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USOLMT is a step above other organizations when it comes to Government Relations. Rather than listing each state's requirements/laws/regulations for Massage Therapists, we are dedicated to educating Massage Therapists on the Legislative Process for each state. Throughout this section, you will find important information and resources for your legislative procedures and how this directly affects your position as a Massage therapist.
"Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself to this amazing group of warriors. I am Joseph Kreps, an attorney in Alabama. My main office is in Birmingham but we handle cases statewide and help people with any issues they have with any regulatory board in the state. I have extensive experience representing licensees before their Boards for the last 20 years.
I will be posting more about my experiences over time but the reason I am posting today is to talk about Kristie Johnson Williams. No one in Alabama knows more about Board issues than Kristie. As I began meeting with people in Montgomery and talking to people, I would hear stories about "this person who is making lots of noise down here..." I was able to make a little noise in 2022 and some things got changed and I didn't know it at the time, but I was riding the coattails of Kristie.
I was overjoyed when I read the Executive Orders that Governor Ivey signed in January and March 2023 dealing with Boards. People would tell me - "I bet those got issued because of what you are doing." I knew there was no way that could be the case. I just didn't have enough traction. Now I know that Kristie was the driving force for all of them.
During the last legislative session, I began hearing chatter about the Massage Therapy Board. Some bills were introduced and I began seeing articles being written. I reached out to a couple legislators and was in ongoing discussions with media outlets. I really wasn't getting much traction. At that point, I started seeing Kristie Williams name everywhere.
So around July 1, 2023, I decided to reach out to Kristie on Facebook. From that point forward, everything changed. Kristie responded quickly and we scheduled a phone call. I think I learned more during that call from Kristie than 3 years of law school and 20 years of practicing law. Kristie knows her stuff and teaches it well.
Everything about how I look at Boards and how I evaluate the regulatory side of things changed after my discussions with Kristie. Handling pending matters and representing licensees before boards is a unique area law and there are issues you have to spot and rules and procedures that must be followed. But Kristie taught me a whole new way of looking at things and taught me her process of evaluation.
When I speak to other lawyers and mention Kristie and all the things she has done and is doing and the impact she has had in this State over the law few years, I always get the question - "oh, where did she go to law school." What is so amazing about Kristie is that she is much smarter than me and most of the lawyers I know and the unique perspective she brings is second to none. Kristie may not be a lawyer by training but she has one of the most amazing legal minds I have seen.
Kristie and I are very similar in lots of ways and have our differences. Her approach is very calculated, strategic and it works. She sees things and picks up on issues that I have never even thought about. But the thing I love most about Kristie is her dedication to fighting for fairness and justice for all people and not just herself. Kristie's knowledge, will to win, perseverance and determination is unique and special. There are very few humans like her on earth.
It takes years to gain traction and trust in the political realm in Alabama. Kristie has done that and the leaders in this state trust her. How do I know? Because I have seen it with my own eyes. Regulatory reform and change would not have been possible without Kristie Johnson Williams and the members of the Senate and the House that have worked with her. Nothing is the same as it was 3 years ago and these Boards are being looked at in ways that they never have. And the person we all have to thank for that is Kristie Williams.
Kristie is an amazing teacher and a giver of her knowledge and time (fyi - if you have the opportunity to attend one of her legislative/regulatory reform seminars, don't miss it). She doesn't just want to change one Board - she wants to change all of the ones with issues to restore fairness for all licensees and to hold those in power accountable. And one of the things that I smile about often when I think about it is that Kristie has opened the eyes of many really, really good people in state government. She knows everyone, they respond to her and ask her for input and it is a joy to watch. People with the power to make changes and the desire to help and do the right thing know Kristie and trust her. I have been very impressed with the willingness of those in Montgomery to listen and understand and take action for change.
For those of you who have joined the fight, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am so proud to be here and to have come to know Kristie and to be able to learn from her and to help in any way that I can. There are so many times that I have hit roadblocks and gotten frustrated and thought about giving up the fight for reform as it relates to these Boards. It is hard, frustrating and many times a very lonely road because most people don't want to get involved or are scared to join the fight. My desire for change was reignited and strengthened after I met Kristie and I am honored to know her, learn from her and fight alongside her.
I will close with this - I am here and I am in this fight for one reason - because I love people. It hurts my heart to see people that are cast aside or mistreated. No matter what it costs me while I am on this earth, I will not be silent when it comes to abuse of power, unethical behavior and people thinking they can wreck the life of another human being for fun or just because they can. It's not right and I will not stand for it. I will not yield and I will never, never, never give up. And with a leader like Kristie leading the way, I know that change is here, it is happening and it's a new day in the State of Alabama."
Instructor: Kristie J. Williams NCBTMB Provider #298
3CE Hours approved with NCBTMB
Schedule and Registration: *additional dates and times will be added periodically, check back often for updates
Reach out to our Director of Government Relations with any questions or advocacy concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org