David J. Noonan, the Academy’s well-loved, former deputy executive vice president, was to be this year’s gala honoree. He has graciously agreed to let us honor him next year instead, when we will be able to give him the full tribute treatment he deserves. If you have already generously donated in his honor, we will provide a refund.
As the Academy’s former Deputy Executive Vice President, Mr. Noonan has been the backbone of AAO through times of tremendous growth and has shared his energy and enthusiasm throughout. His loyal service to the Academy is beyond compare, and his dedication to our shared ultimate goal – to better serve our patients – has been a force within the Academy.
Born in Casper, Wyoming, David knew at an early age that his career would draw him toward the field of medicine. As a student at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, IA, and later at the University of Iowa, he pursued this interest by studying health administration. Soon after completing his studies, he began his career as Associate Administrator of Mercy Hospital, in Iowa City, and later became the Associate Coordinator of the Intermountain Regional Medical Program at the College of Medicine in Salt Lake. He later returned to Iowa City to help lead a similar program within the U of Iowa Regional Medical Program. In 1972, Mr. Noonan was recruited by C. M. Kos, MD, then the Academy’s Executive Secretary-Treasurer, to join the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology as its COO. With the move to Rochester, MN, David had found his “home,” and the Academy members have been the beneficiaries ever since.
He was named Deputy Executive Vice President of the Academy in 1977, and soon thereafter, managed the move of Academy headquarters from Rochester to San Francisco. Although the Academy can point to many achievements in the areas of education, ophthalmic practice, advocacy, ophthalmic relations and philanthropy thru his support and leadership, he himself would probably point with pride to fostering a climate of professional staff development helping members serve their patients. He was fond of concluding new staff orientation meetings by remarking, “If you can go home each day helping just one member in some way that benefits a patient you will have a wonderful career at the Academy “
Mr. Noonan has served as President of the Professional Convention Management Association and its first Chairman of their Foundation. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives and a Past Chair of their Foundation. He has been inducted into the National Convention Council Hall of Leaders. He will tell you that the recognition he has enjoyed is firmly based on the years of support from the Academy Leadership and staff and that no honor received, beyond husband and father, is that of being honored as a Life Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology upon his retirement.