Proven: Reflections from a Longtime Board Member

When I joined the MMC board of directors in 2016, I was drawn to Dr. Edwards’ vision for a new way to care for families living with dementia. In fact, I asked to join – several times! – before an invitation arrived. But coming from the business world, I was also skeptical. In business, a great idea isn’t enough – I needed “proof of concept.”

I’ve recently retired from the board a full believer.

Dr. Edwards knew a traditional 15-minute office visit was insufficient. He saw the necessity of allocating resources to caregiver education and support, and the value of participating in research. Nobody questioned his vision. The challenge was the business model.

Insurance wouldn’t cover extended appointments or education. It was unclear whether families would be willing or able to pay additional expenses. Other sources of funding would surely be needed – and to receive donations, the practice needed to be a nonprofit. Our parent organization, Charlotte Neuroscience Foundation, was born. And as it turns out, a great many people in our community share and support the MMC vision.

While there are still challenges, this community has stepped up. The most gratifying part of my years of service has been seeing the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations. Because of this support, we don’t turn anyone away because of an inability to pay. We’ve grown every year and continue to grow.

Proof of concept is defined as an exercise to determine whether an idea can become reality. This community has proven it, and it’s been my privilege to have had a front row seat. Thank you.

John Chanon is a retired CPA who formerly served as the NC Managing Partner for Tatum CFO Partners. Prior to that, Mr. Chanon worked for Ruddick Corporation for twenty-five years in positions including Senior VP of Finance for Harris Teeter Supermarkets.