Massage Today Get the Latest News FASTER - View Digital Editions Now!
Massage Today dotted line
dotted line

dotted line
Share |
  Forward PDF Version  
Massage Today
August, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 08

Hats Off! FSMTA Celebrates Another Successful Convention

By Editorial Staff

ORLANDO - The Florida State Massage Therapy Association (FSMTA) held its annual convention, June 24-27, 2004, at the beautiful Wyndham Palace Resort and Spa in the Walt Disney World Resort.

This year's convention titled,'"Hats Off to the FSMTA: Celebrating 65 Years of Health and Healing," featured a diverse mix of presenters, exhibitors and attendees, which made for the most successful convention in FSMTA's history, according to FSMTA Executive Director Bob Smallwood, LMT.

"Twenty-six educational sessions featured the top educators in the massage profession; 76 companies showcased their products to over 2,200 attendees. This would make it the largest attended massage therapy convention in the world," he enthused.

No doubt, conference organizers knew the event was off to a good start when over 200 massage therapists and massage therapy students attended the debut of the Successful Start Program: Tips to Kick Start a Successful Massage Practice, a free practice-building seminar for new and veteran massage therapists, held the night before the convention (see "New Program Endeavors to Educate and Inspire," May 2004,

"The goal was to have 100 attendees at this event," shared FSMTA President Michael McGillicuddy. "We went so far as to plan for 150 and were very pleased with the 200 number."

The Successful Start Program's panel of experts discussed various aspects of establishing and maintaining a massage practice, including leadership; setting up an office; starting a house-call business; public relations and networking; insurance billing; product retailing; patient self-care; and issues related to Florida law.

Steve Capellini, Lynda Solien-Wolfe and Cliff Korn. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Massage Today columnists Steve Capellini (L) and Lynda Solien-Wolfe (C) pose with editor Cliff Korn in front of the Massage Today exhibit booth. The next day, the exhibit hall opened for a half-day, followed by the membership dinner, which featured keynote speaker and workshop presenter, Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains. For the next two days, conference attendees chose from a number of educational sessions with other prominent industry leaders, including Bruce Baltz, Erik Dalton, Barry Gillespie, David Kent, Vivian Madison-Mahoney, Aaron Mattes, Pete Pfannerstill, James Waslaski and Pete Whitridge. Other workshop presenters included Dee Ahern, Mya Breman, Alaya Chikly, Sheryl McGavin, and Drs. John and Lisa Upledger, all sponsored by the Upledger Institute.

In addition to a three-course meal, awards presentation and live band, the Saturday evening banquet and dance included a moving tribute to Cheryn McGillicuddy, wife of Michael McGillicuddy. Cheryn, who died unexpectedly late last fall, was a dedicated massage therapist and played a role in many association activities. She was awarded the 2004 Performance Health Inc. (PHI)/FSMTA Humanitarian Award posthumously by PHI Vice-President of Marketing Perry Isenberg for "unselfishly helping others in need." Michael accepted the award on his wife's behalf (see tribute below).

Michael McGillicuddy, David Kent, Cliff Korn, Rebecca Razo, Robert Noah Calvert and Judy Calvert. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark FSMTA President's Award winners pose with FSMTA President Michael McGillicuddy (Far Left). LTOR: David Kent; Cliff Korn and Rebecca Razo (Massage Today) and Robert Noah Calvert and his wife, Judy (Massage Magazine). Florida state Rep. Frank Farkas received the Legislator of the Year award, while Betsy Collins (Office of State Sen. Dennis L. Jones, DC) and Kay Rousseau (Office of State Sen. James E. King) received awards for being "Friends of Massage Therapy." The Charles Canfield award went to Pete Whitridge, and Massage Magazine, Massage Today, and David Kent were each presented with the FSMTA President's Award for Leadership.

FSMTA Treasurer Maureen Gilbert was recognized as the Massage Therapist of the Year. "The FSMTA annual convention is a highlight on my calendar," said Gilbert. "It is that time of year when the profession unites to learn new techniques, exchange ideas, connect with friends, make new friends and have fun. I just want to say thank you FSMTA for another outstanding convention and thank you to all the hardworking volunteers," she said.

Although next year's convention, scheduled for June 30-July 3, 2005, at the Boca Raton Resort in Boca Raton, Fla., is still many months away, leaders at the FSMTA have plenty to keep them busy. "The FSMTA's future plans include the creation of an educational foundation, extensive legislative and legal work to protect the Florida licensed massage therapist scope of practice, and a video to promote the benefits of massage therapy to the public and other health care professionals," revealed Bob Smallwood.

For more information on the FSMTA, visit

Editor's note: The 2004 Performance Health Inc./FSMTA Humanitarian Award was presented to Cheryn McGillicuddy posthumously at the FSMTA banquet on Saturday, June 26, 2004. FSMTA President Michael McGillicuddy accepted the award on behalf of his wife from Perry Isenberg, vice-president of marketing for Performance Health, Inc. The inscription on the plague is below, followed by Mr. Isenberg's presentation.

In Memoriam
Performance Health Inc./FSMTA Humanitarian Award 2004
Cheryn McGillicuddy
June 26, 2004
for unselfishly helping others in need.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

- Edith Wharton

Cheryn always loved nature. She loved the beach. She liked to take care of injured birds, raccoons, stray cats and dogs. She learned to scuba dive, fly airplanes, skydive and even bungee jump. She liked to challenge her fears. Cheryn lived a life of service to others.

Cheryn and Michael McGillicuddy. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Cheryn and Michael McGillicuddy at the June 2003 FSMTA Convention. She joined the police explorers while she was in high school and became a Brevard County sheriff's deputy as soon as she was of eligible age. She chose law enforcement because she wanted to help people. She served in law enforcement for twelve years until she became a massage therapist.

Cheryn graduated from the Reese Institute in 1993, where she met Michael McGillicuddy. They were married in May of 1995 and shared the love of massage together.

Some of Cheryn's accomplishments are: She was the first massage therapy coordinator for the Disney Health Show and received an Outstanding Service Award from the AMTA for her service. For the FSMTA, Cheryn wrote the FSMTA Code of Ethics. She chaired the FLAME [Florida Association of Massage Education] Committee; she received both the chapter and state sports massage therapist of the year awards; and she was selected to present her body sculpting work for the FSMTA/Australian Exchange. She loved sports massage, CORE myofascial work, and was certified in and assisted teaching pre- and perinatal massage. Cheryn coordinated massage at the 1996 Olympic Soccer Venue in Orlando, Florida. The Board of Massage Therapy gave her a letter of excellence for her mentoring work, and she also became a CEU provider in laws and ethics for the state of Florida.

Perry Isenberg and Michael McGillicuddy. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Perry Isenberg (R) presents Humanitarian Award to Michael McGillicuddy. Some of Cheryn's passions: She was an artist and weaved dreamcatchers; she supported the Native American Indian rituals; she loved helping massage students succeed in attaining their licenses; she was a friend to almost everyone; and she loved her family dearly.

Cheryn's favorite charity was the Coalition for the Homeless; nothing can be worse than having no place to call home. PHI will give $500 to the Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless. The 2004 PHI/FSMTA Humanitarian award goes to Cheryn McGillicuddy for her selfless service.


Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreement
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.
comments powered by Disqus
dotted line