Jackie L. Sanders, RDH, MBA, as manager of professional relations and communications for Chicago-based Sunstar Americas Inc, serves as a liaison responsible for communications with professional and industry associations, educational institutions, and the dental professional community. She is a recognized and active opinion leader within the dental hygiene community and associated social networking programs.
Prior to joining Sunstar in 2008, Sanders worked in clinical practice for 13 years, provided consulting services to several dental manufacturers, and held an adjunct faculty position at her alma mater, Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. She currently serves on committees for the American Dental Education Association, American Dental Hygienists’ Association Institute for Oral Health, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Inspired by a true passion of helping others to achieve their personal goals, Sanders deeply believes in furthering the career progress of entrepreneurial dental hygienists by supporting their ideas with her inspiration.
You have a passion for helping others achieve their personal goals. How does this manifest in your personal and professional life?
For the past 10 years, I have been honored to be part of Sunstar Americas Inc, a member of the Sunstar Group companies. The global organization is headquartered in Switzerland and serves oral health professionals and consumers in 90 countries. Sunstar’s mission is to enhance the health and well-being of people everywhere to achieve better health and an enhanced quality of life.
Sunstar’s mission aligns with dental hygienists’ passion—to improve the health of their patients. My work with Sunstar has enabled me to align programs within the dental industry that support both missions. Whether my passion led me to my current role or my current role helped to define my personal passion, it has become evident that I live my work. I have found a unique way to intertwine the two.
To recognize dental hygienists who are fulfilling the Sunstar motto, the company has sponsored the Sunstar RDH Award of Distinction for 18 years (2002) and the Sunstar World Dental Hygienist Awards since 2007. These programs recognize dental hygienists who have made significant contributions to science, patients, communities, and the general public. Sunstar embraces dental hygienists’ expertise and their ability to help others achieve good health.
As manager of professional relations, I have had the opportunity to represent Sunstar within the dental industry. This is a responsibility that is never taken lightly and has always made me proud. I accepted the job knowing the focus Sunstar had on quality products, bringing solutions to the dental professional, and valuing the voice of the professional when designing and marketing new products.
I was asked, “You have a passion for helping others to achieve their personal goals. How does this manifest in your personal and professional life?” This question stumped me for days until I realized my professional life was my personal passion. The dental community is smaller than many believe, and the more you are involved, the tighter the community becomes. Build your network, take the opportunity to say “yes,” and, as often as possible, connect with individuals who may be your key to achieving your next goal. Networking is the golden ticket.