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Creating tomorrow’s leaders today

May 21, 2012

By Karen Fox, ADA News staff

Some of the dental profession’s youngest members are giving themselves a leg up for future success.

Dr. Dulde

As a benefit of membership, the ADA and American Student Dental Association are offering opportunities for new dentists and students to obtain leadership development that is essential to becoming business and community leaders. Whether it’s public speaking, motivating others, running a meeting or budgeting, leadership development helps students and new dentists learn and grow professionally and personally.

“Leadership development is inherent to being a good dentist,” said Dr. Ryan Dulde, a member of ASDA’s Leadership Development Task Force. “Most dentists will be leaders of a dental team, the owner of a practice and many are also leaders in their communities. We want them to be engaged in these activities and have the tools needed to serve as leaders.”

ASDA is putting leadership center stage by rolling out its first National Leadership Conference Nov. 2-4 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago. The goal of the event is to develop leadership traits and life skills that aren’t common to the classroom or clinic. People management, public speaking and presenting, personal finance, practice management and negotiations, mentoring others and managing a successful ASDA chapter are on the agenda.

Four tracks are being offered:

  • ASDA & Organized Dentistry;
  • Career Planning & Business Leadership;
  • Advocacy, Politics & Professional Issues;
  • Chapter Leadership & Management.

Dr. Dulde, co-chair of the event, called the conference “uncharted territory” for ASDA and an important member benefit.

“Our task force concluded that we’re doing a good job of developing leaders on a national level but we began to realize that what we teach national leaders could be important to every leader involved in ASDA,” said Dr. Dulde. “Why not find a way to bring it to the general membership and offer it as a direct member benefit?”

Dr. Saliemo
“Young dentists who emerge from ASDA leadership are perfectly prepared for leadership in the ADA,” said Dr. Chris Salierno, vice chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee and a past ASDA president. “One of the greatest gifts ASDA gave me was leadership training. I feel like I got a jump start developing my skills in several areas, including public speaking, running a meeting and motivation, to name a few.”

New dentists can put their leadership skills to use throughout organized dentistry, such as with state-level new dentist committees. Dr. Salierno has given presentations at the ADA Board of Trustees’ meeting and Annual Conference on Recruitment and Retention, and a webinar on public speaking.

He is slated to present a workshop—with New Dentist Committee Chair Dr. Danielle Ruskin—on getting volunteers involved in organized dentistry at next month’s ADA 26th New Dentist Conference in Washington, D.C.

For the second year, the New Dentist Conference is featuring a full day of leadership programming aimed at building future leaders in organized dentistry and their communities. In addition to the one led by Drs. Ruskin and Salierno, workshops include:

  • Challenge Yourself as a Leader in the Office and Community;
  • Grassroots Training;
  • The Presidential Secret—Creating Great First Impressions and Lasting Doctor/Patient Relationships;
  • I Nominate You for Leader—Wrapping Your Head Around Parliamentary Procedure;
  • New Dentist Committee Network Idea Exchange;
  • Hot Topics Session with ADA Leaders.

For more information on the 2012 New Dentist Conference, visit

For more information on the ASDA National Leadership Conference, visit ASDA members who register for the conference by June 29 save $50.