Letters from the BOD
Hello 2016-2017 MAR members,
Summer is coming to a close and the MAR Board of Directors is gearing up for an exciting Fall! We’ve been busy planning events for WRW Clinic, Fall Member Meeting and hosting Kristin Radden for her Acupoint II class.
You’ll be getting a slew of emails detailing the upcoming events but I wanted give you a snapshot of dates and info to have in one place.
9/19-9/25 World Reflexology Week- you can access WRW resources on the MEMBERS ONLY section of our website. The passcode for 2016-2017 is: R3fl3xM3
9/25, Sunday, 11am-5pm MAR WRW Reflexology Clinic in Worcester at Project New Hope. Volunteers needed. Must have current liability insurance and fill out CORI form. See previous email or contact us here for more info.
10/16, Sunday, 12-4pm FALL MEMBER MEETING+SHARE We’ll be meeting at the Residence Inn in Chelsea, MA. Agenda and details to follow closer to date.
11/5-11/6, Saturday and Sunday, 9a-5p Acupoint II 14 ARCB + NCTMB CEU’S with Kristen Radden, at the Residence Inn in Chelsea, MA. EARLY BIRD PRICING UNTIL 9/22: $325 for MAR/MCR Members; $350 for non members. Sign up here: http://www.massreflexology.org/
Don’t forget to send in your suggestions for educators/ topics by Sept. 12! The educator surveys will go out later that week. Please bear in mind that it takes 4-12 months between first contact with an educator and finalizing the details of a class.
Introducing the 2016-2017 Board of Directors
Shannon Brisson, President 2015-2017
Inbar Israel Stolovicki, Vice President 2016-2018
Alisha Hamm, Secretary 2016-2018
Anita Doucette, Treasurer 2015-2017
The 2016-2017 board’s primary focus will be on protecting our right to professionally practice reflexology in MA. Over the next several months we will come together virtually (email) and in person to solidify our collective will and create a plan of action. We are at a tipping point; this is no longer a question of whether or not MAR members want a law regulating our profession: there will be a law. The question is, will we be told the law or will we help make it?
Ancillary to that, we will be focusing on developing a comprehensive PR campaign. This will include getting print quality MAR logos, banners/signs, stickers/magnets (which we don’t have); developing print and digital informational collateral; getting booths at upcoming town days, health and wellness fairs offering mini reflexology sessions; and partnering with our sister state associations and with organizations that promote and/or utilize mind body modalities.
We will continue our efforts to bring local and national+international, CEU educational opportunities and to continue streamlining our procedure and processes.
Website and Social Media
We are discussing revamping our Website as our template is outdated and is having issues running current programming. We hope to have quotes before the years end so we can start planning our new site.
The website practitioner directory is in the process of being updated and when it’s complete, we’ll send an email to review your entry.
As for social media, our public MAR Facebook page gained over 100 new “Likes” since last year! And yesterday, we created a MAR MEMBER Facebook page*. This is a vehicle for MAR members to communicate with themselves where they can exchange ideas, ask for advice, post a local event or an upcoming class, host a share, or ask for ride to a meeting.
While the MAR BoD is the administrator the page, MAR BOD will still use email as the primary form of communicating with membership. For transparency and accountability, please email MAR for any inquiries.
*Note that every 2016-2017 member was sent an invitation to email address you provided when you renewed or joined this year. I had some problems adding MAR members who have a “.” in their addresses- for example: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am investigating how to add them. If you haven’t received an email invitation to join, please let us know.
Please connect with members of the House Ways and Means committee to voice your support of H4595. (See last weeks Legislation Update/Call to Action for details)
Though slow to start, our member drive was a success. Over 2/3 of our membership utilized our new online forms and over 1/3 took advantage of the new option of paying for two years. As of this writing, we have 55 renewing members and 3 new members. This year, we will be sending all members new certificates of membership which will have your membership level, join date and member number. We hope to have them out before the member meeting.
Meet our new members:
Antonis Venekes joins us from Greece where he has completed over 600 hrs in Reflexology training. He attended our Spring education program with Kate Winant from MCR.
Simone Vermette joined this year as an associate member and also attended our Spring education offering. She is a graduate of IIR and practices North of Boston.
Juan Bernardo Pena Romero is our newest Professional Level member. He is coming to us from New York and is also a member of NYSRA.
We’d like to thank Sarah Cooper, outgoing Secretary and Karen Isgur Damon, outgoing Vice President for all of their efforts during the past year. From writing our member survey, streamlining internal and external processes,editing and creating web and social media, to hosting our member meetings and WRW event. Our accomplishments wouldn’t have happened with out them. Sarah and Karen have agreed to be MAR board advisors and Karen has generously agreed to continue her volunteer efforts with the Website and social media.
From RAA: New reflexology definition
“The American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB), the National Council of Reflexology Educators (NCRE) and the Reflexology Association of America (RAA) have all agreed to adopt the following definition:
Reflexology is a protocol of manual techniques, such as thumb and finger-walking, hook and backup and rotating-on-a-point, applied to specific reflex areas predominantly on the feet and hands. These techniques stimulate the complex neural pathways linking body systems, supporting the body’s efforts to function optimally. The effectiveness of reflexology is recognized worldwide by various national health institutions and the public at large as a distinct complementary practice within the holistic health field.
This is a big step for the field of reflexology; the first time all three national organizations representing the testing, membership and educational arms of our field have agreed to and written one definition that we can all get behind.
We invite and strongly encourage all reflexologists and state associations to use the new definition on your websites and in all marketing materials. Please share this announcement will all your reflexology friends through the social icons at the top of this page. It will take all our efforts and cooperation – not just the national associations – to advance the field of reflexology to professional status in this country.”
If you’ve made it this far, we thank you! If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
With warm regards on behalf of the 2016-2017 BoD,
Shannon Brisson, President
Hello MAR Members,
I am writing to you today on behalf of 2015-2017 Board of Directors. This past July, the torch of directorship was passed on to us. Like all the directors before, we come with diverse backgrounds and talents and yet are united by our love of reflexology and a desire to serve.
MAR Past and Present
Over the past five years, under the stewardship of the Board of Directors, we find ourselves uniquely positioned to shift from a striving organization to a THRIVING organization. Through their tireless endeavors and support of membership, they created a solid and growing member base, built relationships with organizations that promote and utilize mind-body modalities, networked with allied and traditional medical practitioners, and have distinguished MAR nationally as leaders and innovators in the promotion of Reflexology as a legitimate, stand-alone profession. It is because of these and other efforts too numerous to list, we have the opportunity to expand and refine our organization.
Setting a Future Vision for MAR
During our meeting in July, we were tasked to create a vision for MAR for the next two years. While initially processing this, we threw around a lot great sounding words, lofty ideas and vision statements; but in the end, they all sounded generic and somehow hollow. To ground the process, we decided to try a brain storming exercise in which we asked ourselves: “What did we hope to get out of MAR when we first joined? What are we missing from our member experience? What do we want from MAR?”. We silently wrote our answers down then shared our responses. We had similar answers, often times using the same words. However, there were also so me very unique and provocative answers. In reviewing these, it became apparent to us that in order to set a functional, clear and inspiring vision that would propel MAR forward, we would need more than just the five voices of the board of directors. It’s only then that we would be able to set a vision for a thriving member association.
Short-term MAR BOD Goals
While we didn’t set a vision during our retreat, we did set a guideline for focusing our actions as board members. Our primary value is to support and engage our fellow association members. Our overall intent is to foster MAR as an engaging, dynamic and collaborative association. Following this intent to support and engage, we set out three short-term tasks:
To facilitate easier exchange of information through technology (e-blasts, website, and social media)
To participate in WRW
To create a way to discover the will of our members.
Over the last several weeks we have been busy bringing these to fruition. We are in the process of revamping our website by adding features, streamlining content and making it easier to navigate. We have broadened our social media presence by creating a twitter feed and making a more active and content rich Facebook page. We are also creating a document and resource library for our members. Last week we hosted a MAR sponsored reflexology clinic for World Reflexology
Week where we worked on 20+ members of the Heathwood Golden Living Center, which we hope will be the first of many MAR sponsored Reflexology clinics. And lastly, we created a comprehensive member survey so that we may hear all voices. We need YOUR voice and that of the 50+ other members.
Help Set MAR’s Vision
Within the next few days, you will receive the member survey in 3bite-sized, quick and easy chunks. They will be labeled MAR MEMBERSHIP PROFILE, EDUCATION PROFILE, and REFLEXOLOGY PRACTICE PROFILE. The surveys are set up to be anonymous, multiple choice, and with no required questions to answer. Each of the 3 parts will take 10 minutes or less to complete; combined, taking less than 20 minutes. At our November 8th fall meeting, we will reveal the results of the survey along with a composite profile of our typical MAR member.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to thank you in advance for contributing your voice to the shaping of your member organization by completing the surveys. We look forward to receiving your survey results and hope to see you at our fall member meeting at Heathwood Golden Living Center on Sunday, November 8 from 2-5p. (Agenda to follow closer to the date.)
With warmest regards,
President, Board of Directors 2015-2017
Massachusetts Association of Reflexology (MAR)
Delegate representing MAR to Reflexology Association of America (RAA)