Gold StarThe MDA regularly honors members of the dental profession who have given back to their communities and their profession in ways that are exemplary. Each year the MDA recognizes five members for their commitment to the field of dentistry and to the association, based on nominations made by the district dental societies.

Award Nomination Form


2017 MDA Honorees

Edward Kishel, Jr., D.D.S. – Guest of Honor
David Bates, D.D.S. – New Dentist Leadership Award
Lewis Pierce, D.D.S. – Humanitarian Service Award
John Wainio, D.D.S. – Outstanding Service Award
Carmelo Cinqueonce, MBA,  – President’s Award

Past Recipients

Edward Kishel, Jr., D.D.S.

2017 MDA Guest of Honor

Dr. Edward F. Kishel, Jr. has served as a true servant leader to dentistry throughout his nearly 50-year professional career.  An alumnus of Cretin High School and St. Thomas College, Dr. Kishel graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1967.  He then served a two-year stint, with a one-year tour in Thailand, as a Captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps during the Vietnam War. Upon his return, he established a private practice in Saint Paul.

Dr. Kishel became active with the Saint Paul District Dental Society (SPDDS) in the early 1970’s. His first assignment was chairing the Boy Scouts Explorer Committee and mentoring high school students who aspired to dental careers.  After chairing several other committees, including the Midwinter Meeting, he served on the Executive Council from 1978-1980 and was elected President in 1981. Dr. Kishel is also a past president and a proud 40+ year member of the SPDDS Speakers’ Bureau. In 2002, he received the district’s Outstanding Service Award.

On the state level, Dr. Kishel served on several committees, most notably two 3-year terms as chair of the MDA Dental Education Committee. During his tenure, he recognized the need for not only educating more hygienists, but also the need to ensure that their services were provided equitably throughout Minnesota. He and his committee created and developed a plan to expand all existing dental assisting schools to include dental hygiene programs. This model of educating Minnesota’s dental auxiliaries continues today. Dr. Kishel was elected MDA President in 1996.

From 1999-2016, Dr. Kishel served on the board of the Minnesota Dental Foundation (MDF), eleven of these years as the chair. He is deeply committed to the MDF’s mission “to eliminate unmet oral health needs in Minnesota.” In 2016, the MDF honored his loyalty and dedication to help grow the Foundation from $70,000 in 1999 to over $1 million today. Also, for over 20 years, he voluntarily provided dental care for the retired Sisters in Bethany Convent. Dr. Kishel was elected to the American College of Dentists in 2002.

It is with great appreciation for his dedicated service to his profession that the MDA is proud to honor Dr. Edward F. Kishel, Jr. as the 2017 Guest of Honor.

David Bates, D.D.S.

2017 New Dentist Leadership Award

Dr. David Bates has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty in ensuring the success of organized dentistry, never hesitating to serve when needed.  While still in dental school at the University of Southern California (USC), from which he graduated in 2009, David served as co-director of the USC Mobile Clinic, working extensively to organize and provide dental care for children in underserved areas of that state.

Returning to Minnesota soon after graduating dental school, Dr. Bates joined his father, Dr. Bruce Bates, at his Roseville dental office and immediately became a member of the MDA and the Saint Paul District Dental Society. Dr. Bates joined St. Paul District Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting Planning Committee in 2013 and served as the committee chair in 2016.  Dr. Bates was instrumental in getting the 2016 meeting off the ground, doing much of the planning, publicizing (he created the program flyer himself) and organizing of the event.

Dr. Bates is a past president of the Saint Paul District Dental Society Speakers’ Bureau, which he has been a member of since 2009, and has rarely missed any of the Bureau’s weekly Thursday lunch meetings. In addition, he is a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, has served on the 2013-2014 MDA Constitution, Ethics and Bylaws Committee, and has been a Saint Paul District delegate to the MDA House of Delegates since 2013.  He is also currently a member of the MDA Resolution Review Committee.

Outside of dentistry, David enjoys spending his time exploring the Cities with his wife Samantha, their son Hunter and their two dogs.

The MDA is pleased to honor Dr. David Bates with the 2017 New Dentist Leadership Award.

Lewis Pierce, D.D.S.

2017 Humanitarian Service Award

Dr. Lewis Pierce has been a tireless volunteer of his own time and money his entire professional career, all to forward the vision of dentistry, dental education, and dental leadership.  Graduating from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1965, he first began practicing in Saint Anthony Park, Minnesota, where he was involved in the Saint Paul District Dental Society, the Union Gospel Mission, and the 916 Dental Hygiene Program and Dental Assisting Program.

Dr. Pierce completed his Master of Science in Prosthodontics, also at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, in 1987.  Shortly after, he worked for five years with Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere), spending one year as program director in Lisbon, Portugal, two years as program director in Hangzhou, China, eight months in Russia developing a Humanitarian Assistance Program, and one year as a division director at HOPE headquarters in Millwood, Virginia.

After opening his prosthodontic practice in Duluth, Dr. Pierce volunteered with Global Volunteers, setting up dental clinics in Tanzania and Ghana, using much of his own money and some contributions from dental suppliers. Once again using his own funds, Dr. Pierce created numerous scholarships, helping people attend dental school in Tanzania so that they could subsequently staff the dental clinic that he started there.  Additionally, he and his wife Joyce continue to sponsor other children in Ghana through the Ghana Scholarship Fund, to help them achieve a high school and college degree. Dr. Pierce and Joyce have also taken time out to teach English as a second language in Tanzania, Italy, Poland, and other countries.

Having left his practice in Duluth, Dr. Pierce continues to volunteer his expertise in the Copper Canyon region of Mexico with Dr. Fred Kalinoff, treating the Tarahumara Indians; in Ghana, Africa; and with Operation Grace Minnesota, a mobile dental van providing free dental services throughout Minnesota.

Currently, he is actively practicing as a Locum Tenens with Midwest Dental, a dental service organization, that serves primarily rural areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The MDA is honored to present Dr. Lewis Pierce with the 2017 Humanitarian Service Award.

John Wainio, D.D.S.

2017 Outstanding Service Award

Dr. John Wainio has been involved in organized dentistry for over 50 years, even before his 1968 graduation from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.  Starting his own Duluth dental practice just two years later, he has been a leader in the Northeastern District Dental Society (NEDDS) ever since and has held offices both locally and on the state level.

Dr. Wainio created the NEDDS Ad Hoc Committee on Opioid Prescription Abuse, using his leadership abilities to organize a team, involve the entire district, and collaborate with local and state officials.  He has been instrumental in getting young dentists involved and working together for the good of dentistry, recruiting several of them to be a part of the Ad Hoc Committee he started.  The committee grew from just a few members, to being part of the MDA Environment and Safety Committee as an Ad Hoc, and then to establishing a first in the nation, free standing, non-opioid, oral facial pain assessment and management protocol, including training videos.  This was done as a proactive, MDA initiative.

Dr. Wainio has worked tirelessly to help lessen the problem of drug abuse for dentistry and for patients, working as an integral part of a Minnesota-based work group facilitated by the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI).  He represented the MDA in collaboration with the medical profession in development of protocol for assessment, non-opioid, and opioid pain management for medical and dental clinicians.  The MDA position for non-opioid management of oral/facial pain by medical clinicians is recognized in the protocol.

Dr. Wainio has been a very active member of NEDDS, serving as their president in 1983, and of the MDA, where he was a trustee for two terms that ended in 1999 and where he currently serves on the Environment and Safety Committee and as chair of the MDA Opioid Task Force.

Further offering up his knowledge and expertise, Dr. Wainio serves on the Board of Directors for Duluth Bethel, a faith-based nonprofit center for corrections and rehab from drugs and alcohol; is heavily involved with the Saint Louis County Opioid Abuse Task Force; and has been recognized by Saint Louis County for his volunteerism at Lake Superior College.

The MDA is honored to present Dr. John Wainio with the 2017 Outstanding Service Award.

Carmelo Cinqueonce, MBA

2016 President’s Award

Each year the sitting MDA President is afforded the privilege of choosing one individual he or she feels best exemplifies the values, ethics and ideologies of the Minnesota Dental Association.  Not facing an easy decision, and with so many individuals to choose from, 2016 MDA President Dr. Pete Cannon announced that he would be honoring MDA Executive Director Carmelo Cinqueonce, MBA, with his President’s Award.  This is only the second time in MDA history that a non-dentist has been chosen for this accolade.

Carmelo came to the MDA in April of 2012 with extensive experience in association management, having served as the chief executive officer of the South Carolina Pharmacy Association and, prior to that, as the executive vice president of the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association. In addition to his present duties at the MDA, Carmelo also currently serves on the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Board of Visitors, as a board member of Association North (formerly called Midwest Society of Association Executives), as a board member of America’s Dentists Care Foundation, and as president of the Saint Paul District Dental Society Speakers’ Bureau.

In announcing his choice for the President’s Award at the 2016 MDA House of Delegates meeting, Dr. Cannon said “Carmelo came on the scene just over four years ago as our association was in the midst of turmoil. He hit the ground running and he worked tirelessly since that time.  He is largely responsible for the current health and strength of the MDA.

“I have been fortunate to be the first president to go through all four presidential chairs with him as executive director.  His guidance, his support and knowledge have been ever so helpful in my development as a leader and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him.”

“I am proud to present this President’s Award [to] Carmelo Cinqueonce, in appreciation of his extraordinary commitment and service to the profession and the association — a teacher, mentor and inspiration to all.”

The MDA congratulates Mr. Carmelo Cinqueonce, MBA, on having been selected as the 2016 President’s Award recipient.