MDA Honors 2021 Award Recipients

Four members acknowledged for service to the association, the profession and their communities.

On November 5, 2021, the MDA honored its annual award winners at the Association’s awards banquet during its House of Delegates in Jefferson City. These included Outstanding New Dental Leader, Distinguished Service, Executive Director Award of Excellence and Dentist of the Year. 

Dr. Ashley Meyer Honored as MDA Outstanding New Dental Leader

Ashley MeyerAshley Meyer, DDS of Springfield, Mo., has been named the MDA Outstanding New Dental Leader Award winner, designed to recognize a member of the MDA who has been in practice 10 years or fewer and has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities, professional and ethical conduct, and volunteer activities in their community and organized dentistry. 

Dr. Meyer is especially recognized for her new dentist leadership and volunteer activities within the dental profession at the local, state and national levels, and has been deemed a rising star among her peers and within the Association. 

She is the immediate past president of the Greater Springfield Dental Society and has served on its Foundation Board for seven years. She currently chairs its Smiles from the Heart charity ball which raises money for local dental charities, including the Ronald McDonald House Tooth Truck. Dr. Meyer’s efforts helped raise more than $125,000 in 2019 and her goal is to top that amount in 2022. In 2021, Dr. Meyer was project leader for the Springfield Public Schools Oral Health Care bags, an alternative effort taken on by the Society when the pandemic kept them from their typical effort of providing oral health screenings in local schools. She spearheaded securing dental hygiene products to assemble and deliver 7,000 bags to area schools. She serves on the board of the MDA’s Political Action Committee Board and is a past delegate to the American Dental Association.

Dr. Meyer was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Dentists in 2020 and currently is an executive board member of Women With a Mission, part of Mercy Health Foundation. She serves on the advisory committee board for Ozark Technical College Dental Assisting and Hygiene Programs and volunteers regularly at the Good Samaritan Care Clinic in Mountain View, Mo., more than an hour drive from her practice.

She received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2014. In 2010 she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Science from Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Va., where she was an athlete and captain on both the Women’s Cross Country and Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field teams. 

Dr. Meyer is a second-generation dentist and owner of Dental 32 located at 2142 S Brentwood Blvd, Springfield. She says she’s been greatly influenced by her father, Dr. Thomas Meyer, also a dentist in Springfield. Of note, he too won the MDA outstanding new dental leader award in 1994. She attributes much of her success to him and her mother, Susan, for their continued positive impact on her life and dental career. In her free time, Dr. Meyer enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also loves to run, thrives on the adventures of traveling to new destinations and enjoys trying different wines.

Dr. Vince Rapini Honored with MDA Distinguished Service Award

Vince RapiniVince Rapini, DDS of St. Louis, Mo., has been named the 2021 MDA Distinguished Service Award winner, presented to a member with a long history of exemplary service and dedication to the dental profession and organized dentistry. 

Dr. Rapini’s commitment and dedication to the dental profession and organized dentistry is evidenced by his 42 consecutive years of membership and during this tenure, service in numerous leadership roles.

Dr. Rapini is former president of the Greater St. Louis Dental Society and the MDA and just completed his term as First Vice President of the American Dental Association.

In addition to serving these local, state and national dental organizations in numerous capacities throughout his career, Dr. Rapini is the current Chair of the Dean’s Evaluation Committee at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine, where he is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Clinical Dentistry. Prior to this role in academia, he provided care in private practices in University City, Mo. and Webster Groves, Mo., from 1987-2017.

Dr. Rapini received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the UMKC School of Dentistry in 1980. He is a life member of the American Dental Association, MDA and the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. Dr. Rapini is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the International College of Dentists.

Dr. Ron Wilkerson Receives MDA Executive Director Award of Excellence

Ron WilkersonRon Wilkerson, DMD of St. James, has been honored with the 2021 MDA Executive Director Award of Excellence. This is not an annual award but is given at direction of the current MDA Executive Director to acknowledge the effort of a member who goes above and beyond to be of service the Association and its members. Dr. Wilkerson is only the fifth dentist to receive the award since 2000.

Dr. Wilkerson served on the MDA Board as both the New Dentist Committee representative and Treasurer before taking his current position as Legislative and Regulatory Committee (LRC) Chair. As LRC Chair, Dr. Wilkerson has been an integral part of the MDA team—especially assisting the MDA Executive Director—with an enormous amount of research, footwork and collaborative effort on a variety of issues this past year. 

Dr. Wilkerson received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine in 2008. He is owner of St. James Dental Center in St. James, Mo. 

Dr. Guy Deyton Honored as MDA Dentist of the Year

Guy DeytonGuy Deyton, DDS of Kansas City, Mo., has been named the 2021 MDA Dentist of the Year Award winner, which recognizes a member dentist who has demonstrated outstanding service to the Association, to the profession of dentistry and/or to the community in the past year. 

Dr. Deyton was chosen, in particular, for his outstanding service to bring COVID-19 vaccinations to the dental and pharmacy community in Kansas City in February and March 2021. At this time, many healthcare workers, especially those in dentistry, had difficulty finding a place to be vaccinated because they were not affiliated with a hospital system. His efforts helped ensure dentists and their teams could continue to provide care for patients in a safe manner. Following this event, due to his past and current leadership, Dr. Deyton was invited to become a candidate for Dental Director for the State of Missouri—a position becoming vacant—and took the reins in March. In this position his leadership continues to move forward the efforts of the Office of Dental Health within the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. 

Dr. Deyton is an MDA Past-President (2002-03) and received the Dentist of the Year Award in 1999 for his efforts to launch the Missouri Expanded Functions Dental Assisting program. From 2008-11 he was co-director for the MDA Leadership Development Continuum and from 2010-15, director of its Young Dentist Study Club.  
Dr. Deyton received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the UMKC School of Dentistry in 1984. He is a life member of the American Dental Association, MDA and the Greater Kansas City Dental Society. He is a member of several other dental organizations, where he has held various leadership positions and received numerous accolades in his long and distinguished career. 

He and his wife, JoAnne Snyder, reside in Kansas City.

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