CDAA History & Past Presidents

1926: Marion Edwards begins organizing dental assistants in Eastern Canada.

1945: A meeting held in Winnipeg to organized a national organization. Marion Edwards is elected first President of the Canadian Dental Nurses & Assistants’ Association (CDNAA).

1952: Margaret Good elected President, her main focus was on certification.

1955: Sylvania Hazel elected President.

1956: Mary Groszek (Fullerton) elected President, her main focus was on National Incorporation

1957: CDNAA becomes legally incorporated. Marion Edwards made Honorary Life President.

1958: Evelyn Smith elected President, main focus on continuing education for dental assistants.

1960: Alice Sellers elected President. Continuing education study courses established and higher standards towards national certification.

1962: Marilyn Graham elected President. Marion Edwards passes away.

1963: Irene Pollack elected President. Extensive changes to the national bylaws were made.

1965: Penny Waite elected President, focus national certification.

1967: Joan Green elected President.

1968: Elaine Wesley elected President, first 136 members are nationally certified.

1970: Elsie Corey elected President.

1972: Margaret Byers elected President.

1974: Elizabeth Purchase elected President.

1976: Kerris Franklin elected President.

1978: Marlene Paquin elected President.

1979: Fire destroys the CDNAA offices in Lethbridge, AB. A temporary office is set up.

1980: Barbara Peterson elected President.

1982: Suzanne Mader elected President. The CDNAA officially becomes the Canadian Dental Assistants’ Association (CDAA)

1984: Carole Davis elected President

1986: Diane Pike elected President. Penny Waite passes away

1988: Ellen McCloskey elected President.

1990: Betty Copp elected President.

1991: CDAA office moves to London, Ontario.

1994: Gail Armitage elected President

1995: Louise Mabey elected President. CDAA office moves to Ottawa, Ontario. President Mabey travels to each province to encourage provinces to join the CDAA.

1997: The National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) is created on November 15, to oversee the national certification and examination process. The responsibility for the administration of the national examination of Dental Assistants in Canada was transferred from the CDAA. Paula Parsons elected President. First transfer membership agreements signed with Alberta, PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. 

1998: Lane Shupe elected President.  Transfer membership agreements were signed with 8 provincial dental assisting associations resulting in CDAA membership increasing to 17,000 making the CDAA Canada’s largest association of dental professionals. An International Alliance was formed with the American Dental Assistants Association.

1999: Georgette Beaulieu elected President. 

2000: Manitoba becomes the 9th provincial dental assisting association to enter into a transfer membership agreement.  Quebec Dental Assistants Association signs transfer membership agreement.  CDAA membership increases to over 19,000.

2001: Danelle Fulawka elected President. CDAA changes bylaws to reflect the importance of the transfer agreements and the need for provincial associations to have a say in CDAA affairs. National Occupational Analysis completed for dental assisting. Dental Assisting Educators of Canada (DAEC) became a sub-committee of the CDAA

2002: Brenda Moffatt elected President, CDAA co-host the 1st International Dental Assisting & Dental Nursing Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee with the American Dental Assistants Association

2003: Marie Harvey President. 

2004: Sherry Sikora President. The Canadian Forces joined CDAA as the 11th Corporate Member.

2005: Suzette Jestin President. The CDAA and the ADAA hosted the 2nd International Dental Assisting & Dental Nursing Symposium in Montreal, Quebec.

2006: Jan Cowper President.  CDAA becomes a federation of ten provincial dental assisting associations and the Canadian Forces Dental Services.

2007: Michele Rosko President. National Occupational Analysis revised.

2008: Trish Divell President. Betty Copp becomes Executive Director of CDAA. Mutual Recognition Agreement signed by all Dental Assisting Regulatory Authorities, Ontario Dental Assistants Association and the Quebec Dental Assistants Association.

2009: Lucie Fournier President. The first national online Salary & Benefits survey conducted. CDAA achieved financial stability.

2010: Elaine McKay President. New Executive Director Robert Corbeil hired. DAEC rejoin CDAA as a standing committee.  Emergency policy created for provincial dental assisting associations in need.

2011: Joan Lamswood President. CDABC ceases to be a member of CDAA.  CDAA launches a new website and online continuing education.  New Executive Director Mark Buzan hired.

2012: Janet Hazen President. Under her mandate and following CDAA first emergency meeting with Corporate members, Mrs. Hazen was able to improve CDAA’s financial stability. CDAA’s relationship with CDABC improved and the association contributed to the Canadian Oral Health Strategy. CDAA’s new strategic plan & approach was approved.

2013:  Sherry Hirsche President. Ms. Hirsche was able to further increase CDAA’s financial stability. DEAC ceases to be a standing committee. New agreements were signed by all CDAA’s Organizational members. A complete revision of CDAA’s bylaws were created and adopted. A major Dental Assisting research project was initiated.

2014:  Calla Effa President. Ms. Effa was able to further the renewal of CDAA as a federation through tangible deliverables including the completion of the Salary & Benefits Survey, ceasing the delivery of continuing education programming and developing clear position statements in support of the Canadian Oral Health Strategy. A major dental assisting research project was initiated. New Executive Director, Stephanie Mullen-Kavanagh was hired.

2015: Michelle Fowler President. CDAA participates in the Canadian Oral Health Roundtable, the Pacific Dental Conference tradeshow and the National Post Oral Health Campaign. CDAA partners for the first time in history with CFDHRE to launch a research grant joint venture. Publishes first dental assistant-based research paper.

2016: Michelle Fowler President. The CDAA Building Capacity in Dental Assisting Research is presented at both the Canadian Health Workforce Conference and the Journée dentaires internationales de Quebec.  The CDAA revitalizes the e-Newsbrief and launches an expanded content version. CDAA connects with the Society of British Dental Nurses to share information, learn about the profession in other jurisdictions and collaborate on best practices.

2017: Tammy Thomson President. The Association of Alberta Dental Assistants (AADA) signs transfer membership agreement.

2018: Sina Allegro-Sacco President. 

2019: Sina Allegro-Sacco President for a second term. Work begins on the National Occupational Analysis (NOA) in partnership with the NDAEB and provincial regulators.

2020: Due to the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, the CDAA Annual General Meeting is held virtually for the first time and delayed until September.  CDAA joins the Organization for Health Acton (HEAL). L’Association des assistant(e)s de Quebec ceases to be a CDAA member.  Dianne Hennig elected President. 

2021: Completion of the NOA 2019/2020.  CDAA begins consultations with provincial associations.  Dianne Hennig elected President for a second term.

2022: Implementation of the CDAA Job Market, Compensation & Benefits Survey.  Heather Brownlee elected president.