Executive Director

Posted 2 months ago


Mission: The Tennessee Dental Association encourages the improvement of the health of the public, promotes the art and science of dentistry, and represents the interests of members of the dental profession and the public which it serves.

The Tennessee Dental Association is a 501(c)6 organization serving the professional dentists of Tennessee. It has approximately 2,400 dentist members across the state, practicing in a variety of settings and specialties. Membership in TDA is tripartite, encompassing membership in TDA as well as the American Dental Association and local district organizations. Each level of membership complements the other and offers valuable benefits and resources to members. TDA counts among its benefits the Annual Session in June, live webinars, and the TDA Journal. There are 3 affiliated metro districts—Chattanooga area, Nashville, and Memphis—and 6 additional local districts.

The Tennessee Dental Association is the voice of the profession. Dentists face many challenges, and TDA helps its members navigate those challenges through education, networking, and advocacy. TDA also has an Endorsed Partners program, which provides members with discounts on professional liability insurance, accounts receivable management and collections, as well as office supplies and equipment. To serve its members further, TDA oversees 3 affiliated organizations, Tenn-D-Pac, the TDA Foundation, and the TDA Relief Fund.

TDA owns its headquarters building in Franklin, TN, just south of Nashville, the State’s Capitol. The legislative body of TDA is its 70 House of Delegates; its managing body is the 18-member Board of Trustees. The organization has an annual budget of approximately $1.8M and a staff of five employees.


The TDA Executive Director is employed by and responsible to the Tennessee Dental Association Board of Trustees reporting through the Executive Committee with the President as immediate supervisor. The position participates in the formulation of new policies and makes decisions within the framework of existing Association policy after consultation with the elected officers. The Executive Director oversees and coordinates the activities of all councils, committees, task forces, and directly affiliated organizations. These include Tenn-D-Pac, the TDA Foundation, and the TDA Relief Fund.

The ED is also responsible for establishing and maintaining effective internal and external relationships on behalf of the TDA, including the American Dental Association and the 9 local districts.

The Executive Director is the executive head of the Association Executive Office and is responsible for the general management of as well as finances of the Association. This includes establishing a Board-approved budget and achieving operating and financial objectives for the organization. The position hires, supervises, and regularly evaluates TDA employees in a team-oriented and productive work environment. The Executive Director also provides the staff support essential to TDA leaders in the conduct of their activities and responsibilities while providing expert management of Association Executive Office for the benefit of all members.

Responsible for managing the Association’s membership businesses, the ED oversees the success of the Annual Session as well as all other meetings, education programs and member services. The position is expected to evaluate and refine the TDA member value proposition, identify new ways to add and measure the value of membership, and expand opportunities for member engagement. In addition, the Executive Director is expected to expand and enhance other and new revenue streams, including sponsorship and endorsement income.

The Executive Director also is responsible for management of TDA’s Executive Office Building including serving as interface with tenants and all related service providers.

The TDA Executive Director should lead in a manner that supports the efforts of the Board and the members. The position is responsible for communicating regularly and effectively with leadership, providing the timely and accurate information they need to fulfill their fiduciary and governance responsibilities.

The position entails approximately 15%+ travel, mostly within the state.


Functions and Authority

  • Is responsible for formulating and recommending basic policies and programs for Board approval.
  • Sees that the Board and relevant Committees are kept fully informed on the conditions and operations of TDA and on important factors influencing them.
  • Provides the Board and TDA leadership groups with financial data and all relevant information to assist in the decision-making functions of the Board.
  • Implements / operationalizes the policies established by the Board.
  • Attends all meetings of the House of Delegates, Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, the Committee on Governmental Affairs and other councils and committees as necessary.
  • Develops and oversees the effective use of technology including web-based activities and social media.

Fiscal / Contractual Management

  • In concert with the Budget and Finance Committee and the Board, develops the TDA annual operating budget for approval by the Board.
  • In collaboration with the Treasurer and the Budget and Finance Committee, ensure effective financial management.
  • Oversees all accounting processes and the disbursements of funds to ensure effective and efficient operations; establishes and maintains approved budgeting policies and processes.
  • Monitors and reports on budget progress, highlighting trends and significant variances.
  • Obtains and interacts with TDA accounting firm to insure the completion of annual independent audit of organization finances.
  • Co-signs checks and oversees payroll.
  • Interfaces with TDA legal counsel, accountant, auditor, banker and leasing agent.
  • Develops and maintains sponsorship relationships and sponsorship income.
  • Negotiates contracts and executes TDA building tenant leases. 

Staff Management and Association Administrative Responsibilities

  • Hires, trains, and evaluates staff and, if necessary and in accordance with procedures, terminates. Oversees and maintains highly functioning personnel team.
  • Manages staff benefits and approves personnel policies
  • Arranges for staff training to enhance work productivity and advance professional development.
  • Ensures staff support and consultation to all TDA entities and ancillary organizations as well as for the ACE Continuing Education Registry.
  • Manages staff to design and deliver member programs and services that anticipate member needs in a changing environment; identifies and develops new non-dues revenue sources.
  • Directs the success of Annual Session and other TDA programs and services; manages membership retention and recruitment efforts to ensure a robust and diverse membership.

Affiliated Organization and Other Responsibilities

  • Oversees accounting for TDA’s affiliate organizations: Tenn-D-Pac, TDA Foundation, TDA Relief Fund.
  • Ensures staff support for affiliate organizations and local districts.
  • Oversees management services for the TDA’s headquarters building, including interface with building tenants and service providers.

Membership Responsibilities

  • Reviews, evaluates and analyzes membership trends, needs and participation in an effort to evaluate and refine the TDA member value proposition.
  • Seeks to implement new ways of adding and measuring new member offerings and programs that reflect member needs in a changing healthcare environment.

Advocacy Responsibilities

  • Supervises TDA’s contract lobbyist on legislative issues relevant to TDA members.
  • Supports the activities of the Board and the Committee on Governmental Affairs in their efforts to affect legislation in areas critical to organized dentistry.
  • Identifies issues and stakeholders to keep leadership informed.
  • Educates membership on the importance of advocacy and encourages engagement.
  • Meets regularly with key stakeholders, including the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Board of Dentistry, and the Bureau of TennCare, and specialty societies as directed.
  • Advocates for TDA at all Tennessee college of dentistry programs.

Communication Responsibilities

  • Communicates frequently, openly, and effectively with TDA leadership and members through conversations, the TDA newsletter, presentations at dental and district meetings, the TDA website, and all other appropriate means.
  • Provides oversight of the TDA Journal.

Experience and Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated leadership as a senior executive with management responsibilities in a dental or health care related organization. The TDA Executive Director must have the ability to work and communicate effectively with an engaged Board, deliver membership value to member professionals, manage a complex organization, and motivate an eager staff team. The successful candidate will come with a strong personal commitment to support and advance the TDA mission. He/she must understand the dynamics of change and have demonstrated the ability to lead an organization through transition.

Ideal qualifications include:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Health Services Administration, Public Health or similar; Master’s or other advanced degree preferred; CAE desirable.
  • Seven or more years’ professional work experience in complex organizations, with demonstrated success in leading, planning, and organizing operations; executive level experience preferred.
  • Experience working with dentists or in a professional health-related organization or medical association.
  • Demonstrated experience successfully managing and motivating a staff team, with experience in effective hiring and conducting performance appraisals.
  • Successful experience with major association initiatives, such as: annual meetings, various education modalities, membership recruitment and retention, and journal publication.
  • Solid understanding of governance and the role of a staff leader with the Executive Committee and Board; proven track record of working effectively with a Board.
  • Experience applying and leveraging technology and technological innovation for the betterment of an organization.
  • Solid understanding of government relations processes; experience in advocacy an advantage.

Key attributes include:

  • Ability to work for a Board as a “servant leader;” personal dedication to the organization
  • Strong management and organizational skills; forward thinking, energetic, and optimistic; able to lead by example, build consensus, and motivate
  • Transparent, collaborative, and inclusive leadership style
  • Ability and capacity to manage change effectively; can inspire confidence and establish a sense of common direction and vision; delegate effectively while providing guidance and ensuring accountability
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills
  • A belief in the importance and value of customer service and good member relations
  • Desire and ability to grow and improve an organization
  • Understanding of and respect for the roles and responsibilities of the Board, staff and other governance issues
  • Strong financial background with successful experience in budgeting and strategic business development; good negotiating skills

Search Process: How to Apply

This search is being conducted by Jill Christie, President, Tuft & Associates.
To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter electronically, using one of these options:

  • Complete the resume submission form below, and include your resume and cover letter.
  • Email your resume and cover letter to Catherine Babjak, Manager, at cbabjak@tuftassoc.com; 312.642.8889

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Job Features

Job CategoryOpen
LocationFranklin, TN