AFMTE - Massage Therapy- Leadership

Alliance Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the Alliance’s policy making body. According to the Bylaws, the nine-member Board is comprised of two Directors each from the School, CE Provider and Teacher membership categories, plus three Director-at-Large. Board members are elected for a two-year term and can serve consecutive terms. The officers of the Board – President, Vice President and Treasurer – are elected annually by the Directors.

The Alliance’s current Board Members and Officers are:

Pete Whitridge

Pete Whitridge, LMT, President

Pete is a faculty member and former Director of Education for the Florida School of Massage in Gainesville, FL; past chairman of the Florida Board of Massage Therapy, and past legislative chair for the Florida State Massage Therapy Association. Bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Colorado. Pete is a Florida Licensed Massage Therapist, and is an NCBTMB Approved CE Provider, based in Fort Pierce, FL.
Email: pwhitridge@afmte.org

Su Bibik

Su Bibik, LMT, Vice President

Su is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Massage Education at the Kalamazoo Center for Healing Arts in Kalamazoo, MI. She has worked as a massage therapist and a teacher trainer in a variety of settings, and has been a leader in the community of ABMP-affiliated schools for many years. Su has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Colorado State University, and was a math teacher at the high school and college levels.
Email: sbibik@afmte.org


Eric Polgar

Eric Polgar, Treasurer

Eric is the Assistant Director of Massage Therapy for the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon were he oversees all operations of the UWS-Salem campus. Eric also serves on the rules committee for the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and both the Education and Teacher Development Committees for the AMTA. Prior to entering the massage field in 2006 Eric spent much of his professional career working in social services and mental health, including foster care case management and working with high risk families in an outpatient day treatment educational center. Eric has a bachelors degree in psychology from York College of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Healthcare Management from Western Governors University. With a passion for helping people and organizations improve, Eric is honored to serve the massage community as a Board member for the Alliance.


Christa Fratantoro

Christa Fratantoro, Secretary
Christa is a Senior Acquisitions Editor with the F.A. Davis Company, a family-owned publisher based in Philadelphia. She has been an editor in healthcare publishing for seventeen years. Her recent focus has been developing a new line of massage therapy textbooks for F.A. Davis. Through her collaboration with authors, educators, and practitioners of massage therapy, she has grown especially fond of this profession and the good people in it. Her mission is to support career longevity and success for massage therapists, which she believes begins with a strong educational foundation. In addition, she is continuing her own education through independent scholarship, writing papers and co-editing books on Ezra Pound, Archibald MacLeish, and Langston Hughes.


Stan Dawson, Director
 Stan Dawson is an NCBTMB approved CE provider, NC licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist (#13572), and consultant to massage schools.  Stan was a member of the Leadership Group that formed the Alliance and served on the original Board of Directors for the AFMTE.  He currently serves as the BOD Representative to the Academic Consortium of Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC).  He has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic, a Bachelor’s degree from Monmouth College (Ill.), and a massage certificate from the Academy of Somatic Healing Arts.


Cherie Sohnen-Moe, Director

Cherie is  an author, business coach, international workshop leader, and Director of Sohnen-Moe Associates in Tucson, Arizona. She was in private practice for many years as a massage and holistic health practitioner, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA, and is an NCBTMB Approved CE Provider. Cherie is author of Business Mastery (4th Edition), is co-author of The Ethics of Touch, and has written more than 100 articles for 15 publications.
Email: csohnen-moe@afmte.org



Stephanie Beck, Website & Marketing Director

Stephanie Beck, Owner of SRB Solutions, is an independent educator and online marketing expert working with Health & Wellness Practitioners for 15 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Central Missouri, has served on the ISPA Education Committee and Editorial Advisory Board for Massage Magazine. In 2012 she earned her Local Marketing Consultant Certification through Marketing Mastery Association. Stephanie has served as a published columnist since 2003 for several magazines and is the author of Social Trigger Points: Massage Therapist Guide to Marketing Online.
Stephanie and her team are very active on social networks. SRB Solutions was awarded Kudzu Best of 2012 Online & Social Media Marketing in San Diego. Over 5 million businesses competed across 30 categories, and winners were awarded based on the highest number of votes from customers received on Kudzu.com.
Email: sbeck@afmte.org


Gloria Lawrence

Gloria L. Lawrence, Director

Gloria L. Lawrence has enjoyed a quality multifaceted career as an educator, practitioner, consultant, and leader in the field of health and wellness.
As educator, Gloria wrote the curriculum for a 766 hour massage therapy program which received accreditation from SACS for Dabney S. Lancaster Community College where she is Program Head. She established clinical partnerships with Virginia Military Institute’s Department of Sports Medicine and Augusta Health Systems. As practitioner, Gloria has developed BACK ON THE BALL(R) and specializes in musculoskeletal pain and structural integration. Southwest Virginia’s CITY MAGAZINE named her as “Best of the City”. As leader, she was Director of Spa Operations for both private and corporate wellness and medi-spas responsible for the staffing, training, programming and managing; and, was part of the development team for The Diplomat in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Named by ELLE, MIAMI HERALD, and NEW YORK POST as “ROBO- the indefatigable Spa Director” and “a ringer for Susan Powter”.
Throughout her career she has gained extensive and expansive experience in all aspects of the health and wellness profession.


Penny Shumaker Jeffrey, Director
Penny Shumaker Jeffrey is a NC Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist (#1425) and a graduate of the Body Therapy Institute. She holds a masters degree in Nutrition and doctorate in Science Education from North Carolina State University. Her graduate research focused on how adult food behavior and choices are influenced by mass media sources such as print and television. Penny has taught continuing education, community college and university-level courses in both nutrition and science education.

Her teaching is fully grounded by her passion for guiding people to a greater awareness in their bodies while discovering their personal health and well-being goals. Penny is a member of ABMP, AMTA and the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education.


AFMTE Committees

Leadership Development Committee  – There are five  members on the Leadership Development  Committee.  Members  are elected on a staggered basis for a two-year terms.  Elections take place at the same time as the annual election of Directors. Members of the Leadership Development Committee shall recommend a slate of candidates for the following year’s election process for Directors.

Education Resource Committee - Works with the development of massage therapy educational resources and programs for members. This will include a wide range of projects from publications to our annual Conference.

Marketing Committee  – Works to support the branding and message to current members and for attracting new members to our organization. Support all other committee efforts.

Membership Committee – Works with the ongoing efforts to grow the Alliance’s membership in all categories. Support all other committee efforts and work closely with the Marketing Committee.

Professional Standards Committee  – Provides guidance on issues related to the development or revision of standards in massage therapy education, teaching and practice.

Conference Committee – Works on all details pertaining for the Alliance For Massage Therapy Education Annual Conference. Main categories for conference includes items such as deciding Massage Education programs, on-site logistics, contacting potential exhibitors & sponsors, organizing conference Prizes, hospitality/registration at conference, coordinating with marketing for all print materials, and many miscellaneous tasks during the annual conference.

Government Relations Committee - Tracks and responds to the arena of laws and administrative rules at both the state and federal levels that have the potential to affect massage therapy education.


How Do I Become an Active Part of the Alliance?

We all have busy schedules and not everyone can make the time, has the necessary background or the desire to serve on a board. However, there are others who wish to participate and have a more active role in helping to re-shape Massage Therapy Education. Here is your opportunity to let your voice be heard and be an active part in re-shaping Massage Therapy Education. Join a committee, apply to be a committee leader, or apply to sit on the board. United, we can all make a difference. United, we have a strong voice and united, is how we will re-shape Massage Therapy Education together!

Who Can Serve?

According to the Alliance Bylaws, members and chairs of committees shall be appointed annually by the President, with the approval of the Board. Currently, any member is welcome to serve as committee members.  Below is a list of applications to select the area you would like to be considered for the team.

AAFMTE Application for Board Candidacy  AFMTE Application for Board Candidacy


AFMTE Leadership Committee Application  AFMTE Leadership Committee Application


AFMTE Committee Volunteer App Form  AFMTE Committee Volunteer App Form



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