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News & Press: CSPD Bulletin

President's Message - Spring 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016  
Posted by: Justin Lewis
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As I assume the presidency of our wonderful organization, I reflect back on my initial contact with CSPD. I was a pediatric dental resident at USC and Dr. Hugh Kopel was going to be installed CSPD’s eighth president. I had no idea what the California Society of Pediatric Dentists (our organization’s name at the time) was all about. I just knew Dr. Kopel urged me to attend the meeting. At that time, we residents were completely on our own. We paid for the meeting, our lodging and transportation. If my memory is correct, there were only a handful of pediatric dental residents in attendance. Am I dating myself? Of course. I’ve seen our organization transform over the years in order to continue to be relevant to our members and the children of California. Where are we now?

Today CSPD boasts a membership of over 900 members in all categories. We have strong pediatric dental residency programs that do their best to, along with CSPD and their respective alumni organizations, support their residents and encourage their attendance at our annual sessions. Speaking of annual sessions, Silverado was our largest meeting to date and if you attended, I’m sure you enjoyed the food, wine, speakers, golf, scenic area and camaraderie. Thanks to the hard work of our annual meeting chairperson, Ora Lowe and our talented violinist and annual meeting event coordinator, Jacob Lee, I have yet to speak to anyone in attendance that just wasn’t amazed at the whole affair. We kicked off our CSPD/WSPD Annual Meeting with our Welcome Reception outdoors surrounded by the beautiful Silverado Country Club golf course. The outstanding food was paired wonderfully with the wines and beverages served. In previous years I remember thinking about where we should enjoy dinner after the welcome reception. Not a thought crossed my mind about dinner. The delicious hors d’oeuvres seemed endless.

At our installation luncheon I made note that I look forward to working with a superb board of directors that will aid me in guiding CSPD throughout this new CSPD business year. As my predecessors before me, I know I will only be successful by utilizing the talents, skill and hard work of our Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Appointed Officers. As I had stated before, I am tremendously fortunate to have inherited three key appointed officers in Paul Reggiardo our Public Policy Advocate, Steve Niethamer our Website Editor and online CE guru, and Ora Lowe our Annual meeting chairperson. I apologize for not recognizing another important team. A big part of CSPD is communication and we have a new Bulletin editor in MyLinh Ngo. Along with Nancy Kwon Hsieh, Alison Jackson and Clarice Law welook forward to continuing the tradition of getting the news out to you, the members. It is with open arms that I wholeheartedly welcome this integral part to continue with CSPD’s ability to keep you informed.

As in previous years, the AAPD president-elect is invited to our annual meeting and we welcomed Jade Miller in Silverado as he holds this position. Jade is very familiar with CSPD as he had been our Western District Trustee prior to beginning his climb up the AAPD leadership ladder. Our executive committee traditionally meets with the AAPD president-elect for an informal “get to know you” session and Jade was able to share a little bit about his goals and desires for his upcoming AAPD Presidential year. We all look forward to continuing to build a mutually strong bond with AAPD. Jade wanted to make sure he had a chance to meet with all the alumni receptions and we did so prior to our Saturday night Gala at the Artesa winery. I am encouraged that Jade will keep our relationship with AAPD strong. So, bottom line, the 2016 CSPD/WSPD Annual Meeting in Silverado was an event to remember.

I am extremely happy to be working with Andy Soderstrom our Executive Director who will make sure we run a tight ship. As you all know, Andy, a past president of CDA, came to us with a wealth of knowledge regarding organized dentistry and organizational relationships. Andy is no longer our “New ED,” he’s our organization’s fourth ED. His experience is truly appreciated by me.

Every CSPD year there seems to be some key leadership project. When I first came on board, CSPD was growing. Along with growth came growing pains. We had outgrown the ability to continue as an organization dependent upon its volunteer workforce alone. I believe an earlier strategic planning session recommended we consider an association management company (AMC) to help provide much of our society’s daily services and routine organizational business. Your CSPD board of directors began vetting association management companies. Continuing to improve services for our members through improving services for our leadership is not an easy task. For the past five years we have enjoyed working with Smith Moore and Associates, a professional association management company. Every year we are fine tuning our relationship with them. The next big project was our executive director search. Unbeknownst to many, we held a nationwide search for a replacement for Ray Stewart, our executive director at the time. We vetted candidates and as I had mentioned earlier, were fortunate to have our own Andy Soderstrom become CSPD’s fourth executive director. Most recently our project was to review a Charter Affiliation Agreement (CAA) presented to us for signature by the American Academy of Pediatric dentistry. Up until this year, although CSPD was a recognized state unit of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, there was never a signed charter affiliation agreement. All states and districts were presented with the same document for signature. It is now “in writing” and official.

What is your leadership’s key project this year? “Organization.” I hope to help CSPD become a little more organized as we have gone through so many transitions these past few years. We need to take a step back now and make sure we are organized and positioned to continue to be relevant. We need to keep our membership aware of issues we as practitioners face on a daily basis. We need to show our over 900 strong members why it is so important to belong to CSPD. We are not only continuing plans for our 2017 Annual Session to be held in Las Vegas, we are beginning plans for our big Annual Session to be held in the Autumn of 2018. We will continue to be the voice of pediatric dentistry in the state of California regarding pediatric dentists and the children we serve.

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