A Special Message from Your AMTA President, Angela Barker

AMTA President Angela Barker shares her thoughts on this past year and what it has meant for members, now and into the near future.

December, 2020

Dear AMTA Family,

As I stepped into my role as your national president in March, the Coronavirus had just found its way into the United States. Initially I, like many of you, thought this would last a few months and things would “go back to normal”. Now, nine months later, we are still adapting to the effects of this persistent virus we all now know as COVID-19. The Dalai Lama has said, “Whenever there is a challenge there is also an opportunity to face it, to demonstrate and develop our will and determination”.

As your national president, I have been blessed and honored to see our members, and our volunteers at every level, not just adapt to our ever-changing world, but overcome those challenges and show the massage profession why we are the BEST member-driven association. It did not take our members and staff weeks to adjust to the quickly-changing landscape. It took hours.

And, we are continuing our commitment to provide you with the latest updates on COVID-19, and its impact on the entire massage profession. You can stay up-to-date on state reopening orders and guidelines along with changes to massage licensure and CE requirements as quickly as we can verify the information.

But there is more. Our AMTA family banded together through social media, virtual platforms, calls, texts, and yes, even handwritten letters. You checked on one another making sure that each of you were safe and well physically, mentally, and spiritually. You took the time away from your practices and worked to continue your education and skills, taking more than 300,000 hours of free AMTA CE courses. All of this for the love of our clients, our patients, our athletes and the profession that has brought us together into one amazing, diverse, compassionate and a little crazy family.

Unfortunately, our new normal continues, and I must ask you to stay the course. Your board of directors and I want to ensure your safety. This means chapter programs this spring will take place virtually. Our staff is working with our chapter leaders - whether for education, community building or moments of inspiration – to bring you together for social interaction, giving everyone a safe space to reconnect so we can “see” one another when the distance between us feels so great.

In spite of all of these changes and challenges, I want to recognize the commitment of our longtime members. In particular, I want to shine a light on three people who have been AMTA members for 50 years. That’s right – 50 years! Congratulations to Carol S. Drudge of Arizona, Marcia L. Kaul of California, and Carl D. Nelson of Missouri. Thank you so much for your commitment to AMTA and to our profession. Read more about our special anniversary recipients here.

I can tell you that every one of your national board members is proud of all of our members. We cannot wait to see you in Tampa in August 2021. Virtual hugs until then.

Much love and all of my respect,

Angela Barker
AMTA National President