Personal and Professional Journey with Straine Dental Consulting Leaves a Smile on CEO's Face
- Client Spotlight
6 min. Read
Last Updated: 03/01/2023
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As part of March's Women in History Month, Paychex celebrates the customer journey — challenges, inspiration, and successes of women entrepreneurs — in our Client Spotlight.
Olivia Straine and her husband, Kerry, decided to take an idea, combine it with a dream, and start a journey. That was 30 years ago, when they saw a friend’s dental practice struggling to keep up with patient-load demands while using protocols that impacted his bottom line and the goals of the practice.
“We wanted to help people recognize what they’re good at, working through their strengths and understanding that we all have limitations ….,” says Olivia “Livy” Straine.
“… and that those limitations are irrelevant.”
That could be their mantra. The once small Straine Dental Consulting from Sacramento, California, with its 22 employees, has never let anything limit their desire to help dental practices succeed, and the couple turned the business into a multi-national Dental Services Organization nearing 500 employees. They continue to provide strategic planning, coaching, and practice management training to dental organizations, but now also acquire dental practices under Straine Dental Management.
“The most important task on our job description is how do we develop people … to reach their unique potential,” Livy says. “Some of us are task-oriented or people-oriented. Some of us are extroverts, some are introverts. However, we all share the value of wanting to reach our potential.”
Many people don’t like to speak before an audience. Livy identified this as a personal shortcoming that she also saw in some of the dental practice owners they were working with, noting that some of these “accidental CEOs” had anxiety getting in front of their own employees at daily huddles or staff meetings. So, Straine Dental Consulting incorporated “speaking before people” as part of their coaching.
“I wish I had learned sooner how to be comfortable in front of large groups,” Livy said. “It’s so important to think about creating intentional strategies that reflect your vision, your values, and the journey that you want to go on.”
The word journey comes up frequently with Livy, and it makes sense. Straine Dental Consulting has developed a method of standardized business protocols that takes dental practice owners on a professional journey, helping them improve their practices, and even a personal journey as they contemplate transitioning out of the day-to-day role of a dental practitioner and selling their practice.
Livy’s journey with co-CEO Kerry Straine has seen their company expand into 11 states and Canada — with a goal to add 300 practices by 2025. Their methods have matched their vision.
“The impetus for growing our business was the deep relationships we built with our dental practice owners,” Livy says. “I love helping people. It’s the most rewarding thing I have done in my career. It’s important to understand what you believe and where you’re going, what you represent, what you care about in the world because you’re going to attract those same people to join you on this journey.”