Leadership Team

An Innovative Approach
Requires An Innovative Team

Virtual Dental Care is led by experienced dental industry veterans with decades of experience in the technology and practice management industries. We believe the promise of teledentistry lies in its ability to use mobile technology to cost-effectively deliver better health outcomes to previously underserved populations.

Richard Lee

Richard Lee

Chief Executive Officer

About Richard

Richard is a serial entrepreneur with 29 years in of business experience in the dental technology arena and one of the dental industry’s most successful information technology entrepreneurs, having founded Computer Age Dentist, Dentalxchange, and Planet DDS.

Computer Age Dentist created one of the leading desktop practice management software applications in the 1990s. CAD was sold to a public traded healthcare IT company in the late 1990’s.

Dentalxchange was the leading dental portal and e-commerce shop during the dot-com boom. Dentalxchange successfully raised over $28MM in venture capital investment and grew to become the most successful internet company in the dental industry.

Dentalxchange purchased DentalConnect, the dental industry’s leading real-time EDI clearinghouse. DentalConnect pioneered the technology to create the first cloud based, dental claims processing engine. As a result, Richard gained hands-on experience in data transfer between payers and providers. He also oversaw an organization that grew from startup to over 200 employees in 3 years.

Building on the Dentalxchange experience, Richard founded Planet DDS, Inc., which became the leader in cloud-based dental practice management software. He recognized the inevitable future of small business software needs, and more importantly, he saw the future need for connectivity and inter-operability among all the constituents of dental healthcare, including the delivery system and the financing system.

Richard’s experience as a leader in multiple successful startups, his general knowledge of technology, but more importantly, his vast knowledge of dental technologies is invaluable. The success of Virtual Dental Care will come from its ability to bring the immense advantages of current technology to a sector that is woefully behind and inefficient because of it. In three ventures, Richard has shown the ability to transition this aspect of the industry.

Richard is currently on the Board of Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County which has incorporated the use of teledentistry into its Medicaid delivery system.

Bill Jackson

William Jackson

Chief Operating Officer

About William

Bill practiced clinical dentistry for 10 years, while creating a small Knox-Keene licensed managed dental plan in Los Angeles. After roles of Western Regional Dental Director and Western Regional Administrative Director with Prudential Healthcare, he became President of the Dental Division. Later, he moved to Wellpoint Healthcare in the same role as General Manager of the dental division.

In both roles, Bill had P&L responsibility for divisions that accounted for almost $800M at Prudential and $600M at Wellpoint. He was responsible for leading the creation of each company’s national PPO networks. Importantly, he was responsible for starting California Dental Alliance, a Wellpoint subsidiary that was one of the industry’s first DSOs.

Bill then founded Dental Connect, the industry’s first real-time dental clearinghouse. The company grew to the largest of its kind in the industry, transacting millions of transactions monthly between dentists and dental benefits administrators. The experience gained from navigating the regulatory environment, working through the unique technical and administrative challenges of the administrators (payers), and understanding the submission challenges of the providers will help the Virtual Dental Care team immensely.

At Planet DDS, Richard and Bill became very familiar with the inner workings and technological and data analysis needs of several DSOs. Working closely with line staff, middle management and C-level managers, they learned the common patterns of daily work flow that evolved into best practices for DSOs, as well as those that created inevitable problems.

Additionally, and very important to Virtual Dental Care’s model, Bill was responsible for developing a division within Planet DDS that utilized a remote workforce to perform revenue cycle management services for Planet DDS customers. Workers throughout the US, Philippines, and Haiti processed millions of dollars of insurance transactions from their homes. In short, Bill and Richard have the knowledge and experience – including developing unique technology – to develop and manage a remote workforce.

Bill is on the teledentistry advisory team at Healthy Smiles for Kids, Orange County.

Chanette Armstrong

Chanette Armstrong

Chief Legal Counsel

About Chanette

Chanette has comprehensive and extensive experience advising and supporting business in broad range of legal matters with expertise in commercial agreements.

In her last role, she held the position of Global Head of Technology & Intellectual Property Counsel at The Sage Group PLC, the largest technology company in the UK. Chanette has also held positions at MSC Software Corp as a Senior Counsel, at Knobbe Martens Olsen & Bear LLP, and at The Boeing Company.

Chanette holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, earned her J.D. from Rutgers Law School, and also holds a MBA from Long Island University. She also has a legal background tied to the dental industry, having previously advised Dentalxchange, Inc.

Denny Kon

Denny Kon

Chief Financial Officer

About Denny

Mr. Kon currently holds the position of Chief Financial Officer and has over 25 years of finance and operations experience focused in the healthcare industry.

Prior to joining Virtual Dental Care, he served as a CFO and advisor for multi-site, closed-door pharmacies that primarily focused on both specialty and the Long Term Care prescriptions. He also served as a CFO to a DSO and other dentists with dental practices that take care of both orthodontic and pediatric patients.

Mr. Kon’s experience as a collaborative leader with a strong understanding of technology, finance and business acumen have positively impacted the bottom-line of many organizations.

He began his career in public accounting with Ernst & Young, earned his MBA at the University of Redlands with emphasis in Finance, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a dual Bachelors degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Loma Linda University.

Dean Gutierrez

Dean Gutierrez

Director of Technology

About Dean

Dean is an experienced technical director, with a hands-on software engineering background in multiple team settings.

Dean’s experience includes both front-end and back-end development work on leading SaaS solutions, with a code base that includes mobile application development, ASP.Net, SQL Server, and many other related technologies.

Working as part of agile teams, Dean has experience with code management toolsets, and also brings significant experience configuring and managing datacenters and related hardware.

Dean’s prior experience includes working on building the PlanetDDS SaaS ERP solution, used by dental practices nationwide. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from University of Manitoba, Canada, and is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer and a Microsoft Certified Professional.

Mitali Hariawala

Mitali Hariawala

Director of Network Operations

About Mitali

Dr. Mitali Hariawala is a general dentist and currently serves as the Director of Network Operations. Dr. Mitali earned her Bachelors of Science in Human Physiology and Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Boston University. Throughout undergrad, Dr. Mitali spearheaded the patient liaison program in the Emergency Department at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She also worked as a research assistant on campus at Boston University, as well as off campus at Boston Children’s Hospital in the Psychiatry Department. She then went on to pursue her Masters in Nutrition at Columbia University in New York City, after which she returned to Boston University, where she earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Dr. Mitali practiced dentistry at the South End Community Health Center, where she mentored pre-doctoral students and quickly discovered her passion of caring for the underserved. In pursuance of achieving her mission of increasing access to dental care, Dr. Mitali joined an oral care company in Brooklyn, New York where she managed a community of thousands of dental professionals, including students, hygienists, dentists and specialists. Dr. Mitali brings a unique perspective with her clinical background in dentistry and medicine and experience in business and entrepreneurship.

Robert Klein

Robert Klein

Board Member

About Robert

Robert Klein has held executive roles across a wide spectrum of the healthcare industry with a focus on physician groups, health insurance plans, and hospital systems. Robert has domain expertise in general management, marketing, sales, product, communications, governmental affairs, business development, and joint ventures/partnerships.

As an independent consultant, Robert’s current clients include two private equity firms focused on value based healthcare delivery systems, a multi-state hospital system, and a multi-specialty medical group.

From 2008 to 2015, Robert served as the National Vice President of HealthCare Partners reporting to the COO and Co-Chairman of the Board. HealthCare Partners was the largest privately held medical group in the US with approximately 1,400 employed physicians, 14,000 independent clinicians, 230 contracted hospitals, 18 affiliated health insurance plans, and provided care to more than 1,300,000 patients.

Prior to HealthCare Partners, Robert held leadership roles at UnitedHealthcare, PacifiCare, DirectFit, Taco Bell, and Coca-Cola Foods.

Robert sits on the Board of Directors for DSA Phototech and the Advisory Board for Burnish Creative.

Robert grew up in Swampscott, MA. Robert earned his BA from The Johns Hopkins University earned his MBA at the University of Chicago. Robert and his wife live in Irvine, CA and their two grown up children live in metro Los Angeles. Robert has served on several non-for profit boards and loves hiking and reading.

Jeff Flocken

Jeff Flocken

Board Member

About Jeff

Mr. Flocken has a successful 35+ year career in health care services in a variety of organization settings.

In 2011, he joined Med3000, a national healthcare management and technology company, serving as EVP ACO/Hospital Services until the company’s sale to McKesson (NYSE: MCK) in December 2012. In addition to serving as part of the management team evaluating strategic options (including sale) during this period, he was responsible for medical group, IPA, and TPA support services operations, as well as business development. He also worked on medical merger and acquisition activities in multiple markets, completing two transactions which achieved $20M of growth.

Prior to then, he served for 5 years as SVP of the California/Nebraska Region Tenet Healthcare (NYSE:THC). As SVP he had responsibility for a $2.6B operating budget and 12 acute care hospitals, 6 ASCs and 9 diagnostic imaging centers. While in the Region, EBITDA growth of 25% occurred through restructuring, asset divestiture, cost management initiatives, and growth. He also successfully oversaw negotiation of labor agreements with 3 different unions on a statewide basis. Physician integration strategies were implemented through clinics, PC structures, and development of an Accountable Care Organization Pilot with a major insurer. He was responsible for the Region’s implementation and monitoring of Tenet corporate ethics, integrity, and compliance programs. The Region achieved the highest people metrics among all regions, ranked 2nd among regions in quality metrics, and had 10 facilities achieve Circle of Excellence Designation.

From 1997 to 2005 he was with the St. Joseph Health System (SJHS). He served in several capacities across the areas of health system development, physician practice management, and hospital management. From 2000 to 2005 he served as SVP/COO for SJHS, overseeing 14 hospital and ambulatory care clinics with an operating budget of $2.2B, and including facilities in California, west Texas and eastern New Mexico. During his tenure, SJHS achieved strong operating results, improved cash flows, a “AA” Moody’s debt rating, over $100M in philanthropy raised via a “culture of philanthropy” initiative, and community benefit and care for the poor programs that exceeded $300M. Through executive team collaboration, key performance metrics were developed for local governing boards to enhance management accountability. In concert with the CIO, inpatient and ambulatory electronic health records were implemented across the enterprise, and clinical technology solutions in patient flow, labor management, and pharmacy management were established. Comprehensive facility master plans were also implemented for SB1953 seismic compliance.

Prior to 1997, he spent 18 yrs with UniHealth, a not-for-profit health system, serving as the CEO of Northridge Hospital Medical Center (1989-1997) and Vice President Medical Centers Division (1995-1997). While there, he oversaw major facilities expansion and renovation projects, including and 88 bed expansion and recovery efforts from 1994 Northridge earthquake. Physician integration efforts included IPA development and medical group acquisitions. Major clinical service expansions in trauma, perinatal, cancer, and cardiology were also achieved.

Mr. Flocken is well regarded throughout the industry and has served on multiple industry trade group boards.

Paul Glassman

Paul Glassman
DDS, MA, MBA

Dr. Glassman is a Professor of Dental Practice, Director of Community Oral Health, and Director of the Pacific Center for Special Care, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco.

Since receiving an initial grant from the California Health Workforce Pilot Projects (HWPP), offered by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) in December 2010, Paul has continuously headed the Virtual Home Dentistry project at the School. He has driven all aspects of the project, including initial planning, rollout, evaluation, dental association relationships, and garnering regulatory approval.

Subsequently, the Virtual Home Dentistry program has partnered with numerous funding organizations to implement this demonstration project to bring oral health services to underserved populations. Ten demonstrations sites have been developed, and they range from children in Head Start Centers and elementary schools to older or disabled adults in residential care settings and older adults in nursing homes.

Without question, Paul is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced experts in the industry on teledentistry.

Linda Brookman

Linda Brookman
BSDH, MSHSEd, RDHAP

Linda Brookman has been a practicing dental hygienist for over 35 years in prosthodontics general dentistry, pediatrics and currently a periodontal practice. She has worked with under-served populations in a mobile dentistry setting as well as with the geriatric population in nursing homes.

Ms. Brookman is passionate about Teledentistry as a solution to reach patients who have poor access to dental care. She has lectured on Teledentistry in California, internationally, and has written on the topic in a peer-reviewed dental hygiene journal.

Ms. Brookman received her Registered Dental Hygiene in Alternative Practice (RDHAP) in 2016 from University of the Pacific. She has subsequently created a program at Vista Del Mar Family Services in Los Angeles by utilizing RDHAPs for the children’s dental health and oral disease prevention.

Using Virtual Dental Care to connect the RDHAPs with outside dentists solved the problem of having to take the children off campus multiple times for oral health assessment, preventive treatment, and then any restorative issues that occurred. She is a leader in the profession of dental hygiene.

Vincent Cardillo

Vincent Cardillo
MBA

Vincent Cardillo is a proven industry leader with over 20 years of experience in leadership/partner roles growing DSOs. He
has a successful track record of structuring, growing and positioning dental groups for rapid growth. Vincent’s latest ranked #14 on the 2014 INC 500 list of fastest growing private companies with growth of 12,896%. His ability to successfully build and manage teams, create and execute strategic vision, and identify and drive key metrics has led to substantially increased shareholder value in each company.

Vincent is the founder of Dental Management Innovations, LLC, which provides outsourced C-Suite services to dental groups and single offices that have the intention of growing. DMI positions its clients for long-term growth by strengthening their operational systems and infrastructure. Vincent also provides his expertise in operations, strategy, and financing to private equity firms and other financial institutions nationally and internationally looking to make an investment in a DSO.

Vincent earned a BA from SUNY Potsdam, an MBA from Clarkson University, and an Executive Degree in Managed Care from University of Connecticut. Vincent also served as President of Dental Group Management Association (DGMA).

Peter Hargittay

Peter Hargittay
MBA

Peter is a marketing and business development executive who is passionate about building high growth tech companies, both as an in-house CMO and advisor to startups.

He is responsible for positioning companies for growth in new and existing markets, generating product demand, brand strategy, integrated and digital marketing, product marketing, communications, and generating game-changing revenue through strategic alliances and partnerships. Mr. Hargittay is an expert in the field of virtual services and innovative mobile field technologies that enable the on-demand economy.

Peter has approximately 20 years of experience in building successful software and services businesses, and is currently the Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Corporate Development at Intellect, a SaaS software company that helps organizations improve their business processes and compliance requirements.  Prior to Intellect, Peter was the VP of Marketing and Sales Operations at Arise Virtual Solutions, a leader in on-demand customer management solutions with a network of tens of thousands of virtual work-at-home service professionals.  Previously, he held executive marketing roles at Aegis, PeopleSupport, Intersil, and FileNet.

Peter received both his BA in Economics and MBA from California State University, Fullerton.

Xerxes Calilung

Xerxes Calilung
DDS, Clinical Director

A graduate of USC School of Dentistry, Dr. Calilung is the owner of his private practice, Dental Arts of Irvine, California, where he has practiced since 1990.

Xerxes is a member of the Orange County Dental Society, where he served as President in 2013. Subsequently, he maintains a high level of involvement with California Dental Association and the American Dental Association.

Since 1993, Xerxes has served as adjunct faculty at USC Dental School, where he teaches clinical dentistry.

Xerxes’ positions as a respected member of organized dentistry and a well-liked teacher at the dental school has created a large and easily accessible network of dentists. This network will serve Virtual Dental Care very well as rapid expansion will require ever-increasing professional manpower needs.

Dr. Calilung is a Board member of Healthy Smiles for Kids, Orange County.

Harvey Lee
DDS, MPH, MBA, Clinical Director

Dr. Harvey Lee is in private practice and currently serves as Chief Dental Officer for a non-profit dental organization that is pioneering teledentistry in Southern California. Dr. Harvey obtained a Masters of Public Health with the emphasis in health administration at Loma Linda University, prior to earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Harvey also holds an MBA from the Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University.

In order to focus on the treatment of children he went on to complete a pediatric dental residency program at the Cornell University-affiliated St. Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, New York.

After residency, in conjunction with private practice he also held a faculty appointment at Columbia University and served as the Chief/Program Director of Pediatric Dentistry at Harlem Hospital, New York. During his employment at Harlem Hospital Center, he served on the medical executive board as the Treasurer. Harvey is active with organized dentistry by which he currently serves as Past President on the Board of Directors at the Orange County Dental Society.

Harvey’s connections in the dental industry, and more importantly, his experience as the Chief Dental Officer of a successful multi-location DSO and leading a successful teledentistry program is invaluable, that is non-competitive with Virtual Dental Care.

Dr. Harvey is active with organized dentistry, currently serving as Past President of the Board of Directors at the Orange County Dental Society.

When not working, Harvey and his wife who is an endodontist have 3 energetic boys to keep entertained.

Maria Padilla

Maria Padilla
RDHAP, RDA

Maria has over 20 years experience in the dental field. She earned her Associates Degree in Science of Dental Hygiene from West Los Angeles College in Culver City, and continued to further her education in dentistry by receiving her license as an RDHAP.

Maria has established her own Mobile Dental Hygiene business which provides mobile dental hygiene services to her community, children in schools, and the immobilized.

She currently runs the Dental Hygiene department at the AIDS Health Care Foundation in downtown Los Angeles, which exclusively treats patients diagnosed with AIDS and HIV. In addition, Maria has been involved in numerous non-profit organizations and outreach programs.

Maria Ladd

Maria Ladd
RDHAP, MPH

Maria Ladd was born in raised in Los Angeles. She started her education at West Los Angeles College earning her Associate Degree in Science of Dental Hygiene. Maria continued her education earning both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Public Health. She is passionate about providing care to the underserved population in the community she grew up in.

Before working with Virtual Dental Care, Maria developed her own teledentistry dental hygiene practice. Maria’s practice provides care to those who cannot seek dental treatment in a traditional office setting. Maria also works with the University of the Pacific providing dental cleanings, assessments and treatment to a senior population. Maria has experience working with a diverse array of patients from various cultures, backgrounds, age and specialized groups.

Laura Kirkland

Laura Kirkland
BSDH, RDHAP

Laura Kirkland is owner of Home Smile Care, a Los Angeles based mobile dental hygiene service that specializes in the care of mature patients in private home settings, assisted living, and retirement communities.

Graduate and past part-time Clinical Instructor of Diagnostic Sciences at USC School of Dentistry / Dental Hygiene Division. Ms. Kirkland has been in private practice in Pacific Palisades and West Los Angeles for over 10 years.

We believe better access to dental care can lead to better health.