The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has named Colleen Lawler, CAE, IOM, its new executive director. An experienced executive and visionary leader with strong experience in healthcare associations and membership organizations spanning more than 25 years, the AGD said, Lawler brings a broad range of skills to her new role.
“We are tremendously pleased that Colleen will be leading the Academy of General Dentistry,” said AGD president Bruce L. Cassis, DDS. “Bringing someone to the organization with this range of business skills and proven experience in association management gives AGD the strategic leadership needed to expand our services and support to general dentists.”
Lawler joins the AGD as the profession faces new challenges, the organization said. She will initiate new membership and governance models that will increase opportunities for general dentists to interact with the AGD and its high-quality programs, services, and benefits, the AGD said. She also will oversee its strategic, operational, financial, and governance plans to help it achieve its mission and objectives, the AGD said.
“I am pleased and excited about this opportunity to lead AGD and its staff as it continues to provide exceptional programs and services to support general dentists,” said Lawler. “This is a pivotal time for the organization, as the industry is facing unprecedented changes and challenges as a result of COVID-19. I look forward to the exciting possibilities and challenges that await me and AGD as we work to provide much needed services.”
Lawler has extensive experience in driving membership growth, developing strong boards and engaging team members, the AGD said. Previously, she was the executive director of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA), where she launched innovative learning opportunities, expanded member programs, increased membership and corporate sponsorship, and led strategic development planning, the AGD said.
Prior to her work at SCA, she was vice president of membership, business operations, and strategy at the American Medical Association, where she achieved five consecutive years of membership increase. She also held a leadership role with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Her work in associations began with the National Association of Realtors.
Lawler is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Chicago. She is a certified association executive from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She was certified by the University of Notre Dame with a certificate from the Institute for Organization Management.
A dedicated volunteer leader, the AGD said, Lawler has served on numerous committees, councils, and boards, including the ASAE, the Association Forum, and the Kansas Society of Association Executives. She has served in volunteer roles in her local community as well.
Lawler began her work with the AGD on March 1. She succeeds Max Moses, who retired in December 2020.