The Commission

The COMTA Commission

The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) consists of ten to thirteen elected Commissioners, including at least two public representatives. The COMTA address is 5335 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 440, Washington, DC 20015. Electronic correspondence is preferred (

Dawn Hogue, M.A., COMTA Chair (Administrator) - Term ends 2018

A 1996 graduate of the Cayce/Reilly® School of Massotherapy, Dawn has been in the healing arts profession for over 17 years. She currently serves as the School Director for the Cacyce/Reilly School where she oversees all day-to-day operations, activities and staff supervision. Dawn has also been an instructor in Professional Ethics courses for the past 13 years, educating massage therapy students and practitioners about ethical practice management and the unique dynamics of the therapeutic relationship. Prior to being elected as a Commissioner, Dawn volunteered with COMTA for 5 years as a peer reviewer and site evaluator. She currently works as a volunteer and Chairperson for the AFMTE Teacher Training Curriculum Development Committee and the NCBTMB Ethics & Standards and Government Relations Committees. She is a 2005 graduate of Naropa University, where she earned a Master’s degree in Somatic Psychology. Trained in the Matrixworks model of leadership and group facilitation, Dawn is passionate about holistic health and supporting others on their path of professional development and personal growth and healing.

Cliff Korn, COMTA Vice Chair (Distinguished Contributor) - Term ends 2018

 Cliff has been a professional massage therapist since 1993. He is Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork and is licensed in Florida. Cliff is a Past-President of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association. He is a supporting member of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals and a past Chairman of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Cliff has served his profession for seven years as the inaugural Editor of the nationally distributed trade publication, Massage Today, and was a 2009 inductee in the World Massage Festival’s Massage Therapy Hall of Fame. Cliff currently serves as a Trustee and Vice President of the Massage Therapy Foundation in addition to proudly serving COMTA as a commissioner and Vice Chair.

Patricia Maloney, Ph.D., COMTA Secretary (Public Member) - Term ends 2018

Patricia Maloney, Ph.D., president of Higher Education Consulting and Research, is an experienced higher education professional and scholar with a background in higher education administration and policy at public and private colleges and universities, in state systems of higher education, higher education associations, and research organizations. Dr. Maloney received her Ph.D. in higher education at the University at Buffalo. She publishes and presents frequently on higher education research and policy issues. She is a faculty member in the online Master of Science program at Drexel University. She is immediate past president of the Higher Education Group of Washington, DC, and a member of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Randy Swenson, D.C., Commissioner (Educator) - Term ends 2018

Dr. Swenson is currently a tenured professor, Vice President for Academic Services and Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences at National University of Health Sciences (NUHS). He developed the Massage Therapy Program in 1999 and continues to manage the day-to-day operations of the program. He is also responsible for the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree completion, the professional pre-requisite, the Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, theMaster of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture programs. He was previously the Academic Dean and the Dean of Curriculum Development for the chiropractic program at NUHS. He holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from NUHS and a Master of Health Professions Education from the Department of Medical Education of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has led NUHS Steering Committees for Higher Learning Commission Self-Study Reports (SSR) and Commission on Chiropractic Education SSR’s. He has led and written COMTA SSR’s for the NUHS massage program. Dr. Swenson has been a volunteer for COMTA since 2006 as a site-team member, site-team leader, off-site peer reviewer, Commissioner and immediate past Chair.

Beverley Giroud, Commissioner (Practitioner) - Term ends 2018

Beverley is a graduate of the Desert Institute of the Healing Arts and has been practicing massage since 1999. She is certified in Orthopedic Massage as well as Neuromuscular Therapy. Beverley is also a personal trainer, certified through the Chek Institute. She runs a private practice in Tucson, AZ and provides massage and training services to a variety of clientele. Her practice focuses on injury assessment and treatment which includes prescriptive exercise for postural alignment, core strength and injury rehabilitation. She spent seven years teaching a wide variety of classes at the Desert Institute and is currently an instructor at the Costa Rica School of Massage Therapy. She has also taught continuing education classes in ethics, orthopedic assessment, and neuromuscular techniques. She spent 7 years as a volunteer for the NCBTMB and served as a subject matter expert, committee member and ultimately as Chair of the Exam Development Committee. She is currently writing a book on ethics and professionalism. Prior to her career in massage therapy and personal training, Beverley was a civil engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Delaware.

Christine Kiely-Granstaff, Commissioner (Practitioner) - Term ends 2018

Christine has been a professional massage therapist since 1995 specializing in manual lymph drainage. Over the years she has worked in a variety of environments such as sports rehabilitation, chiropractic office’s, holistic centers and day spas, making her work very eclectic. In addition to her private practice, Christine has been involved in the educational side of massage therapy. Most recently, she was the director of the massage therapy program at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, New Hampshire before residing in Kentucky. At GBCC, she was responsible for increasing enrollment, writing curriculum, setting up, managing the massage clinic, and guiding students through their career path. Previously, she developed and successfully ran the massage therapy program at Hesser College in Manchester, Portsmouth and Salem, New Hampshire for 8 years. In 2003, Christine was awarded the President’s Club Award as Key Employee of the New England Region. Christine currently works with ACICS, the Accrediting Council for Independent Schools and Colleges, as a program specialist. Christine has served on the New Hampshire massage therapy advisory board since 2004 and was a founding member of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards and served on the executive board as treasurer for 4 years. During that time, she participated in the development of the MBLEx, the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam. She is currently licensed to practice massage in New Hampshire and Kentucky.

Jeff Harmon, (Public Member) - Term ends 2018

Jeff is currently employed at Ocean County College in New Jersey as the Associate Vice President of e-Learning & Learning Enterprises. He is an Adjunct Faculty at Ocean County College and an Associate Professor of Business at Amridge University. He has been teaching business, management, 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 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, and a CFP from Boston University.

Dale Healey, D.C., Commissioner (Educator) - Term Ends 2018

Dr. Healey is the Dean of the College of Undergraduate Health Sciences 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 PhD in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development from the University of Minnesota in 2014. Dr. Healey represents COMTA as a board member of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), where he serves on a task force working on developing a standard set of competency standards for hospital-based massage therapy.  He also serves as a board member the Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM) and as a member of the Massage Therapy Foundation Best Practices Committee working toward the development of best practices guidelines for the profession.

Denise Van Nostran, Commissioner (Regulator) - Term Ends 2020

 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.     

Susanne Schmaling, Commissioner (Esthetics Practitioner) - Term Ends 2020

 Susanne is a NCEA certified, licensed master esthetician, laser technician, and accomplished instructor with more than 21 years’ experience.  Her career encompasses all aspects of the spa world including sales, spa ownership, and medical spa modalities. Susanne has presented at elite conferences internationally, is part of the Skin Inc. Magazine advisory board and created ASCP’s Skinpro online education series (2012). She is also the author of two books in Milady’s Aesthetician Series: The Comprehensive Guide to Equipment (2008) and Aging Skin (2011), and a contributor to Milady’s Professional Makeup-Aging Skin (2012). She has a regular column in the award winning Skin Deep Magazine, as well as contributing articles to prominent industry publications and consumer articles for New York Times and other online providers.

Toshiana Baker, Commissioner (Employer) - Term Ends 2020

Toshiana is Global Director of Education for B. Kamins Laboratories, a leading spa skincare brand, where she leads education initiatives and training of estheticians around the globe.  She has been a licensed esthetician for over 10 years with various roles in the beauty, retail and spa industry.  Previously Toshiana also served as Global Education and Development Manager at Elizabeth Arden, Inc. where she created training innovations for estheticians.

Position Open, Commissioner (Esthetics Educator)

 Candidates for Esthetics Educator position will have experience as an educator at a COMTA accredited program or institution who is actively involved in the educational processes of students completing an accredited program. Such individuals shall have knowledge of instructional and evaluation methods and curricula as they relate to esthetics/skin care. Although individuals may also be practitioners, the primary work shall be as an educator in a training program or institution. 

Position Open, Commissioner (Administrator)

– Candidates for Administrator position will be drawn from administrators of programs or institutions within the Commission’s scope of authority shall be owners, directors, or administrators at COMTA accredited institutions or programs within the Commission’s scope of authority. Such individuals shall have senior administrative responsibilities in an institutional environment and direct responsibility for overall administrative decision making including financial oversight of the program or institution. 

Optional Positions Available – Depending on nominee qualifications, the Commission may choose to appoint additional Commissioners in the following categories:

Position Open, Commissioner (Public Member)

– At least two, but no less than one-seventh of the total membership of the Commissioners, shall represent the general public.

Please see the Elections page for details.