Sitting Down with Dr. Vince Rapini MDA Past President and Current ADA Second Vice President


r. Vince Rapini, MDA past president, was elected ADA Second Vice President at the Association’s 2019 House of Delegates. We asked him to tell us more about the election process and what he’s learning along the way. A 1980 graduate of the UMKC School of Dentistry, Dr. Rapini is currently an assistant professor in the department of clinical dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. He previously practiced general dentistry in Webster Groves.

Tell us how your involvement with orga- nized dentistry grew into an interest to en- gage at the national level? I have always felt it was important to be a member of orga- nized dentistry. I became an MDA member weeks after graduation from UMKC. As a dental student, I found the organizational and governance structure of the tripartite interesting and thought that at some point in my career I would like to get involved. As a young dentist, I regularly attended the tripartite’s CE events. Once my practice and family matured, I was able to serve as a Director on the Greater St. Louis (GSLDS) Board of Directors. For the past 21 years, I have had the privilege of continuously representing/serving our members.

Once you decided to seek the office of ADA Second Vice President, tell us about that campaign and election process. Being a can- didate for ADA Second Vice President is a unique experience. I began organizing a cam- paign committee and developing a campaign message more than a year before the election. During the months prior to the election, I refined my campaign message; produced a short campaign video for the delegates to review; and, began writing (and rewriting) the speech I would give to the House.

The days before the election at the conven- tion were a continual whirlwind of activ- ity. At the Opening Session of the House of Delegates, the prospective candidates address the assembled delegates. Because I was running unopposed, the House Speaker, Dr. Glenn Hall pronounced me Second Vice President by acclamation immediately after I addressed the House. (For the record, I did have an opponent for a while in the middle of July. They withdrew from the race 10 days after announcing their candidacy.)

ADA is seen as a remote, bureaucratic or- ganization which is far removed from the problems dentists face daily. On the ADA Board, I intend to represent and be a voice for all our members.

19 Vincent Rapini, D.D.S. | Second Vice President Candidate

What are the duties and term of the Second Vice President? The ADA Bylaws define the framework of the Second Vice President’s duties succinctly: assist the President as requested; serve as a non-voting member of the ADA House of Delegates; and, serve as a voting member of the ADA Board of Trustees. Naturally, there is quite a bit more to do than what the bylaws minimally specify. I will serve a one-year term as Second VP and then an additional year as First VP. At the ADA, the First Vice President does not automatically accede to the office of Presi- dent-Elect when your term is completed.

The cover of Dr. Rapini’s official 2019 ADA campaign brochure.

On Caucus Day, all candidates personally visit each caucus, meet the delegations and answer any questions they may have. That day, I had appointments with the 17 cau- cuses, as well as the AAP, AAMOS, AGD and ASDA delegations. My first caucus appoint- ment was at 5:30am and my last one was at 3:30pm. The Caucus Day marathon was not yet over, for in the evening there were three receptions to attend. At these I was able to discuss issues with delegates individually. That was a long day!

What does it mean to you, personally, to have been elected to a position by the ADA House of Delegates? It is an honor as well as a privi- lege to be elected an officer of the ADA by the House of Delegates, the representatives of our national membership. Our general membership usually interacts more with their component and constituent societies than they do with the ADA. All too often the

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Has it been significantly different than that of the state level? Such as, we have a new board member orientation—what training did you receive for this office? Collectively, newly elected officers and trustees are well prepared for their Board service. Last December in Chicago, all new officers and trustees at- tended a two-day orientation on ADA opera- tions, ‘corporate structure’, Board duties and responsibilities. Additionally, we attended a two-day CEO Symposium hosted by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

The transition from serving on the MDA Board of Trustees to the ADA Board has been seamless. Procedurally, the Boards function exactly the same. In terms of governance they are very similar. We are very fortunate that our state component, the MDA, has outstanding leadership both on the Board and in the central office. Some other state associations are in complete disarray—in

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