History of Georgia Dental Laboratory Association
In mid 1952 the owners of dental laboratories in Georgia meet to discuss the idea to form an association in the state of Georgia. The main thought was to have a venue to have educational programs and to have a neutral place to gather and have a better relationship among the laboratories in the state.
The three gentleman selected to take this to next level were, Richard D. Jones Sr, Harry M Howard and Bob Cross. All three were from the Atlanta metro area.
Articles were drawn up and registered with the Secretary of State in 1953. The person elected from the new association as the designated representative was Richard D. Jones Sr.. Mr. Jones was given the charge to sign all documents that brought the association into existence. Mr. Harry Howard, Mr. Bob Cross and Mr. Sam Swilling were in attendance when signature was made. There were only 12 laboratory members but grew over the next few years to around 20.
Three regular meetings were scheduled for 1954 and going forward one to be an annual meeting. Meetings were held in hotels in Atlanta for many years. They have moved these meetings to the Gwinnett County area in 2007.
A board of officers and directors were elected by the association to manage the affairs of the association. A president, president elect, vice president, secretary treasure and directors were duly elected and an installed in late 1953.
The first Executive Director whose name has been lost in history suddenly passed and his executive assistant Ms. Dorothy B. Thurston assumed the duties in 1956. Ms. Thurston remained the Executive Director till 2000. She passed on April 24, 2002. Ms. Thurston was succeeded by her assistant Ms. Amorite Brock in 2000.
In 1989 GDLA reached its highest membership of 139 member laboratories. The association maintained over a 100 members till 2007 when the industry started a down turn in laboratories and technicians. GDLA was the third largest association in the in the United State according to the NADL district alignment. GDLA had 3 delegates in the house of delegates which governed the NADL for many years.
Ms. Brock remained Executive Director till 2002 and was replaced by three ladies.
Ms. Corrie Hill Hulsey, Ms. Darla Eden and Ms. Mary Casselberry. They remained as Co Executive Directors until 2005 when Richard D Jones Jr. son of one of the founding fathers was placed as executive director along with Mary Casselberry as member services director, took over the management positions.
Ms. Casselberry assumed the Executive Director position in 2006. She remained in the position until Ms. Connie Bridges took on the position of Executive Director in 2011. Richard D Jones Jr. CDT assumed the position of Executive Director in 2014.
The three meetings a year were well attended and the association was supported by its members at each meeting and with great vendor support. They have evolved into three meetings that bring some of the dental communities leading doctor speakers and technicians speakers to provide cutting edge educational programs on dental technology. Also programs with joint technicians and dentist professionals have been held on a regular basis for many years.
In the mid 1960s a group of owners thought that an annual outing where families along with owners and employees with their families as well could have a weekend gathering. A way to get to know each other in a more friendly setting with less business surroundings. Callaway Gardens was selected as the location for this event starting on Friday night and ending on Sunday in mid June. Two days of golf, (Saturday and Sunday) were planned and banquet on the Saturday evening with the families all in attendance. A non dental themed event. For years it was a great success. Moving to the Stone Mountain venue Evergreen in 2002. Due to many factors in the economy the outing has been postponed till the economy revives.
We have had 2 ladies as president for GDLA. Ms. Treasa Proctor Duff, CDT served as president in 1997. Ms. Dena Lanier was president in 2009. Ms. Lanier become the second lady president for the SCDL and then went on to become the second lady president for the NADL.. Ms. Lanier also during her presidential term for GDLA had the first ladies golf tournament during the annual family outing. In the next few years we look forward to having two more ladies ascend to the position of president. In 2020 Ms. Amy Landers, CDT will become the third lady to become president.
Many members have served as officers and directors for GDLA over the years and it is their energy and vision that keeps this association strong and leading in education and supporting the profession to this day.
67 years of professional history being lived each day!