May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


A Message from your President

Thanks and Farewell

May 2016 Volume LI Number 3

 In what is my final President’s Message, I have several points of reflection and observation to share. The first is how fast this year has passed. It seems like yesterday we were in Seattle, and now we’re geared up for San Antonio and my Farewell Extravaganza. I am so excited for incoming President Jade Miller’s year as I know he will enjoy it as much as I have. It truly has been one of the best years of my professional life, and as Heber Simmons Jr. says, "I believe we should leave the woodpile higher than we found it." 

For me, one of the highlights of the year was our collaboration with the International Academy of Paediatric Dentistry in Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland in Dublin. When Joel Berg created the Task Force on International Relations, his vision was to see more involvement with our colleagues across the world in terms of meetings, research dialogue and guidelines. We have certainly begun the process and hopefully you can join us in Dublin in October for our Joint Meeting with the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. We are also proposing that we hold our 2024 Annual Session in Toronto. Our Executive Committee was hosted by the city in August, and were convinced that this venue would be ideal for our first international locale since 1999.

 I have been on a whirlwind of media activity this year, beginning in New York the week after Thanksgiving, with a stop on the Kathy Ireland Modern Living Show in Los Angeles in January, then ending in February with a satellite tour of 26 radio and television outlets in Chicago,  Baton Rouge and across the country. We successfully delivered our messages about the Dental Home and the Age One dental visit, as well as our role as pediatric dentists in helping our children achieve healthy smiles. Our public relations firm Weber Shandwick and our own Erika Hoeft were instrumental in helping us spread the word. The Mouth Monsters Campaign has been very informative and resonates well with our target audiences. I am proud to be a member of an organization that has a simple, worthy and lofty goal: optimal oral health for all children everywhere!

The second cohort of the Advanced Leadership Institute has begun the work of producing our new strategic plan. With a solid kickoff at our Winter Planning Meeting, the groups are meeting and preparing for our sessions at The Wharton School. Their final report will be delivered at the 2017 Winter Planning Meeting, and I am excited to see their product. We are fortunate to have these intelligent individuals who are so eager to serve our Academy, and I know we are in good hands moving forward. 

With guidance from Heber Simmons Jr., Scott Litch, Paul Reggiardo and our lobbying firm, we had another successful experience on the "Hill" at our Public Policy Advocacy Conference in April. Once again, the number of residents signed up continues to grow and is a good sign for our future. 

Capturing the interest and participation of our "millennials," as you’ve all heard me say, is one of the cornerstones of the Academy’s future. Our Millennial Task Force has done an incredible job in developing activities that will be incorporated into the strategic plan and across several councils and committees as we see these young members assume leadership roles. I think this was a fortuitous time to engage our next generation, and I expect our new Leadership Development Committee will have many great individuals to identify for leadership.

We have continued to work with our chapter affiliates to strengthen all of us. As we saw early on, collecting district and state dues greatly assisted membership roles and coffers that allowed our affiliates to continue to serve their members at the district and state level. I have had the opportunity to attend several meetings across the country and I sense that we can continue to build our relationships in a positive way to meet our common goal: optimal oral health for all children. 

I owe a huge thank you to so many people for making this year one of the best years of my life. First, to my immediate and practice families. Without their wholehearted support, my success is not possible. Being out of the office so much this year has posed challenges, but my team never wavered in support and encouragement. We adjusted schedules, communicated greatly with our families (who were also excited about our journey), and remained productive.

One of the best benefits of serving on this Board is the opportunity to work with gifted colleagues who share the common vision, and who work tirelessly for the Academy and the kids. I am so proud of each of these individuals, and have been both inspired and embolded by them to pursue our dream of a cavity free generation.

Lastly, I wish I could adequately express how hard our Academy staff works behind the scenes to ensure that all goes well. There is an incredible amount of effort required to run our operation, and with John Rutkauskas and the talented group assembled to perform the many tasks that we don’t see done every day, we are able to experience the successes that we all enjoy. Thanks to each of you for making my job so rewarding and fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed our run.

Although I will be fast joining the ranks of the "past" category, I assure you I will be willing to continue to serve this great Academy in any endeavor asked of me. And, as with my experience with Ed Moody, I will be there for Jade as he assumes the role of your President. 

Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to serve and to lead our Academy!


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