At least once a week a patient will ask me “When did you know you wanted to be a dentist?” My response is always the same: “For as long as I can remember; my father was a dentist. I watched him go to work every day and saw how much he loved it.” My father graduated in 1930 and practiced until he was 80. He was in the state House of Delegates for 20 years and prided himself on representing the best interests of the dentists because he believed in dentistry and he believed in dentists and he believed in the Virginia Dental Association. That is the legacy I would be honored to continue.
I have served various capacities within the local, state, and national organization. I began working in organized dentistry when I arrived in Richmond and Drs. Anne Adams and Benita Miller invited me to my first Richmond Dental Society meeting. Through their mentorship and their guidance I was able to meet amazing individuals who taught me the value of the tripartite and what it meant to the dental profession. I began my involvement by serving on the RDS Board of Directors and as chair of several RDS committees; I then served as chair of the VDA Council on Sessions and I currently chair the Council on Membership. I have been involved nationally on the Council on Ethics, Bylaws, and Judicial Affairs and as a delegate to the ADA. I have been blessed to work with people within the organization who have made organized dentistry what it is and who want to continue to make it better and larger and maintain its relevance in today’s dental world.
Though the practice of dentistry has certainly changed over the past eighty years, the basic tenets haven’t changed. I truly feel that every dentist in the Commonwealth has the same basic goals: we want to protect and serve our patients, we want to compensated fairly, and we want to be in charge of our professional destiny. We cannot do this alone. We need the Virginia Dental Association. I see the membership numbers dropping, the insurance companies encroaching on our amazing profession, and the potential influx of inappropriately trained technicians who want to perform irreversible procedures on our patients. We owe it to our patents to protect them, and we owe it to our members to protect them. I feel the best way to do this is through maintaining the VDA’s reputation and working to make it a stronger and more influential organization. It is and should continue to be the organization which supports its members in their practices and throughout their professional lives. I feel I have the experience, the desire, the dedication, and the energy to work with you to continue to propel our association so that it indeed continues to “have the backs” of the dentists in the Commonwealth. I respectfully and humbly ask for your vote as the Virginia Dental Association President Elect.