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President-Elect’s Conference focuses on Power of 3 theme


Dr. Feinberg: The ADA president-elect welcomes 48 presidents-elect and 26 dental association executive directors to ADA Headquarters Jan. 26-28 for the 2014 President-Elect's Conference.

Dr. Kessler: The Colorado Dental Association president-elect speaks during the closing session, discussing prime opportunities for collaboration at all levels of the tripartite.
Emphasizing the need to collaborate when addressing challenges facing dentistry, ADA President-elect Maxine Feinberg welcomed 74 dental association leaders and executives to ADA Headquarters Jan. 26-28 for the 2014 President-Elect's Conference.

"I'm confident that by working together at all levels of the tripartite we can grow membership, improve our market share, increase member value and engagement and strengthen our 155-year position as the recognized leader in oral health," Dr. Feinberg said, addressing the attendees.

"It starts with the Power of Three partnerships—national, state and local, collaborating together, strengthening together and pooling our resources and services."

In addition to 48 presidents-elect, 26 dental association executive directors attended the annual conference—the first time executive directors have been invited to the event. Opportunities for networking and sharing information, such as different initiatives that are working in other states to create value in membership, were abundant.

The presidents-elect attended leadership sessions to discuss topics such as increasing diversity and inclusion through the creation of statewide initiatives that could help develop and teach leadership skills to a wider range of membership.

Attendees brainstormed key strategies in addressing challenges facing dentistry and taking advantage of prime opportunities for collaboration.

With the addition of executive directors, Dr. Feinberg said the conference allowed for frank discussions on how to improve teamwork between the volunteer leaders and staff executives, and great brainstorming sessions on key tripartite issues.

"It was great getting together with other presidents-elect on so many levels in that it allowed for problems to get sorted out, if not solved," said Dr. Curt Leciejewski, Delaware State Dental Society president-elect. "We all have some of the same issues and I was even able to come away with ideas that were working in other states that could help problem solve some of the issues we are going through."

Nonetheless, the major running theme throughout the three-day conference remained establishing a dialogue on the Power of Three partnerships and strengthening collaboration throughout the tripartite in an effort to increase membership and increase member value.

"Networking with presidents-elect from other states was enjoyable, but what was most beneficial was gaining an understanding of the common issues and threats we all face in organized dentistry at every level of the tripartite and working towards solutions," said Dr. Thomas Paumier, Ohio Dental Association president-elect.

"We are facing a strategic challenge in membership and have issues that need to effect change," Dr. Feinberg said. "We need to get grassroots involvement and input. 

"Without boots on the ground we will have difficulty changing our course of declining membership. The presidents-elect will have time to refine and focus their strategies for their terms as presidents and then incorporate ideas for change that can motivate participation at all three levels of the tripartite."

Dr. Brett Kessler, Colorado Dental Association president-elect, agrees.

"The bottom line is that membership starts and finishes at the local level," he said. "I am glad that the ADA is there to support both the state associations as well as the component societies in this.  

"Every member has his/her own unique reason that they are members. The ADA, the state and the local component can utilize the Power of Three to help that individual member find value."