Hinman announces retirement of longtime executive director Sylvia Ratchford

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Hinman announces retirement of longtime executive director Sylvia Ratchford

Sylvia Ratchford, who is retiring, has led the Hinman Dental Meeting and Hinman Dental Society since 1996. (Photo: Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting)

Thu. 11 March 2021


The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting has announced that its longtime executive director, Sylvia Ratchford, will retire in May, following her 25th Hinman Dental Meeting.

Ratchford has led the Hinman Dental Meeting and Hinman Dental Society since 1996. Annette Sullivan has been named incoming executive director. Under Ratchford’s leadership and during her tenure, Hinman has achieved many accomplishments, including the following:

  • Growing the Hinman Dental Meeting to its peak of more than 23,000 attendees and 430-plus exhibiting companies and establishing Hinman as one of the nation’s leading continuing education dental meetings.
  • Elevating Hinman to be consistently one of Atlanta’s top 10 professional conferences, contributing an average of nearly $20 million annually to the local economy.
  • Expanding the Hinman Dental Society’s membership to more than 800 dentists, who volunteer their time to ensure the success of its annual meeting.
  • Establishing Hinman Dental Society fellowships and scholarships during the past 20 years that have contributed more than $10 million in support of dental education and have benefitted countless students at universities throughout the Southeast.

“For the past 24 years, Sylvia has been the lifeblood of Hinman and has played a very critical role in making Hinman the success it is today. She has been a tremendous leader who has been instrumental in growing Hinman and maintaining its position as the premiere dental meeting in the country,” said Dr. L. Maxwell Ferguson, chair of the Hinman Board of Trustees. “We are sad to see her retire but greatly appreciate her many contributions over the years, including the capable team she has developed.”

“The past 24 years have been a blessing for me both professionally and personally,” Ratchford said. “My hope is that the many relationships I’ve formed with colleagues and friends, as a result of Hinman and my career in Atlanta, will be lifelong.

Incoming executive director

Annette Sullivan (Photo: Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting)

Native Atlantan Annette Sullivan began working full-time last year with the goal of transitioning many of Ratchford’s duties. Sullivan brings more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and meeting planning industry.

Her most recent position was with the Georgia World Congress Center, where she was a member of the national convention sales team.

(Source: Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting)

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