March 2019 Volume LIV Number 2

 
 
 
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A Message from your President

January 2016 Volume LI Number 1

As most of you are aware, one of my goals as president this year was the creation of our Millennial Project. I have been keenly interested in this generation (our future leaders) for quite some time, and having a set of them as fraternal boy and girl twins, I have been able to observe our generational differences and expectations over two plus decades.

Honestly, I couldn’t be more excited for our Academy as I’ve had the privilege of interacting with some of our brightest and best millennial members. They have assumed positions on our councils and committees, but more importantly, have used their influence and curiosity to transform the way we think about our workforce, our advocacy efforts and our profession. I also detect a certain fearlessness for change that I would assume has something to do with being youthful, but there seems to me to be more to it than just that. In a world that is shrinking through scalable technologies, their footprint will be larger and their impact greater than what was possible before. So, it’s not going to be business as usual—we’re all going to have to adapt and change.
 
As I’ve looked at research on millennials and spoken to many of my older colleagues, I’ve realized it is going to take much more than a cursory interest in our future members to sustain our position as an Academy. And, apparently what motivates me as membership value may not be what will continue to attract these young professionals.

I’m far from suggesting we haven’t been looking at these differences because we certainly have. A few examples of our efforts include our engagement with the younger, more connected marketing firm Weber Shandwick; our partnering with SoFi, a financial institution that caters to our young professionals to manage student debt load; our Leadership Development Committee; and of course our Public Policy Advocacy Program. These and other examples are testament to our commitment to the future face of AAPD.
 
In March, at the CSPD meeting, I heard an excellent presentation by two millennials on Millennials. This was fortuitous as it confirmed what I had been thinking about. I invited them to give their program to the full board in Seattle, and I know it provoked some interest to say the least. 
 
In response to this important issue, we have created a task force that will be responsible for the project’s initial development. We have charged them with creating the future member profile, with any analysis focused on member value, and most importantly to think outside the box. As word got around about the task force, the level of interest to participate was surprisingly much higher than I expected. After careful deliberation, the executive committee and the board approved the following individuals to serve on the task force: Rick Chaet (chair), Courtney Alexander, Donald Chi, Patricia McClory, Ashley Orynich, Mario Ramos and Janice Townsend.
 
Having worked with these fine individuals, I am confident that they will serve diligently and productively to help us continue to attract future leaders and sustain the strength of our membership as we move forward.
 
I know for me, interacting with this younger generation has both reenergized me and extended my career. Working with three bright young partners and being inspired by their horizon I know has made me a better pediatric dentist.
 
I look forward to interacting with the task force and will keep you informed.
 
 

Click here for a PDF version of this article.

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