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AO Now February 2017 Member Newsletter

Please enjoy reading the AO Now February edition, which includes:

PDF Online 

  • Message from International President Mervyn Druian
  • Externship Program 
  • AO Midwinter Dinner in Chicago
  • Paris Lecture - March
  • Building Bridges - March 
  • AO Germany Shabbat - March 
  • European Convention in Lyon 
  • December Meeting in December 
  • Compendium Partnership + January Issue
  • Houston Beta Eta Chapter
  • NY Event 
  • Alsace

 AONowFeb17 1

Laurie Gordon-Shaw Awarded the 2016 Alpha Omega Meritorious Service Award

Laurie Gordon ShawLaurie was presented with the 2016 Alpha Omega Meritorious Service Award during the International Convention in San Francisco this past December. Laurie was surrounded by family and friends who were thrilled that she received AO’s highest honor devoted only to members.

Laurie was first introduced to AO by Colin Shaw who then introduced her to his brother, David Shaw. Laurie and David later married and have raised two children, Jenna and Adam. While she has been building a thriving family practice in Blue Island for over 29 years, Laurie has always been deeply involved in her community. She has been a major contributor to all the activities of the AO Illinois Alumni Chapter, having chaired their programs, served as Chapter President , and represented them at more than 30 AO International Conventions.

She was also an active Member-at-Large with the AO U.S. Foundation.  For the past two years, Laurie has been the Chicago Ambassador for the AO-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program. Laurie has been an amazing champion of the program and has encouraged local members to get involved and treat this most vulnerable population.

2016 Alpha Omega Certificate of Merit Awarded to Andrew Eder, BDS

2016 Certificate of Merit Award Presentation

Presented during the 2016 AO International Convention, December, San Francisco, California 

Andrew EderPlease join me in thanking the members of my committee: Past International Presidents Max Cutler and Howard Pranikoff, Fraters Gary Scharoff and Fred Margolis, Z”L. The charge of this committee was to bring forth a candidate who shall be recognized for Outstanding and Exemplary service at the international or chapter level of Alpha Omega for over 10 years.

This year's recipient not only meets but exceeds these criteria. His ceaseless efforts have impacted all who know him.  Our recipient's big heart along with a gentle demeanor have had an indelible, lasting and personal impact on the students and alumni that he engages.

Our recipient received a degree from St. Paul’s School in London and qualified as a dentist in 1986 from King’s College Hospital Dental school. Our recipient moved to the Eastman in 1989 where he undertook postgraduate training and completed a Master’s in Conservative Dentistry in 1990. 

Alpha Omega has been a large part of our recipient's life.  He has held numerous positions in the London chapter and has been chairman of the Alpha Omega London Charitable Trust since 2003. The trust has contributed over 500,000 Pounds to dental and healthcare projects across the globe, primarily for the underprivileged and those with special care needs.  

As a specialist in restorative dentistry and prosthodontics, Professor Eder maintains a multi-disciplinary referral practice in central London.  As co-editor of the British Dental Journal book on tooth surface loss he has a special interest in the etiology, demographics, and clinical management of patients with tooth wear and is clinical director of the London tooth wear center.

In recognition of his various professional, charitable and communal roles and contributions, Professor Eder has received several awards including honorary fellowships and degrees and prizes for teaching and learning and has entries in both Who’s Who and Debrett’s People of Today. 

It is a with a great deal of pleasure that Alpha Omega presents the 2016 Certificate of Merit to Frater Andrew Eder.

Respectfully submitted,

Steven Braunstein, Past International President
Chair, Certificate of Merit Committee

Compendium January 2017 Issue - Alpha Omega Contribution

AO is pleased to have a partnership with AEGIS Communications, publisher of the exceptional Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry.  In the January 2017 issue, AO has a featured CE article: 

Fusion of a Maxillary Central and Lateral Incisor With a Congenitally Missing Lateral: A 10-Year Conservative, Esthetic Approach

Leslie Stone Hirsh, DDS; Peter M. Greco, DMD; Jay B. Laudenbach, DMD; and Alan M. Atlas, DMD



Compendium January 2017

Tribute to AO Frater Fred Margolis, Z"L

Contribution by Frater Michael Stern
Published in the 2016 AO International Convention Program Book




It is with utmost respect and admiration that Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity mourns the loss of our friend and frater, Fred Margolis.  Fred was a force in this world: a humble man whose mission in life was to be kind and thoughtful to others, advance the practice of dentistry, and spread his experiences and knowledge to the entire dental community. 

FullSizeRenderFred loved the concept of family, and throughout his lifetime he was devoted to many.  Each was a little circle or community that was devoted to him and he to them.  First and foremost was his family; he often spoke with reverence of his love for his devoted wife, Susie, and their two wonderful children, David and Adam.  Their relationship set an example of how two people can spend a life supporting each other’s desires and dreams.

In his office, he had the respect of his staff.  His office family would follow him wherever he asked them to go and do whatever he wanted them to do, staying with him for years.  In return, he supported them in their endeavors.  And,Fred and Employees we know of his Alpha Omega family.  Many times, he would mention how Alpha Omega affected his life.  His motto was, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” and, from his involvement in AO, he made many lifelong friends.  Not only was AO a portal for him to meet other top clinicians, his warm and engaging demeanor was a magnet that attracted all members to him.   In conversation, Fred repeatedly remarked that he considered his AO fraters as his brothers, and he would always do what he could to help them. His reward was the knowledge of helping others.  In that vain, he accepted several leadership positions with AO, being first a member of the fraternity board and then taking on the daunting task of being an International Editor.  In addition, he volunteered to be the Chairman of Continuing Education, arranging lectures, ensuring that our AGD and ADA certifications were current, and traveling to local chapters to give lectures on pediatric dentistry.  For his exceptional and effective service to the Fraternity, he was awarded the Alpha Omega Meritorious Service Award in 2011.

Fred’s world, however, was not just AO.  The world was his family, and he made a lasting impact.  Fred was devoted to helping the disadvantaged and served as chairman of the Special Olympics/Special Smiles program in the Chicago area.  He was the past-president of the Illinois Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped and served Dental Volunteers for Israel as a board member.  He was honored as a pillar of the community for his support of the clinic at Tel Aviv University.

Above all was his lasting impact as a dental educator.  He was a Clinical Instructor at Loyola University’s Oral Health Center and an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry.  He also lectured internationally on Pediatric Dentistry, Laser Dentistry and Dentistry for the Handicapped.  He authored articles for both lay and professional publications and authored books on Pediatric Laser Dentistry and Beautiful Smiles for Special People, a course manual for dental personnel treating disabled patients.  His interest in the advancement of Pediatric Dentistry led him to form the Institute For Advanced Dental Education, giving other practitioners the opportunity to advance their practice of Pediatric Dentistry and become certified in Laser Dentistry.  Fred was one of the few people who have a lasting impact on dentistry, changing it forever.

Fred received many awards.  The Illinois Dental Society recognized him with the Distinguished Member Award.  In 2013, Fred was honored with the George H. Cushing Award from the Chicago Dental Society.  Fellowships in the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, the Pierre Fouchard Academy, and the Academy of Dentistry International, as well as Mastership in the Academy of Laser Dentistry, attested to his commitment to excellence and service to others.  In 2011, Fred was presented with the prestigious Humanitarian Award from the Academy of General Dentistry.

20150328 130513Above all, Fred was a Mensch, living life with humility and a determined desire to spend each day improving the world.   Fred’s legacy will be all of the people whose lives he touched.  They will never forget his concern for everyone who had the opportunity to come in contact with him.  When you met him, you instantly fell in love with the man.  He approached all of us with a smile and had the uncanny ability to make every one of us who knew him feel unique, important and one of his best friends.  He gave his advice to so many, both in and outside the fraternity and never asked for anything in return.  For this, he was truly an angel whose wings encircled us all and made us better for knowing him. 

AO Washington DC Chapter Capital AlumNotes - January 2016

Please enjoy reading the Washington, DC chapter's January newsletter. 

Download PDF



AO Detroit Winter 2016-17 Newsletter

Please enjoy reading the Detroit chapter's winter newsletter. 

Download PDF

Detroit Alumni Winter 2016 Newsletter 1

AO 2017 Florida December Meeting

 AO 2017 Florida Meeting Logo










$255 per night (plus tax) for an intercoastal room. Available from December 24, 2017 - January 4, 2018.

Link: http://bit.ly/HarborBeachMarriottAOGroup

• One night’s hotel deposit per room is required when making a reservation.Deposit is refundable if cancelling before November 30th.
• Room rate is for two people.
• Registration must be completed within 30 days of securing a hotel reservation.


Link: http://bit.ly/2017AODecemberMeeting

$875 Alumni or Retired Frater & Spouse/Partner
$475 Single Alumni or Retired Frater
$775 Young Alumni & Spouse/Partner
$400 Young Alumni (within 5 years after earning DDS or DMD)
$350 Dental Student

8am - 4pm Board of Directors Meeting
4pm - 7pm Registration
9pm Hospitality

9am - 11am First Business Meeting
1pm - 4pm Second Business Meeting
6pm - 7pm Memorial Service and
Kabbalat Shabbat
7pm - 9pm Shabbat Dinner
9:30pm Hospitality

7:30am - 9:30am Shabbat Service
Free Day

9am - 12pm Continuing Education
7pm - 9:30pm Installation Dinner
10:30pm - 1am New Year’s Eve party


AO Executive Director Heidi Weber Earns CAE Designation

Heidi WeberThe American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) has announced that Heidi Weber, Executive Director of the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation.  

The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry.  To be designated as a Certified Association Executive, an applicant must have a minimum of three years experience with nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management, and pledge to uphold a code of ethics.

To maintain the certification, individuals must undertake ongoing professional developmentand activities in association and nonprofit management. More than 4,200 association professionals currently hold the CAE credential. The CAE Program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. 

Heidi has been the AO Executive Director for over five years and prior to that she has more than 15 years of experience spanning corporate marketing, product management and life cycle, healthcare and trade associations.  Heidi acts as the visionary leader and facilitator of the oldest dental and medical membership organization with 5,000 members worldwide. She has successfully worked as a transition specialist and has worked in concert with member leaders on strategic planning, governance, financial, operational and mission-related activities. Heidi is overseeing the execution of the Alpha Omega/Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Program, a three-year pilot program that answered the call from the White House in late 2014. The program has expanded from nine cities to 15 under Heidi's leadership and direction. Over 400 Holocaust Survivors have been treated. Throughout her career, Heidi has had the ability to establish a professional rapport with all stakeholders in order to effectively expand organizational capacity.


2017 Presidential Speech - AO Convention San Francisco

DruianGreetings everyone.

When I look around at this wonderful gathering, full of Alpha Omegans together with spouses, partners and friends, I’m reminded of the comment of Mark Twain. He was visiting England when a report got through to him that his obituary had just been published in New York. He immediately wired back to the United States that “the report of my death was an exaggeration. To be honest he had been ill but not that ill. Well, to me it's the same with AO, l started the year as President Elect of this brilliant organisation, to be told this Convention would be the last ever Convention. And AO is dying. Those reports are premature and I hope you've signed up for the European Meeting in Lyon and for what looks like a wonderful next Convention in Florida.

Do you know 110 years ago there was no AO, but plenty of anti-Semitism, discrimination, and racism? AO started in Baltimore 110 years ago by Jewish Dental Students to fight all this. It became the voice of the Jew in dentistry and has achieved an enormous amount. AO has been at the forefront in fighting anti-Semitism, discrimination and racism. And yet AO is as relevant today as it was then. If only we could get our fellow colleagues to see this. We only have to see what is going on at Universities in the States and in Europe. Try being a Jewish student. Try walking around with a kippah. Try and get an Israeli speaker and you almost get a riot. And this was Oxford University. One of the greatest seats of learning. It is crazy. And now the B D S Movement. To boycott, divest, or apply sanctions to anything Israeli is an affront to any self-respecting democratic individual. We are the voice of the Jew in Dentistry. Are we making ourselves heard?

Somehow, just as our forebears did in 1907, we need to get to our fellow Jewish colleagues and resonate with them, we need to renew our efforts and re-engage our colleagues and friends. We now have this brilliant status of Associate Membership. And just look what AO has indeed achieved, The Dental Schools in Israel, the ambulances bought, the philanthropy undertaken, and now the amazing Holocaust Survivors Programme. At this point I must just thank Henry Schein Cares for their contribution and assistance with this amazing project. Our history has been awesome, but for now let us lock these achievements away and look to the future. Standing still is tantamount to extinction.

I want to mention Abraham Maslow, a famous social anthropologist. Maslow developed Man's Hierarchy of Needs in the shape of a pyramid. At the bottom Man is struggling for his physiological needs, e.g. Food, Water, Air, Warmth, Shelter etc. As Man progresses up the ladder, family life, relationships, self-esteem, self-worth, self actualising develops until the pinnacle, the top of the pyramid is reached. That is until a sense of contribution is developed. This is the apogee, the highest level man can achieve is a sense of contribution. Brilliant!!!! How amazing. A person feels the greatest fulfilment by contributing to the greater good.   Hmmm!!!

And now my friends, let me talk about Viktor Frankl. Holocaust Survivor, Psychiatrist, Academic, Author and Family Man.

In 1943, Viktor Frankl, the most famous Psychiatrist in Vienna, together with his family was thrown in to a boxcar and shipped off to Auschwitz. On arrival, his family were sent immediately to the gas chambers and murdered. Frankl, being of a good physique was sent to a labour camp. He relates all this in his outstanding book "Mans Search for Meaning" An amazing book, published in many languages and still very much in print.

One night, outside in the freezing cold in those vile striped uniforms, Frankl said to himself, if I am to survive this experience I will need to fulfil 3 criteria. I will keep a vision of myself lecturing to my beloved students in a warm bright auditorium, secondly I will use whatever medical skill I have to help my fellow man. And thirdly whatever the Nazis do to me they will never ever take away my power to choose my own attitude. Awesome. What a lesson. Frankl survived and when he died a few years ago the Times of London had a full page obituary for this remarkable man. Only one in 27 people survived the Holocaust.

You know when people ask what one gets out of AO, I smile, I think of of the friendships, local, national and international. I think of the philanthropy in the past, in the present and what will be done in the future. In fact Andy and I believe we are the lucky ones to be members of AO I just want take a brief minute to congratulate the French Chapters on the wonderful work they've done in the past year and the terrific amount of money they have raised, for local causes and for Israel. Kol Hakavod.

At this point, I would like to address a few words to our Past International Presidents. The tPIPs…Those that are here and those who, unfortunately, could not attend Convention. You are like our parents, you have achieved the highest office AO can offer, please please stay connected with AO. We need you, we respect you and we love you.   Please stay engaged with the Fraternity, stay engaged with us, help us, advise us and mentor us. And to PIP John Wolffe its comforting knowing there is a PIP in London.

Let me say how thrilled I am to see Ken Spektor here. He has had so many challenges in the past year but I knew he would do everything in his power to be here.

I want to thank the outgoing Board members for their hard work and commitment, and also to welcome the new Board. Hopefully you will have a stimulating and fulfilling year.

Also, it's been great having meetings with the Admin Board, I must personally thank, Alan Moltz, Gail Schupak, and Steve Spitz for staying on Board. You've all been really great.

To our Marshalls, Mike Tenenbaum and Marty Braverman. You guys have excelled yourselves.     What a terrific Convention this is. Your enthusiasm and concern has been awesome.

I want to thank Heidi, our Executive Director, for her contribution to AO this year. She has already helped me a great deal in preparing for my term of office.

Additionally this will be the first time that I can recall that I will be serving on an AO Board without a Stabholz. I'm going to miss you guys. You have no idea what a wicked sense of humour Ayala has. I just loved sitting next to her. You guys are really inspirational.

I also must comment on how delighted I am Steve Marsh will be following me. It's great to know that when I am in Wendy's place next year AO will be passing on to a very safe pair of hands.

But here I need to address our outgoing International President. Wendy, your passion, your commitment. Your love for AO is beyond exemplary. We have been so fortunate to have had you (with a little help from your Michael and Avi Wurman) as our International President. We've had a very good year working together, long may this continue. It's just a pain in the neck Seattle being 8 hours behind London.

I can honestly say Wendy totally dedicated this past year to AO. Again Kol Hakavod.

Huge congratulations to our Achievement Award recipient Dean Alfano To our Meritorious Awardee Laurie Gordon Shaw, how well deserved. And to our Certificate of Merit recipient, the London Chapter's own Andrew Eder. Warmest congratulations.

To my sister Denise and her husband Frank, from Atlanta, now you know why Andy and I keep coming back to Convention, it's totally addictive. It's terrific you are here and Nina, my dental assistant and now associate member of AO. And to all those first timers to Convention, they just get better and better. Everyone is different but all are terrific. And of course, next year in Florida. You can actually register now. We need to thank Avi, Alan Moltz, Steve Marsh and Heidi for getting it organised.

My friends, I believe we, as dentists, belong to one of the luckiest professions. And I would like to turn our attention to those less fortunate than ourselves. In fact there are two projects I'd like to talk about. Both dealing with challenged children.

One is SHALVA. An amazing organisation in Israel, dedicated to providing quality care for children with disabilities, empower their families, and promoting social change. Non-denominational and free of charge. Shalva's programmes run from infancy to adulthood. Remarkable. Andy and I visited this outstanding institution in Jerusalem and were blown away. Please remember this organisation. Google it. How amazing it would be if we could get our Chapters involved. It's a terrific set up. Truly!! They also have a fully equipped dental hygiene centre.

The other is ALEH. Israel's largest network of care for children with severe multiple disabilities. Over 700 children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and medical conditions receive advanced medical, educational and rehabilitative care in ALEH's four residential facilities. In addition ALEH provides over 26000 outpatient treatments annually. At ALEH, they look beyond the disability to the child within. By nurturing development and enriching the quality of life, they try to enable each child to reach their potential.

The other thing is our brilliant organisation is about to turn 110. Imagine if all our members donated $110 to the Fraternity. Or even multiples of $110. What a fitting celebration this would be. Donating $110 to celebrate this great milestone. This is only a suggestion. Let's see if it gets legs.

And so, Andy and I have committed ourselves to AO this year (actually we're committed every year), let's all of us make this a year of renewal, a year of re engagement and a year of re commitment

And finally I want to leave you all with 3 quotations that are very meaningful to me and I hope to you too. To quote my great friend and mentor, our Achievement Medal recipient at the last San Francisco Convention Dr. Omer K Reed. The real Father of Practice Management, pioneer, innovator, mentor to many, many colleagues, and probably the most positive influence in dentistry for a generation. Omer always said: "Do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, with the right people, FOR THE RIGHT REASONS"

And from former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks “To be a Jew is to help heal a broken world. We are the people who don't stand still. We are the people for whom life is a journey to a world of justice, compassion and healing; which is not yet; but which we will not cease, until we help bring it about."

And for a final thought, again from Chief Rabbi Sacks, which I would like to leave you with:

"Optimism is the belief that things are going to get better. HOPE is the belief that that WE can make things better. Optimism is passive, HOPE is active.   It takes no courage to be an optimist, but it does need courage to HOPE.”

Let us go on this journey together optimistic in outlook, but with HOPE in our hearts that Alpha Omega is again going to thrive.

Thank you!!

Mervyn Druian
2017 International President



Please contact Heidi Weber, Executive Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 301-738-6400, for more information about Alpha Omega or about the individuals listed below. 

Perry Brickman, DDS -  2012 AO Convention:  Speaking at Opening Business Session 

Michael Spektor, DDS - 2012 International President 

Marcy Schwartzman, DMD - 2012 International President-Elect 

Adam Stabholz, DMD - 2012 Achievement Medal Award Recepient 

R. Bruce Donoff, DMD, MD - 2011 Achievement Medal Award Winner

Fred Margolis, DDS - 2011 Meritorious Service Award Winner


News and updates from Alpha Omega's current president.

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