The winner for Most Improved Chapter is……it’s this moment when every chapter president starts to hope “this is my year. Maybe my chapter has made enough changes. Maybe our Gold Crown Award application was perfect this year. It has to be us!” These are the thoughts that start racing through your mind, the hope that this year your chapter will accomplish something special. Only one chapter can be awarded “Most Improved,” and in 2016 that chapter was Roseman ASDA (#RUASDA).
Winning a Gold Crown Award for anything is an honor and this award symbolizes the work our chapter put toward improving itself. The real satisfaction is knowing that you’ve helped bring organized dentistry to a new level at your school; you’ve inspired your colleagues to advocate for the dental profession and hopefully engaged them to continue to be dedicated members of ASDA.
It’s easy for any chapter to sit back and rest on their laurels, to feel as if they have achieved all their chapter can. The reality is that to improve your chapter dramatically you almost have to ignore everything your chapter has accomplished in the past and focus on the things you have struggled with.
The first step is to take a hard look at your chapter, grab the previous year’s Gold Crown Award application and compare it to the level you want to be. Look at your strengths and weaknesses. Brainstorm how you can use the resources at your disposal to improve your weaknesses. When the Roseman ASDA 2015-2016 board sat down for our very first meeting, the goals were crystal clear. We knew that our chapter had previously struggled with advocacy, funding, social media, membership engagement… the list goes on and on. However, we knew that our chapter had a lot of room to grow, and that allowed us to take risks. Not every event or activity was successful, but we weren’t afraid of failure. The end goal was to see what worked for our chapter and determine the type of events that allowed us to engage the most members. As the year went on, we learned to hone in on the things that made our chapter successful. We began implementing those concepts into all-new events. We knew that every positive change we made to our chapter would serve a larger purpose because with all that room to improve you can afford to push boundaries.
As new leadership assumes the mantle in ASDA chapters around the country, take a step back, forget everything you have achieved and look at where your chapter can improve. Developing your chapter requires a tremendous team effort. Each person on the board has to be treated as an essential part of the chapter’s success. I was extremely fortunate as president to have a board that was so committed to the lofty goals I set for the chapter. ASDA can be much more than social events and lunch and learns. It can be a stepping stone for the next generation of dentists to go out and fight for this great profession. I urge all of you to leave behind a legacy of excellence within your chapter and help push ASDA to new heights. Good luck and have a great year!
~Mohammad Bawany, Roseman ’17