After six hours gathered in the Hyatt Regency’s Cumberland Hall — the time when late afternoon apathy might be expected — visitors to the Dallas, Texas venue seemed more enthused than fitness guru Richard Simmons.

Encapsulating a day of wonder, Julie Radzyminski (shown, above right) spoke from the heart at the podium, “If there’s one thing you can take from today: Share your story.”

The Vice President of Business Innovation at Benco Dental, which supports an initiative empowering women in dentistry, seemed to echo the sentiments of the nearly 130 in attendance at the The Lucy Hobbs Project 4th Annual Celebration.

“She’s a wonderful speaker,” said Marti Ashley, a 35-year dental industry employee (shown above center), who earlier in the year had shared her thoughts to win a company contest sponsored by Benco Dental’s location in Flower Mound, Texas.  Ashley’s prize included an invitation to the 4th annual Celebration in Dallas.


Second Vice President of the American Dental Association Dr. Irene Marron-Tarrazzi.

The same could be said for the day’s scheduled presenters Dr. Irene Marron-Tarrazzi, Libby Gill, and Robb Zbierski who shared the following inspirational messages, respectively:

  • “Don’t surrender your future to someone else’s ideals.”
  • “Be strong. Have a voice. What is it that you uniquely bring to the table?”
  • “Your life is going to get built no matter what you do. … Do you want to have been laying brick or do you want to have built a cathedral?”

Copious amounts of wisdom and motivation were shared in the award acceptances from this year’s Exemplary Women in Dentistry:

  • from a dental perspective, “Look into the mouth and see it as a window to what’s going on inside the body.” – Dr. Susan Maples, Mentor Award recipient and author of BlabberMouth! 77 Secrets Only Your Mouth Can Tell You To Live A Healthier, Happier, Sexier BlabbermouthLife,
  • from her favorite author Ayn Rand,”The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Dr. Kady Rawal, Woman to Watch Award recipient who credited her two grandmothers and mother for the inspiration to pursue geriatric dentistry, stand her ground and find her true passion,
  • from a personal anecdote about her first Kois Center lecture — a 45- minute presentation on the topic of failure, “I believe that winning and success are two different things.” – Dr. Joyce Bassett, Clinical Expertise Award recipient 
  • from Dr. Pamela Schmidt, Innovator Award recipient, who demonstrated the merits of persistence with a shared story of successfully obtaining bank financing early on in her career after several refusals from various lenders based on her gender, “From where I’m standing the future of dentistry looks very bright.”
  • from a humorous perspective, “If I’m old enough to be considered iconic, thank you very much.” – Dr. Theresa Gonzales, Industry Icon Award recipient,
  • from Humanitarian‬ Award recipient Dr. Mary Teddy Wray who thankfully bypassed the obstacle of an early dental school financial advisor who told her, “How did you

    Humanitarian Award recipient Dr. Mary Teddy Wray shares her insight, “I never really forget where I came from.”

    think you were going to finance your education here? The best advice I can give you is don’t waste your time, just pack your bags and go.” (Dr. Teddy Wray went on to finance her dental education independently by working full time, providing overnight care for an Alzheimer’s patient.)

“It’s not a single person who is driving this, it’s all of us together,” added Radzyminski, who with her team at Benco Dental champions the efforts of the first licensed female dentist — Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, who after being refused admission to dental school because of her gender, persevered for change, graduating from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, and becoming the first licensed female dentist in 1866.

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2016 Award Recipients at The Lucy Hobbs 4th Annual Celebration Honoring Exemplary Women in the Dental Community, clockwise, from bottom left: Dr. Joyce Bassett, Dr. Susan Maples, Dr. Kady Rawal, Dr. Mary Teddy Wray and Dr. Pamela Schmidt.