Spring is transitioning to summer and change is in the air. For me, that change was being sworn in by the AAO House of Delegates as NESO Trustee at the 2023 Annual Session in Chicago and seeing Dr. John Callahan move on to the position of AAO President-Elect. I am excited and humbled to be writing my first letter to you as your Trustee.
I would first like to thank John for his dedication and service to all of NESO’s members during his eight-year tenure as NESO Trustee. John is a pioneer and so many of the AAO’s current innovative programs have John’s fingerprints on them. John would be the first to tell you that there is no “I” in TEAM, but his contributions to our specialty cannot be overstated.
Now I would like to focus on the “TEAM” that represents you, our AAO Members, and our specialty with a common goal: to advance the art and science of orthodontics through education, advocacy, and research. Team AAO has many members, but I would like to recognize those that I feel are the most important members of the team – our Volunteer Leaders. Dedicated Component Leaders (states, provinces) provide support, advocacy, education, and camaraderie at the local level. Constituent Leadership (NESO for instance) supports the Components, organizes programs for education which includes our fall annual meeting, provides support to our Residents, nominates members to the AAO Councils and Delegates to serve in the AAO House of Delegates, and organizes and provides leadership development programming to name but a few. At the national level, the volunteer leaders on the AAO’s Councils and Committees work together to support you, our members, in many areas from advocacy on Capitol Hill in February and in our State Houses throughout the year, to the popular award-winning Consumer Awareness Program and our AAO Annual Sessions in the spring. Please know that a team of volunteer leaders – The Committee on Conferences and Meetings – planned and executed every aspect of the fantastic annual session in Chicago this year! Volunteer Leaders drive the AAO.
Where am I going with this? Your AAO, your Team – needs you! Being an AAO Member shows that you care about and value the best specialty in the world. It shows that you understand the importance of having a unified voice to deliver the message that we are the most qualified and trusted resource for delivering excellence in orthodontic patient care. Volunteering for a leadership role, at any level, will infuse your team with your talents, insights, diversity of thought, and enthusiasm! Please contact your Component or NESO Executive Director (KDunn@NESO.org) to get involved. And please contact me at KWebb@aaortho.org if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance.
I look forward to working for you, and hopefully with you!
Dr. Ken Webb