A Recap of World Massage Festival

By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB

A Recap of World Massage Festival

By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCBTMB

Over 1,000 people attended World Massage Festival (WMF), held August 6 – 9, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Rio All Suites Hotel, Casino, and Convention Center. The Festival was envisioned, created, and is promoted by Mike Hinkle as a vehicle to support the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame.

Mike wanted to recognize the outstanding contributions to the profession of Massage Therapy by exceptional leaders, educators, authors, and practitioners. The first Festival was held in 2006, in Pensacola, Florida where 30 attendees welcomed the first 12 inductees. The Festival has grown steadily and this year attracted over 1,300 attendees, including 971 registrants and 81 vendors, plus support staff for vendors, families, media, association representatives and inductees.

Twenty-six were inducted into the Hall of Fame this year including several Massage Today authors. Dr. Manon Bolliger, Mary Beth Braun, Jill Burynski, Dwight C. Byers, Jerrilyn Cambron, Makana Chai, Christine Courtney, Nancy Dail, Jimmy Gialelis, Tami Goldstein, Haunani Hopkins, Kelli Lene, Lloyd List, James Mally, Don McCann, Douglas Nelson, Lydia Nixon, Nate Nordstrom, Annie Powell, Dennis Price, Donna Sarvello, Dr. Fritz Smith, Kapono Souza, Lynn Teachworth, Benny Vaughn, and Lawrence Woods. To date, 255 individuals have been inducted.

Other Awards given at WMF include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Ralph R. Stephens
  • Association of the Decade Award - ABMP
  • Teacher of the Year – Jeannette Roach
  • Aunty Margaret Humanitarian of the Year – Maria Chavez
  • Volunteers of the Year – Rich & Claudia Bistyga
  • Bonnie Prudden Meritorius Award – Joyce Inderkum
  • Just for Fun Award – Bill Diehl
  • School of the Year – Arizona School of Massage Therapy
  • Champ Allen Scholarship – Canada's Carrie Deslippe
  • Product of the Year – Soothing Touch's Massage Gel

Next year's World Massage Festival will be held May 6-9, 2019 at the Harrah's Cherokee Hotel & Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina. For more information visit worldmassagefestival.com.