When Carol Newberry walked into DenMat in 1985 for an interview with company founder Dr. Robert Ibsen, the late CEO hired her as his executive secretary on the spot. Her evident smarts, shorthand note-taking and happy demeanor made a good first impression; her loyalty and work ethic made her invaluable. Though Dr. Ibsen retired with the sale of his company in 2008, Carol has remained an essential employee at DenMat—and is one of the biggest champions of its people.
“I was hired on the spot when Dr. Ibsen started dictating to me during the interview,” Carol recalls. “Little did I know that that executive secretary position would provide opportunities for a lifelong career.”
More than 30 years later, Carol is one of the most tenured employees at DenMat, whose headquarters is located in the Central California coastal region. And her collective, intricate knowledge of the company’s history and early beginnings has made her a matriarch of sorts.
“I feel it’s my job to keep the principles on which DenMat was founded alive—products and services that help dentists provide the least invasive restorations for their patients,” Carol explains.
Through subsequent company sales and acquisitions, Carol was promoted to Executive Assistant, again to Executive Administrator, and most recently to Vice President, Executive Administration. Never afraid of the changes taking place around her, Carol remained loyal to DenMat because of her unwavering commitment to the company’s mission: to design innovative products that not only make dentists’ lives easier but also improve patients’ lives. Her task of managing Human Resources is also in line with her passion of working with others and promoting community within the workplace.
In addition to being part of this greater goal, Carol’s personal passion of employee health and well-being—and creating programs to enhance both—have provided personal and professional fulfillment that she can’t imagine experiencing anywhere else.
Professionally speaking, Carol is motivated by her employer’s unique market position: DenMat is the only dental products manufacturer that also operates a dental laboratory focused on minimally invasive dentistry. Ever-changing technological advances in the industry add another interesting focal point to this conversation.
“There is no shortage of new innovations,” Carol states. “Seeing the dental industry transform over the years is a part of my job that I really enjoy.” One such transformation was the introduction and ongoing success of DenMat Lumineers. “It took many years for dentists to catch on to Lumineers, but it’s now the number one patient-requested veneer.”
Personally, Carol ensures the 300+ employees of DenMat are properly cared for during the manufacture and fabrication of its products and services via individual ergonomic checks, review of workstation setups, and implementation of a stretching program to help employees remain free of injury.
On a bigger scale, Carol lives out her passion for well being through ongoing research and recent implementation of a new medical benefits plan that was well received by company employees. “Announcing to our employees a new medical benefits plan that is not only significantly better in its options, but also will save them a significant dollar amount per paycheck has definitely been a recent highlight,” Carol says of her time with the company.
But even more than that: “Witnessing the positive life-changing results of thousands of Lumineers patients is what keeps me passionate and motivated in my job,” she shares.
DenMat is unique, Carol says, thanks to its small, close-knit community. This, combined with executive leaders who are mindful of details, inspiring, and connected with employees at every level, helps DenMat continue to make strides in improving lives through quality, minimally invasive dental products and restorations.
Carol is one of ten employees who have been employed at DenMat for more than 30 years. This further highlights how deeply rooted DenMat employees are in the mission of improving oral health. Today, Carol carries the proverbial torch of Dr. Ibsen’s earliest mission, ensuring that the core values on which the company was founded are respectfully considered in modern approaches to dentistry.