Board of Directors
We are honored to have on our Board the following individuals who guide, support, and promote our foundation goals:
Diane Christopherson, OMA Board Chair
Diane Christopherson is a native Texan and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders and is a certified teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students for all levels. She worked in the field of educational services for over 30 years. Her first field experience in education was in the Rio Grande Valley where she instituted a preschool class to promote listening and language skills through auditory/oral methods maximizing hearing potential. She returned to Austin to work as a parent advisor to families of infants and toddlers who were newly diagnosed with hearing impairment through weekly home visits monitoring the child’s use of hearing aids, communication development and parent education on deafness. For 20 years, Diane served as the Senior Coordinator of the Regional Day School Program for the Deaf at the Education Service Center, Region XIII and was responsible for all aspects of funding and staffing services for infants through high school students within a 15 county area of Central Texas. Before her retirement, she managed a budget of over 4 million dollars and operated an expense sharing cooperative among 55 school districts in providing educational services to over 200 deaf children each school year. Diane served for 6 years on the Texas Leadership Council for Deaf and Hard of Hearing promoting early identification of hearing loss and intervention services to infants and toddlers, and was a board member for the YMCA of Austin with a specific focus on providing low-cost counseling services to women who do not have the means of accessing these services. This board experience helped her to understand the needs of non-profit organizations that provide public services to the Austin area.
Yvonne Larue, OMA Board Treasurer
Yvonne Larue is an experienced senior manager, technical professional, and mentor/coach. In her +30-year private industry career she has held corporate positions, enhanced her business and management skills with 12 years of international experience, and was a major contributor to the success of 5 start-up companies where she was recognized for the ability to “get the job done”. She has since expanded her experience to include both regional and international non-profit projects and organizations. A key to Yvonne’s success is her well balanced business and professional acumen, developed over the years and grounded in an undergraduate degree in Theoretical Mathematics, extensive information technology experience, an Executive MBA degree, and diverse management positions. She is currently involved in employment coaching and business start-up support as well as multiple volunteer activities. On a personal note, she is a firm believer in the healing powers of massage, having been a regular massage client for over 30 years.
Wendy Kamasaki, OMA Board Secretary
One of the four Founding Directors, Wendy graduated from the Third Coast Center for the Healing Arts in Austin, Texas in 1994, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State University in 1983. She has also received additional training in Lymphatic Drainage from the Chikly Institute of Lymphatic Drainage; La Stone Therapy in Tucson, Arizona; Oncology Massage at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas; and a Tuina Massage workshop in Beijing, China. In 2002, she attended the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah as part of the Sports Massage Team. She has been a volunteer on the Teams Committee with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for the past five years and at Texas Oncology Midtown for the past year. She also worked at the Texas Hospital Association, where she was responsible for publications, health care career recruiting at the junior high through high school level throughout the state of Texas; and assisted with planning their annual convention and exhibit show.
Geri Ruane, OMA Board Member
One of the four Founding Directors, Geri graduated from the Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin, Texas in 2007 from their 550-hour program and has an additional 450 hours of continuing education, including the 300-hour curriculum of oncology massage training at the Peregrine Institute of Oncology Massage Training in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is now a certified oncology massage therapist. Geri also has 98 hours of hospital massage therapy education, with extensive training from hospitals in Oregon and Virginia. She has worked with patients, caregivers and medical staff in various settings. Her trainings include attending M.D. Anderson’s three-day oncology massage conference in Houston, Texas and Tracy Walton’s four-day intensive oncology massage workshop in Austin, Texas. Geri volunteers weekly at the Texas Oncology Infusion Centers, LIVESTRONG Foundation in Austin, and the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas. Geri is also certified in Reiki, Geriatric massage and manual lymphatic drainage (Vodder method). Professional memberships include the Society for Oncology Massage, the American Massage Therapy Association, and the Austin Massage Therapists Meetup Organization. Prior to her massage career, Geri was an educator/computer trainer for twenty-five years and has been a freelance writer since 1998.
Gail Bailey, Executive Director
The Executive Director (ED) of OMA is Gail Bailey, one of the founding members. The ED position is subject to the control of the Board, general supervision, direction and control of the business and staff of the corporation. As senior manager in the operational Hierarchy, the Executive Director works closely with the Board acting as liaison between the Board of Directors and the rest of the organization. The ED designs, develops and implements strategic plans and policies for the organization, assists the Board Chair in meeting agenda items, and oversee the heads of each committee including marketing, fundraising, and operations program development. The ED acts as the primary public relations officer by attending fundraising events, speak with reporters, donors, government representatives and members of the communities. The ED also acts as company liaison between the organization and a range of external stakeholders and works with leaders in the health industry and government world, cultivating long-term strategic partnerships to increase the organization’s effectiveness.
Geri Ruane, Director of Operations
In this staff position, Geri works closely with the E.D. and Board to ensure the implementation and operations of OMA’s programs are well executed and continue to improve. These tasks include: contributes to the development of OMA’s strategic goals and objectives as well as the overall management of the organization; maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the E.D. informed of all critical issues; represent the organization externally, as necessary, particularly in educational outreach to the public; promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality; collaborate with the Operations committee to upgrade and implement an appropriate system of policies, internal controls, accounting standards, and procedures; network within the MT community and OMA Leads to identify and recruit new oncology massage therapists; oversee, direct, and organize the work of the operations Lead MT teams; ensure MT members receive timely and appropriate training and development through bi-annual meetings and communications; and mentor, develop, and monitor MT Leads using a supportive and collaborative approach.
Wendy Kamasaki, Director of Finance
In this staff position, Wendy works closely with the E.D. and Board Treasurer to ensure financial solvency for MT monetary support is maintained. The Director of Finance is a position within the Operations Committee with the following tasks: Shall determine the amount money to be paid to therapists for the payment period, write and sign the checks, and distribute the checks to the therapists; Send monthly invoices to donors when necessary; Receive and deposit funds from donors; Collect monthly location received from Lead Therapists and deposit said funds; Reimburse out-of-pocket OMA expenses to OMA staff, Board members, or therapists; and Maintain financial records of all transactions and coordinate these transactions with the Board Treasurer in a timely fashion.
Ashley Hiatt, Operations Coordinator
In this staff position, Ashley works closely with the Operations Committee and manages the OMA Facebook page, coordinates the Annual Massage Therapist Retreat, manages the Massage Therapist contact list, and coordinates the Annual Texas Oncology chair massage event.
This is paid position and OMA is very grateful to Ashley for all her support and time to do this needed work. As OMA is growing, it really helps to have many hands making the workload a little bit lighter for us all. Thank you, Ashley!
Vacant Postion, Recruiting Coordinator
In this staff position, it is the primary contact person for inquiries from licensed massage therapists (MTs) to join OMA and oncology massage. They work closely with the Operations Committee to evaluate and assess if a new MT recruit is a good candidate to join OMA and to find out which facility/location is the best fit for this person. They may attend or present to massage therapy schools, fairs, conferences, oncology massage trainings, etc. on behalf of OMA to promote OMA to attendees and participants and encourage MTs to join. When new therapists join OMA, they coordinate between the facility and OMA’s Lead therapist to ensure a timely and smooth transition.
This is paid position and OMA is very grateful to Destiny for all her expertise, support and time to do this needed work.
Vacant position, Director of Administration
This position is unfilled at this time but is responsible for the following: works closely with the E.D. and Director of Operations to ensure organizational documentation is maintained and archived; is a position within the Operations Committee; responsible for compiling and writing the Quarterly Reports from all infusion room locations; primary contact responsible for ordering marketing materials (OMA vests, give-aways, poster, brochures, etc.); maintains current personnel documentation on MTs status including MT introductory paperwork, license, insurance, and OMA annual renewals; prints and mails out annual OMA Certificates to MTs who qualify; and maintains minutes of Operations Committee, Lead therapists meetings and general Massage Therapist meetings.
Advisory Board Members
It is our honor to have the following individuals on our Advisory Board to whom we go to for consultation, encouragement and expert knowledge:
- Colleen Ryan LMT and Founding MT
- Barbara Formichelli
- Arann Shepard
- Dr. Chad Dehipitiya
- Dr. Delia Duffey
- Liana Wheatley RN, OCN
- Gina Kuenstler, BSN, RN, OCN