Welcome the AAE Foundation's New President Keith V. Krell, D.D.S., M.S., M.A.
"An early experience set the stage for my career,” says the Foundation’s new President Dr. Keith V. Krell. “I was a graduate student, and I had developed a table clinic using ultrasonic instruments to remove posts and silver points. Dudley Glick and Al Frank were watching my presentation. I was thrilled that they took an interest. But when these two giants in the specialty actually spent the next 20 minutes talking with me and asking me questions, it left a lasting impression.”
That brand of AAE collegiality continues to inspire Dr. Krell. “Our organization is unique,” he says. “Many hands are ready and willing to help, and few egos need stroking. Everyone pitches in to get the job done.”
A lifetime of service to organized dentistry has prepared Dr. Krell for his role as chief steward of the Foundation’s $20 million investments. In addition to being a former president of the American Board of Endodontics, Dr. Krell has served on the AAE Board and is a past president of the Iowa Association of Endodontists. Numerous committees and task forces have benefitted from his participation. His commitment to his community has translated into ongoing involvement with his church as well as the National Guard.
Dr. Krell is uniquely qualified to understand the needs of the academic community and will be a passionate advocate for excellence in research and education. He began his endodontic career as an associate professor at the University of Iowa and rose to become a tenured graduate program director. In 1989 he went into private practice, but he continues to teach at the university as an adjunct faculty member.
Dr. Krell visited the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, for the dedication ceremony of the new facility. He took a moment to pose for a photograph with the AAE Foundation block on the wall of donors. The AAE Foundation provided a $100,000 Endowed Faculty Matching Grant in support of the John R. Ludington, Jr. Professorship.
As a lifelong volunteer, Dr. Krell has a deep appreciation for the members who support the Foundation’s campaigns. “Fundraising can be incredibly challenging,” he notes. “I had raised a little money for my church, but my first real experience was working on the Walton Fellowship for the University of Iowa. I learned that education is the key. When the alumni understood the issues, then they were eager to provide support. Each of us has a duty to give what we can, not just to our profession but to all of the organizations that enrich our lives.”
Dr. Krell is quick to acknowledge his fellow trustees and to credit their expertise for the Foundation’s success. “It’s an honor to be part of this fantastic brain trust. I’ve worked with many different groups, so I can appreciate the way that this Board achieves consensus and allows each person to express their opinions.”
The Foundation has a history of visionary leadership and ambitious goals. Dr. Krell is no exception. His hope is that the organization will double its funding over the next decade. “It’s great to have $1 million to invest every year in our profession. But think of what we could accomplish with $2 million. Our Foundation is already a model for other dental groups. I would like to see us become the unqualified leaders in health care philanthropy.”
When Dr. Krell isn’t holding a file, he’s strumming a guitar. He grew up listening to musicians like Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers and has played guitar since he was 11 years old. “I like to experiment with lots of different kinds of music, and I have guitar for every style,” he says. In fact, Krell has about 75 guitars (he’s not sure of the exact number) in the collection that he has been building over a lifetime.
Dr. Krell’s family shares his intellectual curiosity and zest for learning. His wife Diane is the chairman of the board of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. Daughter Rayda is an entomologist working for Dow Agrosciences and son Nathan is a welder and an entrepreneur who owns Guru hydroponics in West Des Moines. They have five grandchildren.
“One of the Foundation’s challenges is to keep the enthusiasm that has carried us this far burning,” says Dr. Krell. With a career that exemplifies the spirit of camaraderie that he admired early on, it’s certain that Dr. Kell’s vision for a bright future will be realized.