Heartland Dental Foundation announces advisory committee changes

(Top Row, L-R) Brandon Belford, Angie Workman, Wil MacLaren
(Bottom Row, L-R) Tarra Clark, Dr. Jerry Benson, Leo Wheat, DMD, Heath Hall

The Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation is pleased to announce the Heartland Dental Foundation has elected a new Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and appointed new advisory board members. During the board’s December 2021 meeting, the advisory board elected officers: Chairperson, Brandon Belford, of Highland, Illinois and Vice Chairperson, Angie Workman of Windermere, Florida. Treasurer, William MacLaren of Knoxville, Tennessee continues his role on the board. Newly appointed fund advisory board members include Leo Wheat, DMD of Newnan, Georgia and Heath Hall of Overland Park, KS.

As of January 1, 2022, the newly elected and appointed Heartland Dental Foundation Advisory Board Members are:
• Chairperson - Brandon Belford
• Vice Chairperson - Angie Workman
• Treasurer - William MacLaren
• Advisory Board Member - Leo Wheat, DMD
• Advisory Board Member – Heath Hall

Additionally, two board members were recognized for their service at the annual winter meeting. Outgoing Chairperson and board member, Dr. Richard Straus, Regional Doctor Mentor of Operations with Missouri Dental Professionals, P.C. in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and outgoing Vice Chairperson and board member, Brandon Weber, Director of Real Estate and Leasing for Heartland Dental were both honored for their instrumental service on the inaugural advisory board.

The Heartland Dental Foundation Advisory Board is a committee of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation that provides leadership and oversight over the Heartland Dental Foundation Funds. The Advisory Board has established the mission, vision and values of the Heartland Dental Foundation and creates strategic plans, sets goals and monitors the performance of each fund. It is also the Advisory Board’s responsibility to generate ideas to create awareness to reach potential applicants. Board members also advise on fundraising strategies, including the development of marketing plans to internal and external audiences on the impact of Heartland Dental Foundation.

The Heartland Dental Foundation Economic Hardship Fund assists Heartland Dental supported dentists, team members and support professionals who are experiencing economic hardship and are unable to afford housing, utilities and other basic living needs because of a qualified disaster, serious or life-threatening illness or injury, death or other catastrophic or extreme circumstances beyond the individual’s control. More than $180,000 in financial assistance grants have been provided to numerous Heartland Dental team members since the Foundation’s inception in 2018. The Heartland Dental Foundation operates through generous donations, with 100% of gifts going directly to those experiencing hardship. The Community Foundation reviews employee assistance applications and makes all funding decisions, but the criteria for funding has been developed by the Advisory Board.

Heartland Dental Foundation’s Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and New Advisory Board Members:

Brandon Belford is Vice President of Procurement for Heartland Dental. He has more than twenty-five years of supplier management and procurement experience in the aerospace, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. Brandon received his MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain Management and a bachelor’s degree in Information Management, both from Western Illinois University. He and his wife, Carrie, are very active with their children’s sporting events, plays, and musical recitals, and have started and coached numerous teams through the years.

Angie Workman first learned about Heartland Dental when she accepted a position at Macomb Dental Center after graduating from the University of Missouri in 1994. She married Dr. Rick Workman in 1997 and resigned in 1998 to focus on their growing family. Angie has always passionately supported Heartland Dental, as well as the communities of Effingham and now Windermere, Florida, with many volunteer hours and charitable endeavors, including the Workman Sports and Wellness Center. Angie is excited to continue to help grow and support the Heartland Dental Foundation and its mission and vision.

Leo Wheat, DMD currently resides in Newnan, Georgia with his wife and children. He is retired from the U.S. Air Force and serves as the Chairman of the board for Arlington Christian School, and is involved with Men Stopping Violence, an organization dedicated to ending men's violence against women. He is also a member of the Georgia Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association and the Georgia Dental Society.

Heath Hall is Director of Government Affairs for Heartland Dental. He has over twenty years of experience working in high stakes positions within the non-profit, government, political, education, business, and association sectors. Heath received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Truman State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is also licensed to practice law in Maryland.

About Heartland Dental Foundation

Heartland Dental Foundation is a program of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All gifts are tax-deductible to fullest extent allowed by law. Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation manages more than 160 affiliated funds for the immediate and long-term benefit of communities in southeastern Illinois. For more information, contact Alex Pleasant, President/CEO of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, at 217.342.5409 or alex@enrichingourcommunity.org.