Announcing Dental Products Report's Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017

August 15, 2017
Kristen Mott
Kristen Mott

Kristen Mott is the associate editor for Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics.

DPR unveils its list of this year’s honorees.

Now in its eighth year of recognizing exceptional women in the dental industry, Dental Products Report is thrilled to announce the Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017.

This year’s honorees come from across the dental industry, including dentists, industry leaders, office managers, educators and lab technicians. Each of the honorees will be featured in the October issue of Dental Products Report.

See last year's winners: Announcing Dental Products Report's Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2016

“There are so many amazing women pushing the dental industry forward, and every one of them deserves recognition for their hard work, passion and dedication,” says Laura Dorr, managing editor of the Modern Dental Network.
 
“The dental field would not be where it is today without the forward-thinking, visionary women who have contributed to its growth and success. We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to every woman dedicated to furthering dentistry, and also recognize these 25 women whose contributions stand out. “

The Top 25 Women in Dentistry for 2017 include…

Dentists

Dr. Heidi Dickerson

Dr. Karen D. Foster

Dr. Maria Maranga

Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz

Dr. Candice Sullivan

Dr. Jana S. Winfree

Team members

Alessa Allen

Patricia Delauretis

Colleen Huff

Lauren Kroh

Claudia Paye

Industry leaders

Mary Beth Bajornas

Hollie Bryant

Marna Erlich

Joanne Klempner

Jennifer Naylor

Shawn Shorrock

Julia Yelevich

Researchers and educators

Vanessa Emerson

Sigal Jacobson

Kris Johnson

Carolyn Primus

Debbie Zafiropoulos

Lab technicians

Jessica Proctor

Kamilla Siekierski

Click through the following pages to read what the nominators had to say about each of these impressive women.

 

Dr. Heidi Dickerson

Category: Dentist

What her nominator said:

"In addition to treating patients, Dr. Dickerson teaches over 100 days out of the year at LVI Global. In 2017 alone, she has lectured to hundreds of dentists at LVI about improving clinical skills and patient management. In addition to all of the this, Dr. Dickerson is also editor-in-chief of a quarterly dental publication called LVI Visions."

 

 

Dr. Karen D. Foster

Category: Dentist

What her nominator said:

“Member ADA, ACD, ICD, Pierre Fauchard; 2017 president-elect, Colorado Dental Association; in private practice since 2004; diplomate of American Board of Pediatric Dentistry; chosen multiple times by peers as Top Dentist by 5280 magazine in Denver; associate clinical professor for University of Colorado School of Dentistry, lectures on use of lasers in pediatric dentistry, especially to release tethered oral tissues; presenter, American Dental Educators meeting.”

 

 

Dr. Maria Maranga

Category: Dentist

What her nominator said:

“Dr. Maria Maranga is a true powerhouse. A private practice endodontist, Dr. Maranga somehow manages to find time and energy to be a tireless fund- and friend-raiser for the NYS Dental Foundation, whose mission is to improve the oral health of all New Yorkers. Dr. Maranga has a special gift of connecting with others, which she uses to provide valuable mentoring to students and dental residents. She serves organized dentistry as the chair of the American Dental Association's Council on Membership and as a board director of the American Association of Endodontists. Recently, she was instrumental in launching the statewide NYS Veterans Smile initiative, which encourages dentists to volunteer their time and expertise to providing veterans with much needed dental treatment. In each endeavor, she brings 100 percent commitment to excellence.”

 

 

Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz

Category: Dentist

What her nominator said:

Dr. M is very involved in the dental community and is constantly writing/blogging about new products and technologies. She is a youthful and fresh voice in dentistry today!”

 

 

 

Dr. Candice Sullivan

Category: Dentist

What her nominator said:

"Dr. Candice is working so hard for her pediatric patients. She is now offering lip and tongue tie releases with a CO2 laser and having a lactation consultant in the room waiting to help mom nurse the infant! She has traveled across the U.S. to learn from other dentists to perfect her technique. She also offers Full Face Orthodontic, which helps develops the midface so we can have prettier and healthier children. She is actually growing the entire maxilla. Cool stuff that no other dentist in Louisiana is offering!"

 

 

Dr. Jana S. Winfree

Category: Dentist

What her nominator said:

"Dr. Jana Winfree has the responsibility for every mouth in Oklahoma. As the health department’s dental director, she has provided invaluable guidance for state policies involving fluoride, communicable diseases, obtaining data for federal programs and initiating new policy. Dr. Winfree formerly held the position of dentist and educator at the Rose State Dental Hygiene program in Oklahoma."

 

 

Alessa Allen

Category: Team member

What her nominators said:

"Alessa is focused, calm and patient. She is a team player.”

“She has taught me everything I know. She is my role model.”

“Alessa is absolutely, unequivocally the best manager i have ever had! She is so considerate for our feelings and always takes the time to see how we are doing. Problems never linger in this office and we are all formed as a family due to this amazing woman!”

 

 

Patricia Delauretis

Category: Team member

What her nominators said:

“Tricia is as knowledgeable and passionate as they come. She's engaging and professional with her patients and goes out if her way to educate and calm them when necessary. I'm grateful to know her.”

“Patricia makes every client feel welcome as if part of her own family and makes a potentially stressful experience comfortable and stress-free.”

 

 

Colleen Huff

Category: Team member

What her nominator said:

Colleen has been an integral part of office mangers across the country, communicating with each other and sharing information. She started one of the first Dental Office Mangers study groups in the country in Buffalo. N.Y. After years of sharing knowledge locally, she has helped form many groups across the country. Those of us in groups with her view her as the ‘go-to’ person for insurance information. I had Colleen speak at my local study group in Indiana and everyone was astounded with the amount of information she provided.”

 

 

Lauren Kroh

Category: Team member

What her nominator said:

“Lauren is an incredible leader. She was a teacher for 11 years and made the jump into dentistry by choice. She is revolutionizing the practice of dentistry. The practice she runs, Hylan Dental Care, now has over 1,000 five star Google reviews (4.8).

 

 

 

 

Claudia Paye

Category: Team member

What her nominator said:

“I have witnessed her transform both of her offices to being green. She is involved in running free VELscope exams for patients who can not afford it-on her time. She has advocated for the veterans dental program for her office, where one lucky vet gets a smile on them at no cost. She does so much for the dental industry and community, she needs to be recognized for all that she does.”

 

 

Mary Beth Bajornas

Category: Industry leader

What her nominator said:

“Quite simply, Mary Beth pioneered dental administrative outsourcing. Her company (Dental Support Specialties) has serviced the needs of over 300 dental practices in the past five years alone. Mary Beth promotes best practices and connects people in the industry through her cool dental peeps Facebook page (which at last count has over 1,500 members), giving dentists and anyone else in the industry a light hearted, judgement-free opportunity to connect and exchange stories and best practices. Mary Beth saw the potential of dental outsourcing long before it resonated with others and in so doing has helped so many dentists with their businesses. Mary Beth saw an opportunity, invented an industry and works tirelessly for her clients.”

 

 

Hollie Bryant

Category: Industry leader

What her nominator said:

Holly serves as a consultant, mentor and friend to dentists all over the country, including me. She runs a business as the CEO of Bryant Dental Consultants and she consults and enriches and grows practices throughout the country while co-piloting a family consisting of her husband and two children. She has presented at countless dental meetings all over the country and world. Her energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of practice dynamics is unmatched.”

 

 

Marna Erlich

Category: Industry leader

What her nominator said:

Marna Erlich, Esq. has closed more dental practice transitions than any other female (or male) at Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions, one of the largest practice transitions company in the dental industry. While she has closed many deals, she more importantly has helped thousands of dentists successfully transition their practices to become practice owners, many of whom are women. As a leader of the leading practice brokerage transition firm, Marna directs a team of professionals while also personally being involved in thousands of transactions.  Prior to joining Henry Schein, Marna practiced law in New Jersey. Her experience representing dental professionals helped her firm become a leader in the brokerage industry for dental practice sales. She is a trusted partner to the industry, especially for women who are becoming the majority in an industry that was historically led by males.”

 

 

Joanne Klempner

Category: Industry leader

What her nominator said:

“I would like nominate Joanne Klempner for the Top 25 Women in Dentistry award as she has been fundamental in driving the growth and partnership between Dentsply Sirona and Henry Schein Dental for nearly 20 years. As the Dentsply Sirona business development manager responsible for the U.S. Consumables (DS Restorative, Professional, Midwest, Prosthetics and Maillefer) brands with Henry Schein Dental, Joanne has led the Dentsply Sirona-Henry Schein business to multiple years of above market growth. The strong relationship between Henry Schein and Dentsply Sirona has provided the foundation for mutual success, and it now enters a new chapter with the launch of Dentsply Sirona Technologies at Henry Schein in the Fall of 2017. Joanne began her dental career as a sales representative in the Dentsply Endodontics division, then quickly became a sales manager for Dentsply North America, winning multiple awards as both a sales specialist and sales manager. In 2008, Joanne shifted her focus to business development and has been working exclusively to the DS business with Henry Schein ever since. Her track record, tenure and expertise bringing together the two largest companies in the dental industry make her a tremendous asset to help drive the future growth of both organizations.”

 

 

 

Jennifer Naylor

Category: Industry leader

What her nominator said:

"While dentistry has experienced an amazing amount of innovation and technology-enabled advancements over the years, there is a fundamental concept that has not wavered-delivering the highest level of clinical care and safety for patients. Coupled with the goal of keeping staff safe and increasing efficiency, it has become clear that infection control is a universally important topic for dental professionals around the world. For more than 15 years, Jennifer Naylor has been leading this discussion for Hu-Friedy while serving as a respected board and foundation board member of OSAP. Naylor has spearheaded the concept of instrument management and infection prevention globally through education, product development, advocacy and innovation. Naylor and her team have created infection control symposiums in many emerging markets, including Latin America and China. She has also worked with countless universities, group practices and offices on a global basis on how to implement proper infection prevention protocols in their respective practices. Additionally, Naylor has worked on numerous product innovation projects in areas outside of infection prevention, including diagnostic, surgical, preventative and power to further drive advancement in dental instrumentation.”

 

 

Shawn Shorrock

Category: Industry leader

What her nominator said:

“In 2015, Shawn led the effort at Solvay, an international chemical and advanced materials company, to create the company’s first-ever foray into the dental industry: the Solvay Dental 360™ business line. Solvay Dental 360’s first product offering is the Dentivera™ milling disc made from Ultaire™ AKP, which provides a superior and innovative alternative to traditional metal removable partial denture frames, which have remained essentially the same for the past several decades. Shawn’s unflagging dedication to producing the highest quality product and educational support to customers means that thousands of patients across the globe will have access to a lighter, more comfortable, tasteless and aesthetically pleasing RPD frame, improving their experience with even simple tasks like eating and talking. Ultaire™ AKP debuted at the International Dental Show in February 2017, where Shawn worked tirelessly in the Solvay Dental 360™ booth each day, talking with dental lab owners, dental technicians and dentists to learn about their individual needs and to offer the best solutions to their unique business challenges.”

 

 

Julia Yelevich

Category: Industry leader

What her nominator said:

Ms. Yelevich is a brilliant, passionate, take no prisoners dental CEO who has taken the dental industry by storm. Her exceptional financial/banking/PE Wall Street experience for six years, strategic corporate executive roles in Fortune 100 companies for eight years, and over 2,000 hours of clinical dentistry training in the last 24 months has established her as a hands-down leader in the entrepreneurial, medical, dental and start-up DSO space. She has founded a one-of-a-kind modern and highly replicable dental practice that has gone from $800k to $2.3 million collections in less than 24 months with just one young, brilliant dentist, and she approaches every single staff member, industry persona and doctor across the country with the greatest enthusiasm and respect, continuously staying in touch with over 50 of the country’s most progressive and passionate dentists and researchers in order to continue to push the envelope on dentistry. Her viral enthusiasm to disturb dental business in the best of ways makes her a visionary on par with Elon Must and other Silicon Valley influencers, aspiring to position dentistry as the rising medical leader in the country by 2020. Her passion and determination is infectious - every dentist and every researcher flatters Ms. Yelevich by offering business partnerships and consulting roles, but her laser focus and Silicon Valley-like approach keeps her tethered to a single goal: to make dentistry the most important breakthrough medical industry business with attention from Silicon Valley and medical societies around the country. Putting it simply, she has the clinical knowledge on par with dentists, business knowledge that exceeds Silicon Valley executive and CEOs across industries, compassion beyond any office staff member (True story: She, herself, stays on the phone with insurance companies for over three hours until the patients receive their rightful medical and dental reimbursements) and she has the stamina of an ultra marathoner, continuously working 16 hour days seven days a week, possessing more managerial capability than the author of the “4-hour work week,” all with dedication to a hyper growth business, consulting practice while being an incredible female mentor to all aspiring women leaders (in a man's world) She is nothing less than a fierce and mind-blowing female superhero who fits motherhood, career, mentorship and change agent work (about 47 hours a day) all into 24 hours. I bow down to this 4'11” woman in heels (she always looks professional and loves her heels- must be a Wall St. thing!). She is the fire that the dental industry has needed so very much for the last 20 years.”

 

 

Vanessa Emerson

Category: Researcher/educator

What her nominators said:

"Vanessa has helped dentists, speakers and consultants for years to advance their careers in dentistry. Many of the top speakers today have websites, speaker packets and marketing campaigns that were designed by Vanessa. She is a champion of the best educators in our industry and gives freely of her time by volunteering to mentor and speak at events to encourage new and seasoned speakers.”

“Vanessa has been innovative, creative and passionate about supporting speakers and consultants. She successfully develops speakers’ tools for her colleagues to promote themselves, provides support in helping them market themselves, and then assists in following up and following through on booking them, too. She has been a godsend to each of us, and we are proud to know her and blessed to work with her.”

 

 

Sigal Jacobson

Category: Researcher/educator

What her nominators said:

“Dr. Sigal, through her teachings, is changing the everyday life of dentists and patients. She is creating the possibilities for dentists to be more conservative and creative in recreating broken down smiles, allowing the patients to be able to experience a smile again and possibly regain self-confidence. A smile goes a long way.”

“Inventor of Uveneer, mother of three, mentor, businesswoman, entrepreneur and trailblazer, Dr Sigal Jacobson is an absolute legend.”

 

 

Kris Johnson

Category: Researcher/educator

What her nominator said:

“Kris Johnson, RDHAP, BA, MSc, is a nationally known speaker, published author and esteemed educator who deserves to be recognized as one of DPR's Top 25 Women in Dentistry. Kris' passion is to educate dental professionals on chronic illness and functional medicine. Kris is a subject matter expert on holistic nutrition and speaks on a variety of topics relating to health and wellness relating to the dental practitioner and treating patients comprehensively. In addition to practicing dental hygiene, Kris is an adjunct dental hygiene instructor at Cabrillo and Carrington Colleges, teaching pharmacology, periodontology and clinic. Kris’ passion is to use her own experiences to ignite her students and audiences by challenging them to use critical thinking for real life situations.”

 


 

 

Carolyn Primus

Category: Researcher/educator

What her nominators said:

“Carolyn has spent her entire career working to bring new and better products to the dental community. She is passionate about her work. She is an excellent educator via lectures, trade shows and as an adjunct professor for Texas A&M College of Dentistry. She also does work with ISO standards in endodontic materials to ensure that the products used in dentistry meet high standards.”

“She designed and developed the greatest MTA in the industry. Her care for dentistry goes beyond her career; she truly believes she can help change the world.”

 

 

Debbie Zafiropoulos

Category: Researcher/educator

What her nominator said:

Debbie Zafiropoulos possesses a fearless attitude necessary to create change in the world. Her passion for finding the ‘why’ in a situation enables her to develop and deliver diverse platforms in education via a live event, webinar or article. Debbie is a highly sought out keynote speaker and resource. Debbie has a soft and humble ability to listen, observe and advance strategies to propel her own businesses as well as corporations that seek her advice. She is also making great strides in the way the public views and receives health care. Debbie is proud to be a perpetual learner and thrives on being on the cutting edge of science and technology with the goal of delivering prevention through education, progress through implementing technology, screening for abnormalities by teaching synchronized methods, and putting the learning to application by hosting events through the National Cancer Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she founded. Debbie Zafiropoulos deserves to be recognized as on of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry in 2017 for her dedication to her profession, her desire to mentor and elevate others to surpass their own expectations, and for leading by example.”

 

 

 

Jessica Proctor

Category: Lab technician

What her nominator said:

“Pregnant at 16, she had to drop out of high school due to medical reasons. Married shortly after, life was tough. She got a job pouring models in a dental lab. Through hard work and determination, she now has been at the same lab for 16 years, working for the same dentist. She is the head CEREC lab technician, producing some 160 plus crowns per month, and she is the implants coordinator handling parts and pieces and implant inventory for some 500 plus implants per year. The very active teeth in a day implant program keeps her very busy. She is one of the greatest assets a dentist could have.”

 

 

Kamilla Siekierski

Category: Lab technician

What her nominator said:

"Kamilla Siekierski is a true pioneer and one of the very first women who attended and freely voiced her opinions at dental and dental technology professional meetings across the country, when women still struggled to gain their professional recognition and voting rights. By managing her own lab and by lecturing across the globe, she gained national respect and recognition as one of top women in dental laboratory technology. Kamilla was way ahead of her time in the 1960s, and she is still ahead of the times today.”