Gini S. Ohlson, Executive Director

Gini Ohlson has worked with the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) for the past twenty-six years.  She currently serves as the Executive Director and oversees the Foundation’s overall management and operations. Prior to her work at the MTF, she worked for the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Foundation and helped establish The Actuarial Foundation. Prior to her Foundation work, Gini spent nearly five years at the American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago (ALAMC) ending her tenure as the Director of Major Gifts. While working for the ALAMC, she also worked part-time as a reporter for the northwest suburban Chicago, Daily Herald newspaper. Gini has a BA in Political Science and Journalism from Iowa State University. She has taken both continuing education and graduate level courses in non-profit management from North Park University and has a mini-certificate in non-profit management from North Park. Gini has also completed the 6-month national Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (S.E.E.D) educational program

She has served as a presenter and newsletter contributor for the Association Foundation Group (AFG) and a presenter for the Association Forum Chicago Chapters professional development series on several topics. She has served on several boards, including as a Director and additionally as an Advisory Board Member for the Alliance of Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) and currently volunteers for the ETHS Foundation and for several other local agencies.
Click here to view Gini’s introduction video


Marla Gamze, Development and Communications Manager

Marla’s most recent professional experience includes consulting for a nano-science renewable energy company; being Director of Marketing at Chicago Loop Alliance, representing the downtown Chicago Loop via attracting investment, tourism and economic development; and Development & Marketing Communications Officer at Countryside Association for People with Disabilities, supporting vocational training, family support, workforce readiness, empowerment and independent living. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from DePaul University and a Master’s degree in Technology Management from Georgetown University. Marla bikes, runs and practices yoga and meditation.


Geri Anne Nelson, Program Manager

Geri joined the Massage Therapy Foundation staff in early 2020 as the foundation’s program manager. Her most recent professional experience includes event planning and fundraising for a community-based organization on the west side of Chicago. She has also worked as a program assistant at Northwestern University’s Women Center and a career counselor for students in the health and wellness industry. Geri graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Arts Management from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and a Master of Science in Non-Profit Management from the School of Public Service at DePaul University. She loves exploring Chicagoland’s dog parks with her westie named Winston and tending to her plant collection.


Helen Smith, Digital Communications Program Manager

Helen joined the Massage Therapy Foundation staff in 2017. Her past professional experience includes retail sales management for SVP Worldwide (formerly VSM Sewing Inc.) and co-ownership/management of YesYes LLC, a community art and music venue in Olympia, WA. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College. She enjoys painting, reading, and crafting/upcycling.