Another new face

Dental coalition welcomes new executive director

There's another new face at the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition.

Janet Pearcey took the organization's helm Friday.

"I think this job is going to be the most rewarding, gratifying and overwhelming job I'll ever have," the new executive director said. "It's going to be an amazing opportunity. I'm so excited."

Pearcey replaces former director Misty Schulze, who worked her last day on Nov. 8. The organization hired dentist Gregory Reinhold at the end of November.

Pearcey, 40, has spent nearly half her life in dentist offices in Craig and Steamboat Springs. She has worked as a chair-side and surgery assistant and in the front office.

She began her career with eight years at John Ilko's office in Craig and five years with Neal Fenton in Craig. She went to southeastern Colorado for a short time before returning for a year to work with Steamboat dentist Neil Ganz and a year and a half with John Lupori, also of Steamboat.

Coalition board president Elaine Sullivan said Pearcey's dentistry background is what makes her a good fit.

"Her knowledge and background are amazing," Sullivan said. "She's had continuing education since she started in it."

In 1992, Pearcey passed the Dental Assisting National Board exam, making her a certified dental assistant.

Pearcey lives in Craig with her husband, Ray. They have a son, Keith, 21, and daughter, Desirae, 17.

Pearcey said the dental coalition marks her first experience with a non-profit organization.

The Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition is a charitable nonprofit organization that treats the dental needs of disadvantaged children in Moffat, Routt, Grand, Rio Blanco and Jackson counties. The coalition operates a dental clinic on Yampa Avenue.

Pearcey anticipates her biggest challenge will be reaching children in five counties who are in need of dental attention.

"I want to see this become an adult facility, too, because that's something the (Yampa) Valley really needs," Pearcey said.

Sullivan said that's part of the board's long-term goals.

"Down the road, that's something we definitely want to do," Sullivan said.

Pearcey said coalition founder and former director Debi Harmon is training her for three days in Craig and is available via telephone in the future. The board has kept Harmon on as a consultant since her departure.

"I'm trying to use (Harmon) as much as I need her," Pearcey said. "She's such an asset."

Pearcey said she knows there will be challenges with her new position but is excited to meet clients and attract new ones.

"Because I've been involved with dentistry, I know what kind of need there is out there," Pearcey said. "(This job is) an excellent opportunity to grow and make some things happen."

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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