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Dr. Lesley Williams recognized with the Arthur A. Dugoni Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Lesley Williams image

Dr. Lesley Williams, Doctor-Partner and Board Director at Corus Orthodontists, has been awarded the Arthur A. Dugoni Lifetime Achievement Award by the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (PCSO). This PCSO award recognizes exceptional personal effort by an individual to advance the art and science of the orthodontic specialty and will be presented at the PCSO Annual Session later this year. Dr. Williams becomes the first woman and first Canadian to be awarded the Arthur A. Dugoni Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Lesley WilliamsAbout Dr. Williams

Dr. Williams attended the University of British Columbia for dental school and the University of Alberta for her Master of Science in Orthodontics. She has been practicing orthodontics for over 25 years and proudly leads her team in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada at South Surrey Smiles. Dr. Williams and her team joined the Corus network in 2019 as one of the founding partner practices and has served on the Board of Directors since Corus’ inception.

Her list of career accolades is something to revere. Dr. Williams is one of two Canadians to serve as examiners of the American Board of Orthodontics, the second woman President of the PCSO, the first woman Chief Examiner for Orthodontics of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, and the first woman and Canadian to be invited to join the prestigious Peninsula Orthodontics Research Group (PORG).

“I first met Lesley when we interviewed at the University of Alberta for the two positions in the graduate orthodontic program.  I decided to attend the University of Iowa and missed out on doing my residency with Lesley.  We would have been fierce competitors in the program. Fortunately, we became close friends over the years as I got to know her while serving as a director to the PCSO when she was president of the PCSO, while serving as an examiner for the Royal College of Dentists of Canada when she was Chief Examiner for Orthodontics and through our time in the Angle Society.  Lesley is an incredible orthodontist and has continually demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to the specialty and to the development of Corus Orthodontists!” Dr. Paul Helpard, CEO of Corus Orthodontists

“I began on the PCSO board in 2006 as a new and young member. It was doctors like Dr. Williams that made me feel like I belonged and that I could make a difference. I would see her at every meeting, and she would make sure to stop and say hello. This meant so much to me.” – Dr. Mary Cooke, Corus Doctor-Partner at Cooke Orthodontics and current PCSO President


We sat down with Dr. Williams to get her thoughts as she reflects on her long-spanning career and what she believes the future holds for the world of orthodontics…


Q: What first inspired you to pursue a career in orthodontics and how has your passion evolved over the years?

Dr. Lesley Williams with her team at South Surrey Smiles

A: I first pursued a degree in business but after working in the corporate world, I decided to pivot in search of more independence. I had always been interested in health care and felt that I had the aptitude to become a good dentist. After several years, I decided to pursue specialty training and orthodontics was at the top of my list. I haven’t looked back since.

Q: This award also recognizes those who go to extraordinary lengths in the name of community service. Can you tell us about an event or initiative that stands out to you?

A: Getting involved and making a difference in my community has always been important to me.  My twin sister, Michele was an Oral Medicine Specialist. Unfortunately, in 2015, we lost her to cancer. The following year, and in honor of Michele, I was motivated to act and raised about $500,000 for oral cancer research in her name. Due to Michele’s contribution to oral cancer research and treatment, the BC Cancer Foundation granted that 100% of these funds would go directly to oral cancer research. Michele would have been delighted.

Q: Any mentors who have guided or inspired you along your career journey?

A: Yes, many. Dr. Arthur Dugoni, after whom this award is named, was an icon in dentistry. He was passionate about our profession and encouraged me to be the best I can be personally and professionally. Drs. David Kennedy & Robin Jackson both served as mentors and encouraged me to step up and get involved in leadership.

Within my own family, Dr. Dru Marshall is my spouse of 28 years. She recently completed a decade as Provost and Vice President Academic at the University of Calgary, and I observed her lead with strength, fairness, respect, and integrity. Lastly, Dr. Michele Williams, my identical twin sister was an icon in the oral medicine community and her memory continues to motivate me to keep reaching for the next milestone, to give back, and to always pay it forward.

Q: Looking ahead, what do you envision for the future of orthodontics, and how do you plan to continue contributing to the specialty?

Dr. Williams with her celebratory cake

A: I will continue to stay true to our Corus values. These guiding values differentiate us from other DSO and OSO models out there. The patient remains at the core as we build best practices throughout our growing network. I also want to continue to mentor young orthodontists who join Corus as we build a sustainable OSO that is guided by strong ethics.

Q: Any advice you have for aspiring orthodontists who want to make a similar impact?

A: Never stop learning, always say yes when new opportunities arise, and remain humble every step of the way. I would also recommend getting involved in your professional organizations at the local, national, and international levels. Volunteering allows you to step outside of your practice and broaden your horizons and perspective. This experience will result in your ability to contribute at higher levels personally and professionally. It’s ultimately up to you to set your gold standard and make it your normal!

Q: You have an incredible team behind you at South Surrey Smiles. What sets your team apart and inspires you to push for greatness?

A: Kudos to my team at SSSmiles. We have faced many challenges together and with the support of Corus we are now stronger than ever. Orthodontics requires a strong team of committed individuals. We are finally there as we push together to recover from life’s challenges.


From everyone at Corus, congratulations, Dr. Lesley Williams. We are so proud to have you leading the way!


To learn more about the Arthur A. Dugoni Lifetime Achievement Award, please visit the PSCO Award website.

Post by: March 20, 2024 | All Posts,Corus Culture,Thought Leadership

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