Meet Your Board of Directors

AFMTE LeafAlliance Board Members and Officers

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.



Cherie Sohnen-Moe, President 

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 (5th Edition), is co-author of The Ethics of Touch, and has written more than 100 articles for 15 publications.



Stan Dawson, DC, LMBT, Vice President 

 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.



Eric Polgar, MBA, Treasurer

Eric Polgar 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, Secretary

Christa FratantoroChrista 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.



Pete Whitridge, LMT, Immediate Past President

Pete WhitridgePete 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.



Beverley, Giroud, LMT, Director 
Beverly Giroud

Beverly is Director of Education for the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy, a COMTA director since 2012, and former chair of NCBTMB’s Exam Development Committee. She currently serves on the Alliance’s Membership Committee. With certifications in Orthopedic Massage and NMT, Bev focuses on assessment informed treatments and rehabilitation in her practice. The author of Ethics and Professionalism for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers, Bev demonstrates a deep understanding of the role of introspection, critical thinking and conversation in healthy professional relationships.  



Ariel Hubbard, Director

ariel-hubbardAriel Hubbard has worked in both the vocational and continuing education worlds.  In that time she played multiple roles and brings a breadth of experience in the classroom, administration and business. Ariel understands that educational excellence is what will drive the profession forward. As an active volunteer with many years of service to the massage community at local, state and national levels, Ariel’s passion for the profession is palpable. Ariel is excited about the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors by facilitating and enhancing the Alliance’s role as a connection point for stakeholders in the industry.



Penny Shumaker Jeffrey, PhD, LMBT, Director

penny-jeffreyPenny 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.



How Do I Become a Board of Director 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. To apply to sit on the board please complete the application below.   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!

Instructions:   save this form to your computer before filling in all fields. After saving the form to your computer, you can save changes by clicking “Save As.” Be sure to rename the file with your full name in the title of the document.

AFMTE Application for Board Candidacy Fillable


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