January 15, 2019

January is the Latin word for door (ianua). As the door opens to 2019, let’s first take a look back to some major events of 2018 for our Section of the College.

As those who attended can attest, our 2018 Annual Meeting and Convocation in Honolulu was exceptional, culminating in a fireworks display at the conclusion of a fantastic luau.  We even had custom tropical shirts and flip-flops made for the meeting. The Foundation Key Room still has ICD flip-flops available in most sizes as well as a few tropical shirts. If you’d like one, please contact Kylie in the Section Office by dialing 301-251-8861. Those of you who follow us on Facebook may be aware of the flip-flop challenge – all who purchased ICD flip-flops are encouraged to post as many photos wearing them from as many recognizable locations as possible.  The challenge will run until August 15, 2019 on our Facebook page.  Photos must show your location and flip-flops or ICD imprint, and remember to add #ICDFlipFlops to your post. Three winners will be announced at the Annual Meeting this September.

In 2013 we moved the Section Office from Rockville, Maryland to a new location in Gaithersburg.  It is with great pleasure that I report that our mortgage was paid off last August.  This new office has considerably more space, and includes a meeting room.  It is clean and modern, exactly what an organization of our caliber should have, yet costs less than our former location.

To cap off an already amazing year, in November the worldwide College installed its first female President:  Bettie McKaig from Raleigh, North Carolina.  We are proud that this glass ceiling has finally been broken, and doubly proud that she came from the USA Section.  Congratulations, Bettie!

Stepping through the door to 2019 . . .

I chose Vancouver, B.C. as the location of our Spring Meeting in May.  In addition to our Board meeting, we will share social events with our colleagues from Section II - Canada, as well as continuing education at the University of British Columbia Dental School. Registration for these events and a link to reserve your hotel room at the Sutton Place Hotel will be going out soon. We would love to have you join us.

Around the middle of this year, we will have migrated to a new website.  This system promises to be more efficient and user friendly.  I believe we will see closer integration between the database and website, allowing for improved communication, easier dues payments, meeting registration, plus the Fellow nomination process will be streamlined even further.

As already mentioned, September will see our big event of the year, the Annual Meeting and Convocation, in San Francisco.  Our hotel will be the Hilton Union Square.  If the nomination trends continue as they are as I write this, it will be our largest class of Fellows ever.  You can help us reach that goal, and I challenge you to identify and nominate a deserving colleague for Fellowship.  The process is easy and online.  Share the Honor!

A cliché is that students are our future, and ICD USA Section is helping ensure that future.  Our International Student Experience program has awarded a record number of grants for 2019: 17 dental schools participating, three of them new.  This represents 61 global opportunities, with mission trips or exchanges to 33 countries.  I can’t imagine a student returning from one of these trips unchanged.  We also have provided seed money for our Global Health Student Associations at a number of dental schools over the past few years and the number of chapters continues to grow.  Financial support of our student programs comes primarily from our Foundation, and a donation in any amount made to that worthwhile charity can literally change a life.

You may have seen our new promotional phrase:  Serving Others.  These two words perfectly encapsulate ICD USA Sections’s core values of Integrity, Leadership, and Service into a neat package.  Each and every Fellow demonstrates these values, and Serving Others is our way of explaining who we are and what we do in the outside world.  Whether you coach Little League, function as a volunteer in your church, serve on the ADA Board of Trustees, or run a free clinic in a foreign country, you are giving of yourself.  What nobler cause is there?  As I read the biographies of new candidates for Fellowship, I am continually amazed at the depth and breadth of the activities of our colleagues, our future Fellows.  What an honor to belong to such a group.

In closing the door to 2018 and moving forward, if there’s anything we can do to make your experience as a Fellow of the International College of Dentists more rewarding, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  Every day your efforts make the world a better place, and this organization should – no, must – reflect that.  We don’t want ICD to be a good honorary organization – we want it to be a great one.  Help by telling us how to get there in the comment section below.

In Fellowship,
Peter P. Korch III
ICD USA Section

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