Welcome back to Patterson Profiles, a series where we sit down with a Patterson Dental VIP for an in-depth chat about their personal involvement with a philanthropic or professional development organization. These individuals pursue their passions with purpose, and personify Patterson’s commitment to community!
Previous installments have detailed Regional President Paul Guggenheim’s relationship with the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, and Director of Merchandise Marketing Mike Smurr’s work championing the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention. Today we speak with our Director of Customer Engagement, 19-year Patterson veteran Jennifer Hannon. Throughout the last 5 years, Jennifer has demonstrated personal and professional passion for her role as partner, champion, and vocal advocate of the American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM).
It is my belief that a company is more than a brand, an institution of business, or even a collection of functional talent. When done right, a company personifies an engaging culture, connectivity of teams, and pride. Embracing support of professional organizations is a business’ responsibility to the dental & local community via development of partnerships and fostered connection with employees.
2. There are many worthy professional organizations to work with. What drew you to the American Association of Dental Office Management?
My initial connection to the American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM) came via recommendation by one of my dear friends, Kim McQueen. As former Patterson representative and current AADOM Executive Director, Kim spoke with pride, passion, and conviction about AADOM. Through her eyes, I saw AADOM as a place of connective community, education, and a beacon of belonging. I knew I wanted to be involved and represent Patterson in the support of the dental management professional’s access to education and resources to enhance their personal development.
3. How does your involvement in AADOM align with Patterson’s core values?
140 years in business has afforded Patterson the opportunity to grow in share of voice within the dental community. Recognizing their global footprint early on, Patterson embraced AADOM’s holistic approach to lifting up one’s community, and bringing forward and spreading the good they do. Once a whisper, today AADOM’s voice is loud and truly heard. Like the leaders before me, I embrace my role as partner, champion, and vocal advocate in support of holistic dental team member personal growth, development, and collaborative connections. The mutual connections between AADOM, Patterson, and the dental community as a whole, is an evergreen success story.
4. What does your role within AADOM look like?
As Patterson lead, I have the privilege of partnering with other core marketing minds within the dental industry to help drive Patterson’s and AADOM’s connective mission among our employee and dental communities alike. Delivering ongoing education, providing access to subject matter experts, funding chapter start-ups, sponsoring new customer AADOM membership access, and awarding 8 office manager scholarships to AADOM’s annual conference, are just a few of the core opportunities that I find most fulfilling in my role as Patterson’s AADOM lead. It is impressive to watch these winners year after year return to their offices educated, energized, and ready to affect change within their practices and their communities. Many scholarship winners have taken what Patterson/AADOM have afforded them and paid it forward by starting local chapters to bring education into their local communities and serving as mentors to others when needed – charity begins at home and by helping those in need! Patterson and AADOM have been able to create a ripple effect for not only the health of the practice, but ultimately that of the patient.
5. Where would you say your involvement in AADOM has added the most value?
I feel the most value that I provide has been the extendibility of the organization’s awareness among the office management community, paired with commitment to ongoing education through exposure to leading business experts and thought leaders. I’m thankful to be able to partner with the talented and extensive network of Patterson professional sales representatives and local branch personnel who directly evangelize the AADOM story via chapter set-up and support in a face-to-face dental community connection, while I lean in via extension through providing additional marketing support.
6. What greater meaning comes from your involvement with AADOM?
In the recent past, I’ve had the personal privilege to partner with both AADOM and Oral Health America (OHA), in the design and marketing of a program called “A Future to Smile About.” Through this initiative, Patterson and AADOM each donated $50 of every AADOM membership fee to Oral Health America in support of their oral health advocacy and care programs. For two years running, Patterson and AADOM were jointly able to raise nearly $30,000 in in-kind donations to OHA.
7. What’s a favorite memory you made during your time working with AADOM?
There truly is an intimacy and passion in the dental community that I feel simply cannot be matched. From the collective campaign & program development brainstorms with the AADOM team, to the one-on-one connections made with our fabulous Patterson Scholarship winners, choosing one single memory is simply not possible! Just look at the infectious energy of this year’s group of scholarship winners:
8. What is one thing about AADOM that people may not know?
AADOM’s entry into the dental market first began in rally and support of the Office Management team. While so many other professional networks/organizations existed to support other roles within in the dental practice, there was little to no support of the professional office manager. Recognizing the void, Heather Collichio envisioned, launched, and has grown this community that so many had hungered for. Understanding that communities grow and evolve, however, Heather and her team continue to embrace extended office teams in their network. Once attended by office managers only, the AADOM annual conference has now become a go-to event for the entire office staff.
9. What does success look like with AADOM?
Awareness and membership growth will continue to equal success for AADOM. Through growth in the dental market, AADOM will continue to embrace office managers and their teams in educational support, mentorship and camaraderie networks, advocacy around the importance of the office manager role, etc. It is my desire to help to continue to strengthen and amplify AADOM’s voice within the entire dental community.
10. What is the biggest challenge facing AADOM?
The importance in recognizing the role of office management continues to evolve. Smart, driven, and business-oriented in mindset, office managers continue to expand awareness around the expert value they bring to the business management function. From marketing, to human resources, accounting, security, and payroll, office managers are truly proving the assets they bring to the dental business. It is important that the office manager not only advocate for and support their practice (team) budget, but they should also budget for their personal professional growth. Allowing themselves access to AADOM membership ensures that they, too, are receiving the professional care and feeding that their careers deserve.
11. What can people expect from AADOM in the next few years?
Watch out for continued growth as AADOM stays at the forefront of the changes affecting the dental business/community today. They will continue to be on the cusp of members’ biggest challenges through the intimate connections they foster, chapter growth, and the attentive approach in how they listen to their customers’ voices.
12. How can interested groups and individuals get involved with AADOM?
Budget time and dollars for your professional development then go to DentalManagers.com and sign up for a membership. All new Patterson customers can enjoy their first year’s membership on us! If you’re a new Patterson customer, use this link when signing up today. It’s just that easy.