This is the second in a series of posts recapping my first (but most certainly not my last!) AADOM experience. You can check out my previous recap post here.
When I initially set eyes on writing an AADOM recap, I planned on having only one article.Yeah, about that ...A recap of Feeding Children Everywhere came out at 840 words, and it became quickly apparent this would be a series of posts. Here's what Day 2 to an AADOM newbie looked like.
Up early. Our entire team was downstairs an hour before the floor opened, ready to #AADOMinate.We had our morning huddle, went over roles and locations and what the day would bring.
"Jonathan, you scan badges and talk with every person who'll listen to you." Pffft, that's what I was born to do.
The first person I spoke with was named Duran. Duran was part of the incredible Hilton wait staff who set up and broke down all our meals. He's from Turkey and was, himself, seriously vibing on the AADOM energy.
"Everyone is so nice and smiley," he told me. It was great catching up with Duran throughout the weekend.
As I shuffled over to our main booth, I ran into my coworker and FAADOM member, Deana Zost.
"I hope you're ready for the energy!" the always bubbly Deana said. "It's like 1,000 of me, and I'm sending everyone over to say 'Hi.'"
Fast forward 20 minutes, and it turns out Deana undersold things. Through the closed conference doors, I heard the sound of Queen's "We Are the Champions" RIPPING through the auditorium.
Everyone is so nice and smiley
I poked my head in to see a custom rendition of the song being performed by AADOM VP Lorie Streeter. Let's just say that Freddie Mercury would've been proud. She owned the song, room, and at that moment in time, all of Orlando.
I'm not quite sure that I'm a good enough writer to describe the energy in that room. It was sentient. After hanging around for a few minutes, I tossed my coffee in the trash. It was completely unneeded. The energy in that room was enough to carry me for the day.
I went back to the booth, grabbed some melon slices, and chatted with some folks who were milling about. And then a roar normally reserved for sporting events splintered the air. Out of nowhere, I was in Madison Square Garden, Soldier Field, and Fenway Park all rolled into one.
Dr. Rich Constantine, the dancing doctor, had just been introduced to the packed auditorium. Game faces on. Dr. Constantine is a proud RevenueWell customer, and his next stop was our booth for a scheduled photo sesh. It was about to get real.
Most folks know Dr. Constantine as a viral internet sensation for dancing to a Drake song. Google his name and "hot doctor" comes up in the suggested search terms. What most folks don't know is that he's an incredibly nice and humble man.
As we chewed the fat over his football career at Ohio University and graduate career at West Virginia, I couldn't help but notice how soft-spoken he was. I then met Trish Constantine, the doctor's wife, and could see first-hand just how special this couple truly is. Trish is currently transitioning over to running their foundation, Smile on Cancer, full-time. They are two wonderful people taking a sudden rush of fame and paying it forward. It was incredibly moving to see how dedicated they are to their cause of improving the lives of patients and families affected by cancer. I feel truly blessed that we were able to partner with them. And there was no better venue than AADOM.
The doors opened. A massive line formed. Our team ensured that nearly every single person who wanted a photo got one. I say "nearly" because there were a few people left without a photo.
You see, Doctor Constantine's office manager Marjorie was scheduled to receive recognition and he was determined to watch it. After his video went viral their practice was inundated with phone calls. We're talking 60 calls an hour. Every. Single. Day.
Without his awesome team, Dr. C told us, he wouldn't be in a position to enjoy AADOM or further the cause of his foundation. He left to take in the award ceremony, and we were left smiling knowing that we had just spent a couple hours with a truly genuine human being. We chatted up the crowd, worked the floor, and then prepared for the latter part of the day.
The rest of the day played out in two parts: class and dinner. The class, which several RevenueWell team members attended, was taught by a member of AADOM's leadership team. I scribbled notes like a madman all throughout. And if anyone left the course without a serious amount of empathy for office managers then they should probably find a new business.
As a marketer, I thought that I understood my audience completely. While we do a good job, it turns out that I still had a lot of room for growth. Another great theme for AADOM: acknowledgement and acceptance for growth.
I had one other takeaway from the class: how family-oriented AADOM is. Not like "we're all the same Tribe" family, but, like, family-family. Family as in our presenter Lorie (still bringing the thunder after singing Queen earlier in the morning!) had her husband in the back of the room recording everything and her college-aged son passing out materials to all attendees.
There's a lot of love within the AADOM Tribe, and I really think it comes back to this full investment from the families of its leaders. Truly remarkable.
There's a lot of love within the AADOM Tribe
I was pretty gassed by the time we hit dinner, but it was nonetheless exciting. Any dinner with Alex Nudel, I'm told, is an event. Truthfully, I felt fortunate just to be at the table.
Along with the RevenueWell crew, there were several of the most recognizable people in dental marketing, staffing, and operations all sharing a private room at an upscale steakhouse. As tends to happen when you have a lot of powerful people at a table, there was a bit of one-upmanship — tales of beating Richard Branson at chess and rubbing elbows with pre-POTUS Barack Obama.
Then, something incredible happened: we started going around the table saying what we were grateful for. It was like a pre-Thanksgiving ritual, only completely organic. Every person described their path to this specific moment in time. Triumphs (loving relationships and children), tragedies (lost loved ones and health scares), and genuine affection for the present company (lots of smiles, applause, and laughter).
For me, the most impactful was listening to Nudel's wife, Marina, describe her road to dentistry. She came over from Eastern Europe and was typecast immediately. She worked and spoke with several doctors who, more or less, called her a Commie, and said she'd never make it in the field. Fast forward a few years and she was sitting next to them at a conference in Las Vegas reminding them of their lunacy. Fast forward a few more years and she's seated at the head of our table with some of the most powerful people in her field, the First Lady of RevenueWell.
I'd never spoken to Marina beyond a casual conversation here or there, so this all blew my mind. Though a dentist and not an OM, she embodied what I had seen, and would continue to see, at AADOM: a beautiful spirit who, when given a chance, showed the world just how amazing she is.
Thursday was my 4th wedding anniversary, and one of the rare nights I've spent away from my wife and infant son. And while I missed them deep in my core, our dinner was a nice salve. It was the fitting end to a long, emotional day.
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