At The Lucy Hobbs Project Second Annual Celebration Honoring Exemplary Women in the Dental Community in Orlando, keynote speaker Liz Murray reaffirmed the underlying message of the event to her audience: Never underestimate your role as a mentor.

The author of the New York Times best-seller, “Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard,”Murray credited her adviser — No. 10 in a string of teachers she approached for help — with empowering her to return to high school in the Bronx after a lifetime of chronic truancy.

Her speech followed the presentation of awards to seven women whose ongoing contributions enhance the dental industry.

“The highlight of the celebration, to me, is always the award winners. Hearing their acceptance speeches, experiencing the powerful nature of their words is uniquely inspiring,” said Julie Radzyminski, Benco Dental director of business innovation.

The awards, named for the woman who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, recognize professionals whose achievements mirror those established by Lucy Hobbs.

The seven honorees’ complete profiles are featured in the summer edition of Incisal Edge, a lifestyle magazine for dental professionals, which can be accessed at

Powered by Benco Dental, The Lucy Hobbs Project is a national, long-term program which empowers women in dentistry to drive change and deliver results through three pillars: networking, innovation and giving back. Free to join, the project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental industry for networking opportunities, education programs and charitable events.

Representing the American Association of Women Dentists, Jennifer J. Cornell, DDS, accepted a $10,000 donation from The Lucy Hobbs Project to Smiles For Success, an organization that provides free dental work to women re-entering the workforce after surviving a personal setback.

Throughout the day, attendees were treated to three Continuing Education opportunities, courtesy of Benco Dental and event sponsors: KaVo Kerr Group, Crest, OralB, Heraeus Kulzer, OnPharma, Hu-Friedy, Microflex and Sunstar Americas Inc. Presentations in the areas of finance, trends in dentistry, and social media, were directed by Teresa Gast, CPA; Eric S. Solomon, DDS, MA; and Crystal Washington, respectively.

For those who participated in Orlando and want to continue the discussion, or professionals who were unable to attend, The Lucy Hobbs Project will offer a Virtual Innovation Meeting July 11 at 11 a.m.: “Social Media Part II” during which Ms. Washington will outline the cultures of the largest social networks and the best way to use them; discuss how age and other demographics affect your social media strategy and explain how those in the dental industry can best use her expert tips for increasing engagement.