Hi, this is Amy and I'm very happy to be here in Miami, Florida, sitting in the offices of the plotters method alliance and happen to have Elizabeth Anderson next to me, the executive director of the plotters method alliance. And I'm going to start out with a very general broad question but an important one in a nutshell. Can you outline the plot is method alliance what falls under this [inaudible]
Can you talk a little bit about yes, about that? Yeah. In many, in many fields those would be two completely separate organizations, but we have it under one, we have it within one organization and that occurs in the world as well. Um, I think that probably the future in the Polonius world is that eventually those things will become separate and that would probably be a good thing. But they, at they, they can be together. And the way that we manage that is that in our bylaws there are very specific rules about how those two things sit with under the umbrella. So our board of directors manages the Professional Association and our Certification Commission manages the certification program and never the Twain shall meet. So those things are kept separate. But at this early stage in the development of this field, we needed the professional association to fund the creation of the certification program as it gets off the ground and becomes self-supporting. Okay. So that's what's been happening.
And I think once the certification program gets stronger and stronger is, can be financially self-sufficient, the Oh, there would be an option to, to start, uh, completely separate. Alright. So hearing that, um, because I do, I t I paid two different, uh, items to the organization went from my membership as a PMA member and my certification, uh, dollars. So is that what, where those funds go? Yes. Now if you, if there were two separate organizations, you'd probably feel less confused cause you think I'm a member of this one. Right. And I'm certified with this one. It you there, there would be two separate identities, but it's a little confusing for people because it's only in one identity with the PMA still under the same umbrella. They're still under the same umbrella. But your membership money goes to the association and your certification goes to that and just go to that goes to the certification program. Exactly.
So what kind of entity is the pilates method alliance. Okay.
The PMA is a not for profit organization and that means something very particular. It doesn't mean that you can't make a profit. It means there's no owner. Right. The organization is governed by a board of directors who are volunteers. There's eight of them at the moment and they hire a salaried staff. So here, here in Miami, we have eight people who are on salaries, five of them, six of them apart full time, three part time, part time.
And these people, um, carry out the wishes of the board. But if we, so, so the idea is that the work we do is to benefit our members. So that's what we're working for. We're working to, um, do things to enhance and develop the [inaudible] industry such that it benefits our members. What are some of the benefits? Okay, well there's a couple of different ways of looking at this. Um, the way I think of it is if you're a PMA member, there are certain tangible benefits and there are intangible benefits. The tangible ones are things like a discount to go to the conference newsletter, a discount on equipment. You know, we, we have a list of things. They're their discounts, their discounts on newsletters basically. Exactly. Um, the intangible benefits to me are much more important.
This is about supporting the, the work that we do here. We are paid by the money that the memberships generate. So the fact that the people are members means we can be here everyday paying rent, paying electricity, having a computer, having Internet, being paid salaries to be here doing this work, um, to, to advance the field. And within that we have a lot of programs. So Elizabeth,
how has the Pleiades method alliance governed? Do you? Organization is governed by our board of directors and there are eight of them. And Trent is our president and we have an annual election so we, we can have between seven to 11 board members and every year we look at who's, who's on the board, how long have they been on, do they want to stay or do we know they're going to leave? And we, we look at how many seats are, we know we're going to become vacant. Um, so we, we have on the election every year. Um, we're now, we now introduced the nominees at our members meeting at the conference and we have an online vote after that so that a new board member attends their first meeting at our January three day board meeting in Miami.
How many members do we have in the lattice method alliance and
We have about 3,500 members and the number of certificates is around 3000 and some of them are both and some are just one. Some. Some is someone might just be a member and not be certified or just be certified. And not be a member or they could be both. Okay. And like them to be both. I was going to say that they think, yeah. Any advantage. So one or the other or, well they're just two completely different things. You know, being part of your professional association is one issue. Being a certified teacher is a completely different kettle of fish, but we like them to be both and for people for Plata is a certified PMA.
Certified teachers have a lower rate from, but their membership because we want to incentivize them to be part of the association as well. Elizabeth,
what does it cost to be a member of the plotters method alliance. Okay. We have three different kinds of memberships. Individual membership is $150 a year. If you're a certified member, PMA certified member, it's 99 okay. And if you're a student, in other words, if you're in teacher training but you're not working as a teacher yet is 50 okay. So individual member, I'm a studio owner.
I'm also considered an individual. Yes. Okay. And I'm in center address. That's a good point. Okay. Our members are human people that we are, yes. Are we do, we don't have studio members, we don't have business members. We don't have teacher training members. We have human individuals. Thank you.
Yeah. All right. So we've had a breakdown of those. And then now back to certification, right? What are the fees in volcano certification? You're not a member. It costs $295 to do the exam. If you are a member, it's, there's a 15% discount, which means it's $250 and 75 cents. Okay. Incentives again. Yes, exactly. Good. That's what I've noticed.
There are some delineations with the PMA. Um, and someone might have gold behind that. BMA certified. What's the gold about? Okay. When the PMA exam was launched in 2005, um, as an incentive to, to get people to start participating with this new program, to take the exam, um, they, they were offered the opportunity if they took the exam and the first year before the study guide was published that they would be called gold certified. And the idea was that these were people who did it blind, you know, without the study guide and that they should have a special designation. Now, when we went through our accreditation process, what we were told by the NCCA, the National Commission for certifying agencies is you can't have a different designation. First. People who have done the same test don't care about the study guide. So what we did was we explained that to the gold certified people and we did what we said is we have to take that away or we can't get accredited.
But what we will do is call you the pioneers. So if you look on our certification page, it'll say piano pioneers. That makes a lot. Those are the people who took the risk, went out there and did the exam before there was any knowledge of what it was going to be like. Yeah, they were risk takers. They were risk takers and they led the charge. That's a great name for them. I didn't know that. I didn't know that. I had seen the golden, I had seen it taken away, but I didn't know that, that, so we don't use that word golden gold certified anymore. Okay. Thank you. So,
Elizabeth, can you define the mission for the [inaudible] method aligns for me?
Yes. The mission, the mission has really three parts. The first part is about fostering community integrity and diversity, respect for diversity. Um, the second part is about setting certification and continuing education standards. And the third part is about promoting the Polonius method. So all of the programs that we do fall into one or two of those areas. For example, promoting the method. I could easily say that relates to our PyLadies day event. Um, the PyLadies youth program, the heroes in motion program and the [inaudible] is health initiative.
Briefly describe holidays day. Okay.
Fulanis Day was started I think in 2003, and it's, it's an international community celebration and promotion of the [inaudible] method. So, um, what we do at the PMA for our members is we create a pile of these day kit. Polonius Day is the second, uh, the first Saturday of May every year, although different places, they celebrate it when it's convenient, but that's when it officially is. And, um, what we, what we want to encourage is for people to take that day every year to offer, uh, activities to their community, to, to let people know what this is, to get people into their studios. And um, people do all kinds of creative things in their studios or in the park or whatever. They just do lectures or offer classes to get people involved. Community involvement. Hero's motion is a really,
really exciting new initiative for us. Um, which was inspired by the work that I observed going on with Elizabeth Larkam in the Naval Hospital in San Diego. Um, and she and her colleagues, she was also, um, connected to, uh, two people, Jojo Bowman and Jessie Lee working at the Royal Danish ballet in Copenhagen. They work with, um, military veterans with a bilateral amputations and also had our Schwartz and Tel Aviv. So these people I noticed were, were working with clients with very, very severe motor control problems and bringing very sophisticated PyLadies to help them to regain some of their function.
And I just thought it would be an amazing thing to give this work, an identity and a location and a name so that we could begin to publicize it, um, to let, to let people know that it was, this work is going on, the power of plays. Um, and to let practitioners know this isn't, this work is being done. If they, they might be interested, they might have some special skills. They might have a studio near a veteran's hospital. They might have all kinds of opportunities if they knew this was possible when this was happening. So it's a brand new program. We're very much trying to identify how it will work. It'll, it's really very excited. Yeah. To see how that, where it's going to go. Yeah. And Yeah. Yeah. I think it's got tremendous potential to, yeah. Okay.
[inaudible] is this health as another new initiative that we just launched last year at the conference in Las Vegas in 2012. This is all about having a central location, a website where people can tell how did Polonius improve your health and wellbeing. So basically at the moment it's all, uh, stories, you know, and we're, we're ask people to write in and tell us your story. Um, so it was at recovering from a stroke. Was it, um, issues relating to pregnant pregnancy and childbirth? Um, we have two stories from soldiers there. One that was shot in, one that had a bilateral amputee amputation. There's all, we have a story about a, uh, teenager with cerebral palsy. So there's all different kinds of ways that [inaudible] can be applied to so many different, uh, conditions that can really increase people's wellbeing and quality of life. So this is a tool for our members to use. It's like, what is Pilati is, what's it gonna do for me? We'll have a look at some of the case histories and, and last year in Las Vegas, we filmed a lot of interviews. So those will be coming. We'll be adding those to the site and, and we have a philosopher's health Facebook page.
So we'll be letting people know about that as a tool for the members. Wonderful. For your clients. I was going to tell us the clients, it's for the clients to tell their stories. Yep. Which can lead to marketing for studios. Absolutely. It's a fantastic marketing tool.
It started out in 2003 as Palladio's in the schools. It then became the [inaudible] youth program and now we have a new brand for that initiative, which is called [inaudible] numeral for youth. And this year we had a wonderful, uh, accomp accomplishment, which was the publication of a book, which was the culmination of these 10 years of work. And it's called Palladio's for children and adolescents. And it's really in three parts.
The first part is a manual of teaching guidelines. The second part is the actual exercises. Um, anything contrary indicated for the given age group has been eliminated completely. So everything that's in there for each age group have safe and appropriate. And then the third section is about curriculum. How do you present a curriculum proposal to a school in such a way that you have the best possible chance for it being accepted.
So it's a really useful guide for people who want to work with young people and who want to look at how they can do set up programs to teach young people safely, whether it's an a school or outside of the school environment is fantastic. It's about time when we had one finally, right? Yes, exactly. Thank you for your time, Elizabeth. Thank you very much.
there was a meeting every year at the conference called the international meeting and basically it was people from outside the u s who wanted to be more engaged with the organization and they, we were always asked, are you gonna have chapters? Are you gonna have chapters? Now, what we finally now do have is a, is a template for chapters. So if a group wants to form a chapter, we know how to do it.
We have all the guidelines and basically they set up their own nonprofit organization and we create an f an affiliation. So they're affiliated along the lines of a lot of specific things. Um, it's a lot of work and I think that it's really easy to say, oh, let's start a chapter. But really it's a lot of work. So we've, we've, a number of them have been started and they're doing incredibly well. Um, but it takes a lot of dedication. It's another job, it's another job, it's another job. But you know, like for example, the, the chapter in Mexico City has been amazing. I mean, they've posted the exam, uh, I think maybe four times now. They've had their own, um, international conference and they've really been doing a lot to establish the, the professional identity of the Polonius teacher in Mexico. You know, when you understand what the, the benefit of the, of, uh, working on the mission is, it really is a huge benefit to one's professional standing in your community to, to being respected and understood as a professional. And so in, in a territory like Mexico, which is the community is, is less developed than it is here. It's an a, it's a wonderful spearheading of that great opportunity. Let's backstep a little bit into conferences. So in 2009,
that one was Kansas and we picked back up in. And how's that going forward and growing and changing and where are we in the industry with our conferences? Well, I mean there's, there's lots and lots of conferences available now, which didn't use to be the case. Um, the [inaudible] method alliance conferences was the big event. Um, and it still is, I mean, I, I, in my understanding, it's the biggest international conference of employees every year. We have, um, normally delegates coming from about 30 countries. So, which is really amazing.
And one of my favorite things is at the start of the general assembly, recognizing all the different countries and you know, last year we had someone from Mongolia, you know, I mean it's just amazing. Um, but yeah, 2010 we were in Long Beach. 2011 was palm desert, right. In 2012 was Las Vegas. So you know, it's, it's gone from strength to strength. I mean this year our booths sold out in March, which is amazing. And we already have a very long list of conference sponsors. So I, I feel like there's a lot of momentum and confidence in, in that, in that event.
And it's just such an important time for the community to be able to come together once a year and see each other. And it's a, it's a great reunion really for everyone that attends and amazing resource. I was just saying to the staff that I, the other yesterday that I've been proofreading the bios for the online brochure and it's overwhelming. It is incredible to read about the expertise and the knowledge that is contained in these people represent, that are presenting at the conferences. Very impressive. Yeah. Well, from an attendee's standpoint, the quality does continue to go up. We do see some repeat faces that come and go, uh, each year, which I think is important, but it's also nice to see the different new teachers applying for it being to teach a math class or to even just do one new thing for people to learn from.
how far in advance do you have knowledge? How would someone get it?
What if I wanted to teach a math class for the next conference? How would I do that? I've thought about it. All right. Well we, we, we open the opportunity to apply on our website. Um, usually in the summer. Yeah. So we're, so we're now in April, we'll probably put the, the presenter application forms up, um, in July or something like that for 2014. Right. And we, we have a number of deadlines. We, we, we have a deadline that's right before the conference because we have a presenters committee. Okay. We have three people that are the, each year that other per the presenters committee, these are not board members. There are people from the community who we invite to, to assess all the applications and they score them. So, so you'll have three people. And they'll have, you know, a hundred applications to look at and they have to score them according to certain criteria. What's that based on and who sets the criteria?
Um, the criteria has to do with things like their presentation skills, you know, are they the, the, the subject matter, the, the, the background, they have to submit a bibliography that that supports their body of knowledge that they want to present about. But also we wanted, we want to know that they, that they're a good presenter, that their, that their dynamic and interesting that they can be heard, you know, and all of those kinds of things. There's a lot of criteria that they're, that they're assessed by. And then, um, so we, we, we're, we have a deadline right before the conference because we, the presenters committee comes to the conference and we want to groom them to about how to assess these applications. So we need a stack for them to work with. But then what happens is people get really inspired at the conference and want to present. So we have the second deadline is after the conference and then we got an avalanche because, because everybody is so yeah, I want it to look great, I want to do that, you know, so then they'll, they'll apply by December 1st or something. So then the presenter committee really goes to work and they have to bring to our board meeting, which is at the end of January. Every year their results, they're scoring. Okay. And um, we now have our, our, our conference coordinator, Tonya, Anita winsy is now like the, the presenter committee administrator. So she, this is a lot of admin. Oh. So a tremendous amount of keeping a lot of admin.
So luckily, happily she's working on that now and it's making the process a lot more efficient. But they come to the con, they come to the conference with us having said, okay, there's going to be x slots for workshops, x slots for Mat classes, x, x three hour workshops. What are your yeah, back x pre cons and what are your suggestions based on these scores? And then the board goes through the suggestions based on the scores. And then we look at, okay, that person is fabulous, but actually we've had them every year for the last four years. We really need to give somebody else a chance. Um, who could we bring in that might be at that level, uh, able to do that sort of subject matter. And that's where the balancing comes in to have people that are very seasoned all the way to people who are completely new. Um, giving people sort of a step into the ladder, but you know, well into the process. I would say it's a ladder. Okay.
I don't think there's anything, I mean, yeah. Opinion. Yeah. I do want people to get, you know, access to get involved and to, to be on that roster of earlier in their career centers. Exactly. Because what if they are really a strong presenter and they, others are telling them that it's a great platform for them to explore. Yeah. Supportive. So we tried it. We try to have, uh, this, this um, balanced mixture of, of, of very experienced presenters, t t all the way to people are completely new, um, to representing all the different lineages. Making sure that the subject matter, there's a nice spread of different subject matter.
I'm a studio owner and I have several teachers that work with me and they have
asked me on occasion what, Gosh, I would love to do something at the PMA. Um, I've seen that there's volunteer opportunities maybe to, um, monitor the door and I get a free spot in the class or, um, can you tell a little bit how, how would someone get involved on a volunteer basis? Sure. Um, well first of all, you need to be a member. That's the main thing. Get back to that. Karen Mobilia, our membership manager is the one that organizes all that. And um, she puts out a call for volunteers every year and we usually need something around 80 to a hundred volunteers. And they, they, um, have a, they'd have to do half of their day. Every day needs to be a shift where they're doing work on the conference, so they're being a room monitor or they're stuffing envelopes or you know, whatever [inaudible] name tags, working at the registration booth, um, being a runner, whatever. Um, and then the rest of the day they can attend the workshops. Sounds Fair. That's very fair. Yeah. Fair. Yeah, that easy. Yeah, it's very easy. It's a very simple program that the, the issue we have now is just that there's a lot of demand. That's what I was handed.
And there are certain all star volunteers who come every year and they learn that job and they know, I mean, we know we can rely on them. We know we can, would, they follow instructions, they're efficient. They look around for what needs to be done. And so, you know, we're getting a good group of core, um, volunteers that are annual. That's wonderful. So wonderful in that regard. And then also kind of cuts out maybe for others to have to is we, it's so important for our functioning. We have to have a bunch of people like that, but there's, it's really a matter of getting in there early. I mean, when the email blast goes out, call Karen right away. Okay. I'll tell you that.
Yeah. Wonderful. Thank you.