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Dental Trade Alliance Announces Karen Neiner Named DTA Board Chair

Posted on Monday, November 22, 2021

The Dental Trade Alliance (DTA) is proud to announce the 2021-2022 Board of Directors who were elected during DTA’s Annual Meeting on November 9, 2021.

DTA Board Chair Karen Neiner

Karen Neiner has been with Hu-Friedy Manufacturing Co. LLC for more than 30 years and is currently serving as President of Palmero Healthcare. Palmero is now a proud member of HuFriedyGroup, the dental division of STERIS. She had served as Vice President of Corporate Development and Professional Relations, where she provided global growth through acquisitions and new category introductions. She co-developed Hu-Friedy’s product stage gate process and created the Friends of Hu-Friedy social media program to provide the dental community with continuing education and professional development support. Neiner practiced clinically as a registered dental hygienist prior to joining Hu-Friedy and was awarded the American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s Award for Excellence in 2016. Neiner is a Graduate of Indiana University School of Dental Hygiene, Northwestern University, and the DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School MBA program. 

Neiner was elected to the DTA Board in 2017 and served on DTA’s Executive Committee and DTA Foundation Board. She was subsequently elected to the DTA leadership as Second Vice Chair in 2018.

In her comments to the membership during the 2021 DTA Annual Meeting, Neiner shared: “As we collectively, as an oral healthcare industry, continue to navigate the changing needs of our customers and employees and face emerging global challenges, we will need to charter a course that does not look for ’a new normal' but utilizes the lessons we’ve learned, business intelligence tools honed, and the additional services to be stronger and more resilient.” She encouraged the membership to “learn more about what your DTA can do for you and get the most of your DTA membership through full engagement.”

Second Vice Chair Sandra Hirsch

Sandra Hirsch, Chief Executive Officer at Zyris, Inc. was elected to the DTA leadership as Second Vice Chair. Hirsch was elected to the DTA Board in 2017 and served on the Audit Committee, becoming the committee Chair in 2019. In addition to her board service, Hirsch has been involved in the DTA Women in Business group.

Two New Directors Elected to the Board for a First Three-Year Term

Dave Brandsen, Partner, Anterior Quest

Mark Nicholls, VP & General Manager, Group Sales – US Dental, Henry Schein


2021-2022 DTA Board of Directors


Karen Neiner, Chair, President, Palmero 

Tim E. Rogan, Chair-Elect, President, Patterson Dental

Ted Kehagias, First Vice-Chair, Vice President Sales, Midmark Dental Division

Sandra Hirsch, Second Vice-Chair, Chief Executive Officer, Zyris, Inc.

Tom Richardson, Treasurer, President, Atlanta Dental Supply

Dave Sproat, Immediate Past Chair, Chief Executive Officer, Young Innovations, Inc.

Directors at Large

Scot Andersen, Director, Business Development, Ultradent Products, Inc. 1st term to 2022

Karen Auiler, Chief Executive Office, AEGIS Communications 1st term to 2023

Dave Brandsen, Partner, Anterior Quest 1st term to 2024

Katy Cohen, Chief Revenue Officer, Benco Dental 1st term to 2023

Steve Desautel, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Dental Health Products, Inc. 1st term to 2023

Christopher Holden, Executive VP & Chief Administrative Officer, Ivoclar Vivadent 2nd term to 2024

Chris Little, Vice President, Strategic Marketing Dentsply Sirona 1st term to 2023

Ed McDonough, President, Planmeca 1st term to 2023

Linda Miller, CEO and Founder PDT, Inc. 1st term to 2022

Marv Nelson, Executive VP and COO A-dec, Inc. 1st term to 2022

Mark Nicholls, VP & General Manager, Group Sales – US Dental, Henry Schein 1st term to 2024

Ed Shellard, Chief Dental Officer Carestream Dental 2nd term to 2023

About the Dental Trade Alliance

The Dental Trade Alliance (DTA) is a member supported trade association of suppliers and service providers of the oral health profession and industry with the common goal of improving the state of oral care. The organization provides resources, knowledge-sharing opportunities and advocacy supporting businesses throughout North America, with ties to the rest of the globe. With a dedication to oral health that reaches back to the 1800s, the modern day DTA is committed to the success of its members and the industry at large.

Through a combination of business intelligence, education initiatives and industry-leading events, the DTA drives a stronger bottom line for companies supporting the oral care marketplace. The organization’s policy and advocacy efforts focus on maintaining a safe oral care environment while minimizing regulations that make it difficult for suppliers and service providers to operate profitable businesses. The DTA Foundation (DTAF) supports the DTA mission closer to the patient level, by funding grants and scholarships to improve access and education. The Dental Trade Alliance is making a lasting impact on the oral care ecosystem.

Find out more about the Dental Trade Alliance at

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