Gregory Wright, DDS
1. Why are you applying for this position?
I am presenting myself in consideration for either a board position with the ABCD or the BOD for many reasons. I love our Academy. I have served on many committees in the past, with the most recent and of longest term being the Written Exam Committee of which I served as chair from 2005 until 2010. I respect and wish to help maintain the integrity and validity of the credential so many have worked so hard to establish. I want to do what I can to help our Academy to grow, to become a stronger voice in our profession for both Accredited and General members by increasing membership numbers and the number of those who are actively pursuing excellence and the credential. I want to help rekindle the excitement that the AACD once had, to make our organization one you must join, to make our meeting be the one you must attend, to make our credential the one you must earn, and to make the friendships and camaraderie that make our organization so special to me, special to others as well. Now is a good time in my life for me to more actively serve our Academy. I have the full support of my family and practice, and am committed and excited about a return to more active participation.
2. Every effective Board Member has a good mix of different qualities and management styles. Please identify your style and skills by responding to the questions below.
A. Tell us what we could expect and how you work with others.
You can expect me to become a knowledgeable, integral part of the board. I work well with others, both in a leadership and general role. I have an easy style, knowing when to speak and when to listen, when to praise and when to offer suggestions, when to be on task and when to take a little break, when to be aggressive and when to let it come to me. While serving as the Written Exam Committee chair for five years, we saw our process and our product greatly improve due to the hard work and the dedication of our committee. I would hope that my leadership had a little to do with our results. Having served as WEC chair, and by currently serving as a contributing editor for our Journal, and as an examiner for both Fellowship and Accreditation, I already have a good, established working relationship with many other leaders of our Academy, and with the staff in Madison.
B. Tell us about your accomplishments and approach to fulfilling obligations.
My accomplishments are many, in dentistry and in my life. I have pursued them all with integrity, honesty and a high standard of values. It is with these basic traits that I approach all of my obligations. If I say I will, I do, and in an orderly fashion that accomplishes the anticipated goal by the selected deadline in a manner that is professional and complimentary both to myself, to my organization and to all involved. This is the way I live my life, this is the way I serve my family, this is the way I have and will continue to serve our Academy. I believe in going the extra mile, especially when the reward deserves. One example of going the extra mile would be the policy I established with the Written Exam Committee to where each individual who is not successful on our exam receives a personal phone call from one of our committee members to listen to concerns and to encourage continued participation in the AACD and to encourage further pursuit of our credential. We have taken many disgruntled members and, by the end of a phone call, made a new friend. Another change made with the committee while I was chair was in the amount of exam questions written by the members of the committee. Instead of the five required for examiner maintenance, committee members are now asked to write 10 questions, as we as a committee are the most trained for the task. As a part of my commitment to the exam, in the past two years I personally have written and submitted over 80 exam questions. My management style is positive. I believe in putting people in places where I feel they can be effective, arm them with the tools and information to be effective, and then to be there should there be a need or an issue so they have every opportunity to be successful. As a leader, I recognize that people are following my lead, and I feel that their results are a direct reflection on me. I want to delegate effectively, yet be available to assist or encourage in any way that is needed. I will never ask of another, what I am not willing to do myself.
C. Tell us how you might balance friendships with ethical issues or policy when conflicts occur.
You never know how you will handle a situation until you are in it, but my past history has shown an ability to handle situations of conflict with respect and dignity. The old saying that business is business and friendship is friendship is true. A leader has to be able to draw a line, recognize a line, and sometimes even cross that line to take care of business. In taking care of business, a leader has to recognize a right from a wrong. I have always been able to take care of business in a right way, and in doing so take care of my friendships as well. If you are honest, and your friends know of your personal integrity and you have a mutual respect, you can disagree, or even discipline and at the end of the day, if your friendship was built on the right qualities, you will still be friends. While serving on the Ethics Committee I always tried to handle any situation involving someone I knew personally as I would rather be held, or hold accountable a friend than to call or be approached by a stranger. Friends hold friends accountable.
3. What do I bring to this position that is unique or distinctive, and how will I make a difference.
I bring myself. I bring the qualities that have made me an effective leader in this Academy and in life. I bring my word, my reputation, honesty, hard work, and integrity. I bring the attitude of “yes” and “why not?” Am I unique or distinctive? I think I am. I know others who lead in this organization are as well. I bring the ability to blend my uniqueness with theirs, to blend what makes us and or organization distinctive and the ability to fully recognize and utilize these qualities, these traits to help make a difference. Will I make a difference as an individual? I think individuals make the greatest difference when they work together.
4. Where do I see my interests and expertise supporting the advancement of the AACD Strategic Plan and reflecting an alignment with the Academy’s Core Purpose?
I agree that as an organization we must continue to grow and to be vibrant in our profession. We must all work to foster our credential, to raise its value to both the profession and to the general public. We must do all we can to raise the value of being a member, to being credentialed so that both have significant meaning. We must foster a sense of community within our membership, one that is inclusive and supportive of personal and professional growth. These are important parts of our strategic plan, concepts that made our Academy what it is today. My interest is in growing our Academy and elevating our credential. If our core purpose is to promote the art and science of cosmetic dentistry through service and education to our membership and the general public, then I am already one of our organizations biggest cheerleaders.
5. How do I see myself relating to the membership and forming a bridge between the Board and our members?
I already relate well to our membership. I have formed many relationships through mentoring, calling and assisting members in the Accreditation process, calling those who have taken the written exam and who were not successful, making presentations to senior classes on behalf of the AACD University Outreach program, and by serving as a general ambassador to our Academy. I have also had to make many difficult phone calls concerning ethics violations. Our job with the ethics committee involved identifying violations, calling and discussing the issue with the member in violation, and then following the issue until it was corrected. I served on this committee for three years. In managing these situations I was always positive in approach and accessible to assist with the correction as needed. I think that my accessibility and my approachability, traits that have been demonstrated throughout my service with the Academy will serve to facilitate interaction between either Board and the membership as well.
6. What else should we know in order to consider you as an applicant for this position?
Know that I want the position for the right reasons. I have no personal agenda. I only want to continue to serve our Academy.