The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is proud to announce W. Mark Donald, DMD, MAGD, as the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Mark S. Ritz Advocate for Dentistry Award. Dr. Donald was granted this award during AGD’s Annual Meeting on November 21, 2021, held at McCormick Place in Chicago. Donald has been a member of the AGD for 33 years.
The Ritz award is named after Dr. Mark S. Ritz, who was well known and respected AGD leader for his advocacy efforts in organized dentistry. The recipient of this award must distinguish themselves with national level advocacy in an active, visible, and successful manner, but not precluding state or local advocacy. Donald is the fifth AGD member to receive this prestigious award since its inception.
“This is only the fifth time the AGD has presented this award to an AGD member which means that we hold the recipients to a very high standard in the advocacy of dentistry,” said Gerald Botko, DMD, MS, MAGD, AGD president. “This year we could not think of a more deserving AGD member than Dr. Donald who has worked extremely hard to advocate for the AGD.”
Donald is a passionate advocate for general dentists and works closely with policymakers and colleagues to support the profession. His service is highlighted in his former roles on the AGD Legislative and Governmental Affairs (LGA) Council and as chair of the LGA council for three years. Over the past seven years, he has represented AGD at the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Legislative Exchange Conference.
He is currently speaker of the house for the American Dental Association. He has also served as speaker, president and an ADA delegate with the Mississippi Dental Association. He has served as AGD president and speaker of the house and president of the AGD Foundation. He has also held many leadership roles throughout the organization and with the Mississippi AGD, including Membership chair, Legislative chair, vice president, president, and delegate.
In 2009, Donald earned his AGD Mastership Award. Dr. Donald is a 1988 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry, where he has also taught as an adjunct faculty since 2015. He is in full-time private practice in Louisville, Mississippi.