A Report from Committee Chair Past International President Avi Wurman
The Ben Williamowsky Meritorious Service Award is presented to an Alpha Omegan that has displayed exceptional and effective service to society. It is presented to a member who has not been International President or a current member of the Board of Directors but has demonstrated outstanding and exemplary service at the international level of the Society for over ten years. During the Alpha Omega Toronto convention, Robert Simon, DDS, was presented with the 2023 Ben Williamowsky Meritorious Service Award on June 25, 2023.
The 2023 committee comprised past meritorious service award recipients Gary Scharoff, Paul Chapnick, Michael Stern, Laurie Gordon -Shaw and Mervyn Druian.
This nominee is a 1974 graduate of the USC School of Dentistry and the Fixed Prosthodontics Program at the University of Washington in 1979 and became a board-certified prosthodontist in 1985. He is a second-generation Alpha Omegan whose father, Herb, graduated from the USC School of Dentistry in 1960. He has been actively involved in leadership roles in Alpha Omega since he joined the BOCA Chapter in Orange County. He was President of the BOCA Chapter for seven years and was the Regent of the Southern California area from 2011-2013.
Internationally, his involvement has been exemplary. He was a Member at Large of the Alpha Foundation from 2006-2008. He served as the Convention Marshal in San Diego in 2010. He returned as the Convention Marshal in Los Angeles in 2019. He also served as the International Board of Directors member from 2014-2017.
He has been a member of the Faculty in the Department of Fixed Prosthodontics at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC since the 1980s. He is now continuing his service to Alpha Omega as the President of the Los Angeles Chapter.
As Chairman, I have the great pleasure and honour to nominate Dr. Robert Simon as the recipient of the 2023 Ben Williamowsky Meritorious Service Award.
Robert Simon received the award on June 25, 2023, during the AO International Convention in Toronto, Canada. Below are Robert's remarks to the members and guests.
My involvement with AO goes back a long way because my father, Herb Simon, was a member. I clearly remember the Los Angeles AO of 1960!
Being an AO frater has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my professional life. The values and ethos have sustained me for many years, and I treasure the friendships and community. Serving AO in many capacities over these years has been a great privilege.
Thank the committee for bestowing this honor on me. I am humbled to join the past award winners who have inspired me.
I also want to thank all the AO colleagues who served with me, helped me, advised me, and supported me—a special shout out to Eddie Harouni, who has been steadfast, dedicated, and always a wise counsel.
I also want to thank all the past officers for their leadership, dedication, and inspiration. And to Heidi Weber for being the glue that has held our organization together through some tough times. And lastly, I want to thank my wife, Amy, who has supported me over the last 20 blissful years of our marriage.
Robert Simon, DDS
AO Los Angeles Chapter