Recruitment Still Underway for Many States and Provinces

The AAO is pleased to announce the inaugural leaders for the AAO National Advocacy Network (NAN) Component Advocacy Liaison (CAL) and AAO Political Action Committee (AAOPAC) Captain roles.   

Each Component Advocacy Liaison (CAL) will serve as a chief advocacy contact for his or her component within the United States (including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) and Canadian provinces to support AAO priorities, including policy action for items with potential to impact orthodontists and patients.   
The AAOPAC Captains will lead state-level AAOPAC fund-raising in their U.S. states and help recruit other leaders to help build this important committee.

From the NAN’s inception in the fall of 2022, the AAO Council on Government Advocacy (COGA), the AAOPAC Board, and the AAO Advocacy team have worked tirelessly to interview a list of outstanding candidates for these leadership positions, compiled from self-nomination, AAO eBulletin promotion, AAO leadership outreach and referrals, and other nominations. 

We are thrilled to announce our confirmed Component Advocacy Liaisons, members of state CAL teams, and AAOPAC Captains (see list below). These volunteer leaders will help lead the advocacy work of the AAO today and into the future.  We would also like to congratulate the new NAN volunteer leadership in the state of North Dakota, the first state to have NAN representation in both the CAL and AAOPAC Captain roles (followed soon after by Utah filling both roles). 

View A Map of Filled/Open CAL and AAOPAC Captain Positions

Additionally, we celebrate Dr. Ernest Goodson of North Carolina, who is the first State Regulatory Captain for any state within the National Advocacy Network – and will be helping specifically to monitor state dental board action and other regulations in coordination with North Carolina’s CAL, Dr. Kelly Mitchell.  

Recruitment and interviewing continue with volunteer leadership candidates for both roles. Where a NAN volunteer leader has been confirmed, we will look to continue to build teams across the state (or province, for CALs) to fully support advocacy and AAOPAC work. 

Anyone interested in learning more is invited to text the word “NAN” to the number 52886, or email [email protected].   

“We are thrilled to welcome the inaugural class of Component Advocacy Liaisons within the AAO’s National Advocacy Network (NAN), leaders that will immensely help direct state advocacy work and ensure that the future of regulation and legislation in US and Canadian provinces have a positive impact on the profession of Orthodontics,” said COGA Chair Dr. Philip Mansour. “With this premier group of CALs, we will be in lockstep with state and provincial dental boards and ensure the voice of AAO membership is resoundingly represented.  Thank you to these leaders for stepping up to serve, and we are excited to welcome you to the ranks of AAO volunteer advocacy leadership.” 

“Congratulations to the inaugural class of AAOPAC Captains, whose work toward raising funds and growing AAOPAC contributions will go incredibly far in protecting the profession, and advancing our visibility in federal and state policy work,” said Dr. Deb Lien, incoming Chair of AAOPAC. “This new class of AAOPAC volunteer leaders will continue to support our vital work, including supporting political candidates who will work to protect our specialty, and ensure our profession as well as patient health and safety are always considered.  We welcome you and thank you for your service in this new role to the AAO NAN.” 

UPDATE: View a feature on three NAN volunteers and their reasons for joining the program in the Orthodontic Advocate (pages 14-15). Also, view our listing of current NAN participants below.


Dr. Dane Lenaker Alaska CAL
Dr. Mariela AndersonOntario, CanadaCAL
Dr. Anthony RossiQuebec, CanadaCAL
Dr. Anil Idiculla Colorado CAL 
Dr. Eddy Sedeno Florida CAL 
Dr. Sean Holliday Hawaii CAL 
Dr. Ben Youel Illinois CAL 
Dr. Andrew Chase Massachusetts CAL 
Dr. Matthews EversMassachusettsADA & Dental Specialty State Liaison 
Dr. John Monticello Michigan CAL 
Dr. Zachary Slama Minnesota CAL 
Dr. Andrew Larkin Missouri  CAL  
Dr. So Hee Kim Missouri Digital Advocacy Captain 
Dr. Kurt Bray Montana CAL 
Dr. Christina Aponte New York CAL  
Dr. Alison Fallgatter North Dakota CAL 
Dr. Kelly Mitchell North Carolina CAL 
Dr. Ernest Goodson North Carolina State Regulatory Captain 
Dr. Shannon Schober Oregon CAL 
Dr. Jeffery StokerUtahCAL
Dr. Jenna SchneiderWest VirginiaCAL
Dr. Sunny LeeWisconsinCAL


Dr. Paul SproulAlabamaAAOPAC Captain 
Dr. John BeattieFloridaAAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Daron StevensHawaiiAAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Tasha Hall Indiana AAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Ty SainiMarylandAAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Amy SchulteMissouriAAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Chris BakerNorth CarolinaAAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Dennis Sommers North Dakota AAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Dale Anne Featheringham Ohio AAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Candace ColemanTennesseeAAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Dean Jensen Texas AAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Bart Goldsberry Utah AAOPAC Captain 
Dr. George SabolVirginiaAAOPAC Captain 
Dr. Lance PittmanWest VirginiaAAOPAC Captain 

Note: bolded font indicates the confirmation of both a CAL, and an AAOPAC Captain for the state.  We will continue to build teams for both positions in every state.

AAOPAC helps fuel advocacy success not only in Washington, D.C. but in states throughout the country.  To make your contribution now, visit