President-Elect’s Message

Pilar Valderrama- pic When I was reading the report of our latest membership survey, I realized that our members think we are doing good and are very pleased with the performance of our organization; however, good is the enemy of great! Change is key for progression and improvement of any organization. Professional organizations should go through changes in a similar way that the world around us changes. In order for an organization to maintain its relevance, it is required to have the capability to adjust to changing times. The leadership of our society, represented by all our components, maintains high levels of commitment to warrant our mission accomplishment.

The Executive Committee is working with devoted humility and professional will to achieve our goals. The Board of Directors works with invaluable commitment and vigorous pursuit of our vision and fulfillment of our strategic plan. Our committee members all contribute with their individual capabilities to the achievements of their group objectives; and of course CMP Management, Inc., our management team, organizes all our resources for the effective and efficient pursuit of our objectives. Finally, all our members play an important role in making productive contributions, overseeing the temperature of the surrounding professional climate, and giving back recommendations for improvement. The vitality of the profession, however, is mainly given by the ability to maintain a vibrant participation of the young new members.

If you ever wonder if we have an inclusive society, I would like to present some of the strategies the Society has in place to support our residents and new members. Over the years, Student Members have received the support needed to attend the meetings at no cost. On multiple occasions, Active Members have provided support with traveling and housing for residents traveling within the region to attend the meetings. We have committee positions specifically designated to be occupied by Student Members because we want to hear their ideas and suggestions. We know that because we have been doing this for years, it doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t do it in a different way if it is for the best. We have sought sponsorship from the dental industry for research awards. We have created a tiered membership to facilitate the transition from student membership to active membership. We have sponsorship programs for new periodontists in the region through an invitation from Active Members. Also, we are featuring a new young member in the Probe highlighting young periodontists thriving in the SWSP.

Our membership committee is actively looking for ways to attract and retain our recent graduates. This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of young members. We work closely with the residency program in the region to ensure that their residents receive the opportunity to become members, in most cases sponsored by the resident director or the graduate periodontics program itself. Recently, we have been working closely with the financial committee to create awards to recognize members who contribute significantly in research education and service in our society. We are constantly working to find ways to better support and serve our members.

I think many of us in the Society have positive memories from when we were new members of the SWSP. We are characterized by our mentorship and colleagueship. We have maintained very stable membership numbers throughout the years and we continue to grow according to our expectations in a better way compared to other dental associations. I want to thank all of you for your contributions and look forward to seeing you in New Orleans. Finally, I want to encourage you to continue supporting our society by attending our meetings, to continue working for the SWSP with your unique talents, to invite a nonmember periodontist to become a member, to volunteer to work on any of our committees and, to support our resident members and young members in any way you can.

Pilar Valderrama, DDS, MS
President-Elect 2018-2019


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