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Extreme Inspiration: ‘Ninja’ Dentist, Fighter Pilot Address Top Women in Dentistry

  • August 18, 2015
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PITTSTON, PA — August 18, 2015 — At their seats in the audience, Carla Rawheiser, R.D.H. and her daughter Becca, 21, clasped hands and shared smiles. The impetus: During an acceptance speech, Lucy Hobbs Project Innovator Award recipient, Dr. Lindsay Limbaugh, had just publicly thanked her mother Marsha Miller, with whom she had traveled more than 11 hours from their home in Alabama.

“I think Lucy Hobbs would be extraordinarily proud of my mom,” said Dr. Limbaugh. “I can still hear my mom’s little voice in my head saying ‘Do it the right way the first time.’ I’ll do my best to honor Dr. Lucy Hobbs with this award.”

The themes of gratitude, passion and determination recurred throughout the two-day fete of exemplary women in dentistry, held June 4 and 5 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Lucy Hobbs Project® third annual event began with an evening at the National Museum of Dentistry and culminated with the recognition of six exemplary women in the dental community.

Mentors and students, mothers and daughters, clinicians and their teams were among the 110 attendees networking, sharing experiences and discussing challenges and the transformations they inspire. The 2015 Lucy Hobbs Award Winners include:

* Woman To Watch Award – Dr. Amanda Seay, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina,

* Innovator Award – Dr. Lindsay Limbaugh, Huntsville, Alabama,

* Mentor Award – Dr. Luz Marina Aguirre, New York, New York,

* Humanitarian Award – BB Maboby Bahadarakhann, Newport Beach, California,

* Industry Icon Award – Dr. Esther M. Wilkins, Boston, Massachusetts, and

* Clinical Expertise Award – Dr. Kendra S. Schaefer, Madison, Wisconsin.

Esther Wilkins, BS, RDH, DMD, accepted her Industry Icon award virtually from her home in Boston, blocks away from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, from which she graduated in 1949. At 98, the author of Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist continues to share knowledge amassed throughout a legendary career.

Welcome speaker Desiree Walker, DDS, (a North Carolina dentist known for her multiple appearances on American Ninja Warrior, NBC’s extreme-obstacle competition) offered a tribute to the project’s namesake, who in 1866 became the first American woman to earn a dental degree.

“Lucy Hobbs ran toward her fears. She not only transformed herself, she transformed the whole world of dentistry.”

Powered by Benco Dental, The Lucy Hobbs Project® is a national, long-term program based on three pillars – networking, innovating and giving back.  Named after Hobbs, this project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental industry – dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others. The project is free to join and offers networking opportunities, education programs and charitable events.

During the celebration, The Lucy Hobbs Project® capped off a year of giving back with a $1,000 donation to Dress for Success Baltimore, along with 14 boxes of clothing donated by Benco Dental associates at the company’s home office in Pennsylvania, CenterPoint East.  Throughout the year, at Lucy Hobbs Project networking events, hundreds of pieces of clothing were collected to support Dress for Success affiliate locations nationwide.

The room resonated with stories of journeys of courage and pioneering spirit, from continuing-education presenter and motivational speaker Dave Weber to keynote speaker Carey Lohrenz, the U.S. military’s first female F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot. Julie Radzyminski, Benco Dental’s director of business innovation and the coordinator of the Lucy Hobbs Project, had a simple appeal for the attendees: “Let these stories inspire us,” she said.

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

To view images of the celebration, visit:

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