It has been such a great pleasure to serve AAWD as president for the past 18 months. Thank you for the confidence and support that you all have given me. Some of the highlights of my presidential term include representing AAWD at the 2002 and 2003 NDA meetings; speaking at the 2002 ADA meeting and the 2003 Yankee, Texas, and Chicago meetings; and evaluating products and equipment on behalf of AAWD at Pelton and Crane, Dentsply International, and Septodont. Key corporate relationships and alliances were built between PennWell, Sullivan Schein Dental, Procter and Gamble, and the Academy of General Dentistry.
The most inspiring highlight was visiting so many dental students and colleagues. Thank you for your generous hospitality and friendship. I have always heard that to make an impact, we must leave something behind — some words of wisdom (of which I possess few) or some type of remarkable finding (though I am not a researcher). I would, however, like to share with you the names of two ladies who inspire me.
Today I was cleaning up my desk and thumbed through a Texas Co-Op magazine. This magazine gives hints on how to capture rainwater on xeroscape lawns, but it also included a piece about a remarkable lady from Texas named Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Babe was the first woman ever to play a PGA event. In the early 1930s, Babe set four world records in different sporting events qualifying her for the 1932 Olympics. They called her the Texas Tornado who could best be described as a cross between Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali, and Annie Oakley. This incredible woman pursued her dreams and achieved greatness. Babe serves as an inspiration, and I was excited to read about her.
Another remarkable woman who would not be subdued is Nieca Goldberg, MD. Dr. Goldberg is a cardiologist and chief of the Women's Heart Program at Lenox Hill Hospital. She is also the author of one of the best books that I have read recently, Women Are Not Small Men. This book addresses life-saving strategies for preventing and healing heart disease in women. According to Dr. Goldberg's research, heart disease is a woman's greatest health threat and one of every two women will die of heart disease! I don't like those odds. Dr. Goldberg recommends that we exercise, eat a proper diet, reduce stress, and stop smoking. Although this advice is familiar, this book really helps individuals customize a personal program in a unique way and recognize symptoms before it is too late. Dr. Goldberg is among some of the phenomenal women who are pioneers for the future. She is another inspirational role model from whom we all can benefit.
This has been a fabulous 18 months, from negotiating transitions to helping navigate this wonderful organization into the future. It has been my special privilege to serve in that capacity. I suppose my closing "words of wisdom" would be this: Be a life-long learner and share your knowledge with others. Support our dental profession and mentor other women. Give thanks for your many blessings. And above all, make time for yourself and your family.
Your friend, Risé.