Commitment to community
Quick, eloquent, and modest, Mike Teutschel makes it immediately clear that he is fiercely dedicated to the community in which he was born, raised, and spent his entire career. As Mike says, he’s “the guy who was born in Oakland, grew up in San Francisco and moved all the way to Redwood City.” Today, Mike lives there with his wife Rebecca, with whom he runs a Palo Alto-based full-service accounting firm that they recently spun off from a 400-person, 50-partner firm.
But Mike remains loyal to his hometown, rooting for the Raiders and the A’s – something he admits can be “challenging” on the Peninsula. He’s also dedicated to his family, making a priority of spending time with his two daughters, two step-daughters, and grandson.
His leadership for Mission Hospice goes back more than a decade, when the organization was in a period of transition and approached the firm where he was working, seeking someone with financial expertise to serve as a volunteer board member. Mike stepped up, and has been involved with the group ever since, including serving as board chair.
He was already well-versed in community service. Mike’s worked with nonprofits for decades, served three terms as an elected school board member in San Carlos, and also volunteered as a youth sports coach. He is also an active member of Palo Alto University Rotary, focusing on recruiting new members, supporting the group’s community service leadership, and raising funds for projects including the international effort to end polio.
Mike’s particularly happy to be involved with the board at Mission Hospice, where he says, “everyone can put forth different opinions and they are all respected. There is a lot of mutual respect for each other and for the organization.”
He’s particularly proud that the nonprofit is now on solid financial footing, and continues to receive accolades from patients and families, as well as from various review boards. “It feels good to be part of something that works, and that is growing,” he says.
Mike also recognizes that there is more to be done in the area of public education about hospice. Recently, he lost a close friend who was reluctant to accept hospice care at the end of his life. Mike could see that a hospice team could have helped his friend manage his pain better, and would have benefitted his relationships as well as his business.
“It really is about life,” he says. “We just need to let people know that entering hospice is not giving up.”