Academy of General Dentistry announces personnel changes

Sept. 1, 2004
These staffing additions and promotions are designed to enhance the quality of effective and efficient services AGD provides to more than 35,000 members.

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is pleased to announce additional staffing additions and promotions designed to enhance the quality of effective and efficient services AGD provides to more than 35,000 members.

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 resources to determine how to increase the level of attention and services the AGD provides to its members.

"Since January, many new initiatives are underway while making sure that the correct balance between AGD's continuing education "heritage" and how we strive to position the organization more broadly in the marketplace is achieved," says Donohue.

He adds that, "These moves will help the organization be successful by enabling the AGD to be nimble in the marketplace, be innovative and provide memorable experiences for today's and tomorrow's members. Additional appointments will help our team address the challenges that face our members and help our leadership determine future directions for the AGD."

Daniel Buksa, JD, Director, General Dentistry Representation -- AGD promoted Buksa, a resident of Highland, Ind., to a new position of Director, General Dentistry Representation. He previously served as AGD's Advocacy Manager. In his new role, Buksa will be responsible for recommending, developing and managing policies and programs regarding federal and state legislative and regulatory issues, serving as a liaison between the AGD's Washington, D.C. lobbyist and the general membership, and recommending, developing and managing policies regarding dental benefit issues, dental practice issues, as well as interprofessional relations. Buksa, a 1993 graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law, also serves as staff liaison for AGD's Memorandum of Understanding with the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Zakiya Clark, Coordinator, Distance Learning -- AGD promoted Clark to a new position, coordinator, distance learning. In her new role, Clark will be responsible for coordination of the distance learning programs, including daily operation, records maintenance and marketing implementation. She will staff the DART committee, the Self Assessment Committee and FAGD Study Guide Committee.

Joe Dingee, Senior Project Manager -- AGD promoted Dingee, a resident of Oak Park, Ill., to a new position as senior project manager. He previously served as AGD's Membership Marketing Manager. In his new role, Dingee will oversee an organizational marketing and product development group - housed in AGD's Communications and Marketing division - designed to identify, research and build projects with dental companies that share the AGD mission and strategic direction in focused support of general dentistry. Dingee will be responsible for supporting AGD's Oral Health Literacy initiative, new product development and AGD's Organizational Marketing Research Initiative.

Jennifer Garvin, Managing Editor of Impact -- AGD promoted Garvin, a resident of Chicago, to serve as the managing editor of AGD Impact and will be responsible for providing editorial and production assistance in generating copy to be published in AGD's newsmagazine AGD Impact and annual meeting print materials. She previously served as AGD's Senior Staff Writer.

Marilyn Mages, Assistant Director of Communications and Editor -- AGD promoted Mages to a new position of assistant director, communications and editor. In her new role, Mages will be responsible for the effectiveness of AGD mass communication. She previously served as Managing Editor, News, for four years, working on AGD Impact and Web content. Mages received her Master's degree in 1995 from DePaul University in Writing.

Jason Paganessi, MCSE, Director, Information Technology -- AGD appointed Paganessi, a resident of Plainfield, Ill., to a brand new position, director, information technology. Prior to AGD, Paganessi, served as Manager, Technology and Web Solutions for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). At PCMA he oversaw all technology for the association, to include the implementation of a new organizational web site, financial software integration and build an out of a state-of-the-art educational center.

As the main technology contact for PCMA, he worked closely with volunteer leadership to enhance local and national communications efforts with the use of the web and e-communications. Prior to PCMA, he served in several enterprise information technology positions with the United States Army.

"I look forward to working with the staff and volunteers of the Academy to help enhance its technology and member services," says Paganessi.

"Jason and his breadth of technological knowledge will help identify and enhance the AGD's use of new technology to enhance the services AGD provides for general dentists," says Christie Tarantino, CAE, AGD vice-president of operations.

LaShan Riggins, Assistant, Reception and Office of the AGD President -- AGD promoted Riggins to the new position of assistant, reception and office of the AGD president. In her new role, Riggins will be responsible for answering and routing all incoming telephone calls, placing long distance calls as needed, greeting AGD visitors and directing them to the appropriate individuals. Riggins will prepare notes and letters for the Director of General Dentistry Representation, the Executive Director and the AGD President as well as maintain a calendar of dental community events for the AGD President.

Paula Richardson, Senior Assistant, Office of the Executive Director -- AGD promoted Richardson to the new position of senior assistant, office of the executive director. In her new role, Richardson will provide administrative and project support for Office of the Executive Director staff, as well as assist the department with various functions.

About AGD -- The AGD is a not-for-profit organization of more than 35,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up-to-date in the profession through continuing education. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services related to patient's oral health needs.