The Week That Was: Special Edition, November 11

A Salute to Veterans and Will You See One?

Let’s kickoff this special Monday edition of the blog with some value clarification. We are often silly in this space as we dote on our members and the specialized niche of the dental profession. But all the wonderful blessings of the profession could not be shared apart from the fabulous freedom we have in our country and for that we owe a debt of sincere gratitude to all those who have served selflessly in the U.S. Armed Forces. We want to be among the first to say thank you! We see you and we appreciate you!

One way to show your appreciation and use your gift of dentistry is to participate in the Dental Lifeline Network initiative, Will You See One Vet. They are asking members to donate comprehensive treatment to at least one veteran with special needs each year. To learn more about this need and to enlist as a provider, visit Thank you in advance for your support.


House of Delegates is a House of Delight

The MDA and its members were in the spotlight toward the end of last week as many gathered in Jefferson City for our annual governance meeting, the House of Delegates. There was much to celebrate and thus report to you the wider membership. Excuse our shameless pride but there was a lot to feel good about. In fact, ADA Sixth District Trustee, Dr. Roy Thompson, and ADA President-Elect, Dr. Dan Klemmedson, were both effusive with praise about Missouri’s national reputation and significant leadership involvement. We loved hosting them as part of our family.

The House follows a predictable rhythm of caucus meetings, committee reports, testimony and votes. None of this occurs without strong volunteer engagement from a wide range of members. Thank you for serving your association. Look for a full report of business decisions in the upcoming Focus and online at

In addition we have our Awards Banquet where we gather to cheer on our honorees. You can tell from all the happy casual photos that the MDA family enjoyed the festivities (enjoy these few and find all House images on Flickr). Here are some highlights you might notice.

  • ADA 6th District Trustee, Dr. Roy Thompson, addressed the House.
  • ADA President-Elect, Dr. Dan Klemmedson, sworn in the new 2020 MDA Officers: President, Dr. Mike Berry, President-Elect, Dr. Rob Tait, Treasurer, Dr. Ron Wilkerson and Speaker, Dr. Lynne Barbour.
  • Dr. Dan Kessler gave his speech as outgoing MDA President and then received his president’s pin from the new ADA Second Vice President, our very own Dr. Vince Rapini. Thank you for your service!
  • Dr. Mike Berry gave his inaugural address as newly minted MDA President.
  • Drs. James Elliott, John Gardner and Dennis Touchette were recognized for 50 years of membership. Impressive loyalty!
  • Representative Mike Henderson was given the Legislative Excellence Award
  • Dr. Emily Mattingly was recognized as the Outstanding New Dental Leader. She’s a proud third generation dentist.
  • Dr. Nathan Suter received the Dentist of the Year Award.
  • Dr. Joe Sokolowski received the Distinguished Service Award.
  • We thanked board members Drs. Bowen, Fox, Tait and Taylor for their service in roles that are ending.
  • And we took a lot of friends and family photos because that is the MDA in a nutshell.

MODentPAC Support Sparkles!

Advocacy is not always tangible but you can recognize success when you see it. Lately the MDA Legislative Team—which includes all members—has been quite successful with our agenda items. One reason is wonderful allies like Representative Mike Henderson who won the MDA Legislative Excellence Award this year. Another big reason is your generous support of MODentPAC. Campaign support never goes unnoticed and it takes dollars to show support. Through a special component to component challenge, members at the House gave and pledged $22,554 to the PAC. Thank you very much! But it doesn’t stop with your credit card. Your voice is just as important, so make plans today to join us for the next step—Legislative Day on January 29, 2020. Find complete details and RSVP online at


DWBF Raffle Scores Again

For the third year in a row, the House attendees helped us reach our $3,000 goal for the raffle benefiting the Dental Well Being Foundation. Much appreciation for your generosity toward this life-saving program. Congrats to Dr. Roger Janes who bravely won the hoverboard and to Dr. Bob Ruwwe who won the pocket drone. Yours truly did his best to demonstrate both on the House floor, as you can see with this drone photo.

Our Ageless Leader

Not to be overlooked in all the official business and activity is a special milestone for MDA Executive Director, Vicki Wilbers. In contrast to all the evidence, she somehow turned 50 on November 3. While family and MDA leadership lavished well-deserved praise, the MDA staff made sure to keep her humble and poke a little fun for the occasion and decorate her office. As the oldest at the office, I’m glad to see another summit the hill. However, when I’m going for another doughnut, Vicki is going for another workout. Hmm … wonder if that explains her youthful look. At any rate, I know you all join us in wishing her the happiest of birthdays and the best in the coming year. And speaking of years and youthful looking co-workers, another important office event this past week took place at the Board meeting where that 50-year-old boss honored the 20-year-service of Margie Kunze at the MDA. Congrats Margie and thanks for all you do!

The Week Ahead

Rest and recover would be nice, but protecting and promoting the profession never ends. Tomorrow I see a call regarding fluoridation issues. On Wednesday, Jerri from MDIS, Dr. Merle Nunemaker and I head to the Mid-Continent Dental Congress in St. Louis. Those folks put on a BIG show. We look forward to seeing many members and dental friends there. And then there’s Focus production, dues preparation and more. Stay tuned!

Quote of the Week

For me the best thing about winning an award is when the people cheer for your win. When you can see that the people are really happy that you are winning something, that’s the most rewarding thing in the world.” – Busta Ryhmes


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