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Meet the Officers


President – Carmen I. Negron-Dupee, BS, RDH

Carmen has a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (1994) and an Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene (1998), both from the University of Puerto Rico. She worked at a Periodontal practice for 5 years before moving to the Boston, MA area in 2002, where she worked at Boston University School of Dental Medicine and in two general private practices. In 2007, she moved to Vermont and continued practicing clinical dental hygiene. Currently, she works at the Community Health Center of Burlington. Carmen has a great passion for dental hygiene, she really enjoys educating and helping patients change their attitudes towards oral health and in that way improving their smiles and quality of life.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and pets. She loves to read, learn, travel, garden, and quilt.

President Elect – Ryan Pepper, RDH

Ryan graduated with his Associates degree in Dental Hygiene from Hudson Valley Community College in 2009. He returned to Plattsburgh, New York and worked for a few years before returning to college. In 2017, he graduated from SUNY Canton with his Bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene. During his final semester, he interned at Vermont Technical College’s Dental Hygiene Program and was offered a part-time clinical instructor position for the fall of 2017. He currently works part-time on the adult/periodontal side of Timberlane Dental Group. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with friends and his dog, as well as variety of outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking and camping.

Vice President – Tammy Valadakis, RDH

Tammy graduated from Middlesex County College, NJ in 1992.  Continued at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY for BS in Elementary Education and Psychology in 1995.  Proceeded in obtaining  a MS in Reading and Learning Disabilities in 1998.  In 2019 she received a CDHC. Since 2019 is working on obtaining her COM.  Currently working full time in private practice and with 802 Smiles.  Outside of working,  I love spending time with my family, reading and traveling.

Immediate Past President – Erica Gates, RDH

In 2008, Erica obtained her Bachelor’s degree from University of Vermont with a double major in Neurobiology & Psychology. She continued her education at Vermont Technical College graduating with an Associate in Science degree in Dental Hygiene in 2011.
Erica served sevent terms as secretary for the VDHA and is excited to continue her leadership development as President Elect and now President. Erica is currently working in a private practice located in her home town.

Erica lives in Cambridge with her husband and two children on their farm. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors, cooking, baking & gardening.

Treasurer – Jade Piette, RDH

Graduated in 2019 with an Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene. Graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor in Science in Dental Hygiene. Currently works at Timberlane Dental Group as a Pediatric Dental Hygienist and Vermont Technical College as a part-time clinical instructor. Jade has a passion for working with children and patients with special healthcare needs. Jade’s main goal for serving on the VDHA Executive Board is to help the dental hygiene profession become an integrative part of overall healthcare. In her free time Jade loves hiking, working out, reading, and spending time with her family.

Secretary – David Morse, RDH

David graduated from the University of Washington in 1985 with degrees in Norwegian and Germanic Philology & Linguistics.   After working several years as an international flight attendant out of NYC, he returned to get another degree in Dental Hygiene from Shoreline Community College in Washington State.   Apparently David has a deep desire to work with scared people who throw up on him.    He continues to maintain licenses in Washington, California and Vermont.    Many years (24)  were spent in a downtown Seattle private practice with some additional work during the winter quarters working with dental hygiene students doing clinical rotations at a dental clinic for cerebral palsy patients.    David has been a member of ADHA since a dental hygiene student and was a delegate for over 20 years with the Washington State Dental Hygienists’ Association.    Moving to Vermont in 2016, he has been involved with VDHA and has participated in a few dental events affiliated with VDHA.    David continues to work at the Health Center in Plainfield where he works with a great dental crew.

Continue Education Committee:

  • Tammy Valadakis, RDH,  Chair
  • Nicole Fortune, RDH
  • Kirsten Wilkins, RDH
  • Carmen I. Negron-Dupee, RDH (Ex-Officio)
  • Mary Lew, RDH (Advisor)
  • Ellen Grimes, RDH. (Advisor)

Membership Committee

  • Kirsten Wilkins,  RDH,  Chair
  • Rian Pepper, RDH
  • Shannon Trainer, RDH
  • Carmen I. Negron-Dupee, RDH (Ex-Officio)

Legislative chair:

  • Sheila Bannister, RDH

Public Relations:

  • Vacant position

Liaison BDE: 

  • Heather Blair, RDH

SMADHA Liaison:

  • Tina  Marshall, RDH

Social Media administrator: 

  • Vacant position 

Rena Chernick Stewardship Award:

  • Michelle McKay, RDH

Member!  If you are interested in volunteering please contact us at:    [email protected]