President’s Report Summer, 2020
I sit down to write this message to you, my CAO colleagues, as I enter the last week of my tenure as President. I must tell you: it has been one heck of a ride; and not the one I had intended it to be. But, now looking back with my tired eyes, I am proud of the work we have accomplished, and even more pleased with the plans we have set in motion to set up the CAO for the future. And, all of this during a pandemic!
I have spent many moments with many of you since the beginning of March. I have relished the chance to reach out to you (virtually of course) to give more updates (some good, some not) than the CAO has sent out previously because of COVID-19. In speaking with the Line Officers, it was decided that this level of communication will become the standard, Coronavirus or not. What this unique time has made us realize is that so much of the CAO revolves around communication. Communication about our profession, our practices, our struggles, our successes and everything in between. As orthodontists, we share a common thread. In sharing these threads, we strengthen the fabric of our profession and unify us.
Usually, I spend the first week of September treating patients who are excited for the fall: the start of school, the start of something new or the chance to buy a new outfit and meet up with old friends. The CAO evokes that same feeling in me every fall; putting the final touches on plans and preparing to greet all our CAO friends at our Scientific Session. But like our student patients, everything is different this year. Those exciting opportunities for personal connection of which we are intimately accustomed are not there. At the same time, preparations for the coming year remain the same: planning the 2021 Scientific Session instead of 2020, holding the fall board meeting and AGM (albeit online) and most importantly, planning the CAO’s future together.
I am extremely proud to hand the reins over to Dr. J. Eric Selnes and the entire Board of Directors that stand behind him. The CAO is ready for every challenge that comes its way. Global issues have hit home for us all, but have also brought us closer together. Perhaps it is because we lived through office closures together and come out with heightened commitment to our profession and to each other, thereby strengthening that fabric. Or perhaps it is simply that the pandemic gave us the opportunity to return to our core values. Two certainties exist in my mind: 1) things will continue to change rapidly and unpredictably 2) I am confident in the CAO’s approach and ability to meet each future challenge head on.
Together with our members, our national organization is a leader in how a community should come together to better a profession in the hardest of times and against all odds.
I thank you for the opportunity given to me to serve as your President. I thank my family for their patience and for giving me the freedom to work through the trials of this year. I thank the entire Board of Directors for their continued effort and commitment to and behalf of the CAO. Oddly enough, the world events of 2020 have shown me a new perspective. While they certainly were not planned for or even welcomed, they have shown me what the CAO is about – building better relationships with one another through comradery, communication, and connection toward a better tomorrow.
It has been my privilege. It has been an honour.