Candidate Q&A 
Marilyn Calvo

1.  Why are you applying for this position?

I am applying for a Board Position on the ABCD.  I am passionate and dedicated to helping all members rise up and become the best at what they do whether they are a dentist, technician, or student.  I want to be involved in creating an environment at the AACD where the Board encourages all members to realize their potential professionally through Accreditation or Continuing Education and philanthropically through Give Back a Smile. I want to be part of a Board that continues to align its Marketing Goals with the Strategic Plan so that the public will understand the life changing benefits of cosmetic/functional dentistry.
I have been a member of the AACD for 15 years.  When I attended my first AACD meeting in San Antonio, Texas, I was amazed at the quality of dentistry I saw being presented.  When I learned about Accreditation, I thought it was something achievable only by “really talented” individuals and didn’t think that I could ever join their ranks.  Slowly, as I focused on developing my skills, I began to dream about becoming Accredited.  I became infused with the excitement of doing beautiful dentistry.  I met generous mentors who encouraged me through the process and now, I want to pass on to other members, the camaraderie that this organization has come to be so well known for. 
I would like to be able to contribute as a Board Member of the ABCD to work together efficiently, effectively and harmoniously to “breathe life into the hopes and the Accreditation dreams of Dentists and Technicians and enable them to see the exciting possibilities that Accreditation can hold for them and their patients”.
2.  Please identify your “style” and skills.
Leadership, just as life, is a journey.  One must continue to learn in order to lead.  I try to develop myself both personally and professionally every day.  Some of the characteristics that I have that qualify me for this position is a strong desire to excel, a stick-to-itiveness needed to accomplish a challenge.
I am a team player, a good listener, and I love to help others succeed.  I am honest, sincere, have a positive outlook, have a passion for dentistry and life, have compassion and sensitivity for the needs of others.  I come from a blue collar background yet I am an extremely good fiscal manager as demonstrated by managing my office and home efficiently, thus allowing me to reach financial freedom at the age of 55.  I am well-focused and disciplined and have the ability to sacrifice short-term fun in return for long range fulfillment.
My leadership style is to lead by example.  At my office, I am the first to arrive and the last to leave.  I take on challenges every day as a leader at work and at home.  I accept the responsibilities of my actions.  I find that people, who take responsibility, get the job done, go the extra mile, are driven by excellence and produce regardless of the situation.  I treat every one of my team members with respect and believe there is no job that I require of them that I would not do.  I care about my team members as individuals respecting differences in opinions and personalities.  I include my team in the leadership process by asking their ideas and suggestions.  My goal is to inspire my team members to be the best at their jobs and inspire my patients to the highest level of dental health that is consistent with their values.
My organizational style is data driven.  We have an ongoing evaluation of our current state of doing things and our desired state, setting goals, reviewing results, then modifying goals and making plans to achieve those goals.
In regard to my abilities to get projects done, at my office, my staff and I work as a team with a shared vision.  We prioritize our goals so we concentrate our time and energy on doing what is important.  We delegate duties, monitor our progress and meet our deadlines.  Everyone on our team has different capabilities.  We try to utilize everyone’s best skills to benefit our goals.  Success in our office and success in life is a function of how well we work and play together.  By sustaining great interpersonal relationships with both our team members and our patients, we are able to achieve extraordinary goals.
Over the years, I have received a great deal of satisfaction in giving back to the community as well as to my profession.  For 20 years, I volunteered at a Children’s Dental Clinic for underprivileged children.  I was involved in leadership and Chaired fundraising campaigns for the UCLA School of Dentistry and volunteered at National Charity League (a philanthropic organization for mothers and daughters) for over seven years.  In 2011, I did a full mouth reconstruction for my “Give Back a Smile” recipient.  From 1998 until 2010, I was a Clinical Instructor at the Contemporary Esthetics Residency program at Esthetic Professionals in Tarzana, CA where I was committed to teaching 24 days per year on a volunteer basis. Since 2010 I have been involved as a Visiting Faculty at the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I enjoy mentoring and sharing my passion and love for the Accreditation Credential through my mentoring.
In terms of making unbiased decisions in situations where friendships and policy/ethical decisions clash, I know I will put the core values of the AACD first.  I have already demonstrated that during my term on the Board of Directors from 2006 until 2008.
3.  What do you bring to this position that is unique or distinctive?
I have extremely good interpersonal skills with the dedication needed to get projects done.  I feel my talents can be used most effectively in connecting with those New Members that are interested in pursuing the Credential and working with Accreditation Candidates to reach their aspiration. My one-year goal is to help members “find their voice”.  What I mean by this is that we, as a Board, need to make a high priority plan to connect with individual members and to make them feel important, engaged and valued.   As a Board, we need to be concerned about increasing the number of Dentists and Technicians believing that the goal of achieving Accreditation is attainable.  With 867 members in the process, I feel that the ABCD can do more to support candidates in moving from passing the written exam to submitting and passing those first couple of cases.  The Academy needs more Accredited Members and needs to continue supporting and encouraging “Members in the Process”.
4.  Please give us an idea of where you see your interests and expertise supporting the advancement of the AACD Strategic Plan and reflecting an alignment with the Academy’s Core Purpose.
The ABCD works primarily in sub-committees and each Board Member has his own project.  I feel I could be the most instrumental as a Board Member on the ABCD by using my skills in the Marketing and PR program.  In 2009 I was Chairman of the New Member Mentorship Committee.  Initially, our Committee recruited 100 experienced AACD members to call and welcome each New Member personally through a phone call.  Each Mentor was assigned a New Member to call every month.  We developed a phone call format with talking points so each New Member could experience a “similar welcome experience”.  Then I also developed a letter for the Mentors to email their New Member with their contact information, info regarding Annual Meeting etc. and a survey to “click on” in the email that would give the Committee feedback on their New Member experience and some of their hopes for future AACD encounters.
Susan Hollar has used the New Member Mentorship program template and developed a similar program currently in use with “MIP’s.   She recruited “facilitators” which are Accredited members but not Examiners that would call and welcome all Dentists and Technicians that have passed the written exam.  I would like to develop a system where more Accredited Members are recruited to call so that ALL MIP’s are contacted every year (not just new MIP’s).  With almost 900 MIP’s many more Accredited Members need to be recruited to contact this many candidates. There are only 43 Examiner Mentors listed on the website and it is too time consuming to expect them to make these calls.  If 100 Accredited Members called ONE MIP every month from September thru May, we could reach EVERY MIP at least once a year.  After the Facilitators connect with the MIP’s on a yearly basis, the MIP’s will be sent a survey so that the ABCD can get feedback on what’s working with this Facilitator program or identify areas that need improvement in supporting them.
Another area where we lose momentum with MIP’s is AFTER this initial contact.  Currently, Facilitators (which are all Accredited Members) call a candidate that has passed the written exam within 3 to 6 months of receiving notification of passing.  These Facilitators currently call 5 New MIP’s.  What I have noticed is these new MIP’s often “bond” to that Accredited Member that is welcoming them and sharing of their knowledge of the Accreditation process.  In my experience, these MIP’s then want to continue their relationship with their Facilitators by sending them photos of prospective cases or would like critiques of cases in the process.  The Facilitators are not examiners so after building a relationship with these new MIP’s, Facilitators then have to hand off these new MIP’s off by telling them they need to go on the Website and find an Examiner to now mentor them.  I feel we lose some of the MIP’s here.  Yes, they need to take Personal Responsibility to achieve their goals, but if it is the goal of the ABCD to increase the number of Accredited Members, then it is also the Responsibility of the ABCD to give them the support they need.  My thoughts are to pair 3 Facilitators with 1 Examiner.  This way when an MIP ask a question of their Facilitator, the Facilitator could answer it while always “copying” the Examiner Mentor and both would get feedback from the Examiner if the suggestions are appropriate.   At the Annual Meeting, Facilitators would be required to “audit” the Examiner Calibration.  This way Facilitators could comment on cases under the supervision of an Examiner (only when the MIP wants a continued Mentorship with their Facilitator in addition to Examiner Mentor).  This would accomplish 2 goals—not only would there be more Accredited Member Mentors (always under the DIRECT supervision of an Examiner) to help with all MIP’s but these Accredited Members would also be developing their Leadership skills at the same time. Currently, there are almost 900 MIP’s.  With only 43 Examiners, they will have a difficult time trying to connect with so many MIP’s.  One phone call is not enough.
Another goal is to develop a template to share with Affiliates of the AACD whereby Accredited Members develop a study club format to support MIP’s in their area.  Jim Merriman, an Accredited Member in the Atlanta Affiliate, has developed a PowerPoint presentation that can be expanded and shared as a Member benefit with Affiliates throughout the world.
In 2006, Betsy Bakeman, then Chairman of Accreditation sent a personalized handwritten note to every Candidate that had passed more than 3 cases.  I was a recipient of one of those letters and it was a powerful motivator that helped humanize the Accreditation experience.  I would hope that this tradition continues.
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.
Although, I am not currently a Board Member, for years I have had a tremendous passion for what the Academy has done for me.  With or without being on the Board, I already share my passion on how being a Member of the AACD Community has helped me grow as a dentist and a person.  I’ve demonstrated my ability to connect with general members over the years through my involvement in the New Member Program, the ABCD Facilitator Program and by serving on the Board of the LA Affiliate of the AACD.
My past service to the AACD is very transparent and reflects that I have no agenda for my own personal gain.  I am not a lecturer nor am I trying to sell any classes or products.  I get my personal fulfillment from sharing my passion and love of the Credential with both Newer Members and Accreditation Candidates.  Helping others reach their “aha” moment when they realize through hard work and going the extra mile they can achieve goals that they thought were not in their reach.  This is what brings a smile to my heart.  I want to make a Difference and inspire more Candidates that becoming Accredited can become a reality.
6.  What else should we know in order to consider you an applicant for this position?
For those of you that may not know me personally, I am very committed to following through with projects—not just in the short term of development of a new program, but brainstorming ways of how goals can be improved, reevaluated and kept going for the long term.
I served on the Board of Directors from 2006 until 2008 and have grown from that initial period of service.  For the past 6 years since 2007, I have volunteered at the Annual Conference by helping Brett Magnuson with the Accreditation Photography workshop and have helped Jim Peyton at every annual meeting by mentoring in either the Class IV or Type V Accreditation workshops.
In 2010 I was honored to receive the AACD Service Award for my work in connecting with New Members and developing the New Member Mentorship Program and its Welcome Program at the Annual meeting.