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Massage Today
March, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 03

The "Big Easy" Hosts Annual Council of Schools Leadership Conference

By Editorial Staff

The 2004 American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), Council of Schools (COS) Leadership Conference was held in New Orleans, Jan. 20-24, at the Hotel Monteleone - the self-proclaimed "gateway" to the French Quarter.

The theme of the conference, "Touching Ideas - Old and New - and Having Fun, too!" set the precedent for the four-day event that included workshops, presentations and vendors, and key industry representatives, including opening presenter, Robert King, former COS president and executive director of the Chicago School of Massage Therapy, and closing presenter, George Kousaleos, founder and executive director of the CORE Institute in Tallahassee, Fla.


King's speech, "Where We've Come From," discussed the history of some crucial massage organizations, including the AMTA and COS, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA). He reminded the audience of the principles upon which the COS was founded, and challenged attendees to evaluate the current state of massage education and uphold the original principles and mission of the COS. In his complementary closing presentation, "Where We Are Going," Mr. Kousaleos shared his vision for the future of the profession and massage education.

"It was really exciting to have both of these national treasures in our program," enthused Peggy Smith, who is finishing her term as 2003 COS president. "These pioneering members help us connect the dots between where we were, where we are and where we're is vital to have their participation to help the new member schools have a sense of our history."

The new COS board members were also announced during the conference's annual business meeting. They include Winona Bontrager, president; Chris Froelich, first vice-president; Melony Phillips, second vice-president; Barry Antoniow, third vice-president; and Cheryl Sproles, secretary.

Founded in 1982, the COS is a network composed of massage school owners, administrators and faculty for the purpose of facilitating advancement, growth and quality in massage education and the profession as a whole.

For more information on the COS or to register for next year's conference, scheduled for Jan 12-15, 2005 in Calif., visit or call 847-864-0123.


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