Board of Directors

AMTA-Illinois Board of Directors

The Chapter Board governs the activities of the AMTA-Illinois Chapter. Terms of office are for two years. President, 2nd Vice President, one Member-at-Large and Treasurer are elected in even-numbered years. 1st and 3rd Vice Presidents and the second Member-at-Large and Secretary are elected in odd-numbered years. If mid-term vacancies occur, appointments are made by the Board until the next scheduled election. Elections are held online unless all positions are uncontested; in that case the members attending the Chapter Annual Meeting are asked to affirm the slate of candidates in order to the save costs of a mail ballot.  Position descriptions for all of the Board positions can be found on the AMTA web site in the members-only section.

The Chapter Board meets monthly, either in person or by conference call. Members are welcome to attend in order to understand the operation of the Board. Call the Chapter office for date and location information for upcoming Board meetings, or check the calendar on the Home Page of this web site.

Board of Directors Candidate Application (Word Doc) (PDF)

All Board members can be reached through the Chapter office at 847-430-0203 or via email at http://illinois@amtamassage.org.


President – Marva Wright

Marva WrightMarva completed the massage therapy program at Parkland College in Champaign, IL in 2005.  After a year in the field she became a teaching assistant there also. During her time as a teaching assistant, she was able to complete her Bachelor of Science degree at Eastern Illinois University in Career and Organizational Studies and is now a massage therapy instructor at Parkland College where she has taught since 2011.  She started her volunteer work with AMTA-IL as a conference volunteer which strengthened her desire to “Get Involved” with the efforts of educational and professional growth in massage therapy.

She believes that by serving others we encourage growth in our communities and ourselves.


Board Member – Mike Hovi

Mike graduated from the Chicago School of Massage Therapy in 1992.  He is the Program Director and Instructor at The Soma Institute-National School of Clinical Massage and also the Director of Massage Therapy at ADVANCED CHIROCARE PLUS.  Mike was instrumental in the drafting of the Massage Licensing Act of Illinois.  Mike has served as AMTA-IL Chapter Treasurer, 1st V P, Chapter President, and now as 2nd VP.   Mike also served as a member of the Illinois Massage Licensing Board prior to becoming Chapter President.

Mike has taught continuing education classes since 2000 in Sports Massage, Orthopedic Assessments and treatments of various conditions, Stretching for the Massage Therapist, and currently teaches a series of courses call “Your Massage Tool Box.”  He has been a presenter at several AMTA-IL State Conferences and at the National AMTA Convention.

In addition to Mike’s various positions, he was a member of sports massage teams that worked at both the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and the Athens’ Summer Olympics; he has been the coordinator of the Medical Massage team for the Chicago Marathon for 25 years and counting; served as the lead therapist for the Chicago Production of RiverDance, and has been an educator of Massage Therapy since 1998. Mike currently practices in Woodstock, Illinois where he specializes in clinical massage therapy.

Finally, in 2006, Mike was awarded the AMTA-IL Chapter’s Meritorious Award, and in 2015, selected as the Medical Volunteer of the Year by the Bank of America’s Chicago Marathon.


Board Member – Tony Karoumi

Tony KaroumiTony grew up and has lived  in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.  He has been married to his lovely wife for the last 12 years.  They have two Golden Retrievers.  They love living in McHenry County and are involved within community.

Tony went to massage school in Crystal Lake, IL and has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2006.  He has been an AMTA member his whole career.  After volunteering for several years for the AMTA -IL Chapter, Tony ran for the position of Member At Large and currently holds the position of 3rd VP.  Tony enjoys being part of the Outreach Committee and volunteering


Financial Administrator – Vicki Gothard

Vicki GothardI have been a member of the AMTA-IL Chapter for 14 years. I serve on the Awards Committee, Education Committee, and Conference Committee Volunteer

I have been a business owner for the past 16 years and I have frequently utilized a variety of the tools made available by the AMTA including continuing education, business tools, insurance benefits, etc.

During my time as an instructor for Midwest Institute of Massage Therapy and a mentor to others, I was privileged enough to impress upon hundreds of students the importance of belonging to a professional association. In addition, I proudly educated students specifically how the AMTA-IL Chapter assists its members and the profession as a whole, through legislative advocacy, professional development, networking opportunities and the high value-low cost, continuing education opportunities afforded to members by the Chapter.

After gaining experience and confidence, I followed my own advice and began volunteering for the AMTA-IL Chapter. I am honored to continue this work, and I sincerely appreciate that we are a member driven association, where “Members serve Members.”

It all begins with volunteering….


Secretary – Christine Stearns

Christine StearnsChristine is a resident of Carbondale, Illinois. In 2012 she retired from the Carbondale Police Department where she served as a 911 telecommunicator for 25 years. She enrolled in the massage therapy program at John A Logan College and graduated in 2013. She works part-time at her private practice, Tranquil Moments of Carbondale and offers complimentary massage to residents of a local nursing home.

Christine’s involvement with AMTA began while she was still a student. In 2013 she attended the annual AMTA-IL Chapter Spring Conference where she participated in the chapter’s very first Student Day event.  That experience led her to a volunteer position allowing her to assist in the chapter’s annual conferences and member meetings each year since. In 2015 Christine, was one of five AMTA-IL members to represent the Illinois chapter in the House of Delegates at the 2015 AMTA National Convention held in Pittsburgh.

While serving on the Board of Directors as the chapter’s secretary, Christine’s other volunteer service includes working with the Membership Committee with a focus on conducting school visits and hosting “meet-ups” in and around the southern part of the state.

Member at Large – Jessica Brown

Jessica BrownJessica Brown studied massage therapy at Lincoln College – Normal, under the tutelage of Rick Smith, Claire Prudhomme, and Dr. Don Wright, and graduated in 2011. She started working at a massage franchise in late 2014 through mid 2016. Jessica grew into working for herself as the sole massage therapy provider with Enhance Facial Spa & Hair Studio, in Bloomington, IL, in June of 2016.

She began her AMTA adventure with her first National Convention in Denver, CO, 2014, and was approached by the Board of Directors to meet for a Chapter breakfast and introductions; from there, she looked into volunteering for the IL Chapter as the Newsletter Editor in the end of 2014, and from there, showed the interest and drive to run for the open board position of Member-at-Large, and was elected in April 2016.

I am passionate and excited to be involved in, and to do so much good, for the entirety of the massage therapy profession.” –Jessica Brown