Espire’s Leadership Team
“You serve your people by leading them to excellence. That’s leadership.” – Horst Schulze, The Ritz-Carlton Company
Espire’s leadership team is dedicated to developing a world-class organization that will turn the dental industry upside down! Every person you are about to see and read about is focused on engaging, aligning, and energizing our people to harness the power of our company culture and transform it into the best patient and team member experience in the country.
Our leaders and our culture are what make us different. What is our culture? It is at once fun, elite, and inspired. It provides confidence and joy to our patients and team members, one smile at a time. We are elevating the entire dental industry together – because our patients deserve it and so does our team.
As a leadership team, our job is to serve each member of the clinical team and the organization so that we can radically elevate the dental experience, together. We seek to build a platform that attracts the best talent in the industry. To celebrate each of our unique gifts and bring out the best in people. To provide the resources to get even better and inspire our team to give our patients their hearts and minds every day.
Ryan Heckman is Chairman of Espire Dental. Ryan has spent his entire 20-year career as a business owner and healthcare CEO. His passion for entrepreneurship, leadership and healthcare innovation drew him to Espire’s mission to elevate the dental industry. Ryan grew up in rural Colorado and was the youngest member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team, competing in Albertville, France as a skier. After a successful athletic career that included two Olympic Teams and four world championships, he graduated with honors from the University of Colorado.
Today, he serves the community as chairman of the CiviCO Leadership Foundation, founding board member of Endeavor Global, co-founder of the Colorado Impact Fund and is a Trustee for the University of Denver.
Chief Espire Officer
Under Tim’s leadership, he is responsible for the creation and strategic implementation of Espire’s vision to build a dental group centered around superior and elevated patient experiences and outcomes. Tim brings extensive operational and dental industry experience to the Espire leadership team having spent the last 17 years of his career in various leadership roles within a dental support organization that owned and operated over 150 dental practices throughout five states. Prior to his career in dentistry, Tim held leadership positions for Verizon Wireless where he was instrumental in developing the direct retail store channel operations throughout Florida and the Mid-gulf region. As a seasoned executive with broad-based experience in public, private, and venture-stage organizations, the common leadership thread for Tim is all about helping people where he works to inspire them to grow and give their personal best. “By putting our patients first, we are here not just to elevate the dental industry, but more importantly the quality of life for our patients, empowering us all to be the best version of ourselves.”
Tim earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Clearwater Cristian College and Professional Program certification in Human Resources Strategy from Cornell University ILR School.
Chief Marketing Officer
Kim leads Espire’s growth strategy & initiatives and is responsible for making sure all potential patients know that a luxury dental experience is possible and awaits them at Espire Dental. Marketing is her professional passion and she has spent her career creating and executing successful marketing campaigns in the healthcare industry. Prior to her role at Espire, Kim was the Vice President of Marketing for EVP Eyecare, a surgical eye care company with clinics and surgical centers across multiple states. Here, she led the creation of a full, multi-channel marketing strategy and multiple campaigns, bringing together three acquisition companies under one brand umbrella; achieving not only growth but excellent patient care goals as well. Kim also held marketing and sales roles at Teva Pharmaceuticals’ Specialty Neurology Division.
Kim earned her MBA from Colorado State University and her BS degrees in Marketing and HR Management from Colorado University at Boulder.
Chief Operating Officer
Brooke leads the Operations and People teams who make the magic happen at Espire every day. She brings a wealth of knowledge in dentistry and is an expert in how a management services team can best support their dental partners, by allowing the Dentists to focus on what really matters: the patients! Most recently, Brooke oversaw all U.S. Western Region Operations for Affordable Care and Affordable Dentures & Implants. She was responsible for the operational excellence of 50 practices and practice owner relationships, along with the performance of 300 clinical team members and another 150 people working in labs. Along with her team, she helped facilitate the transformation of thousands of people’s lives through tooth replacement. Prior to Affordable Care, Brooke wore many hats with ClearChoice Management Services including: Human Resources, Training, New Center Development, Real Estate Management, Operations and Practice Excellence. She loves the opportunity that her career path has provided, to utilize her strengths in business in combination with her experience in curating the patient journey along with her doctor partners. Seeing lives changed is her greatest career accomplishment.
Brooke received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Wyoming.
Sr. VP, Finance & Accounting
Sarah leads Espire Dental’s finance and accounting operations as well as the business combination (M&A) activity. Her 13 years of experience includes a blend of public accounting and industry experience with private equity portfolio companies, including multi-site healthcare. Sarah’s passion lies in scaling finance and accounting functions while partnering with leadership teams to drive above market growth through organic and acquisition strategies. She thrives in the fluid dynamics of growth-stage, purpose-driven organizations like Espire.
Sarah earned her MBA from the University of Denver Daniels School of Business and her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Colorado Denver.
Brett R. Levin, DMD
Clinical Advisory Board, Chairman
In his role as Chairman of the Clinical Advisory Board (“CAB”), Dr. Levin provides leadership and guidance to clinical personnel regarding all clinical matters of the practice. Together with his Clinical Advisory Board doctor peers, he helps guide and build the practice to, a) enhance the patient experience, b) improve population health and patient outcomes, and c) increase provider satisfaction.
Jennifer Derse, DDS
Chief Clinical Director
Dr. Jen Derse leads Espire’s recruiting efforts with the goal of finding the brightest dentists in the country who want to help Espire turn the dental industry upside down. She also provides mentorship and clinical leadership to the many fantastic Smile Creators that join Espire’s practices. Dr. Derse plays a lead role in defining, directing, evaluating, and enhancing the patient journey within the Espire Dental practice. An expert in communication and marketing, Dr. Derse ensures patients have the optimal patient experience to help patients become the best version of themselves. You can follow Dr. Derse on Instagram here for the latest industry news and tips!