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July-August 2018

13 Georgia, 3 Alabama, and 2 Florida Members Inducted in Convocation in Georgia

Posted June 03, 2015 Kumar Patel, GA Section Editor


The 13th Annual Leadership Conference and Convocation of the Georgia Section was held on the weekend of January 30th to February 1st at the Ritz Carlton Lodge, Lake Oconee, Georgia. Section Chair, Dr. Lou Ann Best and Conference Chair, Dr. Evis Babo orchestrated and hosted the event with energy and great attention to detail. This year we were joined by Fellows from the Alabama and Florida Sections for a joint conference. It was with great pleasure that we also welcomed our own Dr. Karyn Stockwell, President of the Pierre Fauchard Academy and a Fellow of the Georgia Section, and we celebrated her appointment as President. The event was also attended by Dr. Gary Lowder, PFA foundation Chair, and Loralie Lowder, PFA Executive Director.

The meeting started off with an annual “Give Kids a Smile” program. PFA Fellows, under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Shirley Fisher, provided preventive and restorative treatment to local underserved children. Dietary advice was also given, and $47,000 worth of services were provided free of charge. More involvement is needed from our Fellows to make this even more successful.

Some of the "Give Kids A Smile" Day participants

Friday evening was a special dinner with a theme of wine and pasta pairing.  Dr. Tom David was our guide to this complex concept and made appreciation simple. For most of us, the delicious food and wine were just pure fun. Each of our new inductees was introduced during the evening in a less formal manner, and the evening continued in the Lodge Lounge until late, giving plenty of opportunity for Fellows and guests to mingle and greet.

Saturday was a busy day, and began with a target shooting excursion for some enthusiasts among us, who found pleasure being out-doors in what for Georgia was ‘cold weather.’ As it turned out, the ladies from our Alabama Section were superior at this event than the gentlemen. Some attendees at our Meeting took a tour of local homes and some, like me, chose to ice skate and take a few falls.


Dr. Steven Filler provided four exciting hours of CE in the afternoon, on the topic “Emergencies in the Dental Office.” Fellows also had an opportunity to interact with our very supportive sponsors who generously supported our event: Affinity Bank, American Express, Atlanta Dental Supply, Benco, the Hinman Dental Society, New Image Dental Lab and Oberman Law firms. Their contribution was greatly appreciated.

Saturday evening was the highlight of the weekend. It began with the Photography session for new inductees, followed by a slide show and presentation in celebration of our first female PFA President, Dr. Karyn Stockwell. Eighteen nominees were welcomed into Fellowship during the black-tie gala dinner-dance, including 13 from Georgia, 3 from Alabama and 2 from Florida. There were approximately 150 attendees, including Fellows, spouses, new Fellows, award recipients and sponsors. The evening continued with live music and dancing where some of us had an opportunity to show our dancing skills (or lack thereof). For most of us, the evening didn’t stop with the music, it just continued from banquet hall to the lounge.

Sunday was an important and productive part of the meeting. Recipients of the Mark Ritz Research Scholarship presented their research: Alex Culberson and Travis Garnto were awarded this scholarship. Alyssa Martini was awarded the PFA Foundation Scholarship for her excellent academic record.

Ritz Research Scholarship Recipient, Alex Culberson and Section Chair Best

Dr. Gary Lowder, Chair of PFA Foundation, spoke about the mission of the Foundation and encouraged contribution from all of us. The Oral Health Foundation of the PFA once again granted $10,000 to the Georgia Mission of Mercy program and the Good Samaritan Clinic in Jasper, Georgia also received a $10,000 grant. The hard work of all the volunteers was recognized. A brief overview of our next meeting was also presented. As always, excellent attendance and lots of energy made this a memorable event. 

The 3 new Alabama Fellows are:

William Ingram, DMD, Huntsville

Leigh Anne Nevins, DMD, Montgomery

E. Gaines Thomas, DMD, Mobile


The 2 new Florida Fellows are:

Amir ‘Reza’ Ardalan, DMD, Port St. Lucie

Matthew Waite, DDS, Tampa


The 13 new Georgia Fellows are:

Vin Bhasin, BDS, DMD, MHS, Warner Robins

Gregory Clepper, DMD, Augusta

David Drew, DMD, Carrolton

Katie Garvin, DMD, Fort Valley

Brad Hall, DMD, Athens

Jay Harris, DMD, Columbus

Elizabeth Lewis, DDS, Canton

Robert McGhee, DDS, Canton

Todd Mullikin, DDS, Marietta

Zachary Powell, DMD, St. Simons Island

Bonita Richter, DMD, Pelham

Troy Schulman, DDS, Dunwoody

Ryan Vaughn, DMD, Gainesville