2011 AO Convention A Huge Success!!

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Sunshine, Sunshine, Sunshine

AO Fraters Enjoy the Warm Weather and Camaraderie


Alpha Omega Fraters from around the world joined together in Ft. Lauderdale for education, fraternity business, camaraderie, entertainment and relaxation, as well as to honor their outstanding Fraters.

The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. You could find fellow Alpha Omegans and their families at the pool or at the beach, relaxing and soaking up the sun, playing games, reading or just splashing in the water.

During our business sessions, we elected our new office holders. Marcy Schwartzman was elected International President-Elect and Gary Scharoff was elected as International Secretary. Three new members of the Board of Directors were elected: Mervyn Druian from the London chapter as International Director, Susan Rifkin from the Atlanta Chapter as the new US Regional Director, and William Steinman from the Montreal Chapter as the new Canadian Regional Director. Re-elected to an additional one-year term as International Young Alumni Director was Andrea Heckler from Toronto.

In addition, International President-Elect Michael Spektor was installed as President at Honors Night as International President Michael Tenenbaum stepped down after a highly successful year. Amy Panzok from the University of Buffalo and Stephen Boss from Columbia University were elected as the new International Student Representatives. The Alpha Omega Foundation of the United States announced two new members for their board, Jamie Feldman from Detroit and Dana Kogan from Philadelphia. Also, their new student board members are Golnaz Yeroushalmi from the University of Southern California for the US Foundation and Faryn Berger from the University of Western Ontario for the Canadian Foundation.

Many awards were also announced. Adam Stabholtz, Dean of the Hadassah/Hebrew University School of Dental Medicine, will be awarded the 2012 Alpha Omega Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to dentistry and peace. This award will be given to Adam at the 2012 AOVenture convention in December.  The Presidential Citation was awarded to three of our members for their excellent contributions during the past year. Albert Fessel was recognized for his efforts in rejuvenating the AO Chapter in Brussels, increasing it’s membership to 80 dentists. Carlos Nurko (Dallas chapter) was recognized for organizing an event during the FDI conference in Mexico City and bring local Jewish dentists together.  We hope to start an AO chapter in Mexico City in 2012.  Gary Scharoff was recognized for his ceaseless and stellar efforts during when we were force to move our headquarters from Denver to the new Rockville office. Gary put in many long hours making sure that things ran smoothly during the transition.  He has been instrumental in helping Association Director Heidi Weber create a seamless transition. In addition, Dr. Anthony Volpe was given honorary membership for his contributions to dentistry.

At Honors Night, Dr. Bruce Donoff, Dean of the Harvard School of Dentistry, was honored with the Alpha Omega Achievement Award for his instrumental leadership in dentistry. Dr. Fred Margolis was awarded Alpha Omega’s highest award to an AO member, the Meritorious Service Award, for his significant and lasting contributions to his patients, to dental education, to charitable institutions and to Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity.

An important part of convention has always been the Foundation Night Gala, which was a roaring success. Ben Williamowsky and Ellen Taranto arranged a fun evening at the Broward Center of Performing Arts for a delicious meal and entertainment: a funny show called “Laffing Matterz.”

The students were an important part of the convention. Steve Spitz and Andrea Heckler arranged a mentoring meeting that was held between students and alumni. It helped us get to know each other a little bit more. In addition, five students presented excellent and informativeposters.

Special thanks is given to Fred Margolis for putting together an interesting Continuing Education Program. Cliff Litvak presented an excellent program on Smile Design. Dean Donoff’s lecture on nerve damage and microsurgery to repair this damage was enlightening. And we all got to hear about Botox from Jennifer Schaumberg and facial cosmetic surgery from her partner, Todd Sawisch. Steve Steinberg gave an updated lecture on caries control and CAMBRA. In the afternoon, we had “Pearls” given by Howard Pranikoff (Endodontic Headaches), Dan German (3D Imaging) and Morris Rapaport (5 Ways to Increase your Success in Invisalign Extraction Cases).

Steve Steinberg also presented a fascinating lecture call “Light, Love, Life and ShaLom." Steve talked about his experiences with Parkinson’s disease, how he learned to deal with it, how his study of Torah and Talmud helped him overcome feeling sorry for himself and how he used his disability to remake himself as a lecturer and ultimately find peace.

After a busy week, everyone took time to remember our members who are no longer with us at the memorial service.  Then, we had a rousing Shabbat service, led by David Rosenthal. His beautiful voice and timely message about giving of yourself to help others in need was inspirational. Alpha Omega is like a family and we got to share this service with over 200 of our extended family. A delicious Shabbat dinner followed.

New Years Eve started off with the Foundation auction and then a New Year’s Eve party that will be remembered as one of our most successful, thanks to Arnie and Laura Feldman and Roger and Michelle Spott, along with rousing music and everyone wearing red.

Many thanks go out to Avi Wurman, our Convention Representative, Fraters Marty Braverman and Andy Lasky who were our co-marshals as well as Lory Kohlreiter and Ellie Schaumberg, where were our spouses co-marshals. Their efforts were above and beyond. Also thanks to Edie Evans and Phyllis Blum for their hard work organizing registration and to Lee Weisbard for her arrangements at honors night and Shabbat. Of course, special thanks to all of the AO Fraters and their families whose attendance made the convention a resounding success!


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Heidi Weber, Executive Director
E-Mail: hweber@ao.org


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