National Lifetime Achievement Award Honors Contributions to Dental Benefits Industry

DALLAS – – The National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) recently awarded the dental benefits industry’s top honor to Ronald Bolden, Cigna’s vice president of dental and vision growth and strategy for U.S. Commercial, during CONVERGE 2022, the association’s annual conference. Bolden received this lifetime achievement award for his innovative and exemplary leadership during significant industry and association transitions.

Bolden first became engaged with the organization in 2013 when he volunteered to serve on NADP’s Research Commission. He had various leadership roles in the organization during his six years on the board, including serving as NADP Chairman 2019-2020. Bolden skillfully guided NADP through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his mantle of leadership, NADP’s members embraced new technologies to successfully deliver new affordable and innovative dental benefits to their clients and customers.

During his time as Board Chair, Bolden skillfully steered the association in the following areas:

Leading the first NADP leadership transition and hiring a new executive director

Bolden served on the 2019 Search Committee to find a new executive director after the retirement of the group’s longtime leader. He was instrumental in the review and screening of candidates and worked closely with the new director during her first year in the role.


Transitioning to a new dues model

Bolden led a successful transition to a new revenue-based membership dues model. He communicated the news to members via letters to delegates, the annual business meeting and his newsletter columns.

Promotion of NADP Programs

Bolden has participated in Advocacy in Action, NADP’s Day on the Hill. He was extremely impressed with the impact of this meeting and the association’s reputation as the voice of the dental benefits industry. He shared his insights with the membership in his newsletter column and encouraged members to participate.

Volunteer Service

Bolden began his volunteer service on the Research Commission in 2013 and served as vice chair from 2014-2017 and later as board liaison from 2017-2020. During his tenure on the Research Commission, he first demonstrated his leadership ability and keen industry insights by helping the Commission adapt its research reports to reflect industry changes resulting from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Bolden’s leadership and vision effectively steered NADP in the right direction through several critical challenges. By keeping NADP a strong, viable association, he contributed to the advancement of the dental benefits industry, and Bolden continues to encourage active participation on NADP volunteer groups.

Professional Biography

Bolden has worked at Cigna for 24 years and most recently accepted the role as Cigna’s Vice President of Dental and Vision Growth and Strategy for U.S. Commercial.  In this capacity, he and his team are responsible for developing and implementing dental and vision sales strategies, working in close partnership with senior leadership and market growth leaders across the U.S.  Previously, he was responsible for Cigna’s dental and vision market insights and innovation, which included the creation of Cigna’s Dental Innovation Studio. In this role, he served as the business lead in evaluation, implementation and delivery of strategic business relationships helping to guide and deliver innovation. He has also served as a company spokesperson at many industry events and conferences.

Bolden began his career in the health insurance industry after obtaining a B.S. in Biology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Ron resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he previously served as a board member and vice chair for the Arizona Diversity Council.

About The Gabryl Award

The Gabryl Award, also known as the NADP lifetime achievement award, is the dental benefits industry’s highest honor. It is presented to volunteers who have six or more years of service that advances the dental benefits industry. Recipients are recommended by NADP volunteer groups, and nominees are chosen by the Board of Directors. Ron was recommended by the Research Commission, Communications WorkGroup and Membership WorkGroup.

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