AARC Board Announces New Executive Director

 Published: April 7, 2022

By: Heather Willden


image of daniel garrett announcement

Sheri Tooley, AARC President, has announced the AARC’s engagement of our new Executive Director Certified Association Executive (CAE) Daniel (“Dan”) Garrett. Dan brings a long tenure of leading progressively larger health care membership organizations. Most recently, he served as the executive director of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS). As evident by his 30+-year career history, Dan inspires and motivates the teams he leads, always keeping members at the center of decisions and initiatives.

“I can’t think of a better time to be coming in as AARC’s executive director as respiratory therapists and the RT profession touched so many lives during the pandemic,” said Dan Garrett in a statement. “I am humbled and inspired by the profession’s impact. Initially, I plan to spend time listening to members and staff as I hope to bring a fresh and thoughtful perspective on AARC’s strategic direction.”

While with the ASTS, Dan worked with the ASTS Council on strategic priorities and led staff to accomplish organizational goals. During this time, ASTS achieved and exceeded both attendance and revenue goals for the 2019 Winter Symposium Meeting—their best year historically. Dan also worked to establish Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training and development for volunteer leadership and staff members.

“DEI is now firmly a required component of leadership and organizations must embrace and usher in new ways of leading and creating strong and diverse cultures,” said Mr. Garrett. “I look forward to helping lead AARC’s DEI initiatives.”

Before leading the ASTS, Dan was the executive director/CEO of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons (AACS) where he oversaw a financial turnaround through tight budget management and additional revenue generation. He also helped improve the organization’s online presence through a website redesign, the institution of a robust social marketing program, online membership renewal, donations, app, and event(s) registration.

In addition to ASTS and AACS, Dan led the Iowa Chiropractic Society and Foundation as executive director, the National Society to Prevent Blindness as senior vice president, the American Red Cross as national marketing manager, and the Illinois CPA Society and Foundation as their director of member services.

“We welcome Dan to the AARC team and look forward to the leadership, guidance, and association expertise he brings,” said AARC President-Elect Carl Hinkson, MSc, RRT, RRT-ACCS, RRT-NPS, FAARC. “The AARC works to serve respiratory therapists who serve the respiratory patient. We believe Dan’s leadership will magnify this effort, offering a fresh perspective to grow the association and the profession.”

As the AARC executive director, Dan will work directly with the board of directors and the AARC staff, refining this relationship to bring the best benefits, resources, and tools to fill member needs. Shortly after Dan begins, he will join staff and volunteers in a strategic planning session, helping set a new course for the association.

“It’s been more than a year now under interim executive leadership for the AARC, and we are thrilled to have Dan begin setting a new path for the association.” Sheri Tooley said. “Kicking off his time here with an in-depth strategic planning exercise will help the entire organization refocus on the needs of our members and the patients we serve. Once the strategic plan is complete, Dan will have a roadmap to target resources and develop tactics with his new team to achieve our goals. This is an exciting time for the AARC.”

Dan is an avid cyclist, retired marathon runner (he now “power walks”), and regularly practices yoga and Pilates. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his family in Des Moines, Iowa, where he grew up. In addition, he has a 13-year-old Standard Poodle named Oliver. He looks forward to moving to Dallas and exploring his new home in the Uptown area.

The AARC welcomes Dan to the family and looks forward to the new path he will set for the association and profession going forward. Dan is set to start on May 2, 2022.

Email newsroom@aarc.org with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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