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Longtime Vident CEO, Wayne Whitehill, Retires
After 27 years of building Vident from the ground up, original company founder, Wayne Whitehill, steps down.
Longtime Vident executive, Wayne Whitehill, recently announced his retirement as CEO, effective August 1. Mr. White-hill will stay on as a Vident Board Member and consultant for the near term. President Fred Ketcho has taken over as the new CEO. One of the original founding members of the company, Wayne Whitehill, along with Ray Morrow and Vern Hale, launched Vident in 1984 to represent the VITA product line in the United States. All three had worked with VITA in one capacity or another and were looking to partner with the dental laboratory industry, laying the groundwork for the founding of Vident. The trio opened up shop in Baldwin Park, California, and got to work designing the first product catalog, unloading boxes, and labeling products. “The three of us worked really well together,” explains Whitehill. “We split up the duties and each took on different areas of responsibility. I oversaw administration, Vern was in charge of sales and marketing, and Ray handled the technical side. We were very efficient and were able to use our combined expertise to help grow the company.”
For more than two decades, academic and industry leaders worked closely with Whitehill to develop some of today’s most innovative product lines. “Mr. Whitehill and I met 25 years ago when he and Henry Rauter visited MIT to review our proposal for research leading to Mark II ceramic blocks,” explains Dr. Robert Kelly, professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center in the Department of Reconstructive Sciences. “My capabilities were enriched enormously by annual visits to Vident and VITA, especially watching Wayne grow and develop Vident into the unique and successful enterprise it is today.”
Known for his tireless pursuit of product innovation, Whitehill used his extensive experience and contacts to make an impact in the industry. “Wayne’s visionary leadership has helped propel a niche collection of quality products into an awesome resource that promotes the well-being and success of their laboratory, dental practice, and patient end users,” says Mark T. Murphy, DDS, vice president of clinical education for DTI-Microdental Laboratories. “Vident’s attention to quality and support is not an accident. It is the heartbeat of a business design that partners with dentistry at every level. The handoff to Fred Ketcho as CEO will provide a seamless transition and continuation of an exceptional customer engagement strategy.”
In 2009, Vident began to actively seek a candidate for president of the company and, after a nationwide search, Fred Ketcho was hired in April 2010 to fill the role. Ketcho will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the company, including his top priorities of focusing on close collaboration with Vident’s customers, evaluating the training and development needs of the staff, keeping an eye on the financials, and driving continuous improvement from a process and systemwide standpoint.
To read more on Fred Ketcho and his direction for Vident, please visit our Viewpoint section on page 64.