Commissioners are volunteers who represent various perspectives from our community. As an accrediting agency with a specialized area of programmatic review, our commissioners represent educators and practitioners who have direct experience in massage and esthetics schools and programs.

Jeff Harmon, Ed.D.

COMTA Chair (Public Member)
Term ends 2024

Jeff is currently employed at Thomas Edison State University where he serves as the Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness and as the Accreditation Liaison Officer for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  Previously, Jeff was employed at Ocean County College in New Jersey as the Associate Vice President of e-Learning & Learning Enterprises. Jeff has been an Adjunct Faculty at Ocean County College and an Associate Professor of Business at Amridge University. He has been teaching business, management, marketing and human resource management courses since 2007. Jeff’s previous positions include being the Deputy Director of Client Services at TaskStream (a provider of campus-wide assessment tools), Director of Accreditation at the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Accreditation (COAMFTE), and serving as a consultant to various DC-area accrediting agencies. He currently serves as the public member and Treasurer for the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE), an accreditor of sign language interpreter training programs. Jeff holds a BS in Business Administration from Rider University, a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a CFP from Boston University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Rowan University.

Dale Healey, D.C., Ph.D.

Vice Chair (Distinguished Contributor)
Term Ends 2026

Dr. Healey is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Integrative Care at Northwestern Health Sciences University. Dr. Healey was trained as a chiropractor at Parker College of Chiropractic, but his career has focused on massage therapy education since 1997. He received his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development from the University of Minnesota in 2014. Dr. Healey represents COMTA on the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH) Council, where he serves as Co-Chair.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.

Toshiana Baker

Secretary (Esthetics Practitioner)
Term Ends 2026

Toshiana has been a professional, licensed esthetician since 2006, serving the industry in a variety of roles.  With a background in journalism from Syracuse University, Toshiana has authored business development modules for spa employer partners across the US, as well as employer training curricula on product and service protocols and esthetics standard operating procedures.  Read Full Bio Previously, Toshiana served as Regional Director of Operations of a multi-unit spa brand and Regional Account Executive for a leading cosmetics retailer.  She developed a passion for esthetics education and made dedicated contributions as Global Education Manager and Director of Education Development where she demonstrated leadership in educational innovations for esthetics employers.  Recently, she has partnered with skincare product manufacturers to modernize employment and training for estheticians to meet the needs of the multi-media digital age.  Toshiana is committed to the sustained growth of estheticians’ employment options and continuing education post-licensure, having completed post-graduate studies in various subjects herself. A motivational speaker, she facilitates training seminars and workshops for estheticians on various topics, to inspire and empower them to continually take their careers to the next level. Collapse Full Bio

Lurana Bain

Commissioner (Massage Educator)
Term ends 2026

Lurana is the Program Director for Massage Therapy and Health & Wellness Management at Elgin Community College in Elgin, IL. She has been a massage therapy educator and continuing education provider for over a decade.  Lurana led the initial program accreditation and two subsequent renewals for Elgin Community College with COMTA. Prior to becoming a commissioner, she volunteered with COMTA as a site reviewer and site team leader since 2013. Lurana is Board Certified with NCBTMB and is a member of AMTA and ABMP. She has been a massage therapist since 2004 having worked in many settings and now maintains a private practice in the Chicago suburbs. Lurana holds a BA in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Education specializing in adult education from Colorado State University.

Patrick Comstock, PH.D.

Commissioner (Administrator)
Term ends 2026

P. Comstock bio coming soon

Cari Johnson Pelava

Commissioner (Administrator)
Term ends 2024

Cari Johnson Pelava is the co-founder and director of CenterPoint Massage & Shiatsu School (2001) and previously, founder of the Minnesota Center for Shiatsu Study (1992) in Minneapolis. Cari brought career training for Shiatsu Therapy to Minnesota after early studies in California and a year long apprenticeship in Japan. Cari has years of experience as a shiatsu therapist, an instructor, and an administrative director. She is a Board Certified Asian Bodywork Therapist (Diplomate ABT) through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and a Certified Instructor and Practitioner through AOBTA.

Cari currently serves on the national board for the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA) as the Director of the Council of Schools and Programs. She founded the Minnesota Chapter of AOBTA in the early 1990‘s. She is passionate about educating and promoting-competency based standards for the massage and bodywork industry, and building bridges between eastern and western therapeutic bodywork. She is honored to serve the massage and bodywork community as a COMTA Commissioner.

Carol Render

Commissioner (Massage Practitioner)
Term ends 2026

C. Render bio coming soon

Michael Santoro

Commissioner (Public Member)
Term ends 2026

Michael Santoro has over 38 years of combined experience in accreditation, academia, school management, complaint resolution, and is a nationally recognized educational consultant. He started a baccalaureate degree granting institution and was President of that institution for fifteen years. He served on the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Post-Secondary Schools and Colleges (“FAPSC”) for over ten years. He then went on to become the Corporate National Director of Compliance of a corporation that included over 100 schools, schools such as Le Cordon Bleu, Katherine Gibbs, International Academy of Merchandising & Design, Allentown Business School, and many others. The schools’ parent company became a public traded corporation during his tenure there. Michael was elected to two terms to a national accrediting agency as a Commissioner in 1998 and 2002, where he conducted over 200 on-site accreditation visits for several different accrediting agencies and was also his accreditor’s Evaluator of the Year in 1996. He served on this national accrediting agency’s Intermediate Review Committee, Appeals Board, Executive Director Nomination Committee, Chairperson of the Commission on College Accreditation, and the Board of Directors. Michael also served on the Accreditation Review Committee for the Florida Commission for Independent Education (“CIE”). In 2013, Michael co-founded Santoro and Georgetti Postsecondary Educational Consultants, a national post-secondary education consulting firm. In addition to consulting, today, Michael is the President of the American Imperial University and a COMTA Commissioner.

Denise Van Nostran

Commissioner (Regulator)
Term Ends 2024

Denise has been a member of the South Carolina State Massage Therapy Panel since 2011. She is currently serving as Vice-Chair and member of the task force reviewing South Carolina Massage Therapy regulation for revision based on the FSMTB Model Practice Act.In addition, Denise created the Massage Therapy curriculum for the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Bluffton, South Carolina in 2005, where she continues her work as Program Director and lead instructor. Denise trained in Massage Therapy at Indiana University in Indianapolis, and she is a graduate of the Spirit of Learning Certificate program of the Body Therapy Institute. She also holds a Bachelor of Music from Fontbonne University, and Master of Music from Washington University in St. Louis. Denise maintains a private practice specializing in clinical orthopedic and sports massage in Bluffton, SC.

Cassandra Stratton

Commissioner (Employer)
Term ends 2026

C. Stratton bio coming soon

India Hankins

Commissioner (Esthetics Educator)
Term ends 2024

India is the owner of two separate entities, Dolly Monroe Studios (circa 2015) and Dolly Monroe Beauty Academy (circa 2018). She maintains her impact in the beauty industry through innovative technologies, products, and teaching methodology. Her mission to lead by example remains constant byway of education, advocacy and support. 

While consistently enhancing her skills, she has become one of Florida’s leading and youngest estheticians, business women, academy owners, cosmetic product specialists, skin therapy experts, and professional & permanent makeup artistry educators. 

India firmly believes that education is what makes you “pretty powerful;” and Providing a quality education to all of the future service providers that walk through the doors of Dolly Monroe Beauty Academy will forever be her passion. 

As a industry leader, she has made great strides in her pursuit to be the difference, all while having the honor of joining the board of commissioners through COMTA that will further solidify that mission.