Organizational Chart

The chart below demonstrates the governance of Minnesota Acupuncture Association (MAA).

  • Our general membership elects a Board, approves an annual budget, and votes on any changes to bylaws.

  • The Governing Board, in turn, is tasked with making and implementing policy decisions, and coordinating the work of the committees.

  • Committees are tasked with carrying out the organizational goals.

     


 

 

Governing Board | Committee Chairs

The purpose of the Minnesota Acupuncture Association's Governing Board is to provide governance for the good of the Association. The Board and/or its members shall:

  • Provide the source for officer candidates and elect the Officers
  • May serve as a member liaison of each standing committee. 
  • Make policy decisions, which shall bind the Association, subject to ratification at the annual membership meeting unless voted down by membership. 
  • Ratify Executive Committee decisions made between Board meetings. 
  • Implement policy decisions. 

Current Board goals are to:

  1. Increase active, satisfied and committed membership.
  2. Create and pass proactive legislation.
  3. Produce and develop effective, consistent, professional PR/Marketing.
  4. Develop effective administration and governance.
  5. Create positive professional networks.

2018 Board of Directors

Valerie Overby, M.Om., Dipl. Acu (NCCAOM) L.Ac.

President


Valerie is a seasoned project planner, strategist,  leader and team builder.  As a result she has worn many hats in her career; lab assistant and researcher, consultant, project manager, marketing manager, clinic coordinator, and long term community volunteer. 

Valerie brings her passion for community outreach and healthcare to MAA.  In a world of diverse populations and cultural backgrounds, Valerie seeks to support inclusive forms of healing that support the patient and utilizes complementary medicine.

Valerie is currently pursing her executive MBA at Carlson School of Management at the UofM and has earned her Masters of Oriental Medicine from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 2014, and received her undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota. 

She enjoys traveling and working with Acupuncturists Without Borders with their world healing exchanges and trauma relief efforts.

In Valerie's private practice, Haven Acupuncture & Wellness, she focuses on national and international wellness retreats. Her direct patient care is focused at Merriam Park Acupuncture in St. Paul. 



Nick Dougherty, M.S., Dipl Acu (NCCAOM) L.Ac.

Vice President  & Membership Committee Chair



Nick is 2009 graduate of the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with his Master’s in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He is currently working towards his Doctorate in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine with a focus on Neurological conditions.

Nick found Traditional Chinese Medicine through his lifelong study of the Martial Arts which he now teaches and incorporates into the health plans of his patients, via Qi Gong, Tai Chi and other modalities, thereby connecting the physical body to the mind.



Aaron Schindler, M.Om., Dipl Acu (NCCAOM) L.Ac.

Secretary & Legislative Committee Chair

Aaron is a licensed acupuncturist and holds a Diplomate of Chinese Medicine from NCCAOM. He is a 2008 graduate from the Masters of Oriental Medicine program at Northwestern Health Sciences University's College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and maintains a private practice in Minneapolis and works at Everspring Health Cooperative.

He is also has his Bachelors degree in Biology from University of Minnesota Mankato.  He has been a Medical Laboratory Technician with 20 years experience in various clinical settings including at the U of M Diagnostic Andrology Laboratory, St Paul Cancer Center, Park Nicollet Clinic laboratories and the Neuroimmunology Department at Mayo Foundation working with myasthenia gravis testing and paraneoplastic disorders. 

Received his instructors License in 2004 from Mankato School of Internal Martial Arts, and t Tai Chi, Baguazhang Kung Fu and Qi Gong for longevity and healing.

Aaron enjoys getting engaging the public by organizing volunteer efforts that bring acupuncture to the people. He has helped organize volunteers at events like the Yellow Ribbon Health Expo for Veterans of Lakeville, acupuncture booth at Women Run The Cities Marathon, acupuncture booth at the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Marathon,  acupuncture volunteers at the Red Ribbon Bike Ride,  and also volunteers with the Freedom Fighters first Tuesdays free acupuncture for veterans with PTSD group.

He is also involved with working on legislative policy for the acupuncture profession. He organizes grassroots educational and communication trainings for acupuncturists and acupuncture students to get them engaged in protecting their scope of practice and the benefits of effectively building healthy relationships with our legislators and other professions. 

 


Rhonda Harbaugh Witmer, M.Om., Dipl. Acu (NCCAOM) L.Ac.

Treasurer


Rhonda developed an interested in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from a patient’s viewpoint.  Really, it was quite by accidental discovery based on a suggestion after months of pain.  Rhonda is a December 2014 graduate of Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN.  Previously, Rhonda work in quality and recruitment for a company in Southwestern, Wisconsin, and involved in local government, community projects. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. 

 

She looks forward to working together to move our profession forward and serving as your Treasurer.  There is great future ahead ~ we need to walk in faith together blended with hope and trust in each other.

 

Rhonda’s interest outside of promoting alternative healing choices are vast and broad.  Currently, Rhonda is completely her national boards certification.    Rhonda is on the Board of Directors at  Cannon River Watershed Partnership in Northfield where she lives.  She also is a member of Emmaus Church, Northfield Prairie Partners,  Northfield Herbies group and volunteering at the Carleton College Arboretum in restoration projects.    When she is not volunteering, she is gardening, camping, and in particular biking on Luce Line Trail and spending time with her family.  Rhonda is proud mom to children Ben and Rachel.




Kornia St. John, DACM,(NCCAOM), MSTOM, L.Ac.

Director & Public Relations Chair




Dr K has over 20 years of experience and advanced training in Integrative Medicine.  She founded Healthy Happy Whole, LLC in 2003, and currently practices as a board-certified, Doctor of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine.  Dr K received her four year graduate degree from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and completed post-graduate hospital rotations and specialized training at Liaoning University teaching hospital in Shenyang, China.  She completed a research-based graduate program in a Complementary Medicine & Wellness at Oakland University in 2003.  Dr K has established successful Integrative Medical clinics in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, and has facilitated healing retreats around the world.  She also owns and operates Wildflower Family Farm, a Chinese medicinal farm in Minnesota.

Dr K has been partnering with indigenous tribes since 2004 to preserve ancient medicinal practices and study the science behind these ancient techniques, including East Asian Medicine.  She is currently filming a pilot for the tv series, Barefoot Doctor.  Dr K also founded Aerospace Acupuncture, LLC in 2017, and is studying the therapeutic and preventative health benefits of East Asian medicine for short and long duration space flight.  

Dedicated to educating the general public and medical community, Dr K is honored to serve as a MAA board member to spread the knowledge and benefits of East Asian Medicine.   




Wei Cheng, M.D. (China), Ph.D (China)

 Director 



Graduated from Gansu College of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a M.D. (China) degree, then worked for ten years at Gansu College’s affiliated teaching hospital as a registered doctor, specializing in traditional Chinese medicine practice. Dr. Cheng left hospital work to pursue an MBA degree at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand, with a special focus on the management of health care facilities. Dr. Cheng returned to his primary field of Chinese medicine to receive a Ph.D. degree from Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in the area of classical Chinese medicine.




Angie Weber
Student Director & Communications Chair


Angie is currently pursuing a master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture from Northwestern Health Sciences University; she is expected to graduate in August of 2019.

Since 2007, Angie has been assisting clients in transforming their lives as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  Her undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sport Science was completed at St. Catherine's University.  Her passion for health and wellness started as a teenager working as a certified nursing assistant and then continued as a laboratory technician in the U.S. Army.  She is excited to join the TCM community bringing her varied experiences to patients and the MN Acupuncture Association.


Brett Willis
Student Director


Brett M Willis is a Masters level student at The Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Brett currently works as a paramedic at the Talecris Plasma Better in Fridley MN. With 10 years of experience in emergency medicine, Brett has developed a love of healing others and helping them find healthy alternatives such as Acupuncture and herbal medicine.

 Brett is a nomad from birth as both his parents served in the United States Army. He himself has served in many capacities including serving a full time two year mission for his church, becoming an eagle scout, headed the first Spanish Scott unit in Indiana, resurrecting the Native American Student Alliance at IUPUI including helping create a certificate in Native American Studies. In high school Brett also spoke before his school board after participating in the first class to study Japanese in order to keep the program alive. His years of service now have lead him to seek ways to expand the knowledge and acceptance of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in both Minnesota and our country as a whole.


Victoria HuittM.Om., Dipl Acu (NCCAOM) L.Ac.
Alternate Director 




Victoria has been licensed in the state of MN since 1997 after completing her MAcOM at OCOM in Portland, Oregon.  Victoria has worked with patient care in multiple settings in the Twin Cities including Hennepin Faculty Associates, Health Partners in Inver Grove Heights, and in several private practice locations and is currently located at Penny George Institute for Health and Healing in Minneapolis.

 Victoria enjoys patient care utilizing acupuncture, herbal therapy, qigong, and TCM dietary recommendations.  As a faculty member of the acupuncture program at Northwestern Health Sciences University for the last 12 years, Victoria has taken her love of teaching and translated that to patient care highlighting education in self-care and empowerment in healing for patients.  Victoria sees the healing relationship as a partnership and find patients are very willing participants when given the resources and tools to heal.  



John Hauser, R.N., N.D., O.M.D., (NCCAOM) L.Ac.

Alternate Director 

Dr. Hauser’s interest in oriental medicine as a young adult began during his undergraduate years during the late 1970’s & early 1980’s with his reading of the first modern English translation of any Traditional Chinese Medicine text, Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion. That this text was an account of point and meridian location but a shallow and simple presentation of the theory of oriental medicine and that there were only three schools of oriental medicine in the United States at the time, each on either of the continent’s sea coasts discouraged what seemed at the time to be an unlikely pursuit for a Milwaukeean. 

Twenty years later, inspired by the effective herbal treatments of Dr. Zhuo Ling Ren, Dr. Hauser organized a small class comprised of graduates of TCM schools which met for four hours weekly for three years to study oriental medicine under Dr. Duc the Kieu. Once learning oriental herbalism, the need to qualify as a licensed acupuncturist to complement this work compelled Dr. Hauser to obtain a Master’s in Oriental Medicine degree from the Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Roseville, Minnesota. He is a licensed acupuncturist in the state of Minnesota.

His clinic holds one of the few bulk herb oriental medicine pharmacies in the Twin Cities with 280 items of the Traditional Chinese Medicine materia medica obtained from Mayway Herbs of Oakland, California or Golden Flower Pharmacy of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He can fill his own prescriptions or those ordered by other practitioners who might need use of the pharmacy for their patients.





Nikki Vanecek, M.Om., Dipl. Acu (NCCAOM) L.Ac.

Alternate Director 



Nikki has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and a Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Northwestern Health Science University.

Her internships included two years advanced practice at The Courage Center treating stroke, spinal cord injury, and other neurological conditions.  She also has three years of experience at University of Minnesota’s Edith Davis Clinic. While at the Edith Davis Clinic she successfully treated both acute and chronic pain, including chronic migraines and fibromyalgia.

In addition to schooling in the United States, Nikki also has international training at the top-ranked medical college in Tain Jin China. This training included intensives in Cardiology, Gynecology, Neurology, and pain in addition to work in general practice areas.

Nikki serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Alumni Association and is a member of the Minnesota Acupuncture Association.




Join Our Board of Directors 

We are actively seeking qualified candidates for the following Board of Director positions:

  • Alternates for Membership
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing
  • Legislative

Interested in joining?  Click here to download an application!

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