President's Welcome

Fijal - Welcome

Leadership matters. I first heard those words from our pastor, Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church, during one of the church’s past Global Leadership Summits. 

Leadership matters. It matters in our families, our communities, our practices and our profession. Without leadership we have no direction, no vision, and our lives are lived without purpose. That is why I chose this year’s theme, “LEADERSHIP: Cornerstone For Success.” On behalf of the Chicago Dental Society’s Board of Directors and staff, my wife, Jan, and I would like to extend our invitation to attend this year’s 152nd Midwinter Meeting. The intent of this year’s meeting is to enhance everyone’s leadership skills through a variety of classes that are offered for each member of the dental team. Knowing the clinicians speaking are already considered leaders in their field, I have asked each of them to take a small amount of time in their courses to share with you what leadership means to them, how they demonstrate their own leadership style, and what tips they can impart that will help improve your leadership when you return to the office.

This year’s General Chair, James Robinson, and Program Chair, Philip Schefke, have worked tirelessly to put together a program and meeting that you won’t want to miss. Working closely with our Director of Scientific Programs, Ted Borris, they have focused on the team approach to the dental delivery system, allowing each member to improve both their clinical and interpersonal skills. More than 125 clinicians have been invited to give some 200 courses over the three days of the meeting. Returning this year is a number of world renowned clinicians that have been absent from our meeting for some time. We have also brought back live patient demonstrations that were such a success. In order to make the meeting more affordable, we have introduced some cost reducing incentives that many members can take advantage of, including lowering registration fees for multiple attendees and lower course fees, while still maintaining more than 50 percent free courses.

If you want to take a break from the courses, head to the exhibit floor. There you will find the latest in products, materials, equipment and services that can enhance your practice in many different ways. With more than 700 companies exhibiting, there is a huge selection for every practice type. On the floor, members will again be able to redeem their rebate coupon for purchases during the meeting; and you can receive an hour of CE for just perusing the exhibits. If you get hungry, enjoy the diverse selections in the food court across from the Exhibit Hall entrance, with ample seating for the whole team.

We are particularly proud of this year’s social events. To continue the leadership theme, we are thrilled to have John McDonough, President of the Chicago Blackhawks, as our Opening Session speaker on Thursday afternoon. John has been the architect of a winning program; he will share with us his leadership secrets. Attendees will also be able to celebrate the winners of the Chicago Dental Society Foundation’s Vision Award, the CDS Communications Committee Cushing Award and the Gordon Christensen Award. On Friday we will again have our always popular fashion show and luncheon produced by ZZAZZ Productions, this year entitled Fashion Leaders Rock the Runway. At the end of the day we will have both the New Dentist Reception as well as a new reception for the whole dental team. Later that night put on your favorite cowboy boots because for the first time ever, CDS is Kicking It Up Country at the Park West, with one of the Midwest’s best country cover bands — American Country. This will be a night you don’t want to miss. Our meeting will conclude with the President’s Dinner Dance, this year with our favorite High Society Orchestra.

Something else my pastor shared rings true and relates to this meeting, “Everyone wins when a leader gets better.” It is my honor and privilege to serve this society, and it is my hope you will thoroughly enjoy this year’s meeting.

Phillip J. Fijal, DDS, FAGD, FICD, FACD
President, Chicago Dental Society, 2017