Lyle Best: The Other Great One

As a way to honour his years of service, President, Ed Dermit announced the new Lyle Best Boardroom at the CDSPI head office in Toronto. Above is a mock-up of the room that will be completed when the building re-opens.


It’s not often you meet someone who has contributed so much for the dental community who isn’t a dentist. That is, until you meet Lyle Best.


Born and raised in Brantford, Ontario Lyle likes to point out that he was from Brantford before Wayne Gretzky and, in fact, he did meet The Great One several times but not until his tenure as the Director of the Edmonton Oilers Alumni Association.


To say that Lyle has had a distinguished career is like saying Patrick Roy is okay at stopping pucks. Throughout his life Lyle has been dedicated to serving others. For the past 23 years one way he’s served the Canadian dental community has been as a member of the CDSPI Board–the past 15 years as Chair. In April 2021 he announced he would be leaving the Board.


Mr. Best is a veteran of more than 40 years in the employee and group benefits insurance industry. One of his many passions is ensuring that members of the dental community are supported when dealing with challenges in their personal and professional lives. He was instrumental in expanding CDSPI’s Members’ Assistance Program to ensure it offers services needed to support dentists, staff and their families.


“Together, we have risen to challenges and celebrated the successes of CDSPI,” said Lyle. “I have been inspired by so many amazing people over the years. The Board has always displayed considerable trust in me, and the confidence that the senior leadership team has shown has been truly humbling. I have been tremendously thankful for the valuable working relationships that have been established with all our partners and stakeholders. These relationships have been personally fulfilling and I’ve made so many friends for life across the country.”


For more than 20 years, Lyle has played a crucial role in propelling CDSPI forward, “Lyle is an incredible leader and a trusted friend,” says Ed Dermit, President of CDSPI. “He played a pivotal role in ensuring our malpractice premiums are lower now than they were seven years ago, something like that is unheard of in an industry that typically sees 3% to 5% increases every year.”


“On a personal note, Lyle has been a great mentor to me and I’ll miss his advice and counsel around the Boardroom table,” added Ed.


When asked if he was planning to retire Lyle chuckles, “No way! I’m having too much fun.” Normally a frequent flyer Lyle has been known to rack up 100,000 miles or more every year. “With the pandemic, I’ve been sticking close to home, but my next trip will probably be in November on behalf of CDIC SCC.”  Lyle continues his commitment to dentistry as the Chair of CDIC SCC, the CDSPI wholly owned, captive insurance company.


“Lyle has been a leader of the Canadian dental success story that is CDSPI,” said Dr. Jeff Williams, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors of CDSPI. "He has overseen the evolution of CDSPI into a valued partner with every participating provincial dental association. He’s set the bar pretty high for me as the new Chair. On behalf of the Board, and our employees, we thank Lyle for his many significant contributions not just with our organization but throughout his career."


An entrepreneur and corporate leader, Lyle Best is a model of community spirit, social responsibility, and generosity. He has served in leadership roles with charitable, sports and community organizations, including the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club, Kids with Cancer, and the University of Alberta, among many others. Leading by example, he instills the virtues of corporate social responsibility in young entrepreneurs through his work with the Junior Achievement program. He is also a dynamic fundraiser in support of numerous local, provincial and national organizations.


"My satisfaction comes from the results we have achieved. I’m so very proud of my time at CDSPI and I couldn't have done it without the support of the Board and the staff."


So while to many Gretzky may be The Great One in the world of hockey, in the world of dentists, that honour falls to Lyle Best.


A bit more about Lyle

Lyle’s involvement in organized dentistry dates back to 1989 and he is the recipient of many honours from various Dental authorities throughout Canada. In 2014 Lyle was appointed to be the first ever Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces Number 1 Dental Unit Ottawa and he was named an Honorary member of the Alberta Dental Association and College in 2007.


In 2017 he received Honorary Membership of the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Association and was awarded the Special Friend of Canadian Dentistry by the CDA. The Manitoba Dental Association has twice honored Lyle with unique awards including the establishing an award in his name in 2018, The Lyle Best Humanitarian award and a Distinguished Service award. In 2016. Mr. Best was awarded the Don Pamenter Friend of Dentistry award by the Nova Scotia Dental Association. In 2019 he was awarded Honorary Fellow of the ICD by the College and an Honorary Membership in the Canadian Dental Association.


Outside of Dentistry Lyle has been awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal, The Queens Jubilee Medal, an Honorary Doctor of Laws by Concordia University, Honorary Degree in Community Service from Grant MacEwan University. He was Inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame and inducted into The City of Edmonton’s Community Service Hall of Fame. He is a two-time finalist of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


In 2008 upon the approval Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Mr. Best was named a member of the Order of Canada.