By Anne Nugent Guignon, RDH, MPH
The dedicated and hard working PennWell staff was honored with purple caps and T-shirts embroidered with a custom RDH Dream Team logo during the Thursday lunch break at the recent Under One Roof conference in Las Vegas.
The surprise ceremony, complete with a football team theme began with an ear-splitting rendition of famous tune "We Will Rock You." The hyped-up crowd soon learned the winner of the RDH reader's poll for the MVP — Mark Hartley, the magazine's editor for nearly half of the publication's life received an overwhelming number of votes.
Mark was singled out of the crowd with a custom cheer led by pom-pom wielding writers Cheryl Thomas and Patti DiGangi and other confetti throwing cheerleaders wearing an assortment of football jerseys. (Ladies, don't quit your dental hygiene day jobs yet!)
Mistress of ceremonies, columnist Lynne Slim, amused all with computer generated photos of Hartley as a hygienist complete with a starched white cap, smiling while positioning an obstinate, heavy x-ray machine.
Columnist Anne Guignon presented Hartley with a customized 6x4 foot banner inscribed with heartfelt congratulations from dental hygienists from all over North America. Mark's insight, integrity, compassion and leadership are legendary in the world of dental hygiene publications and the sentiments on the banner attest to the impact he and RDH magazine have had on the lives of thousands of dental hygienists all over the planet.
On a lighter note, the hygienists who organized this event went to extreme measures to ensure that Mark's whimsical gift reflected his time away from the magazine interests.
The contents of his customized, compartmentalized sports tote inscribed with his name included a generous supply of Fritos and bean dip, Mark's favorite adult beverages on ice, an official Dallas Cowboy's T-shirt and cap, a string of football lights and a mini football squeeze toy.
Hundreds of well wishers celebrated the event and enjoyed the special cakes designed by feature writer Cathy Seckman.
Mark, thanks for the memories.