Past Lucy Hobbs honoree Dr. Maria Maranga takes her mentoring skills nationwide in her new ADA leadership role.

DR. MARIA MARANGA revels in the role of connector. In mid-October, the American Dental Association’s House of Delegates elected the Aquebogue, New York, endodontist the organization’s second vice president. Dr. Maranga was the recipient of the 2014 Lucy Hobbs Project Mentorship Award, and she has put the skills we lauded her for seven years ago immediately to work, this time for 163,000
ADA member dentists throughout the country.

“As an organization, we must connect members with the tools that they need to succeed in practice—and as leaders, we need to connect to the next generation to mentor our future leaders,” she says.

A past chair of the ADA Council on Membership, Dr. Maranga says coaching is second nature to her. She teaches at New York University College of Dentistry (her alma mater) and at four hospitals in New York City: Interfaith Medical Center, NYU-Lutheran Hospital, Brookdale Hospital and Jamaica Hospital.

A Brooklyn native who has also been president of the New York State Association of Endodontists and academic-affairs director of the American Association of Women Dentists, Dr. Maranga observes that the pandemic has made apparent the importance of clear dialogue among dentists and the industry nationwide. “We must strive, as an organization, to use all methods of communication at our disposal to reach every generation of our membership quickly and consistently,” she says. “I think dentistry and the ADA have handled [the pandemic’s challenges] marvelously.”

Dr. Maranga credits the late Dr. Mark Bauman, a dentist in Saratoga Springs, New York, with steering her in a leadership direction early. “He was the perfect mentor, who had a keen sense and cared about issues that we were facing. That’s what I hope to do: Promote younger dentists, and women, so they have an opportunity earlier on,” she says. “Overall, I will try to make sure young people are mentored, so they can nourish their quest for leadership. That kind of camaraderie is what’s lacking in a lot of industries.”