DSO People! New DSO And Dental Group Hires, Promotions & Awards – January 2021

As we have demonstrated day in and day out over the past seven years, Group Dentistry Now is committed to the success of DSOs, dental groups, and the people who work for them. As the evolution of group dentistry continues to reshape the dental landscape, we consider the people who work in the DSO industry to be its most invaluable resource.  DSO People shares updates on new hires, promotions and awards.  Get comfy – January’s list is a long one!:


Dr. Scott Kalniz becomes non-executive director for Australian DSO, Pacific Smiles Group. Dr. Kalniz began his career as a solo practitioner. He grew his single location to a group of practices which he eventually sold to NADG. After joining NADG, he grew it to over 50 locations and then partnered with a PE firm to create Elite Dental Partners. In under five years, he grew Elite to over 110 locations in 12 states. He currently serves as a non-executive director of Signature Dental Partners, a DSO based in Phoenix, Arizona. PSG, operating under the Pacific Smiles Dental and nib Dental Care Centre brands, has over 100 centres located throughout New South Wales, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.

Ben Willoughby has been promoted to vice president of business development at Apex Dental Partners. Ben began with the dental group as their director of finance and accounting soon after the group formed. After that, he moved into the role of director of business development. Apex Dental Partners started in 2014 and was featured on Group Dentistry Now‘s Emerging Dental Groups To Watch In 2019. Impressively, the group made Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies in 2019 and again in 2020!

Dr. Farid Alex Toub has been promoted to clinical market president and Carrie Williams has been promoted to director of integrations at North American Dental Group (NADG.) Hailing itself as “pioneering a new culture of dentistry,” NADG provides support services to 200+ dental practices.

  • In his new role, Dr. Toub will lead clinical initiatives of the Professional Dental Alliance (PDA) across NADG-supported practices in the East Market. A veteran in the space, he has been with NADG for three years in the role of partner and regional professional director. Prior to working for NADG, he was a partner and chief clinical officer at BB Braces, chief clinical officer at Blackford Dental Management Holdings, LLC, and co-founder and partner at TF Dental Group. He received his DMD in 2007 from University of Pennsylvania.
  • Carrie has been involved with dentist recruiting and integrations at NADG for five years. Prior to that she was director of operations at Aspen Dental.

James Neff has been promoted to director of people and talent development at Pacific Dental Services® (PDS). For the past seven years he worked for this large DSO in various professional development roles. PDS has over 800 supported dental offices throughout the United States and plans to expand into several new markets. They have been on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in America 14 times. Founded in 1994 and led by Stephen Thorne, the group is based in Irvine, CA.

Dental Care Alliance has a newly reappointed dental director, Barry Lyon, DDS.  Dr. Lyon is returning to his role as dental director after spending some time as the VP, clinical quality at Kool Smiles. Additionally, Dr. Lyon represented all DSOs that had supported practices in Maryland at the AADB meetings and testified for the Maryland Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in Support of Senate Bill 479. He has also held various professional appointments on the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners, including president. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Sarasota, FL, Dental Care Alliance supports more than 325 affiliated dental practices in 20 states.

Guardian Dentistry names Mark Censoprano the president and Dawn Rajkowski the director of talent acquisition. Guardian, a dental partnership network, was featured on Group Dentistry Now’s “Emerging Dental Groups to Watch in 2020” list. The group embarked on its first partnership in early 2019 with five practices in just one state and finished 2020 partnered with 50 practices in seven states.  In a short period of time, Guardian has seen its annualized revenue grow by some 1200 percent. Source: GDP

  • As president, Censoprano is responsible for the company’s strategy, operations, marketing, procurement, information technology, insurance operations and human resources functions. He had been serving as COO and CMO. He will continue reporting to Guardian’s Board of Directors.
  • Before joining the start-up, Dawn Rajkowski spent seven years in various talent acquisition roles at Aspen Dental Management.

Melissa Erickson has been appointed integrations manager at newly formed Imagen Dental Partners. Prior to this position, Melissa was the director of integrations at Signature Dental Partners for nearly four years. She has also held operations and office management positions at various dental offices. Imagen Dental Partners, founded in 2020, is a dental partnership organization (DPO) headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Julian Perez has been promoted to senior vice president, compliance and risk management at dentalcorp. Prior to this position, he was the director of regulatory compliance for the DSO based in Toronto, Ontario. Julian was also a civil litigator for an international law firm in Manhattan. Since moving to Canada, he has specialized in health law. Founded in 2011, the group has 460 locations, 7, 770 team members, and 4.2 million annual patient visits.

Misty Mattingly, RDH, BSDH & VP of Hygiene Operations at Sage Dental is appointed to the Georgia Board of Dentistry (OAOA) and Aleks Popovic, new to dental, is named director of mergers & acquisitions. Privately-held Sage Dental owns and operates over 65 general and multi-specialty dental practices.  Founded in 1997, their dental practices are located in Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, St. Lucie County, and Orlando Florida and the patient care support team is located in Boca Raton, Florida.

  • As a member of the Georgia Board of Dentistry, Mattingly will represent the interests of hygienists and patients throughout the state and continue to advocate for policy changes that protect the citizens of Georgia and encourage public health. She has been appointed to serve a five-year term.
  • With them aim of promoting growth in the southeastern U.S. market, Aleks Popovic has many years of experience in healthcare business development, sales and marketing.

Tim North has been named CEO of Simply Beautiful Smiles as the dental group seeks to expand its geographic footprint and dental offerings with the acquisition of additional practices. North joins from Aspen Dental, where he served as Senior Vice President of Operations and was instrumental in leading the company through an extraordinary period of growth and success. During his tenure, he helped propel the company to seven consecutive years of record revenue and profit as it added more than 500 new locations. Founded 20 years ago by Dr. Louis D’Angelo, Simply Beautiful Smiles now has 25 locations and is Delaware Valley’s largest dental provider, serving Central and Southern New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Northern Delaware. Source: BusinessWire

Paul A. Medeiros DMD has been promoted from vice president to COO at New England Dental Partners. Before that, he was the group’s director of clinical operations. Dr. Medeiros is a graduate from both Tufts University in Medford MA and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) in Boston, MA. Upon Graduation from Tufts Dental in 1992, He practiced dentistry for multiple practices in New England as an associate before ultimately buying an existing practice in Nashua, NH. Eventually retiring in 2001 due to a disability to his hand, he is part of the Doctors Disability Specialists Group and Living Legacy Financial Group.

Jake Sligh is promoted to chief growth officer at Rock Dental Brands. Spending the past three years as the dental groups’ chief marketing officer and working with various media companies prior to that, Jake’s specialties include, internet marketing, social media, advertising, spreadsheeting. Rock Dental Brands, based in Little Rock, Arkansas, is lead by Merritt Drake who recently appeared with Dr. Roshan Parikh of Walmart Health and Ophir Tanz of Pearl on a GDN Webinar: The Cost Of Inconsistency: How DSOs Win With Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Kendra Flowers, RDH, MSDH, has been appointed director of compliance, specialty, dental/optometry/hearing at Walmart. Prior to Walmart, Kendra was the director of clinical development at Elite Dental Partners and the clinical educator at American Eagle Instruments. Among other jobs she has held RDH positions at DSOs like PDS and Heartland Dental. Walmart introduced its first-ever health center, which included a comprehensive dental clinic in 2019, in Dallas, Georgia. Walmart is now taking its proven concept and scaling up to meet the needs of more people as it expands quickly.

Steven Le, DDS, has been appointed pediatric director at Western Dental. Dr. Le will have the primary responsibility of ensuring quality of care and service excellence for Western Dental Kids, Western Dental, Brident and Vital Smiles offices. Supporting the pediatric clinical team and shaping clinical protocols and the patient care experience, he will work in collaboration with pediatric dentists, office staff, the quality management team, and operational and business leaders. Dr. Le has been a pediatric dentist for more than 20 years and served as a pediatric dentist at various Western Dental locations throughout Southern California. Western Dental serves approximately 3 million patient visits annually in 326 affiliated offices throughout California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Alabama. (Source: BusinessWire)

Colosseum Dental Group (CDG) focuses on patient-centricity with the announcement of  new appointments for Dr. Eddie Coyle and Dominik Cajochen. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, CDG is the leading pan-European provider of dental services. The group operates more than 300 dental practices in nine countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom). Their clinics generate revenues above EUR 650 million, and the group employs more than 4500 dental care professionals. CDG’s majority shareholder is Jacobs Holding and was founded in 2017.

  • Dr Eddie Coyle, Chief Dentist for the UK and Chairman of the CDG Medical Board, will join the Executive Committee for the group with responsibility for ensuring quality patient care, as well as medical quality standards and governance, remain a focus and priority as the group progresses.
  • Dominik Cajochen, head of procurement for more than three years with CDG, will assume an expanded role as head of supply chain management and partnerships. He will be reporting to Dr. Eddie Coyle, leading medical-lead global procurement, and managing their Path to Partnership Program for clinicians.

Cassie Jenkins moves from senior director of operations to VP of field operations at DECA Dental Group. Cassie has spent over 12 years at the growing dental group which was founded by Dr. Sulman Ahmed. The clinician-founded and led organization is the largest privately held dental company in the state of Texas. It currently owns and operates five separate dental brands with more than 80 locations. DECA Dental’s support center is located in Dallas, Texas.

Smile Brands Inc.’s Omid Alemi and Chris Leidy have been promoted to vice president of operations and Tanisha Wicker, Senior VP of HR, is named as one of Comparably’s Top 50 DE&I Leaders Driving Change in 2021.  Based in Irvine, CA, Smile Brands Inc. is one of the largest DSOs in the United States. It was founded in 1998 by Steve Bilt and now includes Bright Now!® Dental, Castle Dental®, Monarch Dental®, Newport Dental®, A+ Dental Care, OneSmile Dental, and Johnson Family Dental brands.

  • Tanisha has been with the DSO for over 16 years. She started as an HR manager and has worked in various HR roles. She is now senior VP of HR and responsible for all HR operations, total rewards, internal communications and talent acquisition groups within the organization.
  • Having spent the past seven years in various operations roles at the DSO, Omid Alemi began his DSO career a decade ago at Western Dental Services as an office manager.
  • Chris Leidy has spent the last eight years working for the DSO as their senior director of district operations in Texas.

Gregory Rossi, CPA, has been promoted to chief financial officer at Royal Oak Dental Group. Greg has spent the last three years as their director of finance and business development. Royal Oak Dental Group is based in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina and the growing group currently has five locations.

Amy Dietrich, DDS has been named vice president of clinical support at Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (ADMI). Dr. Dietrich has been working for ADMI in various clinical and administrative roles for nearly a decade.  In her new role with ADMI, Dietrich will provide subject matter expertise in the development and implementation of programs that aid Aspen Dental professionals in their career journey. She will also oversee and participate in the on-boarding of new dentists, and train doctor mentors. She began her career in private practice in 1999. ADMI, which was founded in 1998, supports practices in 40+ states and is headquartered in East Syracuse, NY.

Caber Hill Advisors welcomes Maria Melone as managing director. Her primary responsibility is to co-lead M&A activities in the dental industry. In 2012, Maria co-founded MORR Dental Transitions to assist individual dentists and dental groups with all aspects of transitions, sharing her inside knowledge of how DSOs operate with small and middle market practices. She also worked in corporate development for American Dental Partners, Inc where she was involved in nearly 100 transactions, ranging in size from $50,000 to $90 million.


GDN’s DSO People
– New Hires, Promotions and Awards – Monthly

Please provide any new DSO or dental group hire, recent promotions or employee awards to Group Dentistry Now for consideration. Include a succinct summary of the new hire, person promoted or employee who won the award with award details. Also, provide a headshot or other picture of the individual or group to GDN as well. Email to [email protected].

GDN may ask for more information, and from time-to-time, may feature a story which could include an interview, etc. GDN reserves the right to refuse publication of any new hire, promotion or award for any reason.

Read more:

DSO People! New DSO And Dental Group Hires, Promotions & Awards – December 2020
DSO People! New DSO And Dental Group Hires, Promotions & Awards – November 2020
DSO People! New DSO And Dental Group Hires, Promotions & Awards – October 2020

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