Our Board of Directors
Marc Lerner, MD
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Marc Lerner is a pediatrician specializing in developmental and behavioral medicine. He is past president of the Orange County, California Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and chairs the executive committee of the National AAP’s Council on School Health. Dr. Lerner has taught and cared for patients at the University of California, Irvine for 35 years. He also serves as a consulting pediatrician for UCI’s Child Development Center and the UCI Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Dr. Lerner was recognized as the AAP Chapter 4 Pediatrician of the Year in 2016 and an Orange County Medical Association ‘Physician of Excellence’. From 2011 until 2016, Dr. Lerner worked as the Medical Officer for the Orange County California Department of Education.
Dr. Lerner has been a strong supporter and advocate of Healthy Smiles’ programs. He has been a monumental figure creating awareness of Healthy Smiles among community leaders. For several years, Dr. Lerner has assisted Healthy Smiles as we navigate school contracts and identify the resources necessary to serve Title I schools, child care agencies, and low-income children.
John R. Beaver was named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of BIOLASE on October 1, 2017. John was promoted to Executive Vice President and CFO following his brief role as Interim Chief Executive Officer of BIOLASE ending on August 8, 2018. He brings substantial leadership and technical experience in finance and business management in both public and private companies.
Prior to joining BIOLASE, John served as the Chief Financial Officer of Silicor Materials, Inc., a global leader in the production of Solar Silicon, from 2009 to 2013 and from 2015 to 2017. John also served on Silicor’s Board of Directors from 2013 to 2015. While at Silicor, John led debt and equity fundraising efforts to finance the company’s transition from start-up to commercial production. He also supported revenue growth from zero to nearly $100 million (annualized) in less than one year, and he developed and implemented many of the company’s business processes.
From 2013 to 2015, John was Chief Financial Officer for Modumetal, Inc., a nano-laminated alloy coatings company focused on oil and gas applications. Previously, John was Senior Vice President – Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Sterling Chemicals, a mid-sized public commodity chemical manufacturer, from 2007 to 2009. He also served as Vice President, Corporate Controller at Sterling Chemicals from 2001 to 2007 and as Financial Reporting Manager and Plant Accountant from 1987 to 1995.
From 1997 to 2000, John served as Vice President, Controller at Pioneer Companies, Inc., where he coordinated two major acquisitions which tripled the size of the company. Previously, John was Controller at Borden Chemicals and Plastics from 1995 to 1997. John started his career in Finance at Monsanto Company. John holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Jeff Flocken has a 30+ year successful career in health care services in a variety of organization settings. He recently retired after serving five years with Tenet Healthcare. He was SVP of the California/Nebraska Region with responsibility for a $2.6B operating budget and 12 acute care hospitals, six ASCs and nine diagnostic imaging centers. While in the region, EBITDA growth occurred through restructuring, asset divestiture, and cost management initiatives. He also successfully negotiated labor agreements with three 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.
From 2005 to 2009, Jeff was with the St. Joseph Health System. He served in several capacities in the areas of health system development, physician practice management, and hospital management. From 2000 to 2005, he served as SVP/COO for 14 hospital and ambulatory care clinics with an operating budget of $2.2B. The system had facilities in California, West Texas, and New Mexico. During the five years, the SJHS achieved record operating results, improved cash flows, Mood’s Rating, and had over $100M in philanthropy raised. Integrated inpatient and ambulatory electronic health records were implemented across the enterprise.
Prior to 1997, he spent 18 years with UniHealth, a nonprofit health system, as the CEO of Northridge Hospital Medical Center (1987-1989) and Vice President Medical Centers Division (1995-1997). While there, he oversaw major facilities expansion and renovation projects, physician integration efforts, and service expansion. Jeff is well regarded throughout the industry and has served on multiple industry trade group boards.
Alison Kermode, MBA
Harvey Lee, DDS, MPH, MBA
Dr. Harvey Lee is a pediatric dentist by specialty training and board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Lee obtained a Masters of Public Health with the emphasis in Healthcare Administration at Loma Linda University, prior to earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Lee also holds an MBA from the Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University.
After receiving his DDS from Loma Linda University, he completed a pediatric dental residency program at the Cornell University-affiliated St. Barnabus 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.
Dr. Lee is active with organized dentistry, currently serving as Past President of the Board of Directors at the Orange County Dental Society. His connections in the dental industry, and more importantly, his experience as the Chief Dental Officer of a successful multi-location DSO is invaluable. Dr. Lee is currently Chief Clinical Officer of Virtual Dental Care and a practicing pediatric dentist at Little Smiles of OC.
As a former Chief Dental Officer at Healthy Smiles, he oversaw all clinical programs, including Smiles X-Press Teledentistry, an innovative new dental initiative serving classrooms and community sites. In addition to his dedication to Healthy Smiles, Dr. Harvey has a private practice in Irvine with his wife who is an Endodontist. Weekends are just as busy, if not busier than the week by keeping their three boys entertained.
Jeff Miller, Esq., MPH
Jeff Miller serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Western Dental, where he oversees all legal matters, including corporate governance, acquisitions, regulatory compliance, litigation, and government affairs.
Jeff’s professional career has focused on supporting health care organizations to deliver the highest quality patient care, including hospitals, dialysis facilities, and radiology practices. Prior to joining Western Dental, Jeff spent several years as Vice President-Deputy General Counsel and was named Acting General Counsel at DaVita, a leading provider of kidney care with over 2,000 dialysis centers across the United States. At DaVita, he oversaw legal affairs and managed the company’s 75+ member legal team. More recently, Jeff served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Imaging Advantage, a radiology practice management company.
Before going “in-house,” Jeff was an Associate with Latham & Watkins, where he represented large health insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. He also worked at RAND Health where he advised state governments in connection with health care financing initiatives aimed at increasing access to care. Jeff earned a J.D. from Georgetown University, a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins, and a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University.
Branden Nelson, MBA
Branden L. Nelson is a well-versed Human Resources executive with over 15 years of experience in HRIS technologies, business and organizational development, mergers and acquisitions, leadership development, and diversity and inclusion initiatives in multi-cultural, multi-site locations in the United States, Latin America, Mexico and Europe.
Branden was previously the Senior Global Human Resources Manager at Glidewell Dental, the world’s largest dental laboratory that provides high-quality dental lab products and services worldwide. Branden worked at Glidewell for 10 years, in which he fast tracked his HR career to management as he excelled in positions such as Talent Acquisition Partner, Employee Relations Supervisor, and HR Manager in just 5 years. Branden spent his last 5 years at Glidewell in the Sr. Global HR role partnering with executive management as Glidewell fulfilled its mission of “bettering the world one smile at a time” for its employees and customers by doubling its’ employee headcount from 2500 to over 5000, adding more than 25 locations worldwide and opening two state-of-the-art dental training, education and demonstration centers, the Glidewell International Technology Centers, that offers cutting-edge technology-focused education to healthcare professionals.
Branden was the Vice President of Human Resources for Terra Tech Corp., a publicly traded vertically integrated hemp-based medical solutions company. Joining the organization in 2018, Branden joined the team to develop and implement an HR infrastructure and company culture that would produce great talent, drive revenue, and make Terra Tech an employer of choice in Orange County and beyond! To date, the company is thriving and looking forward to new business opportunities and growth; with HR at the nucleus of all said initiatives. During his time at Terra Tech, Branden not only blazed a trail with his efforts focused on the business (the heart), and maintaining synergy with its people (the pulse), but was also named one of three finalists for the 2019 NHRA (National Human Resources Association) HR Executive of the Year Award.
Due to his passions for people, community and achievement, Branden also founded his own non-profit organization, I AM FRESH, Inc., which partners with high schools in underprivileged communities to provide youth mentorship and scholarships for higher education. Branden is equally passionate about serving his church community. He mentors the youth at Antioch Church of Long Beach, oversees the media ministry and partners with the Senior Pastor as the church’s HR Advisor. Branden believes that the field of Human Resources found him at an early age, as he has always had a passion for people and their advancement journeys. Branden’s life mission is “to endorse, enrich, and guide individuals through the various stages of human development, in hopes to ultimately produce and/or awaken great minds, talents, abilities and an acceptance of self.”
Branden is currently the Chief HR/Business Consultant and Strategist at BN The HR Guy, LLC. Branden holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from San Diego State University.
JoAnn Ashman, MBA
JoAnn is a PMP certified manager in PwC’s Program and Portfolio Management practice, with expertise in business and IT strategy, Global Business and IT Transformation, Program and Portfolio Management, IT Governance, software-driven solution implementations and how to effectively work with a C1A client.
JoAnn is a former Fortune 500 executive and CIO who has worked in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. She has 20 plus years of Management, Industry, and consulting experience in leading, motivating, and mentoring distributed, cross-functional teams by translating vision and business goals into meaningful, achievable deliverables.
She has led the setup of PMO and Governance Programs and the development and re-engineering of numerous process improvement initiatives for Financial Services, Health Care, Technology, Apparel, and Media & Entertainment businesses. JoAnn has directed enterprise-wide technology projects, led change management, business acquisition and integration initiatives, and built and right-sized large global organizations.
JoAnn has a reputation for leading process initiatives to achieve “impossible” goals by forming trusted strategic internal and external relationships, using innovative, proven approaches, and solving business problems to grow revenues, and/or significantly reduce operational costs.
JoAnn has spearheaded the implementations of strategic financial, ERP, HR, business intelligence, retail and eCommerce solutions, outsourced and insourced both business operations and IT services, integrated core operational systems for mergers and acquisitions, and rapidly brought up complete solutions for a start-up. JoAnn’s work has consistently resulted in cost savings, new business capabilities, improved processes and organizational efficiency.
Ria Berger, MPA
CEO and Board Member
Ria Berger is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 25 years of Operations, Human Resources, and Business Development experience in multi-cultural, multi-site locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Ria served for four years as a member of the Board of Directors at CalOptima (Orange County’s single largest health insurer with $3.6 billion in revenue). She is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Governance Fellow.
Ria was previously a VP of Human Resources for several Fortune 500 companies ($2B-42B revenue). She is currently the CEO of Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County, one of the nation’s largest oral health care providers for children. Since the beginning of her tenure in 2014, the organization has increased its revenue by 250% within three years, tripled in employee headcount, and launched an innovative Teledentistry program (one of the largest in the U.S.). Healthy Smiles was named one of Orange County’s Top Workplaces in 2017, 2018, and 2021.
Ria is a co-founder of Art 4 Fun, a 22 year-old business headquartered in London and continues to serve on its Board of Directors. Her greatest strengths are in the successful execution and transformation of world class organizational and business development programs. She has extensive experience in strategy, operations, board recruitment, leadership reorganization, culture transformation, and mergers and acquisitions. She masterfully architects innovative systems integration and delivers outstanding results to Fortune 500 companies, private corporations, and nonprofit organizations.
Ria holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California (USC), and has taught HR and business courses at the University of California, Irvine and USC.
Patti Dodge, MA
Patti Dodge teaches fourth grade at Esqueda Elementary School in Santa Ana, where she is committed to making a difference in the lives of her students. Patti was formerly a finance executive and held management positions in a range of financial services organizations, most recently as Chief Financial Officer at New Century Financial Corporation. Patti holds a M.A. in Education from Pepperdine University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Patti has served as Board President of the Be Aware Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through the early detection of breast cancer. Patti has received numerous awards, including being named a “Top CFO” by Institutional Investor magazine, “CFO of the Year” by the National Investor Relations Institute and an outstanding “Woman in Business” by the Orange County Business Journal.
Ligia Hallstrom, EdD
Dr. Ligia Hallstrom began her career in education more than two decades ago. Her knowledge and experiences range from school counseling, site administrator at different levels (elementary, middle, and high school), and district level administrator. During her tenure as Principal of Wilson Elementary School with the Santa Ana Unified School District, she introduced Healthy Smiles as an institution that helps address the oral health needs of the students in her community. Dr. Hallstrom’s advocacy for oral health and overall health added value to the organization when she joined the Healthy Smiles Board of Directors and later was named Chief Operations Officer (COO).
Dr. Hallstrom earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master Of Science in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton. She received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and a Master’s in Legal Studies with an Emphasis in Non-Profit from Trinity International Law School.
Richard Mungo, DDS, MSD, MEd
Dr. Richard P. Mungo, a founding board member of Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County, is a pediatric dentist practicing in Huntington Beach. Dr. Mungo currently serves as the Medical Director for the clinical practice at Healthy Smiles. He also serves as part-time faculty in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the USC Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry and as a guest lecturer in the Department of Hospital Dentistry at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Dr. Mungo is a graduate of Case Western Reserve School of Dentistry. He completed his pediatric residency at Boston University (Goldman) School of Graduate Dentistry and completed a fellowship at USC/Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Craniofacial Anomalies. Additionally, Dr. Mungo received his Master’s degree in Medical Education from the USC Keck School of Medicine. From 1978 to 1993, Dr. Mungo served as the Department Chair of Pediatric Dentistry at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles associated with USC School of Dentistry. Dr. Mungo has published in areas of cleft palate therapy, conducted original research, published protocols for use of lasers in dentistry, and published in various areas of hospital dentistry and oral complications of AIDS in the pediatric population.
Richard Spaulding, DDS
Dr. Richard Spaulding is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He graduated from the USC School of Dentistry and earned his Master’s Degree in Medical Nutrition from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. Dr. Spaulding completed his pediatric dentistry residency training at Children’s Medical Center-Dallas/Baylor/ College of Dentistry, with a medical staff appointment at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Dr. Spaulding’s private dental office, Torrance Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, offers nine chairs for consultations and operative care for infants, children, and special needs patients.
Gary L. Van Arnam
Gary L. Van Arnam is a Senior Vice President with Northern Trust. In this role, he oversees comprehensive financial and fiduciary services for high net worth individuals, families, foundations, and nonprofit relationships for the Newport Beach and Rancho Mirage offices. Gary has over 20 years of experience in financial services as a private practice financial planner and senior trust officer. Gary received his B.S. in Business Administration & Finance from California State University, Long Beach. Gary completed the Financial Planning program at USC, and the National Graduate Trust School of the American Bankers Association with Honors.
Active in the community, Gary was Past President of the Board of Directors at Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County, member of the CHOC Professional Advisory Council, former President of the Board of Human Options, former President of the Board of the Estate Planning & Trust Council of Long Beach, former President of the Board of the Planned Giving Round Table of Orange County, former Adjunct Faculty Member for the College for Financial Planning, and a Certified Financial Planner.