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Diversity program participants attend first session


The Indiana Dental Association’s inaugural group of AIR (Acceptance, Inclusion, Respect) participants convened in mid-September to begin a two-year leadership development track.
The 2012 IDA House of Delegates voted to support the new program, which seeks “promising leaders who are members of racial, ethnic, gender and/or sexual orientation groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in IDA leadership,” according to the House of Delegates resolution.
The participants for the inaugural Indiana AIR program are as follows:
  • David Austin, DDS, Indianapolis
  • Bolanle Balogun (IUSD), Indianapolis
  • Susanne Benedict, DDS, Fishers
  • Caroline Derrow, DDS, Auburn
  • Sarah Herd, DDS, Indianapolis
  • Kathy Pycinska, DDS, Indianapolis
  • Renee Shirer, DDS, Greenwood
  • Kelton Stewart, DDS, Indianapolis
  • LaQuia Walker, DDS, Indianapolis
Participants at the initial two-day session learned about various elements of leadership including personality, strengths, negotiation, team-building, conflict resolution and meeting management.

Dr. Suzanne Germain, who developed the concept for the AIR program as part of her participation in the ADA’s Institute for Diversity in Leadership, said the effort is a breakthrough for the IDA.
“Indiana AIR empowers underrepresented members of organized dentistry to effectively lead in their local communities and at state and national levels,” said Dr. Germain.
For more information about the AIR program contact Jay Dziwlik, Assistant Executive Director, at

View 2012 Indiana AIR photos online!

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