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  • WSMTA Annual Meeting. Sunday, Sept 24, 2023 The Nuts and Bolts of Running a Massage Business: Through the Eyes of Employers, Employees and the Self-Employed.

WSMTA Annual Meeting. Sunday, Sept 24, 2023 The Nuts and Bolts of Running a Massage Business: Through the Eyes of Employers, Employees and the Self-Employed.

  • 24 Sep 2023
  • 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM (PDT)
  • On-Line Format and Access Codes emailed prior to event


Please join us for the 2023 WSMTA Annual Meeting, including continuing education!

This year we have chosen to meet once again via Zoom. We have realized that this format has allowed us to reach LMTs well beyond the greater Seattle/I-5 corridor areas, so we are continuing in an online format.

This year's theme is:  The Nuts and Bolts of Running a Massage Business: Through the Eyes of Employers, Employees and the Self-Employed.

We have a lineup of 5 very knowledgeable presenters.  Here are the logistics of the Annual Meeting:

Day:  Sunday, September 24, 2023

Time:  9:30 am – 3:30 pm PDT

9:30 am – 10:30 am WSMTA Business Meeting

10:30 am – 3:30 pm Continuing Education Presentations

Where:  Zoom

CE Hours:  4 hours

Cost: Free for Members. Membership required to attend.

Presentation 1: “Massage Business Structures and Other Considerations” with   Dawn Schmidt, LMT (40-minute presentation plus time for Q&A)

Dawn has been a Licensed Massage Therapist in WA since 1991. She has a private massage practice in Seattle’s Greenlake neighborhood. Dawn has been in massage education since 1991 and currently provides continuing massage education in the form of workshops and mentoring (since 1997). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education/Kinesiology, and teaching credential for K – 12 in these subjects. She has served as research interventionist, interventionist trainer and has developed massage protocols for research. Dawn provides consulting services for massage professionals and serves as an expert witness in the areas of massage practice, massage business practices and ethics. She has been an avid volunteer on the Body of Knowledge for the Massage Profession Task Force, the Insurance Commissioners Clinicians Workgroup on the Integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, served as COMTA Commissioner for massage school accreditation and many other committees both state and national. Dawn currently provides continuing education in the form of workshops and mentoring.

Dawn will be presenting on the topics of:

  • Various business structures and reasons why one might choose one structure over another (sole proprietor, LLC, PLLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, etc.).
  • Examine the differences between employees and independent contractors relative to the Washington Labor and Industries Six Point Test (this test determines if someone is an employee or independent contractor).
  • Other considerations that serve as a foundation for a successful business and operations.

Presentation 2: “Contracts: Employment, Independent Contractor, Non-Compete and Other Contract Issues” with Bob Donovan, Attorney (40-minute presentation plus time for Q&A)

Bob has been practicing employment law since 1998 – the year he graduated from Syracuse University College of Law with high honors.  For the first 7 years of his career Bob litigated employment law disputes, first representing employees, and then representing employers. Next, he spent over 6 years as in-house employment counsel for a national restaurant company. Then, he re-entered private practice, joining one of the nation’s largest and most respected employment law firms, where he continued to advise clients and advocate for them on their behalf. Ultimately, Bob decided to open his own firm. He wanted the flexibility to represent both employers and employees. He also wanted to provide a better value to his clients by reducing overhead, leveraging technology and, consequently, being more efficient and affordable. Bob “hung his shingle” in April 2015, and has had the great fortune of representing and advising many employers and employees in their times of need.

Bob will be discussing:

  • Basic components of employment and independent contractor contracts.
  • Using contracts to reduce ambiguity between the parties.
  • Issues regarding non-competition, confidentiality, and non-disparagement clauses in contracts.
  • Other issues to consider and drafting tip.

Presentation 3: “Discrimination in the Workplace” with Anne Springer, DOSH Discrimination Supervisor with the Department of Labor and Industries (15-minute presentation plus time for Q&A)

Anne has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Capella University. She has worked for L&I in the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) Discrimination program since April 2005. Anne started as a discrimination investigator for 5 years, was promoted to the Technical Specialist for the Discrimination program in March 2010 and then named the DOSH Discrimination supervisor in February 2012.  As a working supervisor and having the field experience as an investigator she has been able to guide her staff by helping them develop their cases and investigations.  Anne is a resource for her staff and for other programs seeking information related to discrimination for voicing safety concerns in the workplace.

Anne will be discussing:

  • What DOSH discrimination is.
  • What is considered discrimination or retaliation.
  • Who is covered and who is not covered.
  • What is covered and what is not covered.
  • How to file a DOSH discrimination complaint and the timelines for filing the complaint.

Presentation 4: “Worker Rights and Employer Responsibilities” with Robert I. “Bob” Joy, Employment Standards Outreach Specialist with the Department of Labor and Industries (25-minute presentation plus time for Q&A)

Bob graduated from Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Law School. He practiced law in Omak, WA, with special emphasis on agricultural, property, and family issues, and served as the City Attorney for two municipalities. He previously served as the Legislative Director/Chief Lobbyist for the Washington State Grange before being elected State President of the organization. Bob has been a teacher, professional parliamentarian, private pilot, sportscaster, sports official, and volunteer firefighter.

Currently, he is the Employment Standards Outreach Specialist at the Department of Labor and Industries. In this role, he offers information to workers, employers, and the general public about worker rights and requirements.

Bob will be discussing:

  • Wage requirements.
  • Hours of work & record keeping requirements.
  • Minimum wage, overtime, and tips.
  • Paid sick leave.
  • Protections from retaliation and discrimination.
  • Additional resources.

Presentation 5: “Employee Recruitment and Retention” with Kenyari Bjerke, LMT, Former Human Resources Professional (40-minute presentation plus time for Q&A)

Kenyari started her career in Human Resources as a training and development coordinator and over time accepted roles that led her to recruiting, onboarding, and management. Health and wellness programs were one of her favorite projects--she found companies that offered personal training, group fitness, health coaching, and massage therapy.  Kenyari had two surgeries before she turned 20, and the recovery was rough. She lived with chronic pain that always hindered her day-to-day life. She needed to find relief and get her energy back. After receiving various forms of self-care, including massage, she was able to return to her workouts. Kenyari attended a workshop about massage therapy as a career, and she was captivated. It made no sense to switch fields on paper, but she was at a crossroads and felt drawn to the health and wellness industry. She shared her idea of getting certified in personal training and massage with family and close friends. Surprisingly, they understood and were supportive.  Kenyari is now a Personal Trainer, LMT, Cupping Specialist, Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage therapist, and Solopreneur and owner of a Cupping and Manual Lymphatic massage practice.

Kenyari will be discussing:

  • How to keep the good employees you already have.
  • How to find out what new massage graduates want.
  • Hire for potential, not experience - even if your new hire meets all the job requirements today, and new skills will be needed as they settle into their new roll.
  • Track what has worked for hiring then study your results by creating recruiting metrics (key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure the effectiveness of your recruitment process).
  • Keep an eye on your competitors.
  • Ask your employees questions.

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