Kenneth Widelka was placed as the executive director of the American Association of Endodontists in Chicago, Illinois. The association, dedicated to excellence in the art and science of endodontics and to the highest standard of patient care, inspires its members to pursue professional advancement and personal fulfillment through education, research, advocacy, leadership, communication, and service. It currently has more than 7,400 members worldwide, including approximately 95% of all eligible endodontists in the United States. The AAE has a staff of 27 and an overall budget of $9.5 million, and serves as the primary source of continuing education in endodontics for its members, the dental profession, the public, and others. The association also sponsors the American Board of Endodontics, the national board responsible for certifying endodontists. Ken serves as the chief administrative officer of the association, providing executive management services.
Ken brings to the position experience in both the corporate and association worlds, with a CPA credential. His financial aptitude, background in publishing, excellent communication skills, and commitment to utilizing social media to attract and engage members will serve the AAE well.
Before joining the AAE, Ken served as the chief operating officer of the American Association of Diabetes Educators in Chicago, a national association of 14,000 members with $14 million in annual revenue and a staff of 48, in which he provided leadership to virtually every department, program, and employee during his five-year tenure. In this capacity, he demonstrated strategic leadership ability and helped advance practice for the association's members, moving its most important programs to new levels of excellence and achieving record results.
Previously, Ken served as the associate executive director and chief financial officer for the American Bar Association; as the chief financial officer for PNA, a diversified insurance, financial services, and media company; and in progressively-responsible financial roles with Pearson PLC publishing. He began his career concurrently serving with KPMG and the Tribune Company.
Ken is a lifelong Chicago resident, and earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in accountancy from DePaul University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, the Association Forum of Chicagoland, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Ken and his wife are the parents of three children.