2024 National Conference


Sarah McVanel, MSc, CHRL, PCC, CSODP (she, her/elle)

Sarah McVanel has more than 25 years of experience training, coaching, and leading teams. She created FROG (Forever Recognize Others’ GreatnessTM) to invigorate companies so they can see their people as exceptional and, together, create a thriving culture where everyone belongs. Sarah is a recognition expert, professional speaker, coach, author, recovering perfectionist, and movement maker. In her senior leadership role, she founded her boutique firm, Greatness Magnified. Proclaimed as the “Frog Lady,” she can be found freaking out perfect strangers (in a good way) by handing out squishy frogs and asking them, “Have you been frogged lately?” and then acknowledging their greatness. She’s a certified senior organizational development professional (CSODP), professional certified coach (PCC), and certified human resources leader (CHRL). She is one of 700 certified speaking professionals (CSP) worldwide. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Science in family relations, and diplomas in human resources and health care administration.

Ramzi V Abou-Arraj, DDS, MS (he, him/il)

Ramzi Abou-Arraj is a 2003 graduate of the Université Saint Joseph School of Dentistry, Lebanon. Holder of two periodontology certificates (Lebanese University and University of Alabama at Birmingham [UAB]) and a Master of Science (UAB), Dr. Abou-Arraj is a professor and interim associate dean for academic affairs at UAB. He is also a diplomate and examiner of the American Board of Periodontology and the recipient of several teaching and service awards. He maintains an active periodontology and implant surgery practice.

Dani Botbyl, RDH

Dani Botbyl is an educator, author, and researcher, and has been a trailblazer for the advancement of ultrasonic technology in dental hygiene practice and education in North America. Dani has authored multiple publications in industry and peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. She has presented hundreds of courses to students, faculty, and practising clinicians nationally and internationally. Her passion for enhancing the expertise of dental hygienists creates learning experiences that are not to be missed!

Timothy Donley, DDS, MSD (he, him/il)

Timothy Donley is currently in the private practice of periodontics and implantology in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He is a sought-after international speaker whose courses are always highly rated. His forte lies in taking the latest research and packaging it in a way that makes sense. Dentistry Today recently listed him among its Leaders in Continuing Education. Dr. Donley lectures and publishes frequently on topics of interest to clinical dentists and dental hygienists. He is currently working with medical professionals to craft collaborative care protocols to improve patients’ dental and medical outcomes.

Cynthia C Gadbury-Amyot, MS, EdD, FADHA (she, her/elle)

Cynthia Gadbury-Amyot has served in a variety of positions during her more than 30 years of teaching at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Dentistry, including associate dean of instructional technology and faculty development, interim vice provost of online education, director of the division of dental hygiene, and director of graduate and degree completion studies. Now a professor emerita, Dr. Amyot has taught at all levels of the curriculum: doctoral, predoctoral, graduate, and undergraduate. She has received numerous distinguished teaching awards from the School of Dentistry and is a recipient of the university-wide Elmer Pierson Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2020, she received the American Dental Education Association ADEA/GIES Award for Innovation—Dental Educator. She had the distinction of being a contributing author for the National Institutes of Health Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges 2021 report.

Jo-Anne Jones, RDH, FIADFE (she, her/elle)

As an international, award-winning speaker, Jo-Anne Jones has given over 1,000 presentations worldwide. Jo-Anne’s inspiring and dynamic speaking style has made her a sought-after lecturer in the oral health community. Jo-Anne joins the 2024 Dentistry Today Leaders in Continuing Education, is a Dental Products Reports’ Top 25 Women in Dentistry honoree, and has been a fellow of the International Academy for Dental Facial Esthetics since 2021. Jo-Anne’s signature is knowledge translation direct to practice, facilitating true change and improved patient outcomes.

Katrina Klein, RDH, CEAS, CPT

Katrina Klein is a 17-year practising dental hygienist, national speaker, author, competitive bodybuilder, certified functional and personal trainer, certified ergonomic assessment specialist, and biomechanics nerd. She is the founder of ErgoFitLife, where ergonomics and fitness are combined to prevent, reduce or eliminate pain for oral health professionals.

Salme Lavigne, BA, MSDH, PhD, RDH (she, her/elle)

Salme Lavigne has 40 years of experience in dental hygiene education in Canada and the United States. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology (Lakehead University), a Master of Science in dental hygiene (UMKC), and a doctorate in community health/epidemiology (University of Manitoba). Currently, she is a senior scholar at the University of Manitoba and scientific editor of the Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene. Dr. Lavigne has numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and has delivered over 120 continuing education presentations.

George K Merijohn, DDS (we, our/nous)

San Francisco periodontist George K Merijohn has practised for 28 years and is an associate clinical professor in periodontics at the University of Washington and University of California San Francisco. A recognized authority in periodontics, gingival recession, minimally invasive surgery, safer treatment approaches, and aerosol-reduced methodologies, Dr. Merijohn is distinguished as a published author in peer-reviewed journals and lectures internationally.

William Paveletz, DMD (he, him/il)

William Paveletz is a graduate of Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon receiving his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry, he completed a one-year general practice residency at University of Pittsburgh and continued studying prosthetics in the graduate department of Pittsburgh Dental School. Currently he is one of VOCO's North American clinical directors of continuing education. He lecturers nationally and internationally to dental retailers, dental societies, and teaching institutions. Dr. Paveletz has been published in various dental trade publications on temporization techniques with dental implants, treating geriatric patients, and fluoride usage in adolescents. He has a true passion for preventive and restorative dentistry, with an emphasis on biocompatibility and holistic dentistry.

Karen A Raposa, RDH, MBA (she, her/elle)

Karen Raposa is a regional manager for HuFriedyGroup and has co-edited a textbook titled Treating the Dental Patient with a Developmental Disorder. For over 20 years, Karen has been supporting and encouraging oral health professionals around the world to excel in their care for patients with autism. Her work has also been published in Dental Clinics of North America and, in 2013, she was recognized as one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry by Dental Products Reports.

Amber D Riley, MS, RDH

Amber Riley is an internationally recognized speaker providing programs to oral health and medical professionals covering oral–systemic pathologies, forensic odontology, and the use and misuse of therapeutic and illicit substances. Amber is the immediate past president of the American Society of Forensic Odontology, a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, member of the California Dental Hygienists’ Association, and an associate member of the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health.

Anna Louise Tolan, RDH, FADIA (she, her/elle)

Anna Louise Tolan is a passionate practising clinician with adept facilitation skills, earning accolades for her hands-on educational programs. Distinguished for evidence-based protocols in the dental hygiene process of care, she ignites the desire for knowledge and enthusiastically inspires change. She is a recognized fellow of the Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries and an engaging cast member of The RDH View.

Kristin Yont, DMD, RYT, Benson Henry Institute SMART Certified Healthcare Provider

In addition to co-owning her practice in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Kristin Yont, is the lead dentist for the Calgary Flames NHL team and is experienced in forensic dentistry. Dr. Yont is one of only three practitioners in Canada who are accredited to teach the Harvard Medical School and the Benson Henry Institute’s SMART program—Stress Management and Resiliency Training—educating people on how to participate in their own wellness by decreasing stress and their vulnerability to disease. Dr. Yont is an avid speaker and runs workshops, retreats, and programs for oral health professionals. She also works with universities, health care associations, and business leaders to implement wellness initiatives for their organizations. She is currently teaching the SMART program to the dental students at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Yont has been a certified yoga instructor for more than 12 years and teaches yoga instructors the neuroscience of stress management and mindfulness meditation.