Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Progression of PMA Chapters

When I arrived at the PMA in 2007, there was a regularly established meeting at each PMA conference called the ‘International Meeting’. That gathering usually included conference delegates in attendance who were not US-based (although US-based teachers turned up as well). They usually had questions or wanted to share information about how Pilates was developing in their countries. Every year we would get the question, ‘How can we set up a Chapter of the PMA in our country?’ In response to this question, we set up a set of procedures for doing that. In 2009 we started announcing that a process was available, and interested parties started to come forward.

‘How can we set up a Chapter of the PMA in our country?’

The process is not easy, simple or quick. The steps include establishing a board of directors that represents a spectrum of the local Pilates community, and a minimum of 10 local PMA members, in order to start the process. Getting to this point often takes a year or more. After this, the group applies to form a Chapter, and interviews ensue, and those involved meet with PMA staff and board at the PMA conference to get to know each other better, and to understand the motivations and goals of the group. If this stage is successfully passed, the group establishes Chapter Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation and an Affiliation Agreement with the PMA (the PMA provides templates for these documents, but they can be tailored to the specific needs or laws in the given country). 

PMA Chapters are Formal Affiliations

It is important to note that these groups are initiated and formed by local teachers who set up their own non-profit organization in their own country (or region of the US) and agree to an Affiliation contract with the PMA that dictates many aspects of how they function. These groups are not recruited or organized by the PMA. The Chapters discuss their annual plans with the PMA in Miami each year, and submit annual and semi-annual reports to the PMA office detailing their activities and financial status. The PMA headquarters does not fund PMA Chapters. Start up costs are provided by the Chapter founders who invest or donate initial funds to set up the legal paperwork, to be reimbursed by the Chapter’s futures earnings if they so choose. So far, Chapters earn money by holding continuing education events and the profits become chapter operating revenues.

The PMA regularly responds to inquiries from Pilates teachers interested in setting up regional Chapters. The point of contact for these inquiries is Karen Mobilia, Membership Manager.

Please see the PMA Chapters page for more information please visit:

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