Candidate Q&A 

Joyce Bassett, DDS
1.   Why are you applying for this VP/BOD position?
I see AACD as the professional organization that best fits my views and interests in dentistry; has the greatest potential to positively impact the public and profession; and the best place to devote my energies and creativity within organized dentistry.
2.  What are your qualities, leadership skills and organizational style?
a)      My skill set involves analytical thinking and problem-solving techniques which include:
·        Breaking issues into components while strategizing and exploring different ways to proceed. 
·        Scrutinizing likely outcomes for proposed solutions as a methodology for making “best case” decisions.
·        Asking open-ended questions before and during meetings to stimulate thought provoking conversations and to draw out all possibilities.
·        Encouraging board collaboration and consensus as a process that has the greatest likelihood of making decisions in the best interest of the academy.
I endeavor to remaining open and respectful of differing opinions and feel privileged to be educated in diverse ways of looking at different positions. I strive to make my final decisions and votes after weighing in and incorporating added and opposite viewpoints that have been presented.  My many years within AACD leadership have taught me to evaluate each personal interaction and embrace self-reflection as a way of reaching my potential of an effective professional, at the same time acknowledging that my communication and leadership style is a work in progress.  I am still learning, developing and improving my leadership and communication skills and I am open to all suggestions and see input as an opportunity for personal growth.
I endeavor to work interactively and in partnership with my fellow board members.   I am direct, but not dictatorial. I believe the boardroom is a “think tank” and I listen to everyone’s point of view, with no bias. I interject when I believe an important point is being overlooked, or the importance of a point is being lessened.
I frequently communicate with past presidents to gain a historical perspective and assist with problem solving, so future planning can avoid past errors.
b)  Accomplishments (refer to section Honors/Awards, Professional and Community Memberships on pages 3 and 4 of CV)
Approaches to fulfilling obligations and taking on projects to completion:
  • 2009, 2010 Chair of the GBAS committee. The committee and the director Lisa Fitch harmoniously restructured the GBAS program from both the applicant survivor criteria, to the guidelines and matching survivors with dentist and laboratory volunteers.                              
  • 2011 2012 EDAR committee: directives were accomplished with cooperation of two opposing viewpoints and compromise was attained thereby demonstrating the ability to foster camaraderie and teamwork while facilitating newly formed G P 6 policies. These documents were drafted on controversial subject matters of both confidentiality and AACD email communications systems.
  • 2012 Relevancy committee: directives involved a diverse group of AACD members interacting and evaluating past, present, and future indicators.  Strategies for growing our academy including analysis and future planning regarding the scientific session, social media, and member value.
Balancing friendships with policymaking decisions.
My experience in AACD leadership has shown the phrase “I am doing what is best for the academy”. It is unfortunately often overused to defend ones opinion and employed as a tool to silence differing positions. I have demonstrated predictably and consistently my belief that what is best for the academy includes making decisions that value the academy membership and not alliances with friends or manufacturers. I have a history of protecting my fellow BOD members from improper conduct thus creating safe and open forums that stimulate honest communication.
3. Unique or distinctive qualities that you bring that are unique and how will you make a difference?
I am honest, open, direct, driven, passionate, forward thinking, experienced, current, confident, intuitive and assertive. I have courage to speak out against ideas that will be detrimental to the AACD. I possess interpersonal communication skills that are essential in integrating and educating the new board members. I am warm, friendly, humorous, approachable, an active listener, willing and able to spend the time necessary to guide and updated the new members on present issues, policies and bylaws. I can assist in creating a cohesive board.  I will ensure that the board is given all of the information necessary to make decisions and create a one voice directive. I favor that directives be implemented with transparency.  If any changes to a BOD directive occurs on the EC level, immediate communication via INT BOD should be initiated. This will aid in trust, harmony and cohesiveness on the board level.  Leadership training at the scientific session should be introduced to all board and committee members with continuous mentoring and open communication with experienced past leaders of the academy being available throughout there term.
4.  Strategic Plan and core values        
I believe the changes that are occurring in the academy are an opportunity to review and update the Strategic plan. Globalization strategies should be redefined. We are at a crossroads and I would play an integral role in defining and implementing the intentions of the member driven bylaws and strategic plan. The core values have been reviewed and updated this year on the relevancy committee and the changes are being voted on by the BOD in Chicago. During this transitional educational period for the incoming Executive Director, synergy and cohesiveness at the E C level is paramount.
I am also of the belief that at the end of the day, AACD’s members care far more about how their practices, careers, relationships and lives are enhanced by being associated with our academy than they are about how AACD leadership goes about its business behind closed doors. I think at times we have lost sight, myself included, of what really matters to those health professionals that send in their hard-earned dues to be part of AACD. I very much hope, as a leader in AACD, to develop and nurture a shift in AACD culture over time that grows our membership by offering dental health professionals what they want and what they will tell their friends and colleagues about. 
5.  How do you relate to membership and form a bridge between AACD members and BOD?
I feel that my achievements have come from hard work and dedication. In my own life, I have had to persevere through many obstacles that have made me more compassionate and forgiving. I believe this has given me a unique ability to relate simultaneously to members as well as individuals in authority. In addition, by having memberships in other dental organizations, I feel that I have contributed to elevating the reputation and success of our Academy. These memberships include the Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, the American Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry, AGD, and Kois Mentorship. I constantly stay in touch with dentists through lecturing, involvement as a key opinion leader for dental manufacturers, and publications.
I am approachable, friendly, and have a track record of not only bridging membership within the academy but also fusing the academy and other dental organizations. This merging of groups, by having liaisons in other dental organizations and linking them, aids in elevating our reputation and by building these lasting relationships in all areas of dentistry creates a success formula for the academy.
6.  Anything else that is pertinent to your application?     
I believe we are at a crossroads. Changes are occurring, not only within our executive leadership, but within the demographics of our membership, the economics of the publics’ ability to pursue elective dental treatment and continued viability within our particular niche of organized dentistry. To the best of our ability, we must anticipate and confront the trends that bring meaning and viability to AACD. It will be important to evaluate and strategize our current organizational systems and policies in order that modification, where needed, can be presented and possibly implemented before or in the initial orientation months of the new Executive Director. A committee/task force with directives of identifying problems and solutions should be formed. This will give us the ability to advance an agenda that will move the academy forward.
Policy changes regarding the Executive Director committees (specifically the PEC) should be implemented by changing these committees and making them all board committees. Future committee members might best be selected using a hybrid of recommendations coming from both the nominating committee and the board with the number of committee members increasing. I would also like to see the budget layout categories clarified so the board can evaluate the amounts and distribution that are being used to evaluate our spending. Some of these areas have been addressed, but resolution has not been attained. Many systems and policies have been questioned and I believe that this is the perfect transition time to evaluate, update, and improve. Policy governance was rescinded, but the policies created by PG must be reviewed and updated within this new hybrid system.
This is a very important and tricky time for our academy where a candidate’s experience really matters.  I can bring cohesiveness, transparency and experience to the EC and the board. This is vital to the success of the transitional period and to the future of the academy. There has been a tremendous political battle in the past years that has fostered secrecy, devisiness, mistrust and ultimately an atmosphere of dysfunction. We are in a healing period and animosity is dissipating. I have demonstrated the ability to resolve conflicted situations privately, and have showed progress in my communication and leadership style over the past 5 years which demonstrates growth and self evaluation. The dynamics and leadership of the EC, in conjunction with their ability to listen, can be more transparent while still protecting those matters that are legitimately proprietary to the different boards and executive office of the academy. Of course, following board directives allowing AACD programs to be defined by the BOD and implemented by the staff is essential in the future success of the academy. We are first and foremost, an organization of people. Our personal relationships with each other, our members, and our executive staff is the grease that makes the wheels of AACD turn and the failure or success of the academy is ultimately built on trust.
I am most thankful for the opportunities that my leadership track in AACD has afforded. While probably never perfect, AACD has allowed me to walk the path of becoming the best professional and person I am capable of being. I am ready to begin the next level of leadership as AACD Vice President. I am ready to help and encourage other academy leaders in reaching their own potentials and I am ready to give back to our membership so that their involvement in AACD provides meaning and enriches their lives. Thank you for believing in me and thank each of you on the nominating committee for considering my application.