NADP Press Release Archives

NADP Honors 8 Members with Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Award

Oct 07, 2021


In celebration of outstanding volunteer achievements, the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) will honor eight individuals with the Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Awards during CONVERGE 2021. The award recognizes annual volunteer contributions necessary for the association to accomplish its mission to promote and advance the dental benefits industry and improve consumer access to affordable, quality dental care.

“Because of the leadership of our volunteers, NADP is the respected industry leader and voice of the dental benefits industry,” said Executive Director Eme Augustini. “NADP continues to thrive because of our volunteers who give their time, talent, and expertise to advance our industry. We are grateful for their contributions and commitment to NADP.”

Following is a list of 2021 Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Award recipients and their contributions to NADP volunteer groups.


Theresa Bacon, Aspen Dental Management

Operations WorkGroup

As an active member of the Operations WG, Theresa is always involved in initiatives and brings so much value to the provider directory and credentialing projects.

Theresa joined Aspen Dental Management Inc. (ADMI) in 2012 as the manager carrier relations and has served as director of insurance operations since March 2019. Leading provider credentialing and plan enrollment for more than 900 Aspen Dental branded practices in 44 States. Theresa currently serves as the chair of the DSO Advisory Council and has been a member of the NADP Operations and Codes Workgroups since 2015. Past volunteer experience includes Provider Directory Validation, CAQH and Delegated Credentialing Sub-WorkGroups.

With more than 20 years in the dental industry, prior professional experience includes leadership roles at Coast Dental Services and roles with general dentistry and endodontic private practices.



Carl Brody, Dentistat and go2dental

Communications WorkGroup and Education Commission

The Communications WorkGroup is recognizing Carl for his energetic engagement on several projects and proactively providing helpful research and information. The Education Commission is praising Carl for his tremendous efforts in developing and delivering the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion session for Leadership Conference and his work in guiding the speaker on how to connect with NADP’s audience.

Carl began his career in 1992 at MetLife’s New York sales office as a group sales trainee and representative. Carl was promoted to manager of group sales training in 1995 and was invited to join MetLife Dental to lead communication and product development in 1997. Over the next 22 years, Carl held a variety of roles at MetLife. He led institutional sales training and national accounts customer growth strategy development, but Carl arguably made his biggest impact as a MetLife Dental and Vision sales director.

As sales director, Carl facilitated profitable growth and business retention. To accomplish this, Carl spent vast amounts of time in-market across the U.S., meeting with consultants, prospects, and customers of all sizes. In doing so, Carl built a deep understanding of marketplace dynamics. He shared his insights to provide guidance on product innovation, and to empower sales, marketing, underwriting and service associates to collaborate and differentiate more effectively.

In 2019, Carl left MetLife to join Dentistat and go2dental, where he currently serves as Vice President of Strategy and Client Engagement. Carl collaborates closely with clients to ensure “they derive optimal value and market differentiation from our capabilities.”



Michael Ferrera, Solstice Benefits

Research Commission

Michael is receiving the Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Award for the creativity he brings to the Research Commission and his enthusiasm in supporting NADPs research activities.

Michael Ferrera, Solstice’s director of project management and claims, oversees partnership and group implementations and process improvement initiatives and supervises a team of project managers, as well as Solstice’s claims team. He and his team define and consult on measurement strategies, tools, scorecards and surveys across the organization, as well as provide measurement and cost savings support (development, reporting, validation and improvement) for service management. In addition, he devises and approves proposed project designs to ensure alignment with Solstice standards and business strategy. Michael ensures compliance with the company's objectives, goals and timeframes, and maintaining standards for claims metrics. Michael joined Solstice in August 2008 as a credentialing administrator and moved through the ranks. He is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified.



Jon Jennings, Delta Dental of Missouri

Membership WorkGroup

The Membership WorkGroup is honoring Jon for serving as an engaged Delta Dental voice by offering key insights and suggestions.

Jon Jennings is the chief actuary and vice president of underwriting and project management at Delta Dental of Missouri. He joined the organization in 2016, and currently directs all aspects of underwriting, actuarial, client reporting and project management.

Jon has more than 15 years of experience in the dental and vision benefits industry. He previously served in a variety of underwriting and actuarial roles at Ameritas in Lincoln, Nebraska, including as director and assistant actuary for group business with a focus on pricing, reserving and growing strategic partnerships.

Mr. Jennings is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota



Bernard LaPine, Highmark

Government Relations WorkGroup (GRW)

The GRW is celebrating Bernard’s involvement in legislative and regulatory efforts in California.

Bernard the director of regulatory and legislative affairs for Highmark Inc. He joined Highmark in 2014 and is responsible for legislative affairs activities for Highmark’s dental subsidiary, United Concordia Dental, and for its stop loss and vision subsidiary, HM Insurance Group. Bernard also manages Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and commercial compliance programs for United Concordia Dental.

Bernard has worked in the health insurance industry for more than 25 years serving in a variety of regulatory, compliance and legislative roles. He has experience providing regulatory and legislative support for full-service commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans with operations in multiple states, including Aetna, Coventry Health Care and Mid-Atlantic Medical Services.

Bernard currently serves on the NADPac Committee, the NADP Government Relations Workgroup, the NADP Government Funded Workgroup and the California Association of Dental Plans Legislative and Regulatory Committee. Bernard also participates in several other insurance related associations including the Maryland Alliance, the Self-insurance Institute of America, and AHIP.

Bernard graduated from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and received his Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Thomas Cooley Law School. He is also a licensed attorney and a member of the State Bar of Pennsylvania.  



Amy Miller, BlueCross BlueShield of SC

Research Commission

The Research Commission is praising Amy for her steadfast and consistent support of Research Commission projects.

Amy Miller currently serves as the Dental Product Sales Director at BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina focused on local and national large group accounts. In her role, she is responsible for directing and leading the development, implementation and management of product design/strategy, network development and sales leadership for dental products/services. Her expertise helps maintain a competitive advantage and ensure that group dental products, are at or exceeding industry standards.

Prior to joining BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina in 2018, Amy held dental and behavioral health network management positions at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for 15 years. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management, magna cum laude from Bryan College and holds a Yellow Belt designation with Six Sigma and Lean Processing.



James Mullen, Delta Dental of CA, NY, PA & Affiliates

Government Relations WorkGroup (GRW)

The GRW applauds James for being instrumental in addressing Utah legislation regarding downcoding and network leasing as well as offering guidance on California issues.

James Mullen is the managing executive of public & government affairs for Delta Dental of California and its affiliated companies.

Since joining Delta Dental in 2001, James has assumed responsibility for the company’s legal and regulatory advocacy and compliance activities in 15 states plus the District of Columbia, including a particular focus on the positioning of dental plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Prior to joining Delta Dental, he served in various regulatory and compliance capacities for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company at their home office in Novato, CA.

In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in History from San Francisco State University, James has earned the Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Managed Healthcare Professional (MHP) designations. He also serves on the Public Policy Committee for the Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), the Government Relations Workgroup for the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) and is a past member of the Plan Management Advisory Committee for Covered California.



Christina Tuller

Commission on Advocacy Policy (CAP)

CAP is recognizing Christina for her knowledge and insight on Medicare.       

Christina DelVecchio Tuller currently serves as the head of product for Cigna's dental and vision solutions.  She is responsible for the strategy, development and management of dental and vision solutions for Cigna’s 17M + dental and vision customers.  A product leader with over 20 years of experience in all aspects of product and program management, she is focused on bringing affordable quality oral and optical healthcare solutions to consumers, that are simple to understand and use.  Prior to Cigna, Christina helped Guardian transform its dental product portfolio to be ACA complaint and also spent early years in her career working for Allstate. Christina has been a proud member of NADP since 2010 serving on the Education, GRW and  CAP committees.  She is an advocate for virtual employment and champion for improving work/life balance.  She holds an MBA and MS of Finance from Drexel’s LeBow School of Business and an undergraduate degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University. She serves on various committees with Bucks County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Forum of Executive Women, The Union League of Philadelphia, Vanderbilt Alumni Association, and the Lawrenceville Alumni Association. Christina resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her husband and 2 children


Submit a Press Release

NADP will only post press releases from NADP members
We prefer link submissions
Or upload the press release here