By Kevin Henry
It was August of 1999 and I was standing alone in the Asheville N.C. airport. I had been the editor of Proofs for all of two months and I was still making the mental transition from sports public relations to the dental industry. I had flown to Asheville to take part in the annual meeting for the Dental Manufacturers of America. It was my first dental meeting and I was nervous, to say the least.
I had gathered my bags and was looking for the best place to catch a taxi to the hotel when a man walked up to me and asked if I was in town for the DMA meeting. I said yes and introduced myself. He shook my hand and introduced himself as Morton Charlestein, the president of Premier Dental. He introduced me to his wife, then asked if I would like to share their car that was heading to the Grove Park Inn for the meeting.
As we drove to the meeting, he asked about my background and my plans for Proofs. I asked him about his involvement in the industry (looking back, I’m sure he had to shake his head at some of the questions this rookie was asking him about the industry). Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at the hotel and I thanked him for the ride and the conversation.
Over the years, when I’ve looked back at that day, I’ve been amazed by his kindness. I had no idea the iconic figure that he was in the industry, and he certainly didn’t brag about all he had done for the dental industry or his company. He was a very nice man who had become my first face-to-face industry contact.
A few years later, during the Greater New York Dental Meeting, both Mr. Charlestein and Dr. Ed Shils told me they liked the direction that Proofs was moving. Knowing their legacies and importance in the industry’s history, those compliments will be the proverbial pats on the back that I never forget. That day, those two men helped me know I was making a difference. It still brings a smile to my face.
Mr. Charlestein (or Mr. M as so many people called him) passed away on April 4. I know he will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched, including me. His kindness that August day in North Carolina left a lasting impression on me and served as a valuable lesson as well – you never know when a kind word and a smile will make an impact on someone.
Thanks for sharing a ride with me, Mr. M.
An article you shouldn’t miss
One of the articles in this issue comes from a collaboration between Dental Economics (a sister publication of Proofs) and R.W. Baird, the Wall Street analysts who often contribute to Proofs. We teamed up to ask DE readers questions about what is really going on in their practices … topics such as patient volume, revenue, and equipment purchase plans. There’s some good information in the article, so be sure you read it by clicking here.
I appreciate Jeff Johnson, Jason Bednar, and the crew at R.W. Baird for being great partners on this survey and other collaborations. I also appreciate you, the readers of Proofs, for taking a look at the information we provide in each issue.
One more thing…
Levin Group has launched Tip of the Day, a free practice management educational tool for dental and specialty practices to help them improve and grow their practice. These daily tips are geared to educate, motivate and inspire the doctors and staff about a wide range of practice management topics including scheduling, case presentation, marketing, leadership, teambuilding, overhead, collections, production and profitability.
This free tool is a new, practical resource for you to provide to your customers. It is a great way to demonstrate the value you add to their practice. Your customers can sign up to receive the Levin Group Tip of the Day by visiting http://www.levingroup.com/tip.
Read on, this is your e-newsletter…
April 19 Proofs Note from the Editor
By Kevin Henry