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ADA President-Elect's Interview

Soft-spoken with a welcoming smile, Dr. Raymond Gist gives a first impression of a friendly, polite gentleman, a listener who is happy to hear what you say. It takes but a short conversation to find out that behind his welcome is a determination that has led him to achieve success as a dentist, as a leader and as a man. When he sets his mind to a goal, he combines talent with hard work to achieve it.

Dr. Gist, a general dentist from Grand Blanc, Mich., will be installed as the 147th president of the American Dental Association on Oct. 13 before the House of Delegates in Orlando, Fla. He will make history as the first African-American to serve in that role, but that is only part of the story of Dr. Gist as a self-driven leader.

Since 1968, he has had a general dental practice in Flint, Mich. Before he was chosen president-elect by the 2009 House of Delegates in Honolulu, Dr. Gist had completed a four-year term on the ADA Board of Trustees as the trustee from the 9th District, which represents Wisconsin and Michigan. He is a past president of the Michigan Dental Association and the Genesee District Dental Society.

Dr. Gist discussed his coming year in office with ADA News Editor Judy Jakush, describing his goals for the year, his hopes for the profession and the major issues facing dentistry.