Candidate Q&A

Dr. Chiann Gibson, DMD:
1) Why are you applying for this position?
I am applying for the board of director/ VP position as it is my desire to excel and give back to the profession that I have dedicated my life to serve – general and cosmetic dentistry. As you have reviewed in my condensed biography, I have overcome obstacles but have been able to achieve success in dentistry as well as in other endeavors through hard work, dedication and a strong desire to make a difference. I strive daily to reach the next level of service representing the AACD.
Serving on the Board of Directors of the AACD in 2009-2011 as a general member has given me more insight on how to be more involved with governance. It has helped me to understand bylaws and policies and the operations of the AACD. With that understanding, it is my desires to be able to continue to serve the Academy in helping the academy grow as well as promoting the organization’s image and serving its members.
As a general dentist, I have enjoyed the past 17 years in making my patients’ lives more enchanting with healthier and more beautiful smiles. As a member of the AACD and through my continuing education, that has never been truer than it is today with the technologies and tremendous continuing courses available. It is with great pride that I am proud to be an active member of the AACD, an accredited member in 2012, and a leadership position to which I am seeking within this academy.
2) Every effective Director/ Officer/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)  We are interested in learning about your leadership skills and organizational style. Tell us what we could expect and how you work with others.
Often times I would say that a good leader has to have the quality of being a great listener, which I do believe I possess. It is necessary to listen and understand the concerns and issues being brought forth by members of our academy in order for proper direction and resolve. Leadership skills also include my abilities to understand complex issues and my ability to explain my position clearly and directly, being able to give and receive respect amongst my peers and associates, obtaining trust from those looking to me to accomplish the goals set before me, and perhaps having the intangible leadership qualifications that good leaders exemplify.
My organizational style involves detailed planning and execution. Throughout my professional career, both in dentistry and other ventures, I have always been able to create a detailed plan based on proper preparation and knowledge of the task. My organizational style combines both my own knowledge and confidence with working  well with my team members and co-workers. A great organization or company not only has a strong leader, but also a great team held together by the respect and support it needs of one another. My efforts to succeed and achieve positive outcomes stems from a strong work ethic and the desire to “get things done”.
I believe also in being a “team player”. Being a team player is very much a part of any success. Those who are not team players, I do believe, will fail at some in their journey, as their abilities are limited to their own talents. Being a board member requires also the wisdom to turn to those who can help inform and guide, in addition to the ‘team player’ philosophy.
B) Serving the AACD requires people to take on projects and see them to completion, often working with others to accomplish specific goals. Tell us about your accomplishments and approach to fulfilling obligations.
I believe that success is not only in the goals we set for ourselves but the process to which it is achieved. Proper delegation and follow through are necessary to achieve positive end results. I have the insight to listen, focus, and follow through. I have accomplished many projects both personally and professionally. These honors and accomplishments were not without dedication, enthusiasm, and hard work.
As a teenager, I was chosen as Washington’s Junior Miss amongst 200 young women. This honor was based on a young woman’s educational and leadership qualities in the community. In college, I was chosen 3 years in a row to be highly coveted University of Washington cheerleader from over 2000 auditioning. Both required public appearances, promotion of the organization’s image and fulfilling a year long obligation. Similarly, the AACD requires the same dedication and follow through necessary for the organizations’ success. Being VP/ Board of Directors member will allow me to focus on the needs of the membership and promote the organization’s image.
As an owner of my own corporation, I have had the experience of working with many and have properly delegated and listened to staff members and patients in order to achieve my current success.
My accreditation journey is also testament to my work ethics in accomplishing specific goals. I started my journey in 2008 with the examination process. During that time, I had a new baby boy and had just started a new private practice. Further, the knowledge that the AACD Scientific Session in 2012 was going to be in Washington DC where my family reside, I focused to be accredited by then. I am looking forward to celebrating with my family, my newly accredited status, while in Washintong DC.
Having a focused driven approach, dedication, self -motivation, ambition, persistence and having a strategic plan are all important to achieving my goals. The aforementioned qualities are what I can provide the academy while serving on the board.
C) The AACD offers our members a superb opportunity to form friendships, which could be brought into conflict when policy decisions or approaches must be addressed. Tell us about how you might balance those friendships when policy decisions or approaches must be addressed. Tell us about how you might balance those friendships when policy or ethical issues create such a conflict.
Being in a private practice and working with people with different personalities and management styles have helped me to communicate and handle differences well. The approach of resolving conflict can be difficult if an individual cannot properly select appropriate communication and management methods. I have developed friendships in my work environ, through the AACD, and other dental organizations and have separated these relationships from business matters necessary for the success of the business. In all businesses as a whole, it is necessary to separate personal agendas from business goals. I have never had an issue separating these two important responsibilities. Therefore, such a potential conflict, if I serve on the board is not an issue.
3. What do you bring to this position that is unique or distinctive? How will you make a difference?
I consider myself unique in various ways. I am an Asian American immigrant who came to America in a family with no financial means other than a desire and a dream. I have achieved my American dream in receiving higher education and receiving scholarships to attend the University of Washington in Seattle for a Bachelor’s Degree and Tufts School of Dental Medicine to be a dentist; furthermore, I became Mrs. United States in 2005 being the first minority, first dentist, and the first Mrs. Illinois to capture this national title. I have been featured on numerous international telecasts and was selected in a 2011 TV pilot as one of two dentists for the show “ Extreme Faces – Miracle Cases”. I have also been featured on the Woman Dentist Journal. I am a published dental author and columnist for a large Chicago area newspaper. Though I declined the opportunity, I was one of two dentists selected out of 3000 applications to be the resident doctor at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
My unique qualities will help bring attention to the AACD through opportunities and media exposure. Public speaking and communication skills have allowed me to make a difference in my personal and business endeavors, to which I hope to do the same for the AACD. More importantly, the two years having served the board of directors in 2009-2011 has allowed me to understand more about governance and the needs the academy has to better serve its members.
4.  Please give us an idea of where you see your interests and expertise supporting the advancements of that AACD Strategic Plan and reflecting an alignment with the Academy’s Core Purpose. 
The AACD is known as the premier organization dedicated to advancing excellence in cosmetic dentistry with the highest standards of ethical conduct and responsible patient care. Similarly, my interest has been in advancing my clinical abilities and knowledge of cosmetic dentistry and to deliver quality care to my patients in private practice. I believe in the AACD’s mission, vision for the future and core value as I have committed myself to providing this. I have encouraged many of my colleagues to join the AACD as well as to attend the AACD conference, as the educational opportunities are exceptional and have made me a better clinician.
Not all general dentists seek to further their education nor do they want to be a leader in our profession. However, it is my desire to do both. It is also my desire to help these general dentists understand that it is also their moral and ethical duty to join the AACD, to challenge themselves to have continuing education through the AACD and to make sure that the quality of services is not just profitable, but excellent.
In alignment with the Academy’s core purpose, I choose to act with integrity and accountability, value people and provide a service to the public and membership with the highest moral character. When you believe in something whole-heartedly, it is much easier to support, campaign, and be proactive for the organization or cause. I believe in the AACD. Thus, I will continue to be an active member of the Academy and hope to serve on the board as an officer to serve its members.
Aside from providing exceptional dentistry, my interest is also in improving people’s lives and giving back to the community. I have chosen to participate in the AACD Charitable Foundation’s “Give Back a Smile” Program and currently have a patient that I can transform and restore and provide a level of self-confidence back.
Furthermore, the vision of the AACD is to be globally recognized as the pre-eminent resource for cosmetic dentistry information and credentialing. I began my journey in the accreditation process one year after attending my first AACD conference in Atlanta, GA. I was amazed with the scope of the leaders and educational opportunities available. I will promote and support the credentialing of the AACD, as I know it is the highest honor bestowed to any dentist for their exceptional dentistry in conjuction to the Academy’s Core purpose. I look forward to standing on the stage in 2012 in Washington DC as a newly accredited member.
Though I have accomplished a journey toward accredited status, I have also made it a goal to listen to the members of the academy to see how I can better serve them as a leader within the academy. I desire to give back to a profession I am proud to be a part of. My involvement in the AACD over the few years as a general member, accreditation candidate, board of directors, and soon to be accredited member have all given me different insights and perspectives to how I can better serve this academy. As the AACD continues to grow and change, the responsibilities of a board will also shift. The two years I served on the board has allowed me to learn more about governance, policies, and bylaws of the academy and how this organization operates. It will be an honor to be a member serving on the board as VP as I will be dedicated in advancing the strategic goals of this academy.
5. Ultimately, the purpose of serving the AACD is to support our membership. Tell us how you see yourself relating to the membership and forming a bridge between the Board and our members.
Being a new member to the academy has its advantages where the vision of new and younger members are much more similar. Our expectations and our desires to further our continuing education will differ from those who have been with the academy for a number of years. I desire to speak to new members as well as socializing with them to get an idea of their long-term expectations and desires.
As a point of interest, in my 17 years of practice, I have been in both small and large practices, as well as an owner. I have worked in multi disciplinary offices, fee for service offices, and PPO offices. In these various settings, I have experienced the complete gamut of dental offices as a whole. Therefore, I can relate to any and all members regardless of their professional experience and position.
6. What else should we know in order to consider you as an applicant for this position?
One of my great honors as a dental professional was the 1998 appointment by Donald Trump/ CBS – TV, to be the Official Dentist of The Miss Universe Organization. In that document, Mr. Trump states that “… Because of Dr. Gibson’s dedication to the profession … she has that ability to create that perfect smile. Her appointment was a natural”.