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Characteristics and keys: inaugural speech presented at the President's Gala, July 19, 2003, in Nashville, Tennessee.

One woman, with lofty goals and a passion for her career. So began the American Dental Assistants Association. Juliette A. Southard, our founder, truly was a visionary 79 years ago when she recognized that success in life is not a destination, but it is in the journey. She believed that life's journey wasn't just to seek new landscapes but to have eyes that could see new concepts and ideas. She had a passion to succeed and the ability to lead others in a journey of success. I believe there are many keys to success. I would like to share with you the keys to success that I feel are important for our association, its dental assistant members and me as your new president.

The characteristics of success that I have learned in my 25 years of dental assisting that have made me a successful assistant are the same characteristics that I believe all great leaders possess. These include caring, loyalty, trust, integrity and productivity.

Let's talk about each characteristic for a moment and how they relate to the everyday duties of a dental assistant.

The Key of Caring

The characteristics of caring may be the most important of all success characteristics for assistants and for me as a leader. If you exercise empathy in caring for your patients they will love you. If I really care about this organization then I will see my role as serving you and leading us all to our goals ... not as your all-knowing president.

The Key of Loyalty

Every assistant must above all be loyal to the doctor and the team. As your leader I must be faithful and loyal to the ADAA. Through education and the ability to maintain proficiency, the assistant can become a valuable and integral part of the dental team. For the career assistant this requires a lifelong commitment to our career, our profession and to our association.

The Key of Trust

Most know that trust is something that has to be earned; it is not given freely. All assistants know they desire the trust of their doctor and their team more than anything else. As your president, I want to earn your trust by communicating with membership and always being a good listener to your needs and desires. In today's tight economic times, members of an organization like ours trust their leaders to get them the best return on their investment in dues dollars.

The Key of Integrity

In life, integrity is everything ... without it we have no society. We dental assistants have long known that our patients want to know that when we tell them something, they can count on it. I have always believed that I am only as good as my word and I pledge to you that the ADAA will have integrity and be honest with you, our members.

The Key of Productivity

Productive dental assistants are a dental practice's most valuable asset. Successful associations and dental practices have long recognized leaders who consider productivity and the bottom line as important objectives. I plan to do my best to see that our activities are well planned and always targeted at our goals. We cannot afford wasted work. Dental assisting is an ever changing and challenging career requiring a multitude of talents and the ability to adapt to the ever changing needs of patients. An assistant who is appropriately educated and trained in today's new dental technologies can be a most productive and valuable part of the dental team.

So to reiterate, I believe a successful dental assistant and a leader of your association should exhibit the characteristics of caring, loyalty, trust, integrity and productivity. I will do my best to exhibit each of these characteristics in my year of leadership of the ADAA.

I recently read that the definition of a good leader is being an enthusiast, a coach, a facilitator, a team builder and a nurturer of future leaders. A GREAT leader is one who not only exhibits those traits, but also has passion, sensitivity, consistency and attention to the bottom line.

Now to a few of my personal goals for the coming year. At this time I want to pledge to you that I am going to follow these creeds. I challenge you to do the same. Here they are:

* Live each day to the fullest; get the most from each hour, each day and each age of your life. Then you can look forward with confidence and back without regrets.

* Don't be afraid to be happy and take time to enjoy what is beautiful.

* Listen to those whom the world may consider uninteresting, for each person has in themselves something special. Find it!

* Disregard what the world owes you, and concentrate on what you owe the world.

* When you are faced with a decision, make that decision as wisely as possible, then forget about it, for the moment of absolute certainty never arrives.

* Give others the greatest gift you can give, the purity of your attention.

* And finally, remember that the future of our association is in the hands of those who will give tomorrow's generation valid reason for living and hope for the future.

In closing, I want you to know that I am truly dedicated to the ADAA. I will do all in my power to make it representative of our goals and desires. And with your help and support we can be the best we can be. As one of my quotes over the years says: "Hold fast to your dreams, because they can come true if you give them time to manifest." Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you as your president for the coming year.

2003-04 Election Results

Full governance details to follow in the September/October issue.

Kay Mosley CDA


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Kristy Borquez, CDA, RDAEF, FADAA


Granada Hills, California

Debra Von Alman, CDA, RDA


Richfield, Minnesota

Kimberly Bland, CDA, EFDA, EFOA


Bradenton, Florida

Susan Rexroat, CDA


Winter Haven, Florida

Natalie Kaweckyj, RDA, CDA, CDPMA, COA, COMSA, FADAA


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bonnie Marshall, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, AAS, FADAA


Battleground, Washington

Claudia Pohl, CDA, RDA, BVEd


Alta Loma, California
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Title Annotation:President's Page
Author:Mosley, Kay
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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