Guiding a New Generation of Leaders

May 10, 2019
Guiding a New Generation of Leaders

In 1968, women accounted for only 1 percent of dental students. As of 2019, that number has jumped to approximately 50 percent. That increase of women in the profession inspired Stephenie Goddard, executive vice president of Glidewell Dental, to consider ways in which this new generation of clinicians could be cultivated as leaders in the field of dentistry.

As a result of Goddard’s vision, Glidewell Dental recently launched Guiding Leaders, a leadership development program that provides business training from top industry professionals to practicing women dentists across the nation. The program empowers women in a range of areas including practice management, team building and public speaking. In April 2019, after a careful selection process, the first group of Guiding Leaders officially embarked on their yearlong journey toward becoming key influencers in dentistry. Here’s a look at this up-and-coming generation of leaders.


Glidewell Dental Executive Vice President Stephenie Goddard (second from right), the visionary behind Guiding Leaders, is joined by “Chairside Live” Host Megan Strong (right), Clinical Affairs Manager Dr. Mayuri Kerr (second from left) and Glidewell Fellow Dr. Taylor Manalili (left). Dr. Manalili will also participate in Guiding Leaders as a Fellow.

Dr. Susan McMahon, General Dentist
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Dr. Susan McMahon

Years practicing: 29

Author, lecturer and instructor Dr. Susan McMahon is an expert in the fields of cosmetic dentistry, dental care and teeth whitening. She is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and has received Top Dentist awards from Pittsburgh Magazine and the Consumers Research Council of America.

What she loves about dentistry:
“I have always loved that as dentists, we’re able to effectively treat our patients. We have solutions to most dental problems, and we can significantly contribute to their quality of life and make them whole again.”

If I could make the road a little easier for upcoming women dentists, that would make me extremely proud.

Dr. Danielle Dey, General Dentist
Etna, Ohio

Dr. Danielle Dey

Years practicing: 6

Dr. Danielle Dey is founder and owner of Modern Elevations Dentistry, a state-of-the-art dental facility that serves patients of all ages. Upon graduating from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Dr. Dey was commissioned as a captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps, where she provided general dentistry services to more than 12,000 soldiers and supported deployments to Africa, Kuwait and Korea. She now delivers comprehensive care through her practice while educating patients about excellent oral health.

What she loves about dentistry:
“My favorite part about dentistry is that it gives me the opportunity to cultivate relationships with my patients on a regular basis. I love that I can utilize my creative and analytical skills and combine them with compassion and service to others.”

I’ve had to persevere to be in dentistry. Every day, I bring that same relentless drive and determination to my practice.

Dr. Ensy Atarod, General Dentist
Austin, Texas

Dr. Ensy Atarod

Years practicing: 14

Dr. Ensy Atarod serves patients through the St. David’s Foundation, the largest mobile dental program providing charity care in the nation, where she oversees daily operations and manages a regional dental team. Dr. Atarod was named New Dentist of the Year by the Capital Area Dental Society in 2010, and by the Texas Academy of General Dentistry in 2011.

What she loves about dentistry:
“I love making a difference in the lives of others, and being a dentist allows me to accomplish that by providing health services to the public, including underserved children. I also love that I’m able to utilize my skills overseas on medical mission trips to places such as the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Uganda.”

A smile is universal, and with my skills I can easily give this gift to others.

Dr. Jill Frazier, General Dentist
Missoula, Montana

Dr. Jill Frazier

Years practicing: 24

Dr. Jill Frazier provides a full scope of general and cosmetic dentistry services at Missoula Dental Arts, where she creates beautiful smiles for people throughout the community. Dr. Frazier’s expertise ranges from porcelain veneers, to dental implants, to crowns & bridges.

What she loves about dentistry:
“I love the relationships that I am fortunate to develop through dentistry. I have the opportunity to build long-lasting, quality connections with my patients, whom I’m honored to serve through my practice. I’ve also had the privilege of establishing long-term relationships with my employees, who share my vision and support me in providing quality services to our community.“

Women provide a unique perspective that will move dentistry forward like never before.

Dr. Joy Poskozim, General Dentist
Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Joy Poskozim

Years practicing: 19

After working in various dental practices in the Chicagoland area, Dr. Joy Poskozim opened Joyful Dental Care, where she provides services ranging from general dentistry to cosmetic treatment. She also performs mobile care onsite in nursing homes, assisted care facilities and independent living centers, providing treatment to those who can’t come to her practice. She is dedicated to delivering excellent service and long-term solutions that lead to optimal dental health for her patients.

What she loves about dentistry:
“The relationships that I have formed with my patients, staff and caregivers are second to none. I also love that dentistry not only serves a functional purpose but creates an esthetically pleasing outcome — a beautiful smile.”

I want to effectively advocate for seniors to improve their oral health and overall quality of life. I want to be a true influencer.

Dr. Lan Chi Le, General Dentist
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Lan Chi Le

Years practicing: 19

Dr. Lan Chi Le is founder and CEO of ZYGO Dental Group, where she manages 11 practices and oversees approximately 60 employees while providing dental services to residents throughout  Texas. In 2016, she partnered with Walmart to open dental clinics inside Walmart Supercenter locations, including six in Dallas-Fort Worth and one in San Antonio. She has built a business designed to make dental care easy, affordable and accessible to all. Dr. Le also participates in health fairs throughout her community, where she provides screenings and educates people on the importance of oral care.

What she loves about dentistry:
“I love that dentistry allows me to restore hope. There are many people who have given up on their oral health, and it’s rewarding to be able to problem-solve with my patients and provide reasonable solutions so that they can regain their self-confidence and improve their lifestyle.”

I always want to be able to look in the mirror and know that I’m working on the better version of myself.

Dr. Larissa Figari-Goller, General Dentist
Huntington, New York

Dr. Larissa Figari-Goller

Years practicing: 19

Dr. Larissa Figari-Goller is a partner at Huntington Bay Dental, where she is experienced in all phases of cosmetic, implant and restorative dentistry. Her goal is to give each patient the best treatment — all under one roof. She has traveled to Nicaragua, Madagascar, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, and other locations, providing dental treatment to patients in need.

What she loves about dentistry:
“I love that dentistry is a hybrid of many things, including art, relationships, science and research. I enjoy that it is hands-on, requires me to think outside of the box, and demands that I constantly build upon my education. Even though it can be grueling at times, it brings a smile to my face when I know that I have positively impacted a patient’s life.”

To be a difference-maker in this world, you have to be around people who inspire the greatness in you.

Dr. Mary Shields, General Dentist
Louisville, Kentucky

Dr. Mary Shields

Years practicing: 8

Dr. Mary Shields owns a private practice in Louisville, Kentucky, focused on family and cosmetic care. She is an associate member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a member of the American Society of Forensic Odontology, where she provides forensic services ranging from the identification of human remains to legal consultations. Dr. Shields is also in the process of finalizing the requirements for board certification by the American Board of Forensic Odontology.

What she loves about dentistry:
“Working in dentistry is the fulfillment of a childhood dream. I have the daily opportunity to invest my time, resources and talents in areas that intrigue me the most, which are general dentistry, forensic dentistry and facial esthetics.”

Women should feel empowered to start their own businesses. There is nothing better than creating your own success story.

Dr. Stacy Spizuoco, General Dentist
New York, New York

Dr. Stacy Spizuoco

Years practicing: 14

Dr. Stacy Spizuoco is a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry. She works in private practice, serves as a clinical instructor at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and performs charitable work including annual dental missions to underdeveloped countries, as well as local missions such as Give Kids a Smile Day. Dr. Spizuoco is a member of the ADA, the American Association for Women Dentists, and various other dental organizations.

What she loves about dentistry:
“I fell in love with dentistry because it’s a unique combination of art and science that calls for creativity and technical dexterity. Equally as unique are the patients who require practical and personal solutions for their dental needs. Having the ability to bridge this divide by providing esthetic dental solutions is my passion and purpose in life.”

Only when you give back can you truly understand how much you can really help others.

Dr. Nidhi Taneja, Pediatric Dentist
Eugene, Oregon

Dr. Nidhi Taneja

Years practicing: 5

Dr. Nidhi Taneja is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Connecticut. She specializes in pediatric dentistry and working with special needs patients. Dr. Taneja has a keen interest in organized dentistry and has focused her research on behavior management and children with autism.

What she loves about dentistry:
“My favorite part of dentistry is the ability to make an impact on kids in their most formative years. I also enjoy building a connection with families and gaining their trust to create a positive dental experience for a lifetime of good oral health for their children.”

Working with children makes it fun going to work every day!

Dr. Sat Kartar Khalsa, Pedodontist
Greenwood Village, Colorado

Dr. Sat Kartar Khalsa

Years practicing: 13

Dr. Sat Kartar Khalsa completed dental school at New York University. Upon graduation she finished two advanced dental residencies, including the Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry program at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, where she earned a specialty certification in pediatric dentistry. She is living her lifelong dream of providing dental care to amazing kids throughout her Colorado community.

What she loves about dentistry:
“I love that dentistry requires camaraderie and that we’re most successful when we’re working as a team. It’s extremely rewarding to move toward a common cause. I also enjoy taking time to establish genuine rapport with my patients and their families, and the clinical skills that it requires to serve them effectively.”

Living up to my potential means challenging my comfort zones daily.

Dr. Shefali Shah, General

Dentist Belvidere, Illinois

Dr. Shefali Shah

Years practicing: 5

Since graduating from Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Shefali Shah has been practicing general dentistry and providing comprehensive care to her patients. She is a partner at Chapko & Shah Modern Dentistry, where she provides various types of dental services, such as implant surgeries, cosmetic transformations and Six Month Smiles® orthodontics. When Dr. Shah is not practicing, she often mentors, and has instructed several seminars. Dr. Shah is a member of the ADA and various other dental organizations.

What she loves about dentistry:
“Dentistry is the perfect combination of health and beauty. From a health perspective, I get to alleviate my patient’s pain. Esthetically, I get to improve their smiles. It’s the best of all worlds.”

It’s normal to see men in leadership roles, but to see a group of women unite and do the same thing is phenomenal!

Dr. Keyla Springe, General Dentist
Paso Robles, California

Dr. Keyla Springe

Years practicing: 28

Dr. Keyla Springe worked in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as a dentist for almost 10 years before moving to the U.S. to open her own practice, Pacific Coast Dentistry. Dr. Springe operates a friendly dental office dedicated to providing patients with the best treatment options. She’s a master of the Academy of General Dentistry, a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and a member of the California Dental Association.

What she loves about dentistry:
“Dentistry means the world to me. I love the relationships I have with my patients. It warms my heart to know they appreciate having me as their dentist. I really strive to pamper them in every way. My patients bring me so much joy. I consider them an extension of my family.”

Elevating my voice and sharing my experiences is one way to make a significant impact in dentistry.

Moving Forward

Guiding Leaders looks forward to collaborating with this group of distinguished clinicians in helping shape the future of dentistry. Check out for updates on the program as these women continue their journey into leadership and make waves in 2019 and beyond.