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Incredible Race takes dental teams to Disney’s Epcot

Orlando, Fla.—The Incredible Race was more than seeing the sights of Epcot and affiliating themselves with “The Lion King.”

No, for winners Team Simba, and all of the teams that participated, The Incredible Race was about one of the root words in their name: teamwork. During annual session last month, nearly 150 people competed in the event, presented by the Disney Institute, which sent them on a race through Disney’s Epcot as they competed in a number of puzzles and challenges.

“Dentists succeed because they recruit and lead teams of dedicated people,” said Dr. Stephen Glenn, chair of the ADA’s Council on Dental Practice, which organized the activity in collaboration with the Council on ADA Sessions. “Team-building exercises like The Incredible Race not only provide excitement and fellowship, they challenge team members to interact outside their office roles, cooperate in novel ways, develop strengths and identify untapped capacities.”

A dentist from Crystal Lake, Ill., Dr. Mistie Norten, said the experience was both educational and fun.

“It is important for me as the team leader to understand what each team member’s goals are so that I can ensure that the individual’s goals and the team’s goals are not going to cause conflict, and so that I can also help guide the team in a direction where both individual and team goals can be achieved at the same time,” said Dr. Norten, who competed with her mother Donna Frymark and sister Ann Frymark, both of whom work in her practice. “Happy teams make more productive teams and they’re more fun to be around.”

In addition to the members from Dr. Norten’s office, Team Simba included five staff members from Erickson & Gill Dentistry in Wellington, Kansas. Second place went to Team Mike, made up of eight staff members from the office of Dr. James E. Midkiff of Maitland, Fla., and one staff member each from the offices of Edwards & Cavendish PA, of Jacksonville, Fla., and South Bay Dentistry in Riverview, Fla. Third place medals went to Team Elastigirl, which included nine members from the offices of Dr. Jared W. Stubbs and Dr. Lisa A. Daft of Seekonk, Mass.

“The Incredible Race was an amazing race,” said Julie Lynn, a hygienist with Dr. James Midkiff’s practice. “It was much more fun than we expected it to be and very well organized.”

The teams consisted of members of dental teams from practices across the country. The goal of the event was for teams to learn diversity, trust, recognition, communication and creativity—all key factors held by high-performing teams.

“We learned about our team members’ various qualities,” said Melissa Ruiz, office manager for Dr. Midkiff’s office. “It was a great team-building day.”

The Incredible Race was part of the 2010 Team Building Conference, which originated in 1995 when the Council on Dental Practice recommended a national team-building conference be held during annual session. CDP collaborates with the Council on ADA Sessions to select programs and speakers for courses in the team-building track, which has evolved from its original two-day conference format to a track format providing multiple courses for the entire dental team during each day of annual session.

Energized: The group that won The Incredible Race, Team Simba, flexes their muscles at Disney’s Epcot.
Energized: The group that won The Incredible Race, Team Simba, flexes their muscles at Disney’s Epcot.