April 5, 2018
His early curiosity around dentistry is not uncommon. His path and experience is quite unique.
From the moment, he was referred to the orthodontist at eleven years old and realized that he could wear cool ties every day, he was intrigued. When he watched (suffered) as his huge “buck teeth” became a more reasonable part of his face with the help (torture) of a bionator, the dreaded head-gear, and huge uneven brackets on every tooth, he knew this was his future. It wasn’t necessarily creating nice smiles that struck him. He intuitively knew that he could have a positive impact people’s happiness, self-esteem and confidence (But at his young age those were not the words he would have used. He wasn’t much of an accomplished reader at that time, nor did he possess a broad vocabulary).
He worked in the lab of that same hometown (Reno, Nevada) orthodontist in high school and eventually managed the lab (fabricating a wide range of orthodontic appliances every day) while completing his undergraduate studies (and starting a family a bit early just to keep things interesting) until he was accepted to dental school in Oregon. His experience of the team in that practice and the intentional energy given to it laid the foundation for his future, to say the least. Once in dental school in Portland, (Oregon Health & Sciences University), he connected with the Department of Orthodontics, working on several research projects and was even published! But no, he is not an orthodontist. Crazy, right?
He went back to his home town to practice dentistry, which is really where his career began to evolve in a unique way. He was an impatient associate in a practice he would purchase after a one-year associateship. He was then a young practice owner and disrespectful boss of the dentist who had owned the practice for 34 years. Yes, he has learned much the hard way, but learned he has. He focused on his team and quickly learned a new word for his vocabulary: Humility.
As fate would have it, he and his family would move back to Portland, creating an opportunity for Kevin to quickly find and associate to help the transition, find a buyer for his practice, work as an associate in Portland, while looking for a new practice to purchase, all simultaneously! Yes, early in his career, he would experience almost every aspect of the dental business, a gift wrapped in unique box. The new practice in Portland had its challenges, as all practices do. This time it was a turn-key experience in a practice that needed considerable updating. Shortly after paying for (ok, financing) the improvements, it became obvious that the practice needed a better location. So, Kevin had an opportunity to experience a new building with new build-outs, new equipment, and patients that were uncertain if the drive to the new location was worth it, another gift and a weird looking package.
While dealing with the crazy business side of dentistry, he was focusing on becoming a better leader, facilitator, and dentist. His many hours learning from Frank Spear, The Pankey Institute, Tucker Gold Study Club (Tom Walker), TMD Study Club (Sam Higdon), Behavioral and Occlusion Study Club (Margie Mannering and David Latz) and so many others allowed him the opportunity to create a practice with exceptional dentistry, yet always focused on his team. As some in the dental community took note of his ability to truly integrate what he was learning into his practice, he was asked to start sharing his experience in the dental school, study clubs, and several other organizations. And he loved it!
Following his passion for education and facilitation, he sold his practice to pursue academia, completing a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration (Identical coursework and pathway as the MBA Healthcare degree as a cohort), direct several clinical courses at the dental school, and direct the Faculty Dental Practice. In 2014, he was asked to join as full-time faculty at Spear Education, where he served several key roles until 2018, including Director of Spear Online, co-course-director of Facially Generated Treatment Planning Workshop, Occlusion Workshop, Dental Sleep Medicine Workshop, Exceptional Dental Team Workshop, Comprehensive Dentistry in the Digital World, Seminar, multiple Spear Online educational courses, Director of Visiting Faculty and practiced in the Faculty Practice.
Kevin has practiced, learned and taught at every level. His very unique experiences and education provide him with the tools, empathy and skills to help dentists and dental teams reach appropriate goals and dreams, helping make every day in the practice a day of camaraderie, love, compassion, and empathy for each other and the patient.