Teresa C. Spence, DAADOM, is honored to have been named this year’s Practice Administrator of the Year during the Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM) conference, held Sept. 9-11, 2021, in Orlando, Florida.
“It’s been exciting,” shares Spence, Practice Administrator at Amelia Dental Group in Fernandina, Florida. “I was in shock when I heard my name called! I was speechless.”
It’s been exciting,” shares Spence, Practice Administrator at Amelia Dental Group in Fernandina, Florida. “I was in shock when I heard my name called! I was speechless.”
2020 Practice Administrators of the Year Debbie Evans, DAADOM, and Jennifer Steadman, DAADOM, announced Spence as this year’s winner during the lunch kicking off the conference.
“Jennifer and I were both thrilled to present the 2021 Practice Administrator of the Year award,” Evans reflects. “Teresa is wonderful — they have to be. All the nominees were wonderful — they have to be. So it was an honor to pass the baton, so to speak, a really great thing to do.”
For the past three years, Spence has been a runner-up for AADOM’s premier award, so being selected as Practice Administrator of the Year in 2021 felt especially meaningful to her. Spence is an experienced professional who has spent 35 years in dentistry, including 30 with her current practice. She’s served in her current dental office management role since 2010, when she also joined AADOM to help build her knowledge base. Spence enjoys working with patients and staff, and also likes to help the team and others develop in their careers. In addition to having a hand in hiring dental team members, she also connects them to continuing education opportunities. Spence is currently helping an assistant in her office to prepare to take DANB exams and earn Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification.
Spence takes professional development seriously, and has furthered her education through the DALE Foundation, DANB’s educational affiliate. Last year, she earned the OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate™ as part of the requirements to earn AADOM Mastership. This year, she earned Diplomate status and was inducted with AADOM’s first-ever class of DAADOMs.
To Spence, the opportunities AADOM provides to dental office managers to support their career growth are endless, and much appreciated. “I particularly enjoy the networking AADOM offers — and all the resources they provide,” Spence elaborates.
Spence also values the camaraderie fostered through AADOM. She has attended AADOM conferences every year since 2011. “I enjoy going to the conference for all the continuing education opportunities, so I can learn something new, and to see all the sponsors and vendors who can share what’s new out there, which you could bring back to your practice.”
Attending this year’s conference was especially meaningful for Spence — not only because she was an award winner, but also because it was held in person.
“The energy for this year’s conference was over the top because we didn’t get to see each other last year in person,” Spence recognizes, noting the 2020 event was held virtually due to the pandemic. “It was nice to catch up with people who came to the conference from across the country. You ‘see’ one another through social media, and connect through email and the web, but the vibe is always especially phenomenal at an in-person AADOM conference. It was a little emotional because of what we all had gone through the previous year.”
Spence says that the support offered through AADOM has been priceless and uplifting: “Every step of the way this past year, we’ve all been there for each other. And for this year’s conference, we got to be together and talk about that. There were lots of raw moments and tears because we made it through together.”