Cara, Front Desk
Cara joined Pike Lake Dental Center early in 2018 and greets our patients both in person and over the phone as our receptionist. She may be new to our team, but she’s been a patient here for over 20 years! Cara was born in South Korea and was adopted at 5 months old. She lived in Hastings for 6 years, then in Saginaw, MN, for the majority of her youth. She now lives in Proctor, admittedly her favorite city because it is close to everything. Fun Fact: Cara’s least favorite activity is driving. Cara married her long-time boyfriend, Nick, two years ago. While they don’t have children yet, they do have a very spoiled West Highland White Terrier named Lady “Ellie” Elinor. In her free time, Cara enjoys activities around Duluth, especially ones that feature local breweries and food trucks. Not surprising then is Cara’s passion for food and cooking, which we happily benefit from often. She loves game nights with friends and watching television and movies, noting Best In Show and The Sound Of Music as her favorites. Relaxing after a long day at the office includes catching up on her favorite TV shows. Cara’s favorite vacations as a child were family trips to Disney, but as an adult she has enjoyed her recent “friendcations” on the beaches of Mexico. A little known fact about Cara is that she is also a Registered Dental Hygienist. While she was on the waiting list to complete that degree, she obtained a medical receptionist certificate and became a certified medical assistant. If she didn’t work in the dental field, Cara would likely be a stay at home dog mom. She and her husband often joke that they should write for TV shows when they easily guess plot twists and can predict the next line in TV shows. Today, she may be on level 1156 of the game Gardenscape, but her ten year plan includes staying right here with us at Pike Lake Dental Center.
Cassandra, Clinical Staff
Cassandra, is our all-around go getter. She started with our office the summer of 2017 as an extra pair of hands helping with sterilization and cleaning rooms and has developed into a vital piece of our office. She stays busy seating patients, doing light chairside assisting, cleaning, sterilizing and improving the general flow of the office. Cassandra is a Duluth native and is in her second year of the hygiene program at LSC. When she’s not at school or working, Cassie enjoys painting and spending time at her cabin. The best trip she’s been on was a trip to Florida where she went deep sea fishing. Fun Fact: Cassandra used to play both the violin and the piano. Titanic is her favorite movie and Grey’s Anatomy is her favorite show. Cassie is passionate about traveling, even though she doesn’t get to travel as much as she’d like… yet. The one thing she thinks everyone should do at least once in their lifetime is visit the Grand Canyon. The three words she feels describe her best are determined, organized and punctual.
Deb, has been a dental hygienist at Pike Lake Dental Center for 34 years. She started with Dr. Carter Johnson in 1984 and has been with the practice ever since. She is a Proctor native and lives in Duluth with her amazing husband, Giff, a training officer for the DFD. They have a grown son, Bill, who is a student at LSC. In her spare time, Deb enjoys cooking with her husband, traveling, reading and volunteering. Deb’s favorite way to start the day is with a cup of coffee in the sunroom with her husband. She relaxes after a long day at work by just being at her favorite place, her beautiful and cozy Denfeld home, with her sweetie. Her hands down favorite food is pizza. The three words that describe Deb best are loyal, friendly and loquacious. Deb feels her best quality is being a good friend, noting that she is very intentional about maintaining contact. Her favorite quote is more of a verse, the Golden Rule, simply saying, “People won’t remember what you’ve said, but how you made them feel and they won’t remember what you have, but what you gave.” A little known fact about Deb is that she can find every bathroom at Disney World. Another interesting fact about Deb is that she can play 7 or 8 songs on the ukulele. The movie she feels best describes her is Princess Bride. Deb feels the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to her is having two amazing men in her life, her husband and her son. Not surprisingly, Deb is extremely passionate about her family, especially her miracle-man husband. If she didn’t work in the dental field, she would be a travel channel host. Deb believes everyone should travel at least once in their lives and feels everyplace she’s traveled to has been the coolest place she’s ever been. Her 10 year plan includes traveling, along with a word that begins with the letter “R” and and ends in “etirement”. We’ll let you put those together.
Heather, Dental Hygienist
Heather started working at Pike Lake Dental Center as a fill in dental hygienist the summer of 2013 and has since become part of our full time staff. A Hermantown native, she continues to reside in her favorite city with her high school sweetheart, now husband of nearly 20 years, Nathan. Together, they have three children, Maddy 17, Jack 15 and Avery 7 and a Shorkie puppy named Brutus. When she’s not at work, Heather enjoys supporting and watching her kids’ extra curricular activities including hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer, dance class and piano lessons. With a family as involved in sports as hers, it’s no wonder Heather’s favorite movie is Miracle. The three words Heather feels best describe her are loyal, compassionate and loving. Heather’s favorite trips were their pre-kids trip to Spain and Paris and their 2 week trip with the kids to Orlando, Jacksonville and Myrtle Beach last summer. Her favorite way to start the morning is to share a cup of coffee with her husband. After a long day at work, Heather relaxes by putting her jammies and slippers on and snuggling on the couch at home. Her favorite foods are filet mignon and coffee with coconut creamer. A woman of many talents, Heather’s husband claims, “You make the best 7 layer bars!” Yet, if she didn’t work in the dental field, Heather says she would work in a flower shop. When asked what’s the one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their lives, Heather would tell you, “Go to a live Jim Gaffigan show!” Heather is the oldest – and only girl – of 5 children and she adores her 4 younger brothers. She is passionate about family and she feels having the best parents, husband, kids and extended family are the luckiest things that have ever happened to her. Knowing that, it doesn’t surprise us that Heather feels the movie that best describes her life would be It’s a Wonderful Life.
Lisa has been a member of the Pike Lake Dental team since 2006. She recieved her Dental Assiting diploma from Duluth Business University in 2003 and has since completed further training at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Lisa and her husband, Travis, live in Esko with their two dogs, Morgan and Daisy. In her free time Lisa enjoys a variety of outdoor activites including camping, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and golf.
Nancy is one of our Dental Assistants. She has worked for Pike Lake Dental since 2005, but worked with Dr. Matt for many years, as far back as 1995, at another dental office in town. Nancy is a Duluth native and lives in her favorite place, on Island Lake, with her husband od 23 years, Ward, and their chocolate lab, Rowdy. She enjoys fishing, puzzles, hunting, traveling, pontooning, and spending time with friends and family. Nancy enjoys the outdoors and traveled to Alaska recently on a successful 21 day hunting trip with her husband. One rule that was instilled in her by her parents and she tries to live by everyday is, “Treat others how you want to be treated.” Always positive and smiling, Nancy adds a breath of fresh air to our office. There isn’t much she can’t handle with grace and style. She is tough and fearless and, we have it on good authority, she can shoot a pistol better than most men. You may not know this, but Nancy had a successful moose hunt while in Alaska and she’s jumped out of an airplane skydiving. Nancy has traveled to Africa twice; once on a successful hunting safari and once on a photography safari. A fun fact about Nancy is that her dad was a well known and respected dentist here in Duluth and inspired her love for the profession. If she wasn’t working in the dental field, Nancy would be a travel or resort critic.
Sandy, Front Desk
Sandy has been greeting patients at the front desk and over the phone at Pike Lake Dental Center for 17 years! Sandy has been married to her husband, Greg, for 39 years and together they have 4 married daughters and 8 grandchildren. Sandy grew up a farmer’s daughter in the small town of Bagley, MN. She loves cooking and entertaining, Italian food and Cabernet Sauvignon. Always present in the moment, her favorite place she’s lived is her current home in Duluth and her her favorite trip is always the one she’s on. Sandy is passionate about Bible Study and loves people, saying simply, “Everyone has an interesting story.” Sandy’s favorite way to start the day is with a cup of coffee, a cozy chair and quiet time reading. She relaxes after a work by walking. Her goals for the next 10 years include spending more time with her husband and grandchildren. A little known fact about Sandy is that her grandchildren think of her as Crazy Grannie Sandy. When asked about the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to her, Sandy would tell you she is blessed beyond measure with her husband, Greg.
Stacey, Dental Hygienist & Assistant
Stacey, a Registered Dental Assistant and Hygienist, aka a “Hygistant”, has worked at Pike Lake Dental Center since early 2013. She grew up in Lakewood Township and lives in her favorite city, Duluth, with her husband, Andy, their two children, Grace (age 9) and Jack (age 7), and their betta fish, Lightening. Stacey loves to start her day with coffee and a good book. She winds down after a busy day by reading and enjoying an occasional glass of wine. When she’s not at work, Stacey enjoys time with her family, golfing and running. She also loves chips. Her favorite vacation was a train trip to the state of Washington as a child. Two interesting facts about Stacey are: If she didn’t work in the dental field, she would have gone into nursing and she can roll her tongue 3 times. Stacey believes everyone should floss at least once in their lifetime. She is passionate about annoying Dr. Matt, which she excels at and he grudgingly puts up with. Stacey feels the luckiest thing that has ever happened to her was being hired at Pike Lake Dental Center, which we are all thankful for.
Stephanie, Office Staff
Stephanie has worked at Pike Lake Lake Dental Center for nearly 20 years, starting out as a financial coordinator back in the geodesic dome for Dr. Johnson. Recently, she’s begun to manage our office’s website, advertising and social media presence. Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband of 16 years and their three busy teenagers, even if most of that quality time is spent shuttling kids around town. She is also a voracious reader and finished over 100 books last year. Some of her other favorite aspects of life include road trips, beaches, camping, boating, and sampling craft beer. Because she also loves coffee and red wine, Stephanie whitens her teeth at least twice a month. She wears a splint faithfully every night and swears by her electric toothbrush.
Sue has been with Pike Lake Dental since 1990. She is originally from Naperville, IL and moved to Duluth in 1980. She received her Registered Dental Hygienist degree from Lake Superior College. Sue has 3 children, 2 adorable grandchildren and George, the chocolate lab. Sue spends every summer weekend at the cabin, where she plans to retire. Sue enjoys traveling, candle making, home improvement projects and being the best grandma EVER.
Tracey, Financial Coordinator
Tracey, our Financial Coordinator, started working for Pike Lake Dental Center in 2017. She grew up in Robbinsdale, MN and moved to Duluth in 2001. Her family includes her partner, Brandon, and 5 children: Gavyn, Baylee, Samantha, Aubrey and Alice. When she’s not at work, Tracey enjoys spending time at the cabin highlighting her favorite aspects including boating, swimming, paddle boarding and campfires. She also enjoys reading and having fun with the kids. Her favorite vacation was a cruise around the Hawaiian islands, stopping at 5 ports and 4 islands. Tracey is passionate (sometimes) about running and always about cooking. Her favorite way to start the day is with coffee and a book, although she will tell you more often it’s cartoons with the kids.