President's Message

May 2023 President’s Address at CDAA General Assembly

I am honored and humbled to be re-elected as CDAA President for 2023-2024. I say this for a few reasons.

I grew up in a very poor environment, and my mom worked 2 to 3 jobs. Mom always reminded us to be leaders, not followers, I listened. But more importantly, because she worked so hard, my sister and I did not have much guidance at home. Despite that, my sister was an A student, AND ME, take a guess? I was in band, sports, and clubs, but schoolwork or reading books was not my strong suit. Plus, I have a learning disability, so I fell in love with dentistry because I could work with my hands and loved art.

This career offered me a way to develop my communication skills, be a team player, and shine in my clinical talents I never knew I had. I recently returned to school to further my education, received my AA in Business Administration and AS in Liberal Arts, and will start at Cal State San Marcos in the Fall.

I am sharing my story with you because my aim is to help those who grow up as I did. My goal is to reach out to high school and community college kids to consider dental assisting as a possible career. Additionally, I want to offer guidance for working dental assistants with career questions.

Last year, the CDAA Board accomplished so much. The local directors worked to have courses in person and on Zoom, raise money for different charities, AND donated some of their money to help pay for our Lobbyist and door prizes for this event.

Our State worked hard to develop our new website, supported start-up companies, AND worked on our recent Annual Conference on April 21-22, 2023. I had the privilege of assisting the Orange County Dental Society with its outreach program to offer free dentistry to a poor community. I met some great dentists, and we had much fun. Our CDAA Government Relations committee has weekly legislative meetings, has hired a lobbyist, and is working to protect our Dental Assistant Profession. Our Strategic Plan Chair had frequent meetings to ensure we met our goals for the year.

This year as your new president, I plan to continue to work on reaching out to our current members to see how we can best support them. I have personally called many of our members, but some have not answered; PERHAPS THEY THINK I AM A ROBO CALLER. So I will try texting them instead. I believe it’s important to hear what our members need and whether they value what we are fighting for legislatively.

Our Government Relations Chair will continue to attend all Dental Board Meetings and update our members and be our voice.  Our Educational Chair and I are working towards providing two regional meetings, one for the North and one for the South. Our Strategic Plan Chair schedules additional appointments to ensure we reach our goals. Finally, our membership chair is working on creating ways to bring in new members.

By now, I believe you get the big picture.  We will continue working very hard to ensure our Dental Assistant Profession Shines.

I hope you will join me because this engine is taking off.


Zeña Delling, CDA, RDA

“To advance the careers of dental assistants and to promote the dental assisting profession in matters of education, legislation, credentialing and professional activities which enhance the delivery of quality dental health care to the public.”