The Last Blog
Ron Goodlin President
It is truly hard to imagine the year has come and gone, and it has happened in a flash. At the beginning of the year, I outlined that this will be a year of change, and that it was. We were hoping for a lot more of some changes and a lot fewer of others that have confronted us, however we were able to roll with the punches and keep our focus.
The changes we experienced have given way to a fresh start.
We accomplished many things. Of course, as predicted, we were not able to complete all of our goals. However, we did accomplish most and we did more true work this year than ever before.
Several Ad Hoc committees and some newly-formed standing board committees have worked tirelessly this year to execute directives, gather information, research issues, test the waters by bringing ideas and scenarios to members for their input, consult with experts, and then finally bring their recommendations to the Board for approval. This year I had the honour of working with these wonderful volunteers on the various committees, averaging one conference call each night, Monday to Thursday, each week of this year. We took the weekends off in order to be able to have time for the myriad of phone calls! I want to thank those who dedicated their year to the Academy. I want to thank my wife, Ricki, for putting our life on hold for a year so I could dedicate my time to this Academy and its members.
We have broken down the silos between the various factions of leadership and opened communication internally through the President’s information council, affording open and transparent communication between us. We have made changes to bring clarity to the bylaws, and to make sure that we have consensus among all leadership before we bring it to the membership. We have created a set of documents about ethics, advocacy, code of conduct and procedures for resolution that will be agreed to by all leadership before the final policy is put into place. We have been engaging in diaglogue with many other like minded organizations, and some adversarial ones, where we are at the most, collaborating on various projects and at the least, finally talking to each other.
We have seen great strides in our credentialing module, we have created protocols for the membership meeting and other organizational procedures, and we have done much, much more. For those of you who want to really see the work we have accomplished, I would refer you to our website where you can review the minutes of our meetings.
Most importantly, we have identified with clear understanding the challenges we face and are now able to move forward to continue the changes we need to make in order to remain relevant in the face of the issues that confront us.
We have a unique opportunity, with several members finishing their terms on the board, and a new Executive Director, to not only continue the very important direction we were so clearly able to identify this year, and we can continue the work on our roadmap to the future by revising our strategic plan and truly focus on the future vision of this Academy that will maintain our legacy as being the leaders in cosmetic dentistry worldwide.
I welcome our new Executive Director, Barb Kachelski. We have a unique opportunity to start fresh. I know your incoming President, Dr. Jack Ringer, and Barb will do a great job, and the new Board of Directors will make the most of this fresh start to keep this Academy great.
As I leave office I will look back and remember this year forever. It has been a year of change and a year of accomplishment.
See you in Seattle.
It is hard to believe that Christmas holidays are behind us and we already find ourselves at the end of January. As I look ahead towards the last three months of my presidency, I am amazed at how quickly the time has flown by, and I am proud at what we, your leadership, have already accomplished. Yet I also reflect on what is still to be done.
I trust that what remains of the work our committees have been trying to achieve will be completed by the time we get together in Seattle in April, while other issues will need to be rolled over to be continued into our next year.
Our search for a new Executive Director is ongoing and making great progress. Our programs are running smoothly thanks to the great work of our dedicated staff in Madison. The Board of Directors is focused on future and visionary planning for our Academy, along with the day to day housekeeping items that require our constant attention.
The ABCD continues to focus on Accreditation, and we have taken the new computer modules for the Accreditation process for a test run and will now be fine tuning them to create an amazing experience for all of our Members in the Process of Accreditation.
In another couple of weeks, the Boards will be meeting in Chicago, a time that we bring many hours of preparation and work by committees to fruition. It will be time to review the bylaw changes to be brought to the attention of the membership. The Bylaws committee has been working tirelessly for a year reviewing the current bylaws and consulting with experts to refine our bylaws, define ambiguities, and provide clarity without changing the intent of the original bylaws. This has been a huge exercise and we look forward to presenting them to you.
Those who have put their names forward for positions in leadership are preparing their positions and speeches for the upcoming elections during the membership meeting in Seattle. This will be an important meeting, as always, to determine the direction of your Academy, so make your plans now to attend the Seattle conference and the membership meeting.
Seattle is going to be a fantastic meeting. Great speakers, social events, and re-connecting with the lifelong friends we have all made as we share the camaraderie that is the AACD.
Your leadership, and the staff in Madison, continue to work hard in order to complete the tasks at hand including...
* Getting ready for Seattle
* Completing the budgeting process for next year
* Committee recommendations being brought to the board for consideration
* Continued cultivation of collaborative relations with other organizations
* Expanding educational opportunities both at home and abroad
* Recognition of the global and international scope of the Academy and the demographics of our future membership
* The continual improvement in existing and future programming
* Working hard to make sure the Seattle conference brings the education and social events to our members
* Building on our accomplishments by moving ahead creating a smooth transition to the next year, and for many years to come as we ensure the relevancy of the future of the Academy.
The crisp autumn air and the changing colour of the leaves indicates the change of seasons, and that is so appropriate as we deal with the changing trends that Dentistry is faced with. It is time for our Fall Board of Directors meeting.
We are all very excited about the work we are doing and the impact it will have to benefit the members of the Academy. The entire Board of Directors will be heading to Madison for meetings that will go until the end of the weekend to discuss the changing trends, and what we as a Board will do to allow our Academy to adapt, to change and to be proactive in dealing with our ever changing environment. It is truly an exhilarating experience to be part of!
As the November application deadline for elections will be upon us in a flash, any members who have ever thought of being part of leadership should contact the AACD executive office to see what positions are open and ask any questions you may have of any of the leaders or staff... I urge all of you to get involved; it is a rewarding experience that will top the list of your dental accomplishments for the rest of your life...just like accreditation!
Last week we had our second AACD Unplugged program, an in house educational program featuring Dr. Mike Koczarski. We had a packed house and everyone loved the warm atmosphere, the great education, and, of course, many of the attendees saw our headquarters building for the first time.
If any of our members or guests are ever in Madison, Wisconsin, come on by for a visit to the fantastic facilities we have. When you arrive at the AACD headquarters, you can't help but be impressed not only with the building itself, but with the success of our Academy and the wonderful feeling that as an AACD member, this is home!
There are so many benefits to being a member of this Academy that seem to go unseen, from the ongoing public relations campaign to drive patients to AACD dentists, strategic partnerships with Japan, Korea, the AAED, IFED, ACP, and AGD to name only a few. I can't spill the beans now, but just wait for some really exciting news to be unveiled at the Chicago Midwinter meeting in February! We are very proud of our involvement with Dental XP and many other corporate strategic partners, and even with the tremendous amount of work being done to improve the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, which is always receiving high acclaim throughout the dental community.
The Professional Education Committee is putting the final touches on the upcoming Scientific Sesson in Seattle, (April 2013); it is going to be amazing meeting and not to be missed, so stay tuned and look to your emails for the registration announcements, or visit www.aacdconference.com or call 1-800-543-9220 and ask to register for the convention!
We are so lucky to be part of an organization that is focused on providing the best and the latest in comprehensive cosmetic dental education for our membership, and so privileged to have such a dedicated group of individuals in the leadership of this Academy who work so hard to keep AACD strong, focused, and moving forward in the face of the many challenges that face dentistry today.
As President, the first half of my term is almost over and I am saddened at the thought that it is going by so quickly. The challenges, the opportunities, and the honour to be able to work with these fantastic and talented people has been a labour of love and it has been a very rewarding experience. Together we are working hard to make the right decisions, for the right reasons, and doing it the right way, in order to keep the AACD as the leader in cosmetic dentistry all over the world.
I thank you all for the opportunity to serve this Academy, and as the second half of my Presidency begins, I will continue to work tirelessly to help facilitate the changes we need to keep our Academy strong, relevant, and of the greatest benefit to you, the membership of this great Academy.
President American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
The end of August always signaled the time when we would go shopping for school supplies, putting us on notice that the summer was over and marking the beginning of the new school year. This was historically the time we geared up for another year of studies, rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.
At the AACD, this is both correct and incorrect. The Board of Directors (BOD) and the committees that serve the BOD, have held an unprecedented number of meetings and activity in order to fulfill their directives this summer, and so we have not seen any "summer holiday" from the work we are doing on behalf of the Academy. This is a testament to the dedication these people have to their fiduciary responsibilities to the membership whom we represent and to the challenge we have undertaken to seriously look at the trends in our profession, to discover areas where our programs can be improved, and what new programs can be created. This activity includes a good hard look at our economic model and how the current and future trends will affect our Academy.
Where the new year of school analogy holds true, is that in a couple of weeks the BOD meets again both by conference call in early September, as well as our annual fall meeting at AACD's Madison, Wisconsin, headquarters. This is when the most important task of determining the "so what do we do about it?" plan. It is time to look at the future of our Academy and how to stay relevant for years to come. To look at our direction and to develop a ten-year strategic plan. To create a direction that we can follow; all leadership rowing in the same direction with internal strength to face the challenges ahead.
The first few months have been about strengthening the Academy internally, and we have done that through a series of changes that has brought all the leadership rowing in the same direction! We have made some changes in the way we do things and have begun to systematize previously haphazard methodology. These past few months have been about gathering information, researching and studying the trends we are seeing that affect the AACD and our profession.
The next few months will be devoted to determining what we should do in order to proactively deal with those trends instead of being forced to react to them at the last minute, which most often has a negative result by dealing from a weakened position. I have all the confidence we will be able to get this job done, that this year will be not only successful but groundbreaking, because this year especially, we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time, to deal with the challenges we face.
The next Board meeting is less than two weeks away. But tweekend, I am going shopping for school supplies!
Japan is an amazing and wonderful country. The people are so polite and welcoming and we can learn a lot from their service-oriented and respectful culture. There is not a speck of garbage anywhere, not a cigarette butt or a wrapper of any kind. There are no garbage cans on any street as people consider it rude to eat or drink while walking on the street. Smoking is prohibited except for designated smoking areas. Always well dressed, the men will almost always wear a suit and tie, no matter how hot the weather. The polite bow when greeting someone is a testiment of the mutual respect and concept of Shemui..."thinking of others."
I arrived in Tokyo after a 27-hour journey from Toronto. Passing the international dateline in the air, we celebrated my wife Ricki's birthday with a cake provided by ANA, Air Japan. Wow, what service! After landing in Tokyo (very hot and humid) we checked into the hotel and grabbed a quick nap before having dinner with the two chief researchers at GC Corporation. The next day was spent with the executives and researchers at GC reviewing their product line and discussing new materials in the developemental stages. We talked about how to solidify a more meaningful corporate bond between the AACD and their support of the Annual Scientific Session.
The next day, I was off to Sapporo to lecture to the joint Asian Academy and Japanese Academy of Esthetic Dentistry convention. I met up with our CEO, Ed Simeone, and we had many meetings with the groups from the various Asian countries. Our sister relationship with Korea and Japan Academies of Esthetic Dentistry is strong and moving forward with new initiatives beyond sharing of speakers and articles, but to include poster sessions and now a joint taskforce reviewing the accreditation processes used by the JAED and KAED and how we can help create a standard of care that will be a stepping stone to more international members being able to achieve the AACD credential in future.
Dr. Wynn Okuda and I both gave different lectures during the 3-day conference and they were very well attended. The official language of the conference was English, so fortunately it was not necessary for me to learn Japanese, although by the end of the trip I had mastered hello, goodbye, and thank you! (The word for good morning is Ohio...I kept thinking of Cleveland, Ricki got confused and kept saying Oahu, but being cute has its advantges and nobody seemed to mind at all.)
After the conference concluded in Sapporo, I jumped onto a flight to Kyoto where I gave a lecture to the executives of Shofu Corporation about the AACD and the state of dentistry in North America. They were keenly interested in the Canadian market and so I was able to clarify the issues of insurance, dentistry, and Canadian population demographics for them. I was treated to a tour of the research facilities and factory wthere they make denture teeth, burrs, and abrasive polishers, composites, and their new Giomer technology, which is very exciting as it releases antibacterial ions that also reduce the acid levels in the oraal environment. We promised to create a stronger corporate partnership between the AACD and Shofu corporation. It was a very successful meeting.
The Japanese have a strong focus on prevention and regeneration, their science is very strong and the research that is ongoing is very impressive and of great benefit to all of us in dentistry.
As AACD representatives, we were able to help with sharing clinical techniques that the AACD is famous for and the promise of continuing strong relations is a testament to the groundwork that has been the foundation we have created with our sister academies in Asia.
I look forward to being of help to continue a strong relationship that will be of mutual benefit to us all.
Getting ready for the June Board meetings, it was time to pack. Luggage is getting larger from the days when I could throw in a pair of jeans and few t-shirts and head off to the airport. Now there are file folders, suits and ties (OMG!), and on this particular day, 23 stuffed toy beavers to give out to the staff in Madison.
The customs agent raised a few eyebrows and pointed to the secondary inspection line…”You got some 'splanin to do, Lucy!” After a 30-minute session where U.S customs verified this Canadian’s claim to being President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry--and a lot of smirking as he was rummaging through my luggage--they let me board the plane.
Needless to say, the beavers provided an entire weekend of comments and jokes, and I am afraid I have cemented my legacy within this Academy….although it could be a lot worse!
I want my Presidential year to be known for lots of hard work, a great sense of humour, the desire to keep it fun, and to ensure open communication to promote teamwork, trust, and camaraderie amongst the leadership.
It’s working. These efforts have been embraced by all of our leaders, both past and present, and the feeling of friendship, teamwor,k and energy during this past meeting is living proof that all it takes is to be nice. Figures it took a Canadian to get this one right!
On a more serious note, looking into the crystal ball is providing an interesting challenge to create a road map to the future, to determine how the Academy can be proactive to deal with the trends and issues that face us, and to be prepared for change as opposed to not being forced to react to it.
We have changed the focus of the Board to one of future vision with detailed direction and oversight of our staff. We have spent 2 ½ years figuring out governance, and beta testing it, and now are finally able to use these new “rules of administration” to make things happen. We look so good this year only because of the hard work of the Presidents who paved the way for this year to unfold as it should. Thank you!
Our meetings were filled with experts discussing the trends in dentistry (nothing we didn’t expect, but nice to confirm our suspicions with graphs and numbers) along with taking care of business items and a good mix of leadership development!
It was a fantastic agenda, exactly what a Board should be doing, and I am so proud of the participation. We have the right people on this board, a great mix of skill sets and diversity and we worked together as a team to make the appropriate decisions on behalf of the members of this Academy.
We are off to a great start. It was unanimously felt that we worked hard yet we still had fun and frolic in Madison!
After the accolades and success of the scientific session in DC, the personal note from Canada's Prime Minister, knowing that all was running smoothly and full steam ahead, I knew the shoe would have to drop.
Now I find myself the subject of my very own personal country and western song, as our beloved pet Shih Tzu succumbed to cancer. It is so hard to let go of someone or something we love! The painful emptiness one feels is only something that will dull over time until we can find comfort in the fond memories we hold so close to our hearts.
We're reminded that our lives are multifaceted. Although we have an incredible passion for the Academy, it is really about the relationships we have, the good things we do to make things better for others, and that we must maintain a balance between work, the Academy, other interests, and of course family and friends.
Being President of this Academy is like any other position....you get out of it what you put into it. Those who know me understand I don't do anything that isn't all out and full on, so the issue is not how much I will put into this position, but how I will maintain that life balance that can so easily be lost.
It seems most of my time is spent working on Academy business, phone calls to members, committee conference calls and planning for the future. But the life balance needs to return. Feeling safe knowing that everything was humming along and there was not much more I could do this weekend until I received some survey results from the board, I decided to heed my own advice and take time to create some life balance.
I donned my pack of camera gear and headed out for a couple of days of solitude into the wilds of Algonquin Park in quest of moose and newborn calves to photograph. Mommy moose was very accommodating as I was able to spend 5 hours one day getting to know her and her 2-week-old calf. They put on quite a show for me. It was touching to see the way this big mama moose was so tender with the newborn. The time away was wonderful for putting things back in perspective. I even got home early enough to spend time with my wife, Ricki, and our son Ryan who had just returned from his first year at law school in London, England.
Just like that mama moose and her newborn calf in the wilderness, we are only here for a short time, to do our best to make things better for those who will take our place oh so quickly. Remembering that it is about the relationships we build, the good things we do for others, and living every day as if there will be no tomorrow will help me keep my perspective as we work hard this year to keep this Academy so great well into the future.
I received a special delivery package. One that I didn't recognize, it wasn't your usual Purolator or UPS package.
Inside was a white envelope from the Prime Minister of Canada's office, and inside was a personal letter of congratulations to me from the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, wishing me a productive term of office.....WOW!
This sends a clear message of the importance and the far reaching effect of this Academy. The Respect we have and the influence our academy exudes is something we often take for granted. We should all be so proud of our accomplishments as our hard work and programs have certainly made an international impact.
It brings home the point that everything we do is seen by those who look at us with both admiration and with scrutiny. It brings home the fact that as leaders in the dentistry world, the decisions and directions we take set the milestones for the others to follow. And it brings home the fact that we as leaders of this academy must move forward into the future with visionary strategic planning to face the new world of dentistry.
We are all hard at work doing just that. The Board is focusing on the future, the ABCD is focusing on strengthening the credential, the BOT is focused on the programs to help the victims of domestic violence and the promotion of the Give Back a Smile program, and our staff is focused on making it all happen!
Thank you to all leaders and staff, for the countless hours of conference calls, hundreds of emails and many meetings that show the dedication of our leaders and staff, and the passion we all share to keep this Academy great, relevent, and moving forward.
The AACD annual Scientific Session in Washington was a resounding success. The vibe was positive and exciting, the programs ran like clockwork and everyone is still talking about the opening reception at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History....our very own night at the Museum! WOW! Congratulations to the entire staff for putting on such an incredible event.
When one looks behind the scenes to see how much planning, work and effort goes into this huge undertaking, one realizes that this is just one small piece of the puzzle that is the huge international scope of the AACD.
I am so honoured and proud to be President of such a wonderful organization filled with people of passion and caring, not only for our patients, our families, and the victims of domestic violence we so caringly treat, but also for caring so much about this Academy.
We are all on the same team, working hard to make this Academy better. My focus, our focus, must be clearly defined to keep this Academy strong and relevant as we move into the future. The world is changing and so must we.
Building on the past is important, keeping what is working, and what will help carry us forward. That is what traditions are made of, and these traditions like the Grand Entrance, are what people talk about for years, what we all look forward to. What we stand for and our purpose will never change, but the way we achieve that purpose, the programs we provide, and the way we provide them must adapt to the changing world.
This week, has been wonderful as the transition has been completed, some new efforts have already been established by ways of committees and councils to allow all the leadership to work together as a team, the focus is clear and the team is in place to move us forward to create a roadmap to the future.
Only four days in, and our sleeves have been rolled up, and we, all of us--leadership, staff and committees--are already hard at work, and having fun doing it!
Last night' leadership dinner was the best ever! Great warmth and cameraderie and the venue, food and even the speeches were fantastic. This morning started with a town hall meeting that did not meet the desired result of providing a forum to link with membership so we need to promote this better for next year! At noon the new mber reception was so exciting! Everyone so full of excitemt and enthusiasm... I felt right at home!!!! In a frw minutes the terrific trio of Garber, Coacman andd Van Doeren will have a three hour panel discussion that brings three top guys in the world together! Talk about your Wow factor! And even more Wow factor will be the Night at the museum welcome party at none other than the Smithsonian museum of natural history! AACD is just rocking it! Ricki is spending the day in Alexandria and I have already had a few meetings that should prove to bring some fresh ideas to the fold. Saturday is the first meeting of the newly elected leadership (Friday night is the mbership mtgs) and let me be the first to tell you that we are going to hit the ground running!