search-committee_iconSearch Committee

The purpose of the FDA's Search Committee is to recruit qualified candidates to submit applications for President-elect, Secretary, at-large Board of Trustees positions, Treasurer, Editor and Speaker of the House. The Search Committee will review candidates to ensure they meet all qualifications for the office, as established by the House of Delegates, and work to create a diverse slate to present to the House of the Delegates for voting.

Search Committee Members

Dr. Gerald Bird, chair & FDA Immediate Past President
Dr. Doug Starkey, Atlantic Coast District
Dr. Suzi Thiems-Heflin, Central Florida District
Dr. Steve Cochran, Northeast District
Dr. Makeba Earst, Northwest District
Dr. Cesar Sabates, South Florida District
Dr. Reza Iranmanesh, West Coast District

Current Candidates for 2024 Elected Leadership Positions

Click each candidate to view their application.


FDA Editor

Two-year term, one to be elected

Jasmine Shafagh, DMD

Hugh Wunderlich, DDS

Speaker of the House

Two-year term, one to be elected

Don Ilkka, DDS


At-large Trustee

Three-year term, six to be elected

Tom Brown, DMD

Christopher Bulnes, DMD

John Cordoba, DDS

Sudhanshu "Sam" Desai, DDS

Karen Glerum, DMD

Eddie Martin, DMD

Samira Meymand, DDS

Elías Morón, DDS

Merlin Ohmer, DDS

The elections for these positions will take place at the Florida Dental Association's (FDA) annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting on June 21-22 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. While all members are encouraged to engage with the candidates, ultimately, the HOD members will vote for the open positions. 

You are invited to join the candidates above for a virtual candidate forum on May 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Each candidate will give a brief presentation, and there will be opportunities for Q&A.

Still interested in running for one of these positions but haven't gotten your application yet? The second and final window to apply is now open until May 16th See the information below and links to the applications.

Open Positions for the June 2024 Elections

The final due date for all candidates to apply is May 16, 2024. No nominees will be accepted after this date.


The FDA hosted a virtual candidate forum on May 7, 2024 featuring speeches from each candidate. The forum can be viewed HERE.