Posted 2 months ago


The Chicago Dental Society (CDS) was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878.  CDS represents the interests of dentists, promotes the science and art of dentistry and advocates for improving oral health for all.

CDS is part of a tripartite membership relationship with the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS); thus, CDS dentist members are also ADA and ISDS members. As such, dues for each organization (CDS, ISDS and ADA) are collected at the state level and belong to each level:  component (local), constituent (state) and national.  The state and national organizations each represent their respective members.

As a local society with such a wide geographic area, active members are from Cook, Lake and DuPage counties and all other members are associate members. CDS is divided into nine branches:  Englewood, Kenwood/Hyde Park, North Side, North Suburban, Northwest Side, Northwest Suburban, South Suburban, West Side and West Suburban.  Each branch has its own officers, directors, and committees to handle its affairs. The branches meet regularly for business, educational and social programs.

Headquartered in downtown Chicago, CDS has 4,100 members and is led by a 15-member Board of Directors.  With 16 full time staff, and an annual operating budget of $7-8 million, CDS provides a variety of professional development programs and resources to the membership and the profession. Guided by a belief that all families should have access to quality oral healthcare, CDS is also the only component dental society that operates a free dental clinic for the underserved and low income residents through the CDS Foundation (CDSF).


Board of Directors

Five officers and one director elected by each Branch comprise the CDS Board.  Non-elected Officials include the Executive Director and the New Dentist Board Member, each appointed by the Board of Directors.

Standing Committees for 2023 include Communications, Government Affairs and Access Advocacy, Mediation / Peer Review, and Membership.

Midwinter Meeting Committees for 2023 include Exhibits, General Arrangements, Registration & Credentials, the Dental Meetings Committee (DMC), CDS Officer Sub-Committee, Scientific Program Sub-Committee, Scientific Program Management, Scientific Program Support, and the Clinician’s Lounge Committee.


The ED reports to the Board of Directors through the President. The incumbent is accountable for all management and administrative duties and those of the staff team.  Strong relationships with both staff and organization leaders (Board, Committees, related organizations, etc.) are important qualifications to succeed in the position.

Positions reporting directly to the ED include: Associate Executive Director, Office Manager, Director of Member Services, Director of Exhibit Services, Director of Publications, Director of Communications, and the Director of Scientific Programs.

CDS staff are accountable to the ED for their responsibilities.  The interdependence of staff’s functions (CDS member services, program initiatives, Midwinter Meeting execution, publications and communications, financial and administrative management, and Dental mediation/peer review matters) will generate strong results.

Sixteen staff are organized in seven areas of work:  Executive & Administrative Staff, Member Services, Midwinter Meeting Exhibitor Services, Publications, Communications, Scientific Programs & Courses, and, Complaints About a Dentist / Mediation & Peer Review. While not a direct reporting relationship, the CDS ED should build on the partnership between CDS and its Foundation to expand volunteer engagement and CDS’ reputation.


The new ED’s relationship skills will enable CDS leadership (Board, Committees, Volunteers), the staff team, and industry representatives to be ever stronger in bringing support and commitment to this key ADA Component. In addition to the position specifics, several core areas will require the incumbent’s keen attention.

Experience building stronger membership value and engagement is a significant opportunity for the next ED.  S/he will be able to communicate the value of membership engagement.  Tangible (dues and revenues) and intangible (pride and personal satisfaction) benefits will be clear and meaningful to current and potential members.  The right candidate will advise the Board, other CDS Leaders, and staff on best practices for growth and engagement, such that CDS will identify and fulfill the changing expectations and needs of members.  CDS leadership will accurately identify new member opportunities, as well as the factors required to strengthen and maintain engagement.  A continued strong partnership with CDSF will enhance CDS and its members’ reputations, based on meaningful contributions to the public.

Recovery from COVID’s impact is the foundation of many other opportunities.  CDS has felt COVID’s influence in dues and program revenue reductions.  Interruption of the Midwinter Meeting and related revenues and engagement reductions must be addressed to reestablish the upward trajectory.  While there is strong optimism for a successful 2023 Midwinter meeting, expectations are that there may be a need for expanded ideation and execution for the future.

The ability to assess and identify updated processes and related outcomes is a requisite competency in the next ED.  Whether technology improvements, strong Organized Dentistry relationships (and the ability to address the myriad of challenges facing that world), capacity and commitment to CDS’ future success and resulting growth will be critical. Awareness and competency around technology and the necessary effective systems will be critical to future planning and sustained growth of the Society.


CDS is an exceptional leadership opportunity for the next ED. Consistent with the Board’s guidance, the ED will provide overall management of and administrative direction and support to all operational components, including the nine Branches, Coalition & Leadership Development Groups, and a variety of Committees (Standing and Midwinter Meeting).  Support based on long-range plans for CDS priorities will be required to implement the Board’s judgement and decisions.  The ED is the primary liaison with ISDS and ADA, as well as with CDSF.

Specific Responsibilities Include:

Board of Directors & Governance

  • Provide timely, informed, and strategic support to CDS leaders as requested or required; work with leadership to maintain and update the Strategic Plan and initiatives
  • Work with the CDS Officers, Board, Branches, other CDS leaders and staff to clearly establish rationales, identify and provide required resources, and define outcomes which meet success criteria
  • Ensure leadership decision-making is supported with appropriate information and generates innovative decision-making that will successfully take CDS into the future
  • Evaluate and identify processes which support governance innovation
  • Identify opportunities to strengthen and build the Society’s relationship with the CDS Foundation to support the CDS mission and reputation
  • Support the CDS’ reputation and relationships with organized dentistry and related dental professionals

Membership Development & Engagement

  • Guide collaborative teams (both volunteers and staff as appropriate) to apply technology to develop strategies which generate membership growth
  • Establish and evaluate membership growth based on relevant organizational norms
  • Guide and support committees/staff in developing creative membership recruitment, reflecting the broad variety of member practice types, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and the region’s broader membership population
  • Institute techniques and apply metrics to document success and identify opportunities for new initiatives and future growth
  • Identify and expand the impact of marketing and communications activities to support growth, enhance member satisfaction, and expand interest in and commitment to the Society

Personnel & Human Resources

  • Work with Leadership and Staff to identify and define a desired culture to maximize human capital throughout the Society, including staff and other human resources
  • Assess and evaluate CDS’ current HR practices, budget, and outcomes to identify and recommend appropriate policy updates
  • Ensure all personnel documents including position descriptions, Personnel Manual, related policies, compensation, and benefits, etc., are updated and utilized consistently
  • Establish goals and related metrics to assess the Society’s activities and capacity to expand and reach membership objectives
  • Engage a variety of people (staff, leadership, committees, other members, etc.) to understand the needs of CDS’ “people power” (both employee and volunteer); address opportunities based on findings

Education, Events & Engagement

  • Continue to cultivate the success of the CDS Midwinter Meeting; explore opportunities to expand and grow the event
  • Explore and develop “brand extension” opportunities for CDS offerings to generate content and related engagement increases
  • Explore and understand Director of Scientific Programs model; manage current transition
  • Evaluate staff model to support Society, Branch, and other initiatives throughout the society
  • Evaluate options to leverage current educational offerings throughout the Society and beyond

Finance & Organizational Integrity

  • Ensure all fundamental financial processes meet or exceed current accepted practices; ensure the protection and safeguard of all CDS assets; identify any required policy or procedural changes
  • Apply technology to streamline and improve all financial management processes
  • Evaluate Society pricing policies and procedures; recommend appropriate changes as needed
  • Review all other administrative procedures/processes to identify opportunities to improve the Society’s strength and capacity for growth
  • Establish approach to assess external resources (consultants, suppliers, advisors/experts, etc.) and ongoing relationships to best support CDS

Minimum Qualifications & Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in business, health care, or related field; advanced degree and/or CAE preferred
  • Demonstrated senior leadership experience including significant staff, finance, operations, events, and marketing
  • Demonstrated capability to interact successfully with related organizations and professions
  • Financial acumen and fiscally focused executive decision-maker
  • Demonstrated ability to delegate and motivate a successful staff team, evidenced by long-standing tenure of direct reports, staff trust and advancement
  • Strong oral and written communications skills including strong public speaking capabilities
  • Experience with an organization involving volunteer leadership, professional staff, large meetings, enduring educational materials and member service; association management experience preferred
  • Understanding and comfort level with the use and integration of technology
  • Knowledge of the dental profession and related organizations/providers considered a plus

Leadership Qualities and Personal Attributes

The successful candidate is a strategic and collaborative leader with high energy and a desire to innovate and establish operations on new projects in close partnership with a member driven association and volunteer leadership. The candidate must present a positive image of the organization and profession. The candidate must encourage a culture of respect and communicate openly with CDS officers and staff. Outstanding written and oral communication skills, problem solving and interpersonal skills, as well as an ability to listen and delegate effectively are required. The candidate must be able to articulate CDS’ value proposition (professional education, organizational excellence, and networking).

Place where work is performed:

CDS headquarters are in a leased office space on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.


This search is being conducted by Jill Christie, President, Tuft & Associates, Inc. Qualified candidates should submit, in confidence, a resume and a cover letter that outlines relevant personal qualifications to:

  • Complete the resume submission form below, and include your resume and cover letter.
  • Email your resume and cover letter to Jill Christie, c/o

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Chicago, IL