Monday, September 19, 2011

President's Message: Convention Notes and the Search for a New Executive Director

By Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
AANP President

AANP President Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc, and President-Elect Michael Cronin, ND, with their
wives Michele Hangee-Bauer and Kyle Cronin, ND, respectively.
It’s been two months since my last President’s blog and there has been a lot of water under the bridge since.

The 26th AANP Convention at the Arizona Biltmore has come and gone and was a success by all measures. I had a great number of people come up to me and tell me that this was the best conference they could recall, from the quality of the sessions to the results of the elections and annual awards. Everyone seemed to enjoy him- or herself at our favorite convention venue.

There are many congratulations in order. Dr. Michelle Simon is our newly-elected Board member, with Drs. Kasra Pournadeali and Dr. Michael Reece re-elected to second Board terms. Dr. Joe Pizzorno will succeed Dr. Corey Resnick as our next Treasurer, and Dr. Bruce Milliman was elected the next Speaker of the House of Delegates. And, as you all know, Dr. Michael Cronin will be succeeding me as your next AANP President in January.

Thank you to all who ran for Board or House leadership positions, congratulations to all who were elected, and thank you to all who have served and will be moving on to more challenges and opportunities, particularly Board member Dr. Trevor Holly Cates and House Speaker Dr. Helen Healy.

Our 2011 awardees were met with great appreciation and applause by attendees at the annual awards banquet. Dr. Shiva Barton is our 2011 Physician of the Year, Dr. Louise Edwards received the Vis Award, Dr. Bill Benda received the new Champion Award, and Dr. David Field received the President’s Award. Emerson Ecologics was named AANP Corporation of the Year and Dr. Ryan Bradley and Joshua Goldenberg, ND candidate, received research accolades. These awardees have all demonstrated great dedication to the naturopathic profession and have accomplished great things, some over a lifetime of service. They are examples to us all and we thank them and congratulate them from the depths of our hearts.

Just a few days before the start of the convention, Karen Howard called to inform me that after nine years as AANP Executive Director, she has decided to retire and move on. The announcement was later made to the Board, House of Delegates and the convention attendees at our annual meeting. Karen’s decision has reverberated through our community and set a tone at the convention that was reflective of her many accomplishments, her impact on the naturopathic profession, and the mixed emotions in the community with her moving on.

Karen joined the AANP during a time of great change and has been an instrumental force in our move to Washington, D.C., and our greatly increased federal presence. She has overseen many developments in our organization that we take for granted today, including development of practice development resources, the state alliance, our website, strategic coalitions with groups aligned to our purposes, and of course our annual DC FLI.

Her fiscal prowess has been exceptional. When she started as Executive Director, the AANP had a $276,000 deficit. As of the end of 2011, we have a positive balance of $402,000. We owe much of our prosperity and fiscal good health to her steady hand.

Karen has offered to stay on as Executive Director while we begin our search for her successor, and there will be plenty more to say before she completes her work with the AANP. I plan to devote one of my next blogs to Karen and the impact she has had on the AANP and the naturopathic profession, so stay tuned!

With Karen’s announcement, I immediately activated our succession planning process and appointed an Executive Director Transition Team (EDTT) consisting of Dr. Michael Cronin, Dr. Joe Pizzorno, Dr. Keri Marshall, Dr. Lise Alschuler, Dr. Harry Swope, David Matteson, and me. The EDTT has been meeting weekly to establish a rational process for succession. Our first steps have been to assess strategically the current state of the association, the needs and goals of the organization over the next five years, and the assets and profile of an ideal executive to fit our needs now and in the near-term future. We anticipate completing our assessment and posting a job description in October, and hope to begin the interview process soon afterwards.

We will do our best to keep in good communication with you as we move through this process, and appreciate the community feedback we have already received. This is some of the most important work we will do as an association over the next three to six months and the choices we make will affect the progress and goals of the AANP over the next five to ten years. The better the job we do now, the better we will meet our common goals. If you have any ideas or feedback that you think would help us be most successful, please send it to me at

We plan to keep you up-to-date with these monthly blogs and in other venues as needed or appropriate.

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