AGD Announces New Vice-Presidents

June 11, 2004
New executive team committed to maintaining AGD's dedication to excellence.

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is pleased to announce staffing additions and promotions designed to enhance the quality of effective and efficient services AGD provides to more than 37,000 members. Lori El-Kareh, Jo-Ellyn Posselt and Christie Tarantino, CAE, made history when they became AGD's first vice-presidents since the association was founded in 1952.

As soon as Gerald "Jay" Donohue, Jr., CAE, CMP, AGD's executive director, arrived at AGD in January 2004, he began an ongoing review of AGD's organizational capabilities and goals to determine how to increase the level of attention and services the AGD provides to its members. In their new positions, El-Kareh, Posselt and Tarantino will join Donohue on AGD's executive staff management team.

"These appointments will help our team address the challenges that face our members and help our leadership determine future directions for the AGD," says Donohue. "Lori, Jo-Ellyn and Christie are highly respected in the association industry. They bring an incredible wealth of expertise and leadership that will help our team build a stronger association which provides increased value to our members."

Lori El-Kareh, Vice-President, Education and Meeting Services

El-Kareh, who has more than 17 years of experience in the association industry, has been promoted to the new position of vice-president, education and meeting services. El-Kareh, a resident of Woodridge, IL, has served as AGD's director of dental education for more than five years, during which she has been responsible for the association's education programs at the annual meeting and other education programs and services.

In her new role, El-Kareh will additionally oversee the meeting services area, which includes the logistics and planning for the annual meeting and assorted conferences. "The AGD is in the position to present a greater value to general dentists than ever before, and I believe that planned improvements in our annual meeting programming, which include more advanced clinical courses and practice tips for emerging dentists, will make AGD the 'go-to' meeting for general dentists throughout North America," says El-Kareh.

El-Kareh holds membership in the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and Association Forum of Chicagoland. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from De Paul University.

Jo-Ellyn Posselt, Vice-President, Communications and Marketing

AGD promoted Posselt to the new position of vice-president, communications and marketing. As AGD's director of communications since 1985, Posselt, has established a strong network of publishing, Web content, public relations and design professionals to help the AGD give general dentists the resources and information they can use in their daily practice.

In her new role, Posselt will add an organizational marketing and product development group and a corporate relationships program designed to identify, research and build projects with dental companies that share the AGD mission and strategic direction in focused support of general dentistry.

"The new structure, additional research initiatives and resources mark the AGD's investment in knowledge-based, results-oriented programs and products directed to general dentists," says Posselt. "The AGD is readying for growth, prepared to deliver the AGD brand and quality guarantee to general dentists in the U.S. and Canada with innovative continuing dental education products and focused representation."

Christie Tarantino, CAE, Vice-President, Operations

AGD appointed Tarantino, CAE, to a brand new staff position, vice-president, operations. Tarantino, an area resident of Chicago and formerly from Birmingham, Ala., brings more than 11 years of management experience in administration, operations, marketing, membership services, chapter relations and volunteer development to the AGD. She most recently served as associate vice president, member relations, for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) in Chicago, where her responsibilities included oversight of member recruitment, retention programs, chapter relations and volunteerism activities.

In her new role, Tarantino will oversee AGD's finance, information technology, membership, human resources and general office administration departments. "I am excited about the opportunity to serve as one of the AGD's first vice presidents," says Tarantino. "I look forward to working with Jay Donohue, our executive director, and the rest of the staff so that together, we continue to improve service and value to our members."

Tarantino holds membership in the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Association Forum of Chicagoland. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and a Masters of Public Administration degree with a concentration in human resources management from Auburn University. In 2002, she earned the designation as a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from ASAE.