The Retake from Last Week at the Lake with a Little Extra Shake and Bake
As expected, the MDA had quite a week at the Lake of the Ozarks last week. The weather was great, and according to the smiles and comments, so was the Connect4Success Conference. We had more than 120 total attendees. If a picture paints a thousand words, you can read volumes by checking out the photo album on MDA’s Flickr page. But I like to paint, too, so here are some other words summarizing different aspects of the week.
Thursday was dedicated to working on the broad strokes for the next five years of the MDA’s strategic plan. A diverse group of leaders from across the state were led through a thorough process by ADA staff, Jeanine Pekkarinen and Chris Chico. We came away with rough edits on goals from three primary areas. It required some intense thought and generated some lively conversation, but in the end there was a sense of excitement and unity. I’m thrilled to see such ownership from our members.
Exhibit One That We Love Our Exhibitors
To keep costs low for members, any successful conference will have strong support from sponsors/vendors/exhibitors. C4S was no exception. Our exhibit hall was full (26+ tables) and hopping the entire time. Of special note, was the new Fire & Ice Reception that we held Thursday night. It got rave reviews from all sides. Cocktails, hot wings and ice cream? Yes, please! But seriously, we thank all our faithful partners who are vital to our success. They had great one-on-one time with attendees, and they also provided many wonderful consolation prizes for the Connect4Cash Raffle.
Teach Me and Make Me Better
Engaging and helpful CE offerings are fundamental to a good conference experience. The MDA Education Committee did a super job delivering variety and providing value in the presenter lineup. I overheard good buzz during breaks. Plus this year we offered a special track for dental team members. The casual feedback I picked up on was all about ideas for next year and ways to keep growing and improving. To me that says we are hitting the target. I can’t wait to see what 2020 holds! A special thank you to our diverse presenter team for their preparation, time and expertise.
The Cash Bash was a Huge Smash!
Adding to all the other good vibes of our location and great schedule was the 2nd Annual Connect4Cash Raffle benefiting the MDA Foundation. This countdown raffle spurs some serious suspense and competition as people try to be the last number drawn. We improved on how we ran the countdown, and thanks to our generous members, we improved our profits by 10+%. Early returns show a net profit of about $8,800. Thanks to everyone for their support including the 8 components who donated tickets to raffle onsite. This lead to $2,470 raised above our ticket sales. 35 of the 100 total players won something for their participation. Some won multiple prizes. It pays to play. This year’s big winners were Margie Kunze ($150), Dr. Jody Vance-Springfield ($300), Dr. Jeremy Bowen-Kansas City ($500), Dr. Jon Reagan-Joplin ($700) and the grand prize Champion Dentist of the Year, Dr. Ron Wilkerson-St. James ($1,500). He won with lucky ball #40. Dr. Wilkerson is the MDA treasurer, so we hope he knows how to handle profit! Again, many were making suggestions on how to grow the game so I expect the third annual event to be off the hook next year. A sincere thanks to all who helped make this a FUN and successful fundraiser for the Foundation.
New Dentists Excitement
The origins of the C4S go way back to 2013 where it began as a small gathering of new dentists. They built the conference and spread the word and now it’s become the premier event for the MDA. And it continues to grow. But even with C4S open to everyone, we still have a special ND-only social hour with some awesome prizes. I met some brand new faces and couldn’t contain the energy from everyone hanging together. The future of the MDA is bright!
This and That
Perhaps it’s all the spontaneous moments in the hall or out by the lake or during happy hour that give this event that something extra but it did feel like something extra this year. Maybe it was the excitement of the St. Louis Blues winning the Stanley Cup. The MDA Past Presidents gathered. MDIS had their board meeting. The MDA Finance Committee met to review the upcoming budget. And I’m sure all sorts of friends and colleagues (and their families) reconnected. It’s the kind of vibe you look forward to so mark your calendars for June 12-13, 2020.
The Week Ahead
There’s a big Medicaid Ad Hoc Committee meeting today with Todd Richardson, director of MO HealthNet. It’s still too early to report anything, but improvements begin with good discussion. This committee has been working quietly to gather information for this first step. Let’s hope all the participants are open to ideas. Plus, it’s not sexy, but inventory for MOMOM begins this week with visits from the sterilization and central supply folks.
Quotes of the Week
Lord Stanley, meet Gloria! — “I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough of the bad luck of the early worm.”