Beyond the Business
Pam Johnson, Editor-in-Chief
Most everyone would agree that the dental technology industry is, like most industries, highly competitive. Business owners compete on myriad levels—trying to get an edge by offering the best price, broadest product line, niche specialty service, or high-end customer service. Common to all, both big and small, is the competitive tug-of-war that springs forth when vying for customers and recruiting and retaining the best and brightest technical talent the industry has to offer.
However, as competitive as this industry can be, it is small. We know each other. We see each other at industry tradeshows, educational meetings, study clubs, and places where we trade the latest information on industry trends, share a technical secret, talk about our families, or even our personal troubles. We are a close-knit community that celebrates the success of our rivals and despairs at a failure or loss. And if someone is in need, we don’t hesitate to come together to help. We are generous with our time and our pocketbooks.
Nowhere was that more evident than this spring when the industry came together to help Jessica Paulen Goldich in her efforts to raise funds for the National Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) annual national research fundraising campaign. The LLS is the largest voluntary organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures, and ensuring access to treatment for patients with blood cancer. Seventy-six percent of the money raised each year goes directly to the society’s mission to fund research and help people like Jessica’s mother, Shelley, who died several years ago from this devastating disease. Jessica’s father, Jeff, and her sister are members of dental technology’s tight-knit community. Jeff owns New Image Dental Laboratory in Atlanta, GA, and Jessica is Director of Production for the family business.
Jessica’s original fundraising goal for this year’s campaign was $100,000. However, it quickly became evident that her target amount would need to be raised when a local business donated $35,000. Jessica doubled her goal to $200,000, which she admitted was quite a reach, but set a record for individual fundraising in the Atlanta region. She then began her letter, email, and company sponsorship campaign, as well as hosted a black-tie gala with ticket and auction revenues going toward the campaign. Not only did Jessica reach her $200,000 goal, she surpassed it—raising an astonishing $337,209 in total. She set a new record for LLS fundraising in the Atlanta region, earning her Atlanta’s Woman of the Year Award. In early July, Jessica received national recognition as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 2017 National Woman of the Year.
Jessica and her family reached out to IDT to tell this story, not as a way to relate her remarkable achievements, but as a vehicle to express their gratitude to the dental community for their incredible support. It was the overwhelming generosity of industry manufacturers, dental laboratories, and individual laboratory owners, technicians, and dentist clients that made the difference in Jessica’s campaign. That generosity will continue to help LLS support research on the blood cancer disease that claimed Shelley Paulen and to support her legacy.