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Massachusetts Dental Society executive director remembered as 'gifted leader'

Conor McNulty held leadership roles with Oregon Dental Association, California Dental Association

July 14, 2020

By David Burger

 Conor McNulty
Mr. McNulty
Framingham, Mass. — Conor P. McNulty, executive director of the Massachusetts Dental Society and former executive director of the Oregon Dental Association, died July 6 at his home.

He was 41.

Mr. McNulty was executive director of the Oregon Dental Association from 2014 until March, when he assumed the leadership of the Massachusetts Dental Society. Prior to Oregon, he held various management roles with the California Dental Association.

The Massachusetts Dental Society released a statement: “Even though Conor’s time with the MDS was brief, his impact will be long lasting and cannot be [overstated]. Conor left a lasting impression on organized dentistry through his previous leadership roles with the California Dental Association and the Oregon Dental Association.”

“Conor was a gifted leader who had a unique ability to strategize a vision for our association and to get others to buy into that vision,” said Dr. Barry J. Taylor, Oregon Dental Association executive director and past president.

Mr. McNulty worked for the California Dental Association from 2005 to 2014, part of that time serving as director of member programs. Peter DuBois, executive director of the California Dental Association, said Mr. McNulty was a trusted asset to the association.

“Conor brought energy, focus and commitment to his work, and he brought a radiant smile, warmth, caring and an easy charisma to his relationships,” said Mr. DuBois. “He was deeply loved and will be missed by us all – rest in peace, dear friend.”

Dr. Kevin Prates, on the Oregon Dental Association board of trustees, said he worked with Mr. McNulty for years before Mr. McNulty moved to Massachusetts.

“I knew him from his days at California Dental Association, when I was a dental student and was excited to see him in Oregon when he became the executive director of the Oregon Dental Association,” Dr. Prates said. “He is the main reason I became involved with the Oregon Dental Association and was a huge part in helping me revive the Mid-Columbia Dental Society.

Rachel A. Wittenberg, a dental student at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Dentistry, knew Mr. McNulty from her time as the Oregon Dental Association-American Student Dental Association liaison and trustee designate for her school’s class of 2022.

“My heart is broken, and it will break every time I find myself wishing for his jokes and his leadership,” Ms. Wittenberg said. “Conor was not even close to finishing his story. Conor McNulty will be so wholly missed.”

Mr. McNulty held a Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives and was honored as a Forty Under 40 Association Leader by the Association Forum and USAE News in 2017.

Prior to association work, the Oregon native spent time in corporate marketing, publishing and business development.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of San Francisco.

According to his obituary in The Oregonian, Mr. McNulty is survived by his wife, Genevieve McNulty; and four children, Russell, Ally, Molly and Libby; parents Jon and Deb McNulty; sister Erin McNulty; grandmother Dolores Schmidt; and uncles Mike McNulty and David Schmidt.

In his honor, the family asks to consider donating to The Bald Faced Truth Foundation, which supports kids in art, music, education and athletics.

To make a donation to the McNulty children's college savings accounts, visit https://www.oregondental.org/in-memory-of-conor-mcnulty#.

Cards for Conor’s wife and children should be sent to: The McNulty Family, c/o Massachusetts Dental Society, Two Willow Street, Suite 200, Southborough, MA 01745.