Below, please find the speech from Susan Ferrante of A-Dec at the opening of the Lincoln Memorial University Innovation Center:

“Today is a day to celebrate new beginnings……
New beginnings for the opening of a dental school
New beginnings for the opening of the Center for Research and Education in Technology (also
known as CRET)
There is something amazing and exciting about a new beginning. It brings about feelings of hope, pride,
and enthusiasm for the future.
Dean Koch on behalf of the CRET Organization – THANK YOU!
All of your hard work and commitment to advance dental education and incorporate the CRET center at
the inception of the dental school is a tremendous accomplishment.
“Good leaders have vision and inspire others to help them turn vision into reality”
Your vision, Dean Koch, for the utilization of the CRET Innovation Center as a prominent part of the main
dental clinic is forward thinking and provides exposure of the center to the dental student throughout
their entire educational experience. With your leadership, dental education at LMU through curriculum
innovation and advanced technology will have a direct impact on the comprehensive care provided to
the surrounding community. All of the clinic space is outstanding – you should truly be proud of the
Dr. Ed Rossomando, President of CRET, had a similar vision almost 18 years ago in his desire to integrate
technology into a dental school’s curriculum.
The original mission that is still true today, is to bring together industry leaders from both the
manufacturing community and the distribution community. We ask them to put aside their differences
and to come together to work directly with dental schools to bring the latest advances in dental
technology into the curriculum.
And that is how we have come to stand here today, at the birth of a new model for dental education,
one that breaks the mold in three incredibly significant ways.
 First, it seamlessly integrates technology into the dental school curriculum. With a CRET center,
every dental student will gain hands-on experience with the latest and greatest in dental
 Second, it shows how a long-term partnership between dental companies and dental schools
can create something bigger and more substantial than either could create alone.
 And, finally, it helps to sustain private practice dentistry, the backbone of our profession. With a
CRET center, every student will work for a period in a true private practice-style dental
With a synergistic shared vision, it is evident why LMU and CRET have partnered for this innovation
Center and the humanitarian mission that it will fulfill for the access to dental care to the underserved.
For the CRET center to come to fruition, there are a several people to thank:
 All CRET members who provided the equipment and merchandise to be used in the center
 Mia Cassell – the Executive Director – a tremendous amount of gratitude for all her
communication and organization from the beginning until now.
 Deb Bridges for initially putting CRET in contact with Dr. Koch.
 Once the center was approved, Patterson Dental was assigned the Project Manager for CRET.
The entire Patterson Dental Team did a fantastic job!
Josh Killian Patterson Vice President of Marketing had Tim King provide the floor plan design.
 Jason Nipper, Patterson Equipment Specialist, did an outstanding job in coordinating all the
construction and installation – he was instrumental in following this project the entire step of
the way – thank you Jason!
 To Dr. Ed Rossomando for your perseverance, vision, passion and unrelentless pursuit of
educating dental students – a tremendous thank you! A fitting tribute – The LMU Center for
Research and Education in Technology is dedicated in your honor.
For those of you that do not know, it all began in 2003 when Dr. Rossomando received a grant from the
Dental Trade Association, now known as the Dental Trade Alliance. The goal was to study the impact
that technology was having on the practice of dentistry.
He had a vision for dental education and felt that there was a lack of introducing technology in the
dental school curriculum.
Dental education does not change easily. And for good reason; dentistry is conservative and based on
scientific research. So those who want to make a change need to be determined and strong-minded.
Lucky for us, Dr. Rossomando had that perseverance.
In 2004, after several revisions, the board of about 10 dental manufacturers and industry leaders came
to the idea creating a Center for Research and Education in Technology with the goal of offering this to
every dental school. Dr. Rossomando became founder and President of CRET.
In addition to CRET, it should be noted that DR. Rossomando has dedicated his career to advancing
dental education and promoting entrepreneurship. Dr. Rossomando is Professor Emeritus in the School
of Dental Medicine, University of Connecticut. Since 1972, he has taught and carried out research at the
dental school. In 2005, he was awarded the University of Connecticut Dental School Alumni Award of
Thank you, Ed, for all that you have done for dental education. You have had an impact on so many
dental students and dentists across the country.
It is my honor to be here today to help cut the ribbon on the Center for Research and Education in
Technology dedicated to Dr. Ed Rossomando.
We all look forward to the progress of this innovation center as it will be instrumental in providing
dental oral health care to the two million people in the East Tennessee and Appalachian Region.
Today is a day to celebrate new beginnings……the start of something new brings the hope of
something great.”