Consultant David Matteson Departs AANP, Takes a New Path
As David Matteson, AANP consultant and long-time supporter of the naturopathic profession, ends his time with us, Drs. Carl Hangee-Bauer, Lise Alschuler and Guru Sandesh Khalsa share their reflections and appreciation for his work
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
by: Drs. Carl Hangee-Bauer, Lise Alschuler and Guru Sandesh Khalsa
From Dr. Carl Hangee-Bauer
I first met David, very briefly, in 2003 when California was deep in our licensing campaign. He advised our team, and with the help of Sandy Cutler and the folks at Bastyr, was instrumental in our success.
In 2008, I joined the AANP Board at a time when we were bringing on the Board Governance Model. David's work as an advisor and "change agent" provided us with key insights and strategies as our association took this important step in our evolution. As time went on, I found David's insights and "30,000 foot view" of our organization to be tremendously helpful in understanding the dynamics of the AANP and how it is like and not like other similar organizations. We tend to believe that we are the first to encounter certain challenges, that we are somehow unique, and David helped me see that the stages the AANP goes through are normal steps in the process of organizational growth and development. As he would often say, "this is as normal as rain in Seattle". It helped to put things in perspective.
As AANP President, I found David to be an invaluable resource. His work with Board Development as well as advising and supporting our Executive Director and her staff helped us stay strategic, understand the role of the Board as well as the staff and how we could work best together. He never took sides when there was a conflict, instead maintaining the high ground and advising in ways he thought were best for the AANP and its members. His experience in organizational effectiveness has been crucial in our growth and development, as well as his measured responses and insights during times of crisis or conflict. Over the majority of my two-year term, David and I had weekly phone calls, some of which were goal-oriented, focused on certain projects and some which were more big picture, visioning and strategic topics.
When Karen Howard resigned and we were faced with the challenges of finding her successor, David played a key role in supporting and guiding our process to assess our organizational needs going forward, finding a reputable and appropriate search firm, and providing tools and insight to ensure we would make the best selection possible. I think in some ways this is the most important work David has done with the AANP and his mark will be felt for many years to come.
And this is just about the AANP. David has supported the profession in so many ways. From his involvement with CNME recognition to his work at Bastyr to AANMC support and leadership and many points in-between, David has been a tremendous supporter and asset to the growth and development of the naturopathic profession and he will be missed. I believe with his departure we will lose a great asset. He leaves behind big shoes to fill.
So, in closing, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, David, for all the good work you have done for the AANP and this profession. You have helped us accomplish so much. I am happy to have worked so closely with you and am proud to call you my friend as well as my colleague. You have helped me to grow for which I am thankful.
May your journey bring you much happiness and fulfillment.
Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
AANP President, 2010-2011
From Dr. Lise Alschuler
It is hard for me to know where to begin when thinking about how to capture David Matteson's contribution to the naturopathic profession. I suppose I can start by saying that I know of no other individual who has so tirelessly worked on behalf of the naturopathic profession, singularly for the sake of the profession. Throughout the decades of David's involvement in the naturopathic profession, he has never used his role in the profession as leverage for his own gain. He did not seek the limelight for his contributions. Rather, David has sat at the back of our ship, his hand on the rudder, tirelessly and unerringly keeping us on course to fulfill our greatest destiny. David is a visionary - and the best kind - as he holds a vision that others will be visionary. Rather than imposing his own vision on people and organizations, he creates the space and motivation for others to develop their visions. He has lead many, many strategic meetings and brainstorming sessions that have seeded transformative moments in our profession. He has counseled many leaders of the naturopathic profession in the school, state and national arenas to lead with vision. In addition, David is pragmatic and has developed simple and sophisticated tools to help the organizations of our profession function efficiently and productively. He has spent innumerable hours developing leadership skills in staff and elected leaders of our profession. David has lobbied on our behalf as well, being instrumental in several licensing and scope expansion efforts across the nation as well as the original and renewed Federal recognition of the CNME.
The man doing all of these great supportive works for the naturopathic profession is a person to be celebrated. He is creatively intelligent, sensitive to the needs of others, emotionally resilient, deeply spiritual, health conscious, devoted to his family and, ultimately, a great servant of this world. David Matteson will always be a member of the naturopathic family, and his legacy irrevocably woven into the very fabric of who and what this profession has become.
Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO
AANP President 2008-2010
From Dr. Guru Sandesh Khalsa
I first encountered David when I was the President of CNME and we were dealing with our imminent loss of recognition with the Department of Education 12 years ago. He was still working with Bastyr at the time. I was impressed with his level of knowledge and support and work with the lawyers in DC. When his position was eliminated at Bastyr, I encouraged and supported Karen in hiring him as a consultant for AANP and AANMC. His insight and guidance in matters of governance, strategic planning and public policy have been invaluable for both organizations. And just as importantly, he always brings a positive attitude and willingness to allow all points of view to be heard. He offered his service as Interim ED for AANMC when Karen announced her departure in the spring; he is committed to seeing the AANMC prevail and become a highly functional and professional organization in support of the schools and the profession. There are many members of the naturopathic profession who have devoted great effort to advancing it, but I hold a special place in my heart for those individuals who are not NDs and yet embrace our mission and work tirelessly to bring it to fruition.
David, thank you for 15 years of putting up with this crazy bunch of medical misfits and helping us to become who we wish to be. I appreciate our time together and hope that you will maintain your connection with us.
In Gratitude and Affection,