The Southeastern Conference of Dental Laboratories was organized to support and educate dental laboratory owners, managers and technicians and is well known for hosting a ‘premiere dental laboratory meeting’ in the Southeastern part of the United States since 1961.
Seven southeastern states provided the foundation of attendees for over fifty years. As the dental laboratory industry has largely been a legacy business, generations of families participated in the organization for many years.
Due to a number of trends, including market consolidation and the emergence of non-traditional continuing education options such as online learning, attendance for the event began to decline several years ago.
Two years ago, the Board of Directors responded to those trends and examined member needs. In 2017 and 2018, the Southeastern Conference of Dental Laboratories launched The Executive Leadership Summit, which focused on delivering high-quality business management education and made it available to anyone in the country.
While the board believes strongly there is still a need for high level peer to peer business practices learning, attendance has not been what the Board of Directors hoped for to sustain the organization and provide the value members deserve.
At its most recent meeting, the Board of Directors deliberated on the future of the meeting and the organization. The Board of Directors unanimously voted that it should dissolve the organization effective August 1, 2018.
We would like to share some good news coming out of this situation. The Board of Directors voted to contribute all remaining organizational assets to the Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology, which would benefit the entire profession. The contribution is nearly $100,000.00. The Southeastern Conference leadership is working with the Foundation board to develop two grants - one for state and regional dental laboratory associations to help fund business development speakers at their meetings and one for individuals to use to further their business management education. Due to the size of the contribution, it is believed that these grants will be in place for a long time into the future and preserve the legacy of the founders, past leaders and loyal members of the Southeastern Conference.
The SCDL Board of Directors also wants to recognize and thank the support of attendees, exhibitors and sponsors over the years.