If you are a CEREC dentist and you have been to the Spear campus in recent years, you no doubt recognize the two people beside me in this picture. That is, of course, Dr. Sameer Puri, founder of CERECDOCTORS. In the middle is Shayna Phipps, who became Shayna Phipps Holman on the day this photo was taken. Her title at work is Education Advisor, but Shayna is really more of a den mother to the CEREC faculty and to the CEREC dentists who come through the campus.
I have told the story here before of how Shayna came to join us at Spear—how she was a server in a restaurant I went to one night, and how I had to out-maneuver my dinner companion, who also wanted to steal her away to work at his company, so I could bring her aboard at Spear. She had no background in dentistry, but our policy has always been to hire for attitude first, and I knew she had the kind of passion we all look for in our employees. Here we are, years later, and Shayna has become an integral part of the organization. She has grown tremendously in her role and we are prouder than ever to have her as part of the Spear family. And it really does feel like a family.
That’s what I was reflecting on as I watched her get married in that ceremony. As I like to point out, most of us spend more time with the people we work with than we do with our own flesh-and-blood relatives, so if you are in a leadership position it really makes sense to get this right—to surround yourself with people who share your passions and to give them opportunities to grow with you. At the same time, you get to be a part of their lives and to be there for the milestones—not just the work milestones, but the graduations, the marriages, the births—all the things that we want to share and celebrate with the people closest to us. That’s what family is all about. That’s why I felt honored to be there on Shayna’s special day. And that’s why messages of congratulations have been pouring in to her from all her many friends in the dental world. Because we are all family.