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.

2015 Board of Directors

Aaron Schindler, M.Om., L.Ac.

Aaron is a licensed acupuncturist and holds a Diplomate of Chinese Medicine from NCCAOM. He is a 2008 graduate from NWHSU/CAOM and maintains a private practice in Minneapolis.

He is also a Medical Laboratory Technician with 19 years experience in various clinical settings including the Neuroimmunology Department at Mayo Foundation working with myasthenia gravis testing and paraneoplastic disorders.

Licensed in 2004 from Mankato School of Internal Martial Arts, and teaches Tai Chi, Baguazhang Kung Fu and Qi Gong for longevity and healing.

Aaron enjoys gardening, growing Chinese herbs, jogging with his dog Spike, wine making, and travel.


Valerie Overby, M.Om., L.Ac.
Vice President / Membership Committee Chair

Valerie is a seasoned project planner, leader and team builder.  As a result she has worn many hats in her career; lab assistant and researcher, project 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 earned her Masters of Oriental Medicine from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 2014, and received her undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota in Biology and American Indian Studies in 2003. Valerie enjoys traveling and working with Acupuncturists Without Borders with their world healing exchanges and trauma relief efforts. Valerie also is co-founder of a local Minnesota non-profit, Traditional Roots Healthcare, and seeks to bring acupuncture and holistic care approaches to communities affected by trauma. 

Rhonda Harbaugh Witmer, M.Om., L.Ac.

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.


John Blaska, DAOM L.Ac.
Secretary, Legislative Committee Chair

John is a leading researcher in the area of integrative healthcare clinic innovation with a vision for creating a viable, globally accessible primary care model that meets modern need. As President and Founder of Everspring Health, John lead the development and execution of this model at our clinic in Minneapolis, work with others to bring it to scale, and educate the public on its benefits; as a board-certified medical practitioner, John helps patients understand the spirit/mind/body connection and the influence stress, diet and sleep have on quality of life; as an advocate for patients, my focus is to create opportunities for better quality of life by integrating and delivering qualified health and healing resources. 

Deborah AurianivarM.Om., L.Ac.
Board Member

Deborah has been practicing one form or another of Asian therapies since 1993. It all began with acupressure! She discovered the wonder of pain reduction with acupuncture after a serious car crash in 1997. In 2002 she earned her Master's of Oriental Medicine from North Western Health Sciences University and enjoyed a successful practice in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2007 she moved to Arizona to assist family members. While there, she enjoyed the opportunity of being an assistant professor, clinic supervisor, clinic dean and the Assessment and Accreditation Officer of the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA). 

She is a strong stand for public education regarding the benefits of acupuncture from Licensed Acupuncturists.

Donna Sandberg
Board Member

Donna is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from Northwestern Health Sciences University and will graduate in December of 2016.  She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota in Biology. 

Donna enjoys spending quality time with her children, family and friends.  She enjoys volunteering and sitting on the board of a local boxing gym in South Minneapolis that focuses helping inner city youth to become future leaders of tomorrow.

Open Positions

We are actively seeking qualified candidates for the following Board of Director positions:
  • Communications / Public Relations Committee Chair
  • Continuing Education Committee Chair
  • Marketing Committee Chair

Intersted in joining?  Click here to download an application!

Contacting the Governing Board

To contact all members of the Board of Directors email: [email protected]

To contact the President: [email protected]

Continuing Education Committee

Email: [email protected]

    • Suggestions for continuing education for practitioners of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Communications Committee
Email: [email protected]

    • Membership Directory
    • Web Site Information
    • Advertising

    Legislative Committee
    Email: [email protected] 

      • Current legislative actions
      • Federal and state lobbying

      Membership Committee

      Email: [email protected]

        • Public relations events
        • News stories & Newsletters
        • Membership status
        • Member recruitment and retention 


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