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News from the Nominating Committee

September 9, 2015 09:28 AM
To give members the opportunity to interact with the candidates for the office of President Elect and Vice President Elect, the Nominating Committee is pilot testing a project whereby a question and candidates’ responses are posted on the website. About every two weeks the Nominating Committee will post a question (selected from the pool of questions members submit) and responses. We invite you to review the following and to submit your questions for the candidates to Piper Laird, at: Please indicate whether your question is for the President Elect candidates, the Vice President Elect candidates, or for both. Questions and responses will remain on the website until after the election.

Candidates for Vice-President Elect

Question 1: “How would you describe your leadership style and how do you envision this style enhancing the work of the Board of Directors?”

Tina Haynes, MT-BC, LCAT:

Servant leadership.  I first learned of this term one day while reading information being distributed around the VA healthcare system concerning a “new” leadership style that management was to embrace.  As I studied the information I realized this concept was actually nothing new to me at all; these were principles I had been taught as a child and bore witness to my parents, influential teachers, and successful community leaders employ.  And certainly these lessons and role models have influenced my own career, activities, relationships, and leadership style.

The servant leader is above all one who seeks to serve others first, rather than seek power for authority or the acquisition of material goods.  The servant leader listens, displays empathy, is able to heal oneself and others, has good general-awareness and self-awareness, possesses powers of persuasion, foresight, the abilities to conceptualize, build community and is committed to the growth of others. Lastly this person is a good steward, who holds the organization in trust for the greater good of others.  Every board-certified music therapist will recognize these principles as hallmarks of a good therapist!

AMTA is blessed with members who practice servant hood to clients, peers, and the public; thus a servant leader would effectively enhance the Board of Directors and the organization as a whole. I would be honored to do so.

Kristen O’Grady, MA, LCAT, MT-BC:

It has been my experience that the needs of the organization should dictate the style of leadership that one utilizes. I believe that a leader needs to be cognizant of the ways in which the group works best and support the group in embracing those pathways to success. In my experience as President of the MAR-AMTA, I worked with a dynamic group of board members, many of whom were new to the board. New members are often visionary and bring renewed energy, while veteran members share their experience and add a historical perspective. As a leader, I work to integrate these two vital perspectives in a way that continues to propel the organization towards our agreed upon goals. I hope to keep forward momentum while supporting the board in articulating how to accomplish the tasks set out before us. The Board of Directors is constantly challenged to reimagine new solutions to our shared issues. If elected, I believe that my ability to bridge multiple perspectives while keeping the greater goals of the organization at the forefront of the work will heighten the work of the Board of Directors.

Candidates for President-Elect

Question 1: “How would you describe your leadership style and how do you envision this style enhancing the work of the Board of Directors?”

Amber Weldon-Stephens, EdS, MEd, LPMT, MT-BC:

Leadership has been a passion of mine for many years.  I firmly believe that I am wired for service and over the years have assumed leadership roles in many different organizations.  As both a high school and college drum major, I learned to work with large groups of people to effect a common goal. For the past 29 years, I have taught the drum major/leadership camp at the University of Georgia. Working with thousands of ‘future leaders’ these many summers, I sought to impart an understanding that true leadership involves putting the organization’s PEOPLE first. I view leadership as more like “servant-ship.” To be an effective leader, it is imperative to build relationships of trust and respect with all constituents.

I have been humbled and awestruck to witness the countless hours of service each member of our Board of Directors gives tirelessly to AMTA. If elected, I intend to continue in that tradition, focusing on our needs to increase membership, expand access to quality music therapy services, and promote opportunities for music therapists across the nation. My goal is to honor the contributions my predecessors have made to the growth and mission of AMTA, while moving the organization forward with passion, advocacy, and respect for those who presently serve the field of music therapy.  I would seek not only to serve the board by providing quality leadership but to serve the members of AMTA as they are truly the foundation upon which the success of our profession rests. 

Annette Whitehead-Pleaux, MA, MT-BC:

My leadership style is a combination of inspirational and feminist leadership, with a strong focus on collaboration, process, product/task completion, and stewardship.  Two significant experiences have shaped my style:  First, I played in an ensemble whose director was an inspirational leader.  By sharing his vision, each of us was motivated to reach for musical perfection to bring each score to life in a way I had never experienced.  Next, I served on a collective whose work was based on the feminist leadership principles of consensus, communication, equality, and mutuality.  I witnessed how these values brought forth change that was empowering to the entire community, promoted personal and organizational freedom, enhanced cooperation while minimizing unhealthy competition, and placed value on relationships. 

If elected, I will bring to the Board of Directors and AMTA members these guiding principles with the inspiration for the potential of an even better future.  This shared vision will foster an environment of innovation and creativity within the Board to address the needs and opportunities of the field, with a focus on process and product.  The process will be founded in equality, mutuality, and consensus.  While process is a key component, production of results is vital especially given the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities, in essence, being good stewards of members’ dues and time. Combining inspirational and feminist leadership will bring the members’, the Board’s, and my visions to fruition to enhance AMTA and the field of music therapy for the benefit of our clients, students, and colleagues.  



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