AMTA National Office Staff

Meet the AMTA National Office Staff

Adonia Calhoun CoatesAdonia Calhoun Coates, CAE, CMP, Chief Executive Officer

Adonia is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). Previously, Ms. Coates served for thirteen years at the American Thyroid Association (ATA). She brings more than 20 years of experience in strategic governance, partner relations and organizational management. Prior to ATA, Ms. Coates developed educational programs for the Association for Community College Trustees, and led multi-million-dollar NIH contracts focused on research and program management at Palladian Partners. An American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Diversity Executive Leadership Program scholar and seasoned association volunteer, she is dedicated to advancing the association’s mission, goals, and initiatives while engaging the diverse community of music therapists.

Kimberly BellKimberly A. Bell, MT-BC, Information Specialist, Social Media and Government Relations Consultant

Kim is a Board-Certified Music Therapist currently serving as Information Specialist, Social Media and Government Relations Consultant for AMTA. She has over 30 years of clinical experience in music therapy practicing in medical pediatrics, pediatric rehabilitation, and behavioral health. She has presented at the local, regional, and national level on a variety of topics including technology in music therapy, pediatric music therapy and student supervision. She has served AMTA in committee work and held various offices at the regional level for both the South Central and Southeastern Regions and represented AMTA on both regional and national committees.

CreaganJaneSQJane P. Creagan, MME, MT-BC, Director of Professional Programs

Jane is the AMTA Director of Professional Programs. In this role, she provides support to AMTA faculty and internship directors through work with AMTA professional programs committees. She is also involved in educational policy through special task forces, and boards, and assists with new degree program development. Jane also provides information to the general public about music therapy as a career, and gives presentations about music therapy as a career.


Angie ElkinsAngie K Elkins, MT-BC, Director of Membership Services and Information Systems

Angie is a Board-Certified Music Therapist with extensive experience in graphic design and data visualization and has practiced music therapy with a variety of mental health and forensic populations. She oversees membership activities for AMTA and develops programs and initiatives to increase membership and serve AMTA’s members. She also oversees equipment and software needs for the AMTA national office. She serves as co-chair of AMTA's Membership Committee and as well as Webmaster of the AMTA website, administering AMTA’s goals for sharing information through technology and working toward its mission by educating the public about the benefits of music therapy. Angie received a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Arizona State University, is completing a masters degree in Graphic Design and Data Visualization at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and is a violinist with the Prince Georges Philharmonic orchestra.

Barbara ElseBarbara A. Else, MPA, MT-BC, Consultant/Sr. Advisor, Research and Policy Advisor

Barbara (Development Laboratory, Inc.) coordinates research initiatives for AMTA. She is Business Manager for AMTA’s two peer reviewed journals and serves as Managing Editor of the Journal of Music Therapy. Barbara practiced as a hospital-based music therapist and is active as a researcher in health policy and economics. She maintains a part-time music therapy practice in community mental health. She provides training and presentations on the use of music therapy to prevent and mitigate the effects of trauma and serves in an advisory role for disaster response for AMTA and the World Federation of Music Therapy. 

Maria Hricko FayMaria Hricko Fay, LSW, LCAT, MT-BC, Government Relations Specialist

Maria has been a Board-Certified Music Therapist since 1995, a Licensed Social Worker in PA since 2000, a Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery since 2004, and a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NY since 2006. She brings 10 years’ experience working in an adult mental health setting and 11 years’ experience as the Coordinator and Supervisor of the Music Therapy Clinic and Adjunct Faculty at Marywood University. She has over 17 years’ experience supervising music therapy pre-internship and internship students through Marywood University. Current work practice includes combining music therapy and social work practice in a school setting. In 2015, Maria was hired as a part-time Government Relations Specialist for AMTA. She works as part of the “national team,” implementing the AMTA and CBMT State Recognition Operational Plan.

Tawna GrastyTawna R. Grasty, BFA, Senior Administrative and Programs Specialist

Tawna originally trained as a graphic designer, with a BFA in Visual Communications from Pratt Institute. She joined the American Music Therapy Association in 2007 in a part-time, office assistant capacity; gradually re-entering the job market, after many years of freelancing and working from home (and raising three non-toxic, productive human beings with her husband!). Now in a full-time capacity, she actively supports the AMTA national office, the public, and membership and music therapy community by managing AMTA’s Scholarships, Publications (an opportunity for graphic creativity!), and much of the incoming and outgoing office communication. She loves being a part of this service community!

Jennifer McAfeeJennifer McAfee, BA, Director of Communications/Conference Planner

Jennifer is responsible for conveying AMTA’s internal and external messaging. Directing this perception involves developing communication strategies, understanding the importance of timing and setting, responding to crises and setbacks, and ensuring that information released is consistent with the mission of AMTA. In addition, she helps to manage AMTA’s conference planning and promotions. 


Rebecca PreddieRebecca Preddie, BA, Senior Federal Policy & Programs Analyst; Grants Coordinator

Rebecca is responsible for coordinating and implementing AMTA’s Federal advocacy strategies. Rebecca is also responsible for national representation of AMTA which includes participation with numerous Washington, DC-based coalitions. Rebecca is involved in raising Congressional and Federal Agency awareness of the efficacy of music therapy services. She has given presentations to the Congressional Arts Caucus, Arts Advocacy Day participants, Health Professions Network, and many other coalitions and alliances. In addition to representing AMTA, Rebecca regularly updates AMTA members on advocacy issues of national significance while simultaneously engaging them in the advocacy process.  She also serves as Co-Chair of AMTA’s Government Relations and Reimbursement Committees. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies from the University of Maryland – College Park.

SimpsonJudy_2020Judy Simpson, MT-BC, Director of Government Relations

Judy represents the music therapy profession with state and federal legislators, agencies, and coalitions. Since 2005, she has led AMTA’s national state recognition initiative in collaboration with the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Responsible for providing reimbursement guidance to AMTA members and music therapy consumers, Judy holds the professional designation of “Managed Healthcare Professional” from America’s Health Insurance Plans and is the co-author of “Music Therapy Reimbursement: Best Practices and Procedures.” Her clinical experience involved developing music therapy programs in hospital settings, including physical rehabilitation, oncology, labor and delivery, psychiatry, ICU, and general medicine.

Cindy SmithCindy L. Smith, Conference Director

Cindy is AMTA's Conference Director and works closely with the current Vice President, Vice President-Elect and Director of Communications on planning and preparing for conference. She is also the Membership Associate and handles Accounts Receivable for the association.



WawrzusinDianneSQDianne Wawrzusin, MM, MT-BC, Executive Services Coordinator

Dianne graduated from Anna Maria College with a music therapy degree in 1981 and received a Master’s in Music (Music Therapy) from the Catholic University of America in 1983. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings as a music therapist. Outside of AMTA, she keeps busy as an accompanist and a vocal soloist in local church congregations. Dianne’s responsibilities include the vast majority of office administrative functions, assisting the Chief Executive Officer, and providing additional staff assistant support as needed. She assists AMTA members over the phone and enjoys speaking with those who are considering entering the profession. She has a broad overview of the association working in both part-time and full time roles starting with NAMT in 1988!