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Colorado is fortunate to have a wealth of outstanding, dedicated women executives working and living in our beautiful state. Kate Paul is a sterling example of this talented group. Kate who is very humble and isn’t big on self-promotion, stays busy dealing with the day-to-day responsibilities of running a successful company, Delta Dental Plan of Colorado. Mrs. Paul is also doing what she can for our community - without a lot of thunder.

Kate joined Delta Dental in 2001. Prior to that Kate was with Kaiser Permanente from 1970 to 1999, and she held various senior management positions with Kaiser including President of Colorado, Ohio and Northeast regions.

From 1997 to 2003, Kate was Director of the Board of the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - an appointment made by the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. She also served as its chair for three years.

Kate currently serves as a Director of the Colorado Trust, The Denver Art Museum, Volunteers of America, and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Kate has also served on the Board of Trustees of a number of other non-profit organizations including Mile High United Way, the Denver Zoological Foundation, and the Economic Club of Colorado.

With all of these important duties and responsibilities, Kate’s plate looks full. The most important focus for Kathryn Paul is that she continues to make a positive impact, so that everyone can reap the benefits.

What is Delta Dental Plan of Colorado’s Mission/Vision Statement? “Improving the oral health of the communities we serve.”

Does Delta Dental have a community outreach program? What is the focus of the program? Yes, Delta Dental reaches out to the community with several innovative programs. Many of the programs are aimed at improving oral health in Colorado.

Can you tell me about the “Smile-a-bration” program? “Smile-a-bration” is Delta Dental’s annual statewide event that provides a day of free dental care for Colorado children offering exams, cleanings, fillings, x-rays, teeth sealants, and extractions to any uninsured Colorado child under the age 18. The “Smile-a-bration” program is one of our fundamental programs and has now provided care over a three-year period to approximately 8,000 kids, and we have funded roughly $1.7 million in direct care for those children.

What are your hopes for the future of the “Smile-a-bration” program? One of our great concerns is more and more of the kids we see during “Smile-a-bration” need more continuing care. We need funding to do it; we would be very interested to see other partners besides Kaiser and Perfect Teeth join us in providing services for these kids. Obviously the more dollars we have, the more kids we can see, and the more long-term care we could provide.

Would you like to talk about the Delta Dental Foundation? The Foundation funds a number of other activities in the community. We are currently working on a major gift to the University of Colorado Dental School. We also have provided funding for the State’s “Chopper Toppers Program” which is a program that provides sealants for kids in the 3rd grade - in the schools that have high percentages of kids who are in the Federal Free Lunch Program.

We also provide funding for organizations in which our senior management is involved; the Colorado Symphony, the Denver Art Museum, the Girl Scouts, Colorado Foundation for Dentistry for the Handicapped, Youth Biz, etc. - which are not related to our core mission. This is a relatively modest amount compared to the others. Delta Dental is a nonprofit; as a result 55 percent of our net operating gain annually goes to one of these three venues.

Delta and its employees were given an award by the United Way organization; can you tell me about that? In 2003, we were honored with the Mile High United Way “Spirit of Hope Award” for going above and beyond employee giving expectations. In 2004 and this year, we were awarded Mile High United Way’s highest award, “The Champion of Hope Award” in recognition of our campaign and extensive community benefit work.

What do you think is the greatest problem our country is facing today? I think that we face some significant challenges relative to our fiscal future. I have a lot of concerns about the deficit budgets that we are running and how that will ultimately impact the health and well being of the people of the United States - not to mention the world. Some are real issues that we are seeing in Colorado today. We do indeed need a “safety net” approach to healthcare. The “You are on your own, buddy” approach is not very effective in the long term.

What social or charitable event do you enjoy attending? Western Fantasy.

How do we get more people involved in charitable giving? Well, that’s a complicated problem. First of all, more people need to understand why it is important, and why it is important to be involved in community activities. I think that starts when we are kids, and then you have to construct reasons that make it worth an organization’s while to do this. There has been a lot of discussion about strategic philanthropy and the like, and how it can, in fact, enhance the position of the company. The more we need to do that, the more we can get people involved directly or through contributions.

What is the great Ralph Waldo Emerson quote Delta Dental refers to in its Annual Report? “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

What do you consider your company’s proudest achievement? The fulfillment of our mission.

What can we do now to make life better for future generations? Reduce the budget deficit.

What do you love most about living in Colorado? Everything!

What’s coming up in the future for Delta Dental - and Kate Paul? We would like to expand the “Smile-a-bration” program, and we’d like to be involved in the process where more and more people in the State of Colorado have access to dental benefits and have dental care. There are three times as many people uninsured for oral care than there are for medical care, and it is a significant problem. That’s what we will be working on.

What would you like to be remembered for? Making a difference in the health care industry. I’ve been in healthcare my whole life – so that’s where it is!

Thank you Kate for all that you do for our community!!
Mike Pritchard
10-Aug-05