CAPTION: Just after receiving their awards at The Lucy Hobbs Project 2nd Annual Celebration Honoring Exemplary Women in the Dental Community June 6 in Orlando are, shown from left: Mary Hartigan, DDS, Jacksonville, Florida; Katti Webb Simpson, IPDH, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine; Kaaren G. Vargas, DDS, PhD., North Liberty, Iowa; Maria Maranga, DDS, Aquebogue, NY;  Terryl A. Propper, DDS, MS, Brentwood, Tenn. 

“Are you willing to do your part?” asked keynote speaker and bestselling author Liz Murray of the more than 150 in attendance June 6 at The Lucy Hobbs Project 2nd Annual Celebration. Her query resonated in the Osceola Ballroom at the Omni Championsgate, following the presentation of awards to seven women whose ongoing contributions to the dental industry illustrated an overwhelming “yes.”

Those who bear witness daily to the professional dedication of the honorees welcomed them to the stage, including colleagues, staff, friends and mentors.

“The highlight of the celebration, to me, is always the award winners. Hearing their acceptance speeches, experiencing the powerful nature of their words is uniquely inspiring,” said Julie Radzyminski, Benco Dental Director of Business Innovation.

She referenced this year’s Lucy Hobbs Award recipients: Joan Austin (1931-2013); Karen Gear, DDS, Vineyard Haven, Mass.; Mary Hartigan, DDS, Jacksonville, Florida; Maria Maranga, DDS, Aquebogue, NY; Terryl A. Propper, DDS, MS, Brentwood, Tenn.; Katti Webb Simpson, IPDH, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine; and Kaaren G. Vargas, DDS, PhD., North Liberty, Iowa.

The awards, named for the woman who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, recognize professionals whose achievements mirror those established by Lucy Hobbs. Dr. Hobbs was denied access to education based on her gender, but persevered to learn dentistry through apprenticeship, and eventually graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.

To view a video of the award presentation, visit:

These seven honorees — pioneers for change — help lead the charge for women in dentistry and embody the project goals. Complete profiles of the honorees are featured in the summer edition of Incisal Edge, a lifestyle magazine for dental professionals, which can be accessed at this link:

Coverage of The Lucy Hobbs Project 2nd Annual Celebration Honoring Exemplary Women in the Dental Community will appear in the fall edition of Incisal Edge, set to publish in September. For details, visit:

Powered by Benco Dental, The Lucy Hobbs Project is a national, long-term program which empowers women in dentistry to drive change and deliver results through three pillars: networking, innovation and giving back.  Free to join, the project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental industry for networking opportunities, education programs and charitable events.

Representing the American Association of Women Dentists, Jennifer J. Cornell, DDS, accepted a $10,000 donation from The Lucy Hobbs Project to Smiles For Success, an organization that provides free dental work to women re-entering the workforce after surviving a personal setback.

Throughout the day, attendees were treated to professional headshots and three Continuing Education opportunities, courtesy of Benco Dental and event sponsors: KaVo Kerr Group, Crest, OralB, Heraeus Kulzer, OnPharma, Hu-Friedy, Microflex and Sunstar Americas Inc. Presentations in the areas of finance, trends in dentistry, and social media, were directed by Teresa Gast, CPA, Eric S. Solomon, DDS, MA, and Crystal Washington, respectively.

Hired by companies including Google, Microsoft and GE when they want their teams to take action online, author and internationally – acclaimed expert Crystal Washington tailored a discussion on social media specifically to the dental professionals in attendance.  For those who participated in Orlando and want to continue the discussion, or professionals who were unable to attend, The Lucy Hobbs Project will offer a Virtual Innovation Meeting July 11 at 11 a.m.: “Social Media Part II” during which Washington will outline the cultures of the largest social networks and the best way to use them; discuss how age and other demographics affect your social media strategy and explain how those in the dental industry can best use her expert tips for increasing engagement.


Upcoming regional events in the marketplace include:

  • July 17 in Columbus, Ohio – “A Night of Wine and Laughter,” featuring Laughing Yoga Instructor Gail Sky, to benefit

Dress for Success

  • July 30 in Sacramento, California – “Life and Work Balance,” featuring Robyn Thomason, to benefit CDA Cares
  • July 31 in Reno, Nevada – “Destressing Your Office,” featuring Rebecca Brown, Certified Laughter Yoga Instructor,

to benefit Second Chance Consignment Boutique

  • August 15 in Wilmington, Deleware – “Training Your Brain to Stay Sane,” featuring Dr. Carmelina D’Arro, Dentist and

Reikki Master, to benefit Dress For Success

  • August 20 in Minneapolis, Minnesota – “Life and Work Balance,” featuring Life and Business Coach Chris Naylor,

to benefit Dress for Success

To access details regarding these events or to sign up for The Lucy Hobbs Project, visit: