A Message from SDDS President Dr. Raymond A. Flagiello
I would like to start my presidency by thanking everyone for their support and confidence to allow me to serve as president of Second District Dental Society (SDDS) for 2023.
I have been practicing dentistry for over 35 years and have found it to be a noble and rewarding profession. Like many of you recent graduates, I had a hard time at first finding value in joining organized dentistry. The burden of school loans, in addition to the management of business and practice finances, is a daunting task.
I was attending a continuing education course in Manhattan and at the lunch break, I was seated next to an older practitioner from Staten Island by the name of Dr. Carl Schmidt. Dr. Schmidt, who at the time was sitting president of SDDS’ branch society, Richmond County Dental Society (RCDS), invited me to attend an RCDS membership meeting. I took him up on that offer and attended the next monthly meeting and I’m glad I did. I met other practitioners from every aspect of dentistry. I made lifelong friends and found support for many of the questions I had about practicing dentistry. I was asked to serve on the board of RCDS and did for many years, later becoming an officer and eventually president of RCDS.
As RCDS president-elect, you are required to sit on the SDDS board of trustees. I was appointed to several committees, as well as alternate to the then newly formed New York State Dental Association (NYSDA) House of Delegates. The following year, I became a seated SDDS board member and served on the Council on Governmental Affairs, where dentists meet politicians who can make or break the practice of dentistry. We try to make the politicians aware of the implications and detriments of their policies towards the dental profession. NYSDA, with the guidance of our lobbyist and our attorney, Lance Plunckett, examines every bill aimed at dentistry and helps politicians understand the impact of such legislation. In time, I was elected as an officer of the SDDS and rose through the ranks to become president of the Society.
The beauty of being a member of organized dentistry is that the volunteers make this organization great through their dedication to helping all members thrive. The SDDS Board is filled with both new and seasoned professionals with knowledge and experience in all aspects of dentistry. Having a large, diverse and engaged membership on the local, state and national levels gives us the resources to allow our profession to thrive and grow stronger for years to come.
For 2023, I hope to uphold the integrity and dedication of the many presidents that have served before me. I pledge to serve the SDDS board of trustees and our membership to the best of my ability. The world is constantly changing and dentistry should evolve with those changes. Whether it is economic, governmental or technological changes, your board of trustees and the dental society staff remain ready to help you in any way they can.
I would be remiss not to mention what makes the Society work at peak performance: the dedicated staff at SDDS, who are second to none. Bernard Hackett, our fearless leader, is the epitome of an executive director and I thank him for his stewardship. Christine and Stephanie, who handle our daily operations, are absolutely wonderful to work with and have settled into their positions effortlessly. I would also like to thank the SDDS board of trustees, who are the heart and soul of the organization. They volunteer their time and effort with no reward other than the betterment of our dental society. Lastly, to all our members who volunteer for various committees on both the state and local levels, I cannot say thanks enough. Remember, the dental society is here to serve its membership. Take me up on coming to a meeting and sharing a glass of wine with us; it may make dentistry a little more appealing.
Raymond Flagiello, DDS
2023 Second District Dental Society President