Meet Our Faculty and Staff

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The mission of the staff at PMTI is to provide a strong and efficient organizational foundation embodying integrity, harmony and compassion, while initiating and supporting the growth, diversity and changing needs of the PMTI community. Our staff is fully committed to helping provide the tools necessary for students, faculty, and alumni to have the most positive educational experience possible. They are deeply committed and dedicated people!

 

Our instructors exemplify PMTI's core values and continually strive to create and maintain a positive and supportive learning environment for all of our students. They bring a vast array of experience along with a knowledge of and passion for massage to the classroom.  

 

The long-standing and continued success of our students is due in no small part to the tireless efforts of both our administrative staff and our faculty. It is an immense joy, honor and privilege for all of us to be part of your journey!

 

All PMTI faculty are licensed in the field of massage therapy, often in multiple jurisdictions, and meet all of the licensure requirements of the Maryland Higher Education Commission. ​

Linda Baron, LMT
Dean of Students/Alumni Services Coordinator
Teaching Assistant Segment 1

 

Linda graduated from PMTI in 2020. Since graduation she has assisted with the Heart of Touch class, currently assists in the Segment One practical class and serves as an Instructor with the Student Clinic. Linda is licensed in DC and Maryland and currently works at a wellness spa. She studied and practiced bodywork for many years before coming to PMTI and is a certified Phoenix Rising yoga teacher, therapist, group facilitator and therapeutic life mentor. She also has extensive training and experience in Thai massage. In her previous career, she was a mediator, group facilitator, coach, mentor and trainer in a variety of court, community, and workplace conflict resolution programs, including fourteen years during which she deployed to Federal disasters to provide conflict resolution services to employees in disaster field offices. When not practicing body work or teaching yoga, she enjoys biking, gardening, and vegan cooking.

 

Clio Berney, LMT
Clinic Manager, Lead Instructor Segments One,
Instructor for CPR & 1st Aid

 

Clio Berney joined our instructional team upon graduating in 2012. She is certified in Myofascial Release Technique, Pregnancy Massage, Active Isolated Stretching, Manual Lymph Drainage and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Clio is also a Practical Lead Instructor in Segments One and Three.

 

Bethann Brennan, LMT
Registrar

 

Bethann Brennan is a 2004 PMTI graduate, has been a Licensed Massage Therapist for 18 years, and is certified through the NCBTMB. She is trained in cranial sacral therapy through the Upledger Institute, and completed specialized trainings for prenatal massage and prenatal yoga, reflexology, hot stone massage, aromatherapy, lymphatic drainage, and is a certified Reiki practitioner. Additionally, Bethann is a certified Yoga Teacher through the Kripalu Center, and has been teaching yoga since August 1999. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in English from Boston College, and has also completed graduate level coursework in education at Boston College. Since 2013, Bethann has owned and operated the Brennan Institute for Mind-Body Healing in Reston, VA with her husband Darren who is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She provides client-centered sessions which focus on relaxation of the whole self-- physically and energetically, to create more space and peace. Bethann worked at PMTI in 2005 as the Office Manager and now returns in 2022 to serve as PMTI’s Registrar.

 

Jennifer Brennan, LMT
Continuing Education & Workshops Manager

 

Jen graduated from PMTI in 2008, and completed her yoga teacher training in 2015.  She is also a BodyMind Certified Coach and has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University.  Her desire is to help fellow humans embrace feeling good!  Knowing that pain feels different to every person, she helps people break free from self-sabotaging thoughts, misaligned choices, and old, nasty habits that are keeping them stuck in cycles of discomfort. An amicably divorced mama of two amazing young adults, she is a pleasure activist and carves out time each day to savor delights big and small.  Equally at home hiking beneath the canopy of trees or joyfully salsa dancing with friends, Jen believes that a life aligned toward personal wellness feels pretty amazing!

 

Shannon Cannedy, LMT
Clinic Instructor/Reception


After graduating from PMTI in 2005, Shannon stayed on by working as a practitioner in the PMTI Graduate Clinic until 2008.  When she started her own private practice in 2011, she began working in conjunction with an acupuncture clinic, taking on clients with sensitive health issues, which lead her to add Oncology Massage and Manual Lymph Drainage. She continued her education by studying Pregnancy Massage, Ayurveda, and Shiatsu techniques. Most recently, she has become a Reiki practitioner. Shannon loves to stay involved at PMTI, currently as a Student Clinic Instructor.

 

Molly Farwell Gavin, LMT
Lead Instructor Segment 3
 

Molly is a licensed massage therapist (LMT), certified practitioner of Integrative Reflexology(R), and 2017 graduate of PMTI. Prior to beginning her studies in massage, she came from a background in immigration legal work and advocacy. Molly is fluent in English and Spanish. Her training includes over 100 hours of study and practice in trauma-informed client services within and beyond the bodywork field. She is also a Yoga-alliance registered teacher.

Tamera Gelman
Executive Director, Admissions Coordinator

 

Tam attended Middle Tennessee State University and enjoyed a long term career as a commercial mortgage banker and broker prior to becoming a massage therapist. Since graduating from PMTI in 2002, Tam has been an instructor and administrator for the school. Tam first volunteered as PMTI’s real estate consultant in 2002 to help orchestrate the school’s relocation to Wisconsin Avenue in DC, and she has served in this same role in relocating PMTI to Silver Spring.  Joining the Board of Directors in 2003, Tam has twice served as Board Treasurer and as the Board’s Co-Chair.  Tam served as the school’s Acting Co-Director on two occasions before assuming her current position in 2011.

 

Diane Kendall
Front Desk Management, Reception

 

Diane is PMTI’s Senior Receptionist.  She spent 35 years at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville, working in several different departments. She retired in 2012 to focus on family for a while, and then embarked on a new career in working with animals. Diane joined the Roos 2 U family in 2016 and enjoyed caring for kangaroos, wallabies, emus and other exotic animals. In 2017, she was encouraged to come to PMTI where she enjoys interacting with students, staff and faculty.

 

Alison Kennedy, LMT
Teaching Assistant Segment 3

 

Alison’s wellness journey began as a result of a chronic illness in 2009, which led her to yoga. After earning her Yoga Teacher Certification, she trained in Ayurveda and the healing arts of Shirodhara and Abhyanga, followed by teacher trainings in Positional Therapy and Yin Yoga. From there, Alison was moved to study the healing art of massage, which included coursework in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Myofascial release and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, graduating from PMTI in 2020. PMTI’s program reinforced her passions and the joy of collaborating with clients, facilitating access to a more calm, grounded and parasympathetic state. Whether her clients wish to facilitate greater ease and healing in their lives by adding massage, myofascial release, Ayurveda, Craniosacral, or any combination thereof, it is her heart's desire to provide a truly trauma-informed, compassionate, and client-centered experience. In partnering with each client on their wellness journey, she aspires to work together to bring balance, and positively impact all aspects of body, mind and spirit.

 

Tricia Kull, LMT
Lead Instructor Segment 2

Susan Landau, LMT, NCTMB
Fieldwork Manager

 

Susan has a B.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park, MBA studies at Florida Atlantic University, and is a PMTI Graduate, where she is now the Fieldwork Manager. She brings with her a background in Recreational Programming for Community Centers and Forensic Institutes. Susan is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor and has advanced training in Seated Massage. She also runs SEL & ASSOCIATES, her seated massage business in the Tri-State area, while maintaining a private practice in Frederick, MD.

 

Peter Langsdorf, LMT
Lead Instructor Segments 1 and 3

 

Peter is an LMT specializing in Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Neuromuscular Therapy techniques. He was a teaching assistant in Segments One and Three following graduation from PMTI and prior to becoming a Lead Instructor in Basic Anatomy and Physiology, Pathology for Massage Therapists, and the Medical Terminology and SOAP Charting. Peter shifted his focus to massage therapy after a career spent in litigation support (as a paralegal) and Federal recordkeeping.

 

Jimmy Li, LMT
Teaching Assistant Segment 1

 

Jimmy graduated from PMTI in 2021. He currently has a practice in Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, and is in the process of obtaining his certification as a Biodynamic Craniosacral therapist. His other interests include meditation, Body Deva self-inquiry, and Anat Baniel Neuromovement.

 

Kobie Nichols, LMT
Intern Segment 2

Mary Maruca, LMT
Lead Instructor Segment 3

Alicia Moyer, LMT
Intern Segment 2

 

Alicia graduated from PMTI in 2022 and runs a private bodywork practice from her home in Washington, DC. Alicia is also certified in pregnancy massage, Reiki and is studying Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. She has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2006 and has trained countless teachers through various teacher training programs since 2015. She holds a B.A. in English from Oberlin College and a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Michael Oliwa
Marketing Director, IT Coordinator

 

Michael started as an assistant in his father’s photography studio on Madison Avenue. From there he worked and freelanced at agencies and publications in NJ and NYC , eventually specializing in graphic design, illustration, and corporate identity. In 1999 he launched District Line Productions, a boutique graphic design agency, first in Bethesda and later in Downtown Silver Spring. He then returned to the world of corporate communications, before coming on board at PMTI in 2017. Michael also serves as PMTI’s IT Coordinator.

 

Ross Pastel, LMT
Lead Instructor Segment 2

 

Ross has a B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Neural and Endocrine Regulation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After 26 years in the U.S. Army as an officer and research scientist, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He graduated from PMTI in 2016 and stayed on to intern, then teach Basic Anatomy and Physiology, and Body Systems Pathology for Massage. He also co-leads Case Report (with Tam Gelman) and teaches the Research Literacy workshop. He is currently pursuing certification in the Trager Approach, Zero Balancing, and Upledger CranioSacral Therapy. Other continuing education pursuits include Feldenkrais, Neuromuscular Therapy, Bowen Technique, and FlexAware.

 

Jackie Prince, LMT
Lead Instructor Segment 12

 

Brenda Rayner, LMT
Director of Education, Lead Instructor Segment 2

 

Brenda joined our staff as Office Manager in October 2017, with a career background in entrepreneurship, human resources and accounting. A 2002 graduate of PMTI, Brenda has been a longstanding member of the Segment Two faculty, serving as both an academic and practical instructor.  She has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2010, and currently serves as Assistant Treasurer. During the last several years, Brenda has continued to develop experience in massage therapy education through involvement with ABMP, AMTA, and AFMTE, participating in the development of two major projects in our field, ELAP/The CORE Blueprint for Entry-level Therapists, and more recently the Core Competencies for Massage Therapy Instructors.

 

AnaElle Rene, LMT
Teaching Assistant Segment 32

 

Bob Schleichert, RMP
Lead Instructor Segment 1


Bob graduated from PMTI in 2004 and has additional training in Reiki, Compassionate Touch, Couples Massage, Massage for Low Back Pain and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  He has taught in multiple segments of the Professional Training Program.  Bob is currently a lead instructor in Segment 1 practical, as well as the Fieldwork program and PMTI’s community workshops.  Bob maintains a private practice in Maryland.

 

Stella Sutkiewicz, LMT
Lead Instructor Segment 2

 

Brenda Tracey, LMT
Lead Instructor, Segment 2

 

Elissa Webber, LMT
Lead Instructor Segment 2, Clinic Instructor
A July 2013 graduate of PMTI, Elissa has two degrees from Florida State University and worked as a librarian for over 20 years before attending PMTI.  She currently lives in Silver Spring with her husband and college age sons, where she also has a private massage therapy practice.  Elissa has pursued continuing education in Alchemical Alignment, Shiatsu, Seva Stress Release and Hellerwork.