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Massage Today
August, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 08

New Executive Directors at COMTA and NCBTMB

By Editorial Staff

On June 1, 2004, Ellen Bateman, EdD, joined the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) as the organization's new executive director, replacing Carole Ostendorf, PhD, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

"My goal as executive director will be to advance the values of COMTA as a dynamic organization that promotes a holistic and transformational view of massage therapy education," remarked Dr.

Bateman, in a press release issued by COMTA. "I will work to build upon the work already done to clarify the identity and role of COMTA as it looks to the future."

Bateman's professional experience includes positions at Temple University College of Liberal Arts; the University of Pennsylvania's School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine; and the Center for Literacy, all in Philadelphia.

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) has also selected a new executive director to fill the position vacated by Christine D. Niero, PhD, in March.

Mark A. Smith, PhD, CAE, brings more than 20 years of nonprofit and association management and business experience to the position. Specifically, he will oversee national certification and recertification programs, as well as assume operations and staff leadership responsibilities.

Prior to accepting this position, Dr. Smith served with several distinguished organizations, including the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians, the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, and the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators.

Smith has also held teaching positions at Cornell, George Mason and Harvard Universities, as well as in Germany.

Dr. Smith officially assumed the executive director position on July 12, 2004.

Legislative Update

The states of Arizona and Illinois have pushed back the start dates for issuing massage therapy licenses to Jan. 1, 2005. In Arizona, the deadline for issuing provisional licenses has also been extended until July 1, 2005, while Illinois will consider amending its current Massage Licensing Act to require applicants to be fingerprinted for criminal background checks.

For more information on massage therapy in either state, visit for Arizona, and for Illinois.


  • "Hands On: The Newsletter of the American Massage Therapy Association," July/August 2004.

CORRECTION: Regarding the dates relative to Arizona: Massage Today has learned that the Arizona Board of Massage Therapy is currently issuing massage licenses; those wishing to practice massage therapy must have obtained a massage license by Jan. 1, 2005. Likewise, those wishing to practice under a provisional license must have obtained this license by July 1, 2005. Massage Today apologizes for the error.


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