President’s Message

May 2022

Dear CDAA Members,

My name is Zeña Delling, and I have been elected to serve as your President. First, I would like to take a brief moment to tell you a little about myself. I grew up in Gary, Indiana. My mom Winnie was a single parent who worked two jobs to keep us going. Winnie worked for a company called Stengel’s Laboratory. She allowed my sister and me to ride with her in the car to deliver lab cases to dental offices. So naturally, I was inquisitive and wanted to unwrap the models to see the shiny gold, crowns, partials, and full dentures. So, with mom’s help, I discovered the wonders of dentistry. I knew right then this was going to be my career choice.

We moved to California in 1980. I registered to be a student in the San Diego Mesa College dental assisting program in 1983. My teachers were amazing, Ms. Fickess, Ms. Beekman, and Ms. Lindsey. They taught me how to become a professional. I am forever grateful for the time they took to help me grow professionally.

Today, I am married to Bruce Delling and have three children, Jennifer, Evan, and Eric. I also have two grandchildren, Jayden and Emma, and a son-in-law Jesse Foss who are amazing. I love to spend time with God, family, and friends, and I love to fish and travel. I still practice as an RDA, and I help dental offices become efficient with their time management and supplies and get into compliance.

I am a member of CADAT, DAEGRS and the ADAA.

I love dentistry, and I have the vision to help our dental assisting community grow. As CDAA President, I will try to accomplish three goals during my term.

First, it is no secret there is a shortage of workers throughout California, and unfortunately, it has affected our dental community. I believe this is partially due to the COVID pandemic. However, the economy is now up and operating, so we need to promote a career in Dental Assisting. I work with our Local Dental Assistant Society to contact the high schools and see if they promote dental assisting as a career choice? In addition, I will work on a plan with California Dental Association and Dental Societies to keep the DA, RDA, and RDAEF happy and beneficial for all.

Second, I will attend board meetings with our CDAA Government relations team, Claudia Pohl and Shari Becker, to ensure the Dental Board is aware we want a say in all legislative changes. I want to thank Claudia Pohl for all the hard work she does in representing our organization at the Dental Board meetings and other meetings with legislators.

Lastly, when have you received a call from our organization? I am going to try to reach out to our members. It’s essential to get feedback so we can advance to become better at supporting all member’s needs.

Before I close, I would like to thank our immediate past president Kelly Leinner Thomas for all the hard work she has done as our President.


Zeña Delling, 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.”