National Elections

Learn about this year's slate of candidates.

2022 National Elections

The 2022 Slate Selection Commission is proud to present this year's American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Board Election Slate for your approval and support.

This year's slate includes massage therapists from across the profession who bring a wealth of volunteer experience in both chapter and national positions to the AMTA Board of Directors. They would all bring their energy and complementary skills to AMTA's National Board.

The AMTA National Elections will be open Tuesday, November 15 through Thursday, December 1. All professional members (as of October 1) are eligible to vote and should receive their ballot via email on November 15.

Heber Blackner

Biography:

Heber J. Blackner has been a massage therapist for 10 years. He attended the Myotherapy College of Utah where he was trained in over 20 modalities including sports massage and myofascial release. He has been the Utah Chapter President since 2018. As President, he has worked to create a diverse group of individuals to lead their Chapter and develop their mission and goals. Heber would be a new member of the National Board.

For the past 10 years, he has served as Captain for marathon massage teams by recruiting and training massage therapists for every race. Prior to becoming a massage therapist, Heber spent 25 years managing and training up to 200 people.

“I appreciate all that AMTA has given me, and I want to give back to the members and the profession.”

“I love how past AMTA leaders inspired me to be involved and will always be grateful for their mentorship and encouragement.”

Education:

  • Myotherapy College of Utah, 2012
  • Teachers Education Southern Utah University, 1990-1997
  • National Broadcasting School, 1989

Experience:

  • First VP/Board Member Utah Chapter, 2016-2018
  • Chapter President Utah Chapter, 2018-2022
  • Financial Admin Utah Chapter, 2022-Present

Awards:

  • State of Nevada Service Award, 1988
  • Governors Outstanding Service Award (Governor Michael Leavitt), 2001
  • Top Division Citi Group, 2007, 2008
  • Key Scouters Award, 2014, 2015, 2016

Cindy Farrar

Biography:

Cindy has been a licensed massage therapist for 25 years and has owned her own business for 23 years. She previously served on the School Awards and Education Operational Committees. Cindy has held a variety of positions nationally and in her Georgia Chapter, including chapter president. She received the Georgia Chapter Meritorious Award in 2012/13, and would be a returning member of the board.

Cindy was previously Assistant Director of Education at the Atlanta School of Massage and is a NCBTMB Approved Provider. She is a strong believer in AMTA’s multi-year initiatives for the profession, because they enhance the opportunities for massage therapists, especially AMTA members, to be successful. And, she is committed to strengthening AMTA’s chapters.

“Early into my massage education I knew playing a role in furthering the profession of massage therapy was a significant part of my purpose. Volunteering with AMTA (since 2002) was/has been a natural extension to that end. In addition, service on the National Board affords the opportunity to purposely apply my leadership skills and acquired experience to be in a position to support AMTA’s initiatives, support its members and positively impact our profession.”

Education:

  • Wild Peace Tai Chi; Qi Gong Level 1 & 2; Certified Instructor, 2015, 2020
  • Life Purpose Institute; Certified Life Coach, 2017 Whitehawk Caddy; Foot Reflexology Certification, 2000
  • Neuromuscular Therapy Center; Neuromuscular Therapy Certification, 1997 Atlanta School of Massage; Professional Massage Therapy Certification, 1997
  • Albertus Magnus College; Sociology/Prelaw, 1980-1983

Experience:

  • Massage Associates of Atlanta, LLC; Principal Member/Sole Owner, 1998-Present
  • Our Town, DeKalb Community and Family Magazine; Writer, Columnist, 2019-Present
  • Applied Therapeutic Perspectives; Owner, NCBTMB Approved Provider, 2018-Present
  • Heart of Becoming Certified Life and Business Coach; Owner, 2017-Present
  • Tai Chi Qi Gong Class and Workshop Teacher, 2015-Present
  • Lippincott, Williams, Wilkins; Contributor, Consultant, Reviewer 2016, 2003-2007
  • Atlanta School of Massage; 2000-2007
  • Assistant Director of Education; Deep Tissue & Integrative Massage Therapy Program, Curriculum Department Chair, Business and Marketing, Continuing Education Instructor, Clayton State College and University, 1999-2000

License/Board Certification:

  • Georgia Licensed Massage Therapist #MT000505, 2006-Present
  • National Certification Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, Board Certified, 2013-Present
  • National Certification Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, Nationally Certified, 1997-2013

Volunteer Experience:

  • School Awards Operational Committee; Leader, 2008-2020
  • Education Operational Committee; Member, 2007–2020
  • National Board; Director, 2021-Present, 2016-2018
  • Audit Commission; Member 2016-2018
  • AMTA and Healthcare Operational Committee; Member, 2015–2017
  • Teachers Development Committee; Member, 2002–2016

Volunteer Experience with AMTA-Georgia Chapter:

  • Government Relations Committee, 2018-2020
  • President, 2014-2016
  • Newsletter Committee Chair/Editor, 2013–2014
  • 2nd Vice President, 2012-2014
  • Delegate, 2012-2014
  • Education Committee Chair, 2012-2014

Additional Volunteer Experience:

  • Atlanta School of Massage; Program Advisory Committee, 2013–Present
  • Olde Town Tucker Merchants Association; Charter Member, Secretary, 2012–2013
  • Tucker Fibromyalgia Support Group; Facilitator, 2000–2003
  • Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, 1997–2004
  • New Haven Project for Battered Women, 1981–1983

Awards:

  • AMTA National Outstanding Volunteer Group-School Awards Operational Committee, 2014
  • AMTA Georgia Chapter Meritorious Award, 2012-2013
  • UST, Regional Fellowship Award, 1992
  • UST, Outstanding Sales Award, 1991
  • UST, Outstanding Marketing Program, 1990
  • Waldenbooks, District Rookie of the Year, 1981
  • Rotary Club, Service Award, 1978

Robert (Bob) Jantsch

Biography:

Robert (Bob) has been a massage therapist since 1981 and was the Director/Owner of the Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy from 1986 to 2019. He has been an active chapter volunteer since 1988, including serving as Pennsylvania chapter president. Bob would be a returning Board member.

Bob was instrumental in the development of the House of Delegates and how it was organized, and has previously served on the Pennsylvania Board of Massage Therapy as its Chair. Bob is invested in supporting the membership initiative since it is an important building block for creating and maintaining a strong membership base.

“I love this profession and I love AMTA. To be able to contribute to both in this way is an honor and a privilege that I never expected during my early days in the House of Delegates. I look forward to continuing to serve the AMTA and the profession, and giving back to the organization that has done so much for the advancement of massage therapy.”

“From on-site chair massage to hospital-based massage therapy, this profession is incredibly diverse and needs to move forward in a way that respects that diversity. This is my focus and a primary goal of mine.”

Education:

  • Chartiers Valley High School, Pittsburgh, PA, Diploma, 1971
  • Boulder School of Massage, Boulder, CO, 1981

Experience:

  • Massage Therapist, 1981-Present
  • Licensed Massage Therapist, PA, 2015-Present
  • AMTA National Board of Directors, Director, 2019-Present
  • Director/Owner Pittsburgh School of Massage Therapy, 1986-2019
  • Western PA Unit Chair, 1988-1990
  • Western PA District Representative, 1990-1992
  • PA Delegate to National Convention, 1990-2002 (Missed 1 year), 2007, 2017-2018
  • PA Standing Rules Committee Chair, 1992-2002
  • PA Chapter President, 1996-2000
  • House of Delegates Operations Committee, 1997-1999, 2001-2003, 2007-2009
  • Council of Schools Annual Meeting Planning Committee, 2006-2008
  • Western PA District Representative, 2007-2008
  • Council of Schools Annual Meeting Planning Committee Chair, 2008

AMTA Awards:

  • PA Chapter Meritorious Award Recipient, 1999

Kimberly (Kim) Kane-Santos

Biography:

Kimberly (Kim) has been in massage therapy practice for more than 15 years and for 7 years was an instructor of a deep muscle massage course and supervised the student clinic at Health Options Institute in Bethlehem, PA. She has held several positions in her Pennsylvania Chapter, including President from 2014 to 2016. She received the Pennsylvania Chapter Meritorious Award in 2015. Kim would be a returning Board member and currently serves on the National Finance Committee.

Kim has also served on the National Convention Operational Committee and the National Healthcare Operational Committee. She strongly believes in AMTA’s commitment to its members and the profession.

”While I practice open mindedness, knowledge presented at the board table has further enriched my effective decision making skills. I feel confident as a team as we can move the Association forward.  I pride myself on building relationships. Connecting with members, being approachable and engaging; nurturing trust and respect, all while providing a safe, supportive, positive environment builds our AMTA community.”

“In the last two years we have faced many challenges as an association. However, we never lost sight of our goals! First and foremost was our Community. It mattered more than anything. 'Now More Than Ever, Community Matters' is the first phrase you see when entering the AMTA website. But it’s more than just a phrase. AMTA worked hard to help members feel connected and cared about at a time when the world seemed so lost.”

Education:

  • Phillipsburg High School, Phillipsburg, NJ, Diploma, 1983
  • William Paterson University, Wayne NJ, 1983-1985
  • Licensed Massage Therapist, PA, 2011-Present
  • Licensed Massage Therapist, NJ, 2014-Present
  • National Certification Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, Board Certified, 2018-Present
  • End of Life Doula Certification, 2020-Present

Experience:

  • PA Chapter Secretary of Lehigh Valley Unit, 2003-2008
  • PA Chapter 3rd Vice President, 2008-2010
  • PA Chapter Conference Committee, 2010-2014
  • PA Chapter 1st Vice President, 2010-2014
  • PA Chapter Delegate, 2011-2014
  • PA Chapter President, 2014-2016
  • National Convention Operational Committee, 2014-2016
  • National Healthcare Operational Committee, 2015-2018
  • National Government Relations Operational Committee, 2015-Present
  • National Finance Committee Member, FY 2016/2017; FY 2020/2021-Present
  • National Director, 2016-Present
  • National Audit Commission Chairperson, FY 2018/2019
  • National Finance Committee Chairperson, 2022-Present

Awards:

  • PA Chapter Meritorious Award, 2016

Cheryl L. Siniakin

Biography:

Cheryl L. Siniakin has been a licensed massage therapist in Pennsylvania since 1986. She has her Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and has served in an AMTA leadership role since 1990. Cheryl has also been the Chair of the National Bylaws Standing Committee for over 20 years, and has been a massage educator for 31 years. Cheryl would be a new member of the National Board.

Cheryl was responsible for spearheading and creating a two-year Associate in Science degree program in massage therapy at her local community college in 1999, which continues to thrive to this day. She was also a site visitor for COMTA for multiple years, and served as the Pennsylvania Chapter President from 1994-1996.

“I am inspired to serve on the National Board because I’ve seen a lot; questioned a lot, synthesized a lot, accepted a lot, and celebrated a lot. I believe that the timing is right for me to serve the association in this capacity.”

“My Master’s degree is in Psychology. I am a trained listener. I have the ability to hear what a speaker is saying without prejudice. I believe this a skill that is valuable for a National Board member to have.”

Education:  

  • Peabody High School, Pittsburgh, PA, Diploma, 1972
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, Bachelor of Science, Psychology, 1979
  • Ozark Life Center School of Therapy Technology, Fayetteville, AR, Certificate, 1985
  • Heed University, Hollywood, FL, PhD, Education, 1996
  • Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA, Master of Arts, Psychology, 2013
  • Licensed Massage Therapist, AR, 1986-1993
  • Licensed Massage Therapy Instructor, AR, 1993-Present
  • Licensed Massage Therapist, PA, 2011-Present
  • National Certification Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, Nationally Certified, 1992-2018
  • National Certification Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, Board Certified, 2018-Present

Experience:

  • National Bylaws Chair, 1995-Present
  • National Member at Large, 2015-2016
  • PA Chapter President, 1994-1996
  • PA Chapter 1st Vice President, 1993-1994
  • PA Chapter 3rd Vice President, 1991-1993
  • PA Chapter Western Unit-Secretary-Treasurer, 1990-1991

Awards:

  • National Distinguished Service Award, 2007
  • PA Chapter President’s Award, 2006
  • National Outstanding Committee Chair Award, 2000
  • National Meritorious Award, 1996
  • PA Chapter Meritorious Award, 1996

LaDonna Ward

Biography:

LaDonna Ward would be a returning Board member and recently served on the National Finance Committee. She also held the position of Chapter Presidents Council Moderator and was a member of the National Chapter Relations Standing Committee. She has been a chapter president, a massage therapy instructor for more than 25 years and a school owner for 20+ years. LaDonna was the recipient of the Alabama Chapter Meritorious Award in 2013. 

In addition to being a school owner, LaDonna is also a massage clinic owner. She is especially excited about AMTA’s efforts to support chapters, enhance the chapter experience and advance AMTA’s culture and membership initiatives.

“One of my inspirations is to continue to help AMTA members to feel like we are a part of something bigger and something special.”

“As a teacher, I have learned that leading by example is the best way to invigorate the spark needed to accomplish goals. If you care, they will care. If you love the AMTA, they will too. If you want the best for others, your team will too.”

Education:

  • Cullman High School, Cullman, AL, Diploma, 1987
  • Alabama School of Massage Therapy, Birmingham, AL, Certificate, 1991
  • The Neuromuscular Training Center, Atlanta, GA, Certificate, 1991
  • Licensed Massage Therapist, AL, 1998-Present
  • National Certification Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, Board Certified, 2018-Present

Experience:

  • AL Chapter Secretary, 1999-2003
  • AL House of Delegate Representative, 1999, 2008
  • AL Chapter 3rd Vice President, 2003-2004
  • AL Chapter Historian Committee Chair, 2004-2007
  • AL Chapter 2nd Vice President, 2007-2009
  • AL Chapter 1st Vice President, 2009-2012
  • AL Chapter President, 2012-2016
  • National Leadership Training Presenter, 2014
  • National Chapter President’s Council Moderator-Elect, 2014
  • National Chapter President’s Council Moderator, 2015
  • National Chapter Relations Committee Member, 2016
  • National Board Member, 2017-Present
  • National Finance Committee, 2018-2021

Awards:

  • Alabama Chapter Meritorious Award, 2013

Eligibility Requirements For The National Board of Directors

If you have been an AMTA professional member for at least three years and have served as an elected chapter volunteer, or an appointed or elected national volunteer within the past three years, you are eligible to be considered for the AMTA National Board of Directors.

If you meet these eligibility requirements, consider applying to serve on the National Board of Directors. The application is the first step in a rigorous process designed to help find AMTA members whose personal and professional strengths create the strongest national board team while considering diversity and inclusion.

AMTA National Board Candidate Checklist

To be considered, candidates must meet the eligibility criteria and complete the application process. Find out what AMTA’s National Board application process entails.

  1. Sign the board of directors code of conduct
  2. Fill out an applicant eligibility form
  3. Sign the conflict of interest form
  4. Take four online courses and pass the corresponding online exams.
  5. Fill out the bio application
  6. Submit a 60-90 second candidate video
  7. Submit three letters of reference from professional and personal colleagues and friends. 
  8. Participate in a 30-minute phone interview with the Slate Selection Commission

What is the Slate Selection Commission?

The Slate Selection Commission is a group of current and recent past national volunteers with deep knowledge of AMTA who guide candidates through the application process and ensure they meet the high standards required of national board service.

Members eligible to serve on this commission include: Chapter President Council Moderators, past national presidents and board members, past and current national standing, advisory and operational committee chairs and members, and past Slate Selection Commission members.

The Slate Selection Commission has the important responsibility to bring forward the strongest slate of candidates for AMTA members to consider.

Bylaws: Slate Selection Commission

  • The Slate Selection Commission receives and reviews applications for candidacy to the national board and shall ensure that one qualified candidate is on the ballot for each open position. A member of the Slate Selection Commission may not be recruited for an elected position.
  • The Slate Selection Commission shall be appointed by the President with approval of the National Board of Directors.
  • Current members of the National Board of Directors may not serve on the SSC.
  • There shall be five members selected from the following four groups:

Group 1: Past National Presidents having served within the last five years after completion of their term as Immediate Past President.
Group 2: Past National Board Members having completed one full term in their position within the last five years
Group 3: Slate Selection Commission members having served within the last five years.
Group 4: Select National Volunteers

a. Members or Chairs of standing committees, advisory committees, and/or operational committees having completed one full term within their position within the last five years.
b. Chapter Presidents Council (CPC) moderators having completed one full term within their position within the last five years.
c. Assembly of Delegates Advisory Committee Chairs and members having completed one full term within their position within the last five years.

  • The term is for two years beginning on the first day of the fiscal year following the appointment.
  • Slate Selection Commission members shall serve no more than three consecutive two-year terms, but may be reappointed following at least a year’s absence on the Commission provided that eligibility requirements are met.
  • The President-Elect is an ex-officio and non-voting member.
  • The chair of the Slate Selection Commission shall be appointed by the President.
  • Duties and empowerments of the Slate Selection Commission shall be defined in AMTA policy.

Policy: The SSC has the following duties and empowerments:

  • Shall review AMTA recruitment and elections policies.
  • Shall establish candidate application credentialing procedures.
  • Shall assess the skill sets and expertise needed by the board.
  • Shall contact incumbents to discover if they intend to seek re-election.
  • Shall make available appropriate education tools for potential applicants.
  • Shall recruit for all open Director positions between August 1 and November 1.
  • Shall confirm that each candidate has demonstrated a familiarity with AMTA Bylaws, policy, procedure and other relevant information through online testing or similar methods.
  • Shall interview all applicants.
  • Shall determine the best applicants to fill positions on the slate.
  • Shall create and maintain guidelines for publication of candidate information.

Resources

Future Directions/Strategic Plan
Director Position Description

Bylaws and Policy

Bylaws—Article VII
Policy—Candidacy & Elections