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2019 Annual Meeting Dives Into Data

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Nearly 100 member companies were represented at DTA's 2019 Annual Meeting in sunny Aventura, Florida. These member companies, represented by almost 300 attendees, came to learn how Data Driven Decision Making can help grow their businesses.

Bob Savage, Vice President and CFO of Drake Precision Laboratory, took the stage first thing to recap his year as Board Chair focusing the DTA Strategic Plan, Washington Conference, the Business Case for Oral Health and an update on the current CEO Search. Bob paid tribute to Gary Price for his nearly 20 years of service to the Dental Trade Alliance. He read a letter of recognition of service to oral health from Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and introduced a video, featuring photos of the last 20 years and tributes from industry colleagues. In July, Gary Price announced his plans to retire the end of January 2020. Gary voiced a passionate call-to-action, asking the membership to "keep your foot on the accelerator and your eyes on the goal of expanding oral health care and growing your market."

Following Gary's farewell, the annual DTA Business meeting was brought to order, where members heard reports on financials, advocacy, and voted to elect the newest members and officers to the board. Following, Chair Bob Savage, handed the gavel to incoming Chair, Dave Steck, Vice President and General Manager of Henry Schein Dental.

George Wolfe, President of DMG America and current DTA Foundation Board Chair, took the stage to give the Foundation report focused on the ROI and growth of the Foundation's grant and scholarship programs which included $3 million in funding since the program’s inception to support innovative work in oral health care with an ROI in excess of $25 million in additional funding to DTAF grantees from other sources. The entire Foundation Board then took the stage to be part of the biggest announcement: The Robert J. Sullivan Family is donating $1,000,000 to become the inaugural donor for the Legacy Founder's Circle. You can read more about the donation and the DTA Foundation's Legacy Gift program here

The end of the morning’s business meeting and reports came from Patrick Cooney, President of The Federal Group and DTA’s Legislative Representative. Patrick gave information on the current situation in Washington and the importance of member interaction with their Congressional representatives. While DTA, through the support of The Federal Group, is able to represent the membership and industry as a collective, the best way to achieve  change is for individual members to reach out to their representatives to let them know what’s important to their industry and how that industry reflects on their region economically and socially. The current call-to-action? Repealing the Medical Device Excise Tax. The tax, which was passed in 2013, has been successfully postponed twice with bipartisan support. But with the current postponement ending with this fiscal year, it is up to members to reach out to their members of Congress to let them know how this tax would impact business, research and development, and hiring

The educational programming kicked off this year with best-selling author and Management Consultant, Michael Treacy. Treacy, who had spoken with the membership before, spoke about data and how members could use data to drive growth in both their businesses and the industry. Conversations on data continued into Thursday morning with Wall Street investment visionary and Tulane professor, Peter Ricchiuti, and best-selling author and leading data expert, Bernard Marr. Ricchiuti spent the first part of the morning talking about finding opportunities in uncertainty, quickly becoming a favorite among those in attendance. Marr’s presentation focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and how AI can, and is, used in business practices. The program's final educational component focused on Dental Market Reports in Action, from DentalMarketIQ and ADA's Marko Vujicic. The two groups spoke in length on the importance of data and the new DTA Market Reports program.

Following the educational program, members were able to raise a record-breaking amount at this year's silent auction and paddle raiser events for the DTA Foundation. Those in attendance came together to raise more than $230,000 in one night to support the work of the foundation!

The Annual meeting closed with award-winning podcaster and acclaimed concert pianist, Matthew Zachary.  Matthew intermingled his heartwarming presentation with the music he wrote during his journey of being diagnosed and overcoming terminal cancer.  His story was both educational and inspirational. 

We want to give a special thank you to all of our attendees and sponsors for supporting yet another successful Annual Meeting. We look forward to seeing you next year, November 3-6, in San Diego North, where we’ll be staying at the beautiful Rancho Bernardo Inn, voted the Readers Choice top SoCal Resort by Conde Nast Traveler