Dentistry is just as much art as it is science, and Michael Paquette’s career began on the aesthetic side of the ledger, when he worked as a draftsman designing dental offices at only 17 years old.
After earning his undergraduate degree from Michigan’s Ferris State University, he shifted to dental sales for 11 years, then joined Benco Dental, where he has spent two decades. Currently a Territory Representative for the Great Lakes Region, he’s based in Northville, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Among his leading responsibilities: developing relationships that help align The Lucy Hobbs Project with dental schools—a vital effort for the Project and women in dentistry alike.
In 2019 Paquette earned Benco’s Lucy Hobbs Project Trailblazer Award for dedication to these efforts and was interviewed by Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine in its winter edition. Last month he was also touted for his efforts in The ‘Ville, Northville Michigan’s News and Lifestyle Magazine.
Women’s role in the profession, he observes, has evolved significantly in recent years.
“For the first time, women now make up a majority of dental-school students, and the number of female solo practitioners is increasing as well,” he says. “The Lucy Hobbs Project has given me the perfect vehicle to connect with and support the largest demographic of new dentists.”
Paquette’s work has spurred one of the Lucy Hobbs Project’s most exciting new components: Through collaboration with the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, he championed “Lucy Hobbs YOU,” a collegiate event that brings together students, faculty, alumni and regional professionals to foster the core Lucy Hobbs Project virtues of networking, innovation and giving back.
He’s seeking partnerships with dental schools across the country, and the second annual event at UDM took place in October, 2018.
“The fact that Lucy Hobbs would never take no for an answer when working toward her dream to be a Doctor of Dental Medicine has always inspired me,” says Paquette, 52.
“My father, my greatest mentor, always told me to lead by example and show my daughters”—he has two, teenagers Mallory and Paige—“what working hard in the service of others really looks like.”