HDA Staff

Manuel A. Cordero, DDS, CPH, MAGD Executive Director & CEO

Manuel A. Cordero, DDS left his native Puerto Rico the summer of 1972 to study at Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He graduated with honors in June 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts and a Certificate in Secondary Education.

The summer following graduation he taught at Northfield Mount Herman School, having been awarded a summer fellowship in Photography. Dr. Cordero then began an internship at Southeast National Bank. Within two years he was the Assistant Manager to one of the most successful branches of Southeast National Bank. He left that position with a wealth of financial knowledge as well as management skills that continue benefitting him to this day. Within a year of graduation, Dr. Cordero enrolled in post baccalaureate classes with the intention of enrolling in Dental School. In the fall of 1979, Dr. Cordero began his dental training at Temple University School of Dental Medicine and graduated in May 1983.

Dr. Cordero opened his primary practice in Sewell, NJ in 1983. He never forgot his roots and desire to serve the Hispanic community. By the fall of 1984, he purchased a second practice in Vineland New Jersey, a community with a large Hispanic, primarily Puerto Rican and Mexican, population. In 1984, he was the only Spanish speaking dentist in the community. It is with great pride that Dr. Cordero serves this Hispanic and diverse, eclectic community of patients in Vineland.

Immediately graduating from dental school, Dr. Cordero recognized the need to pursue continuing education. In 1984 he began taking continuing education classes and seminars, and by 1987, Dr. Cordero joined the Academy of General Dentistry. In 1997 he completed over 1000 hours of continuing education and after passing the Fellowship Exam, he receives his Fellowship. In 2000, he was recognized as a Master in the Academy of General Dentistry.

Over the years, Dr. Cordero has been a member of numerous boards and organizations.  He received Fellowships from the American College of Dentists, the College of Dentistry International, and the Pierre Fauchard Society. He was awarded Diplomate status in the American Board of Forensic Dentistry and has been honored as one of 29 mentors of the Academy of Richard V. Tucker Study Clubs. He has been an active participant in numerous community activities, Give Kids a Smile, local cancer society screenings and mentoring of college students interested in the medical/dental field.

He is a member of the ADA and served as President of the AGD in 2018. While working as a Trustee at the AGD, he continued the work of previous leaders and laid down the groundwork to allow International membership to become a reality for the selective and prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. He has also been an integral part of the leadership which is responsible for the diversification and integration of all genders and ethnic groups into the AGD. His visits to Washington DC have resulted in the Oral Health Literacy campaign of the AGD being adopted by HRSA and has secured funding for this life changing endeavor. Public Health and his pursuit to serve others have been the fuel that has driven his education and professional activities.

As the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Hispanic Dental Association the knowledge and experience that he has gained over the years will help him focus the organization into becoming a beacon of hope and a roadway to success for all those that are engaged in providing and contributing to the improvement of both oral health and overall health to Hispanics as well as other under-served communities.


Lydia M. Ruiz-Trinidad, Membership Services Coordinator



Lydia M. Ruiz is the newest member of our staff.  She has over 10 years of experience working with Dental Professionals. Prior to joining the HDA she was the Continuing Education Coordinator for the College of Dental Surgeons in Puerto Rico (CCDPR).

Throughout her 11 years of working at CCDPR she assisted in coordinating yearly programs for the Continued Education Committee, member compliance certifications for the State Dental Board, member platform services, and the organization’s Website.  She also coordinated the planning for the Dental Conference of the Caribbean, an annual event, in which over 2000 Oral Health professionals from the United States, the Caribbean including Puerto Rico and Latin America participated in. 

Lydia has a background in Accounting having worked as an Administrative Assistant for a large part of her professional career.

She is excited to be part of the Hispanic Dental Association family, and looks forward to contributing and enhancing the services we provide to our members.