Brenda joined Pike Lake Dental as a receptionist in September of 2022. Although new to the dental field, she has an outgoing and friendly rapport our patients already love. Brenda grew up in Kettle River and now lives in Saginaw with her husband. She is very proud to have two grown, respectful and responsible children and an adorable young grandson.
Her favorite aspects about working at Pike Lake Dental are greeting and having conversations with people in our local community. She also enjoys the attitude of teamwork with her coworkers and also considers herself a team player.
When asked about her happiest places to be, Brenda shares two: 1) raking hay with her tractor and 2) laying in the sun on a pontoon boat with a refreshing beverage in her hand, surrounded by her family. An avid outdoor enthusiast any time of the year, Brenda enjoys taking long walks, gardening, snowmobiling, canning jams and jellies, and sewing quilts.
What would Brenda’s dream job be? “My dream job would be to own a hobby farm with a variety of therapeutic animals. A farm where kids and/or adults could come and experience a relationship and companionship. It would also be rewarding going to children or veteran hospitals with therapeutic animals. I believe animals have a special way of being non-judgemental and accepting of people no matter their disabilities.”
Until she starts her hobby farm, we are thankful Brenda is one of the first faces you will see upon entering our office. She is always friendly, helpful and professional on the phone or in person. We think you will enjoy interacting with her and getting to know her in the coming years.
Cara joined our office in 2018. She started out as a receptionist and created the Treatment Coordinator position she now holds. In this role, she assists patients by explaining treatment plans and going over fees, processing pre treatment estimates and scheduling appointments. Cara enjoys being an insurance detective, but only when she’s successful. Although she’s been a licensed dental hygienist for 10 years, she is very happy in her role as Treatment Coordinator and refuses all half-joking attempts we make to have her clean our teeth. Her favorite part about her job is having conversations with patients and coworkers, especially if they ask about her dog. You’ll find pictures of Ellie, a 10 year old Westie Terrier, in her office – she is adorable!
A local for most of her life, Cara grew up in Saginaw and now lives in Proctor with her husband, Nick, and her beloved Ellie. She enjoys participating in Duluth “running” races and has run many 5k, 10k, 10 mile and half marathon races. She claims she’s a slow runner, but she rocks the marathons. Always the social butterfly, Cara enjoys time with her friends experiencing local restaurants and participating in game nights with fun and unique board games. About some of her other interests she says, “I enjoy watching Tik Tok – just kidding… but not really.” Who hasn’t spent hours watching them? She’s also an avid tv enthusiast and is a whiz at remembering lines from commercials.
A big dream for Cara came true this fall with a trip to Florida and a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. She’s been a life-long fan of Harry Potter and was fortunate to grow up as the books came out. Unfortunately, her Hogwarts letter never came and she’s resigned herself to being a muggle.
A fun fact that she shares about herself is her first job was just down the street at the Pike Lake Dairy Queen. A little known fact about Cara is that she is trying to grow houseplants. She boasts a success rate of nearly 75% on keeping them alive. The odds are in her favor!
If Cara wasn’t working at Pike Lake Dental Center, her dream job and dream talent would take her to the stage as a Broadway star. Until then, we’ll keep her here with us! There’s rarely a dull moment when Cara is around. She keeps smiles on our faces, the mood at the office light, and bright, new ideas on improving Pike Lake Dental Center coming every day. She also keeps our Spotify account fresh and family friendly. We just wouldn’t be us without Cara.
Nayda joined our dental team in 2020, soon after we reopened our office from Covid. She started out as a receptionist, but we soon realized her talents far surpassed that role and she moved to become our Financial Coordinator. Now she is responsible for all the billing, insurance, and financial aspects of the office. Trust when we say that is no small job! Nayda sleuths her way through complicated insurance issues, questions on accounts and every other complication that arises. No stranger to dental, Nayda also worked with her brother, a dentist in Colorado. Having that additional dental experience has made her even wiser at her job.
Nayda grew up in Kansas, attended college in Louisiana, and spent time in Colorado, where she met her husband Chuck. They have 5 incredible children together and their first grandchild is on the way this fall! When Chuck’s mother needed help staying in her home here on Pike Lake, Nayda and Chuck selflessly moved from Colorado to Duluth with their youngest son. Now, Nayda is able to enjoy all the outdoor activities the area has to offer including snowshoeing, skiing, beautiful motorcycle rides and fun times on the lake. Her happiest moments include the few times each year their large family is able to be together. As a former high school French teacher, Nayda is in charge of keeping us all educated about French culture, including King Cake on Mardi Gras. Laissez les bons temps roulez!
Her favorite parts of her job at Pike Lake Dental include building relationships with coworkers and patients while assisting them with getting the most from their benefits. If she wasn’t working in the dental profession, Nayda would be a pediatrician. That is, if she couldn’t be on Broadway with Cara!
Nayda is a VIP when it comes to our office. No job is too small or too difficult. She handles every day with grace and confidence. She has a fun, quirky personality and a very quick wit. She makes us laugh every day with her humor. We wouldn’t want to imagine our office without her!
Stephanie K. started working at Pike Lake Dental in the fall of 2022 after her aspirations as a fire-eater in the circus did not pan out. Her current role as Treatment Coordinator allows her to participate in some of her favorite things: interacting with and assisting patients with their treatment plans and trying out new comedic material with those willing to banter. Although new to the dental field, one of her favorite parts of her job is that each day is different. She also feels like she found a niche in all things insurance related; and thoroughly enjoys slogging through the small print of dental insurance policies to give patients the most up to date and accurate information.
Stephanie resides in Duluth with her hunky husband, Matt, and as many animals as she can get him to agree to. They currently have 2 chihuahua mix pups after an unfortunate incident with her beloved chickens and a not so sweet little fox family; so she’s resorted to bribing the neighborhood deer with apples, and an unruly gang of chipmunks with peanuts. A little harder to bribe are their two grown sons, which as any parent can attest to, they don’t see nearly enough of anymore!
A lover of art, Stephanie possessed creative proclivities since childhood. Her current passion is mixed media painting and lettering, and you can find her at the occasional weekend local artisan show slinging her art and stickers. Other than art, she loves writing, binging a good Netflix series, and reading non-fiction. She is skilled in the art of awkwardness, a master at imagining herself in situations that will literally never happen and will often seriously discuss getting into shape while eating French fries. It’s going to happen! If pressed, she would also admit to knowing more about pop culture than one should ever admit to in a biography.
If she wasn’t working in the dental field, Stephanie’s dream jobs would consist of animal rescue/rehab, selling art professionally, and holing up with her computer typing out the next New York Times bestseller…after world domination of course!
If you get a chance to meet Stephanie, you will enjoy it! She spends most of her day in an office near the front desk to make herself available to meet with patients about their upcoming treatment and associated finances. Patients leave her office with a smile on their face, confident they are in good hands. If you see Stephanie out of her office, you will probably hear laughter follow her around. She is a hoot!