2023 National Convention Report: Allison Hanelt
I have worked as a full time employee at a chiropractic clinic for most of my massage career. I never would have attended a national convention on my own. As an employee I can’t just write it off as a business expense, and there are plenty of affordable continuing education options that don’t involve flying to another state. Therefore, I am extremely grateful for the generosity of the AMTA Chapter for sending me, the 2023 Meritorious Award recipient, to this year’s AMTA National Convention.
There were around 2000 massage therapists attending and I had something in common with every single one of them. That’s one of the things that makes attending any convention so fun – camaraderie and togetherness among strangers.
My favorite part about attending AMTA conventions is networking with volunteers and members; getting a group together for dinner and chatting about chapter goals and challenges or taking a break to cool off by the pool and getting to know people who will become familiar faces at the next convention. It feels good to be surrounded by people with similar passions, relatable challenges and unique stories.
Attending an AMTA convention has a way of inspiring and motivating members to volunteer. There were around 500 AMTA volunteers participating in meetings or training prior to the convention proper. There is orientation training for new chapter volunteers followed by general training for ongoing volunteers in addition to the Board of Directors meeting, the Chapter Presidents’ Council and the Assembly of Delegates. So there are many opportunities for a chapter volunteer to learn a lot about the goings on within the organization and the massage industry as a whole. The Washington Chapter values the experience and opportunities available at these sessions and is committed to sending a delegation of chapter volunteers to the National Convention each year to participate and report back. My experience this year inspired me to step into (board willing) the vacant Financial Administrator position after talking to volunteers from other chapters around the country. The role requires a semi-experienced AMTA volunteer and I believe that I might really enjoy it while gaining new leadership experience and giving back to the chapter.
Thank you and as always, it’s a pleasure to serve you,
Allison Hanelt, Committee Chair for Awards Committee