Spring is here! Don’t you love it? I love watching the first flowers bloom among the dead leaves and grass of winter. I love watching trees bud. Whether you are looking at redbuds, cherry blossoms, or bluebonnets, there is an attitude of happiness and newness that is so refreshing. That is what AAWD is experiencing now under the direction and guidance of our new management company. We will be launching a new website in May, which will give our entire organization the same fresh look that the great outdoors is experiencing right now. Keep watching your e-mail for the announcement.
In February of this year, the entire Board met in Chicago for a full day of learning and collaborating on ways to share our organization with other women dentists. We had two very dynamic speakers who inspired and directed us on our mission. First, Dr. Kathleen O’Loughlin, Executive Director of American Dental Association (ADA), spoke to us on the governance of associations. She was very adept at showing us the difference between leadership (our job) and management (our new company’s job). The topic is very important at this juncture in our history, as we have spent 2015 doing both! Our 2015 Board should be given a great vote of gratitude for carrying us forward into this new era.
Our second speaker, Dr. Teresa Dolan, gave us a picture of women in dentistry today and in years past. She spoke of her own journey as a dentist, educator, and businesswoman. Listening to Dr. Dolan and watching the expressions of the young dentists in the room made me realize that one of the most valuable assets of AAWD is our story! It is your story and my story and every woman dentist’s story woven together. That is why our organization has existed for almost 100 years. We are making a difference in each other’s lives by connecting and sharing both dental information and life issues, which keep us persevering together. We hope to share this presentation later in the year as a webinar. Again, watch your e-mail for updates.
The AAWD Board has also just adopted the revolving anniversary method of dues renewal. This will make the recruiting and retention of members throughout the year much easier, as you will be invoiced the following year on the same date you originally joined AAWD. Members have been talking about this for years, and our new management company is making it happen!
During the first quarter of this year, AAWD was represented at several meetings: the National Roundtable of Dental Collaboration, Yankee Dental Congress, the Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting, the 2016 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Annual Session & Exhibition, and the Hinman Dental Society’s meeting in Atlanta. Please let us know if you are planning a local program, either state or regional, in which women dentists are highlighted, and whether you would like AAWD involvement. We want smaller regional groups to experience the feeling of unity and power that can only come from a national organization.
In closing, I would like to encourage each of you to think about your story. Think about how your life as a woman dentist has been enriched by talking to other women dentists and by laughing and crying over all the day-to-day struggles we encounter. Please get a copy of the March issue of DentalTown and read about other women dentists who are not just surviving, but thriving and giving back. I hope you are inspired. I certainly was. We are definitely the new face of dentistry. Let’s keep it growing!
Mary E. Martin, DDS, M.Ed.