AFTME education project, I was all ears. Here’s their description of the broader project... <READ MORE






AOBTA® has been defending our members right to practice in MA, IL, and CA!


Over the past few months, there has been a significant amount of regulatory activity in these states. AOBTA®'s Legislative Consultant, Yolanda Asher, and teams of members have been diligently working to remain alert to proposed regulatory changes that could potentially damage the rights of an ABT practitioner to practice.


While AOBTA® is committed to applying resources towards advocating for your professional rights, it is important that you also keep yourself informed and participate in these efforts. Yolanda provides valuable experience, guidance, and a knowledgeable voice - but it is the voices of many that often make the difference!


Find out how you can learn more and participate in these advocacy activities by joining your state group (log in to the website and see if your state has a group) or contacting Yolanda. 


Yolanda Asher, Legislative Consultant  |  |  770.498.3761



391 Wilmington Pike
Suite #3, Box 260
Glen Mills, PA 19342



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