The Week That Was: August 17-21

A Good Old Fashion Chicken Welcome for the UMKC D1s

Chalk a victory up for the MDA over COVID! We learned last minute that UMKC SOD would allow a lunch drop off in the side alley for the new D1 students while they were briefly on campus getting IT clearance. Stacey Hemmel, membership manager, quickly coordinated with Chick-fil-A and Greater Kansas City Dental Society ED, Sam Silvey, to pull off a warm welcome last Thursday. All but one of the 109 in the class scooped up a lunch and some information about the MDA and our fall events. Usually our welcome event is at a local restaurant with a variety of members helping us and plenty of games and prizes to make an impression. We thought we were going to have to miss this opportunity altogether this year, so it’s a major victory to get some face time and let these new student members know we are here for them.

Another Big Welcome; This Time for Olivia Wilson

I was unable to travel to Kansas City because I was partaking in a staff welcome for our newest partner, Olivia Wilson, who is the MDA’s new legislative liaison. While not technically an MDA employee, Olivia is a vital member on the team. She spent the morning at the office getting to know us and learning about all the diverse activities in her new role. Naturally, she will work closely with Vicki Wilbers, MDA ED, for guidance and continuity on issues. I’ll also be taking a more specific role helping with MODentPAC fundraising, so I’ll interact with Olivia as well. And of course, the talented MDA team will have her back with communications, events, etc. I think this new approach to the role will benefit MDA greatly, because it allows Olivia to be a specialist at the Capitol protecting the profession. And she makes a darn good impression—eager, relaxed, willing to learn and connected. Olivia is a 2019 grad from Westminster and lives in Columbia with her beloved cat, Henry.

The Show Me State Has Been Shown … a little well-deserved recognition

The ADA Management conference for dental society staff kicked off virtually this past week. It will feature a number of webinar offerings through the fall. The first one focused on membership challenges. It’s exciting and scary to figure out how to bring value and connection to five different generation groups across so many different practice models. I can’t wait to see how the MDA grows and evolves in diversity and inclusion and approach. While  membership may be challenging, it is far better than the alternative of facing the issues and assaults on the profession alone.

The ADA ends the webinar with awards for growth. This year due to COVID they also instituted a Peer Recognition Program whereby staff from other societies could nominate colleagues and societies for extraordinary leadership, innovation and positive example during the pandemic. I’m proud to say others have noticed our team. The MDA was recognized at the state society level. Vicki was saluted for her fabulous work as an Executive Director and Stacey Hemmel was rightfully honored for her role as state staff. Those of you in the know aren’t surprised. Congrats to all!

Decisions and Revelations

In other news, Dr. Lynne Barbour, speaker of the MDA House of Delegates, made the decision that this year’s annual meeting would take place virtually. Plans are underway to develop this best schedule that allows for maximum engagement with the agenda. On a much lighter note, the staff had lunch out together with MDIS to reveal our Secret Santas. Alas, I was too mesmerized by my pizza to take a photo. However, very few people accurately guessed their gift-giving ninja, but all were majorly thrilled with the thoughtful gifts they received. For instance, I devoured my rum, chocolate and Chick-fil-A and loved using my golf balls and tees. Go Santa!

The Week Ahead

The Missouri Dental Board met virtually Firday afternoon after some time away. Dr. Mike Berry, MDA President, and Vick joined in to monitor any news that affects you. Then the week is more webinars and office work leading up to Friday when the MDA Board meets virtually with a full agenda.

Quote of the Week

“Happy 28th Birthday (Saturday) to first born son, Taylor” — Paul, the happy father

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