ADA Elections 2023

Second vice president candidate

Robert E. Butler, D.D.S.

A photograph of Robert E. Butler, D.D.S.
Robert E. Butler, D.D.S.

Campaign statement

Last year, the House of Delegates recognized that our organization’s steadily declining membership is a crisis which threatens the position of the American Dental Association as the universally recognized voice of dentistry.

In response, the HOD adopted resolutions 205 and 206, which established the Strategic Forecasting Committee as a new component of ADA governance.

The strategic forecasting committee is intended to give ADA decision-making — typically a slow and reactionary process — a more proactive and more creative posture. However, we should recognize that the strategic forecasting committee will not provide the solution to our membership crisis on its own. The committee will only be an innovative and powerful tool if it receives adequate support from ADA leadership. To adapt to the trends which are currently reshaping dentistry, the Board must prioritize strategic forecasting in our governance process. Implementing these changes will reestablish the ADA’s status as a must-join professional network for practitioners of all ages, backgrounds and practice types.

As second vice president and a member of the Board of Trustees, I will give my all in our collective effort to reverse the ADA’s decline in membership and restore its ability to champion the interests of both its members and our patients. If elected, I will assist Dr. Linda Edgar, D.D.S., to ensure the prompt implementation of strategic forecasting, that it is used in diligent and effective manner and consider all proposed solutions to our membership crisis with an open mind.




Current residence: St. Louis, Missouri

Dental school attended: University of Missouri- Kansas City

Year received dental degree: 1984

Postgraduate education/specialty: General practice residency, Jewish Hospital St. Louis 1985

Years of ADA membership: 44

Other professional memberships:

• Academy of General Dentistry.

• American College of Dentists.

• International College of Dentists.

• Pierre Fauchard Academy.

• American Association of Dental Insultants.

Volunteer posts/elective offices held in organized dentistry:

• ADPAC board member.

• Missouri Dental Association speaker of the House.

• Missouri Dental Association trustee.

• ADA Council on Government Affairs board member.

• Two-time chair of ADA Reference Committee A (Budget, Business, Membership and  Administrative Matters).

What are your main qualifications for the office you seek?

If elected, I will offer valuable experience to the ADA Board in three key areas:

1. I have substantial knowledge of the budgeting process, having served on my district’s budget subcommittee for 20+ years and as two-time chair of Reference Committee A. My record of fiscal responsibility would be an asset to the Board as it takes on its new budgeting powers.

2. I have seen firsthand the value and challenges of successful advocacy during my four years as an APDAC board member. Year after year, polling shows that advocacy is highest priority of ADA members and non-members alike. I would be the only Board member who has previously served on the ADPAC board and Council on Governmental Affairs, bringing concrete insight to Board discussions about how the ADA’s message is presented to lawmakers in Washington.

3. My tenure as chairman of the board for Delta Dental of Missouri equips me with an insider’s perspective on third party reimbursement issues, which remain an important part of the Board’s work.

Why do you want to be an ADA officer?

Our Association is in crisis, and I want to do everything I can to support it at this critical time.

The bylaws of our Association state that the first duty of the second vice president is “to assist the president as requested.” The roles that I have previously outlined have provided me with the experience and competence to help our president and Association be successful.

I humbly ask for your support and your vote in the House election.